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Getting Married in 2021? What You Should Know

2020 is almost over, but the long-lasting impacts of circuit breaker and restrictive travel might make things difficult if you are planning a wedding. For those marrying in 2021, there are many important things that could affect your wedding plans. Read on to find out more.

Your wedding day will be one of the most exciting days of your life. This is even truer if you've successfully navigated the circuit breaker with your partner. However, Covid-19 is not yet a distant memory as weddings will continue to experience social distance measures and make trends. Thus, if you are planning a 2021 wedding, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure your big day goes smoothly. To help you plan for your big day, we discuss the most important things you should keep in mind, including ongoing measures to protect Singapore from Covid, the cost of the wedding, and other things that might arise when you're planning your wedding.

Social Distancing of 2020 May Continue to Affect Weddings in 2021

With the emergence of COVID-19, the amount of weddings between January and July of 2020 in Singapore fell 23% compared to the same period in 2019. The weddings that did happen were impacted by social distancing restrictions, with guests lists getting cut down, venues closing and social distancing measures being at the forefront of each wedding plan. With smaller gatherings enforced and a focus on friends and family, 2020's weddings were focused on minimalism, virtual events, and limited gatherings.

While social distancing precautions like masks and temperature checks aren't going away anytime soon, weddings hosted in 2021 will have more leeway than before. As Singapore moves into Phase 3 of re-opening on Dec 28, 2020, there will be further easing of certain social distancing restrictions. For instance, from the 28th you will be able to have 10 people (including members of the hosting household) or 8 visitors at home, or up to 100 wedding guests at a venue, such as a place of worship or a hotel. Live instrumental music, besides wind instruments, will also be allowed. However, since the situation can change at any time, it is still imperative that you stay aware of any changes that may impact social gatherings down the line.

COVID-19 Altered Wedding Trends for 2021

2021 will continue to bring smaller, more intimate ceremonies. Luckily, this means that it will be easier on your wallet as smaller venues start at S$50 per person and S$590 for an evening compared to larger venues that typically charge S$100-S$180 per person. Another 2021 wedding trend is flexibility. With the situation constantly changing, weddings have become much more prone to cancellations. Thus, it is best to have contingency plans for international guests, book venues, catering and flowers from places that have flexible cancellation policies and mentally prepare yourself that changes may end up happening.

Cost of Floral Arrangements in Singapore 2021

Cost of Floral Arrangements in Singapore 2021

Since it will be difficult to make ceremonies as extravagant as they were pre-2020, you may also consider spending some of that extra budget on personal touches. For instance, floral arrangements can easily bump up the aesthetics of your special day. If you're on a tight budget, you can consider alternate flower arrangements like foliage. Another idea is to give thoughtful gifts to your guests. For instance, board games, at-home spa treatments and other social-distancing activities are fairly affordable and can show your guests that you care.

Borders Are Opening, But Most Travel Restrictions Still Apply

Despite Singapore's apparent success with Covid-19 reducing policies, other countries still have Covid-19 outbreaks. If your guests are able to come from abroad, they will potentially have to quarantine. Although you may want to share this momentous occasion with many people, it might be necessary to invite a select group of people and postpone a larger gathering until most are vaccinated and eligible to travel.

Countries Whose Citizens Can Travel to Singapore (Current as of Dec 24th, 2020)

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • China
  • New Zealand
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam

Furthermorefore, while your guests may come from countries eligible to travel to Singapore, you should note that there could be last-minute cancellations. For instance, Hong Kong and Singapore's travel bubble was closed after a surge in cases. An easy and affordable contingency plan that you can take from 2020's weddings is to add a virtual element, such as a live stream, that will let your international friends and family attend the wedding. Hiring a videographer to livestream the even can cost between S$15 to S$100 per hour on UpWork, but you could potentially save by agreeing on the hours and paying in advance.

Check Which of Your Bookings Are Refundable

With weddings already being quite expensive, the last thing you need is to lose money due to non refundable deposits. While the Singaporean government issued a law requiring venues to provide at least partial refunds weddings cancelled by the virus, other services like food or flower vendors may not have to refund you. This was the case with one couple, who were unable to get back almost S$6,000 on flowers, photography, food, and other wedding-related expenses.

That said, in cases where perishables are concerned, it may be even harder to postpone or cancel an order. Since you have to book these services in advance, check with the provider to see what the recourse is for cancellations. Lastly, it's also good practice to book with a credit card, as it may be easier to get your refund if the event was cancelled.

Create A Firm But Flexible Budget

If there's one thing we learned in 2020, it's that planning a wedding is difficult amidst a pandemic. Even if you plan to have a smaller ceremony due to COVID-19, you should carefully consider your expenses as unpredictable situations can happen and you'll need to adjust your budget accordingly. Furthermore, while small weddings may be easier on your wallet than typically large, extravagant events, it's easy to lose track of your budget when you need to pay for food, photography, bridesmaids gifts, wedding clothes and smaller items like invitations and party favours. In fact, even a virtual wedding can cost up to S$6,500.

Average Cost of a Wedding in Singapore

Average Cost of a Wedding in Singapore

Thus, it is best to come up with a firm budget that has some wiggle room. Putting aside a few thousand dollars as part of your budget to cover the costs of unforeseen expenses like lost deposits will help you avoid dipping into your savings or stretching out your card limit. You can also look for venues that discounted provide wedding packages, which can save you an average of 50% of the original cost. For smaller items, you can recoup some of the cost by using a an airmiles credit card to rack up points that you'll be able to use for your post-pandemic holidays. Lastly, while it's always recommended to use your savings to pay for a wedding, it's understandable that it might not be feasible for everyone at this moment in time. In that case, there is also the option of taking out a personal loan. That said, personal loans come with effective interest rates between 6-10% p.a., so you should compare banks and borrow only within your means to avoid spending more than you have to on interest payments.

Despite the Precautions, Your Wedding Will Still Be Memorable

Even though COVID-19 restrictions will still be very much in place during 2021, you can still have a wonderful celebration. To see that the ceremony happens without any hiccups, tune in to news regarding Singapore's phases of re-opening or travel bans and plan for a smaller wedding with refundable expenditures. Doing so will help put your mind at ease, allowing you to enjoy your and your partner's big day.

Anya Wasserman

Anya is a Research Analyst for ValueChampion who focuses on loans and investments in Singapore. Previously, she assisted global consultancies, hedge funds and private equities with primary research at a high-growth fin-tech based in London. A graduate of the University of Oxford and King's College London, Anya is currently interested in applying quantitative research to help consumers make better financial decisions.

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