Photo: Iki Company
Covid-19 has consumed almost the entire 2020. Those who have planned to tie the knot would have either postponed it to next year, or held a small solemnisation. However, a wedding is not a celebration without friends and family giving their blessings and hugs. As Singapore eases its Covid-19 regulations, how should couples planning to get married next year or the year after deal with the so-called, ‘new normal’?
The planning must go on
Despite the uncertainties ahead of us, you should continue with wedding planning, if you are one of the couples who are planning to get married within the next few years. Like how it is business as usual for most companies, wedding planning should not be put on hold.
With the bulk of weddings being postponed to 2021, there is a shortage of available venues, photographers, videographers, and make-up artists to fulfil the demands of new requests. In the good, not-so-old (pre-pandemic) days, couples usually start booking venues as early as a year-and-a-half ahead. Taking this into account, you may have to plan your wedding earlier than expected if you want to engage your preferred vendors.
Having said that, how should one go about planning then?
Anticipation is the key
The Singapore government understands how Covid-19 has affected our lives, and has been cautiously expediating and helping its residents, as well as businesses ease into the ‘new normal’.
In May this year, the parliament passed the bill to allow virtual solemnisations. But in less than a month, couples were allowed to hold a 20-pax wedding. This number was further increased to 50-pax for those held from August 4, and 100-pax from October 3.
With such a positive and healthy observation, we are looking forward to this number doubling before the end of the year, and many couples are hopeful that weddings with more than 200- to 300-pax would be plausible by the end of 2021.
Nevertheless, we need to bear in mind that each of us play a crucial part in keeping the coronavirus at bay. Hence, we must not compromise on our personal hygiene and the need to adhere to physical distancing.
Be flexible to changes
One of the first items on your wedding checklist is the venue, and this requires you to decide on your guest count. While doing so, it is important to take note that there is a possibility of the pandemic taking a bad turn. We do not know when the coronavirus will truly be over, or when it will get worse, but life has to go on. As such, you need to be prepared to make necessary adjustments to your plan.
If your budget allows, it would be good to engage a wedding planner to help you adapt to these potential changes. Wedding planners have a better understanding of the industry, and would be able to give you better advice and negotiate with your vendors when the need arises.
Photo: Maritha Mae Photography
It’s ok to be kiasu
After deciding on your guest size, confirming the venue and other crucial vendors like photographer, videographer and make-up artist would be next to explore.
Different vendors have different booking timelines. Hence, it is absolutely fine to book them in advance. Even if your enquiry comes too early, you will get an idea when would be the right moment to book them when the time comes.
Negotiate before signing
Change is the only thing constant during this Covid-19 period, and as you prepare for your wedding, it is all the more important to take note of what the vendors can do for you should the pandemic worsen.
Since the outbreak, vendors have updated their postponement and cancellation policies, factoring in such circumstance. Do clarify if you do not understand the terms in the agreement, and find out more and negotiate a favourable term before you sign on the dotted line.
It takes two to Tango
While hoping vendors can be flexible and accommodating to your terms, it is only polite to put yourself in their shoes too. When vendors allocate the day for you, they are forgoing the opportunity to work with another couple.
Review your wedding plans actively to make sure that it is still relevant with the given regulations. If you need to postpone the wedding, reach out to your vendors as soon as you can, so that they can secure a new date for you. Keep an open conversation with your vendors. They are able to advise you when you should decide and/or make changes to minimise potential losses.
We are almost at the end of 2020, and we have absolutely no idea how long the pandemic is here to stay. Will weddings be held online for good? I doubt so, even though humans have been evolving in the way we think and behave since the beginning of time. Dealing with the ‘new normal’ will just be one of those things we would be accustomed to eventually.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cheryl is the founder of The Wedding Concepteur. A former hotelier, and with more than a decade of experience in the corporate world, Cheryl has planned weddings for some high-profile personalities, including fashion entrepreneur Rachel Lim, DJs Jean Danker and Glenn Ong, as well as model and actress Sheila Sim.
Cheryl enjoys the process of getting to know each couple and conceptualising their wedding themes. “No wedding is the same,” she said, “and that’s what makes it so special and exciting.”