Wedding planners and venue operators have received a number of inquiries overnight from couples looking to increase the number of guests they can invite to their weddings.
However, while these operators are hoping to accommodate the requests, some of them are still figuring out the logistics of separating guests into different zones and implementing staggered timings to ensure they adhere to safe management measures.
The Health Ministry on Wednesday announced that from Oct 3, up to 100 unique attendees, including the wedding couple but excluding vendors and service providers, will be allowed to attend receptions, up from the current limit of 50. Guests will have to be split into multiple zones of up to 50 people each, or split by staggered timings, with up to 50 people in each time slot.
At least 30 minutes should be allocated between time slots for cleaning and disinfection of the space.
With the relaxed restrictions, some couples are hoping to expand their guest lists for their wedding ceremonies.
The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts received more than 30 inquiries from couples to increase the number of guests for their weddings since the announcement, said its general manager Cavaliere Giovanni Viterale.
Wedding planning company Arches & Co said four out of five couples who have weddings scheduled from next month to December are looking to invite more guests.
Its founder, Ms Michelle Lau, said: “However, they are also concerned if their venues will be able to accommodate such rules, given the safe distancing measures in place and staggered timings.
“But for new inquiries, most are looking at the second half of next year, and they are hopeful that the guest limits will continue to increase.”
Hotels and venue operators are looking at ways to increase capacity limits while ensuring safe distancing measures remain in place.
One Farrer Hotel in Farrer Park is putting together a package to live-stream the main banquet hall event with 50 attendees to private dining rooms within the premises.
Each dining room will likely accommodate five diners, “which may be expanded in line with further changes to health safety regulations”, said its general manager, Mr Gilbert Madhavan.
At Capella Singapore on Sentosa, couples wishing to expand their guest list beyond 50 people can hold the ceremony across lunch and dinner to stagger timings for their guests, or even have the event over two dates, said its spokesman.
Spreading out the celebrations over lunch and dinner is also something wedding planning company Wedding Diary is considering.
Ms Lily Lu, its lead planner, said the company is also looking to split guest lists of more than 50 into separate receptions.
The venue also plays a part, she added. “Zoning really depends on the layout and flow of the space. For instance, some venues can allow us to hold 50 guests indoors and 50 outdoors, but others might not,” she noted.
Despite being able to invite more people, some couples are sticking to their plan of having 50 guests.
Ms Hellen Lie, creative director of wedding planner Rosette Designs & Co, said 12 of her 13 couples are not changing their plans to have 50 guests, as they are “turned off” by the staggered timings that come with the doubled capacity.
Bride-to-be Kelly Cheng, 25, who had planned to have her wedding on Oct 4, decided to hold her solemnisation ceremony on that date instead and postpone the banquet to May next year.
“We’re still sticking to our original plan of having 30 guests at our solemnisation, since it’s too close to the actual date,” said Ms Cheng, a product manager.
“I don’t mind having a smaller session with a close group of friends and family. But we hope to do a banquet with at least 200 people next year, when hopefully my relatives in Hong Kong can fly in to attend my wedding,” she said.
This article was first published in The Straits Times.