S’pore Couples May Have Virtual Marriage Solemnizations By Mid-May
The circuit breaker has been a real bummer for most couples in Singapore. With stricter Circuit Breaker rules, marriages have mostly been postponed due to health concerns.
Minister Desmond Lee’s Facebook post, however, may place some engaged couples’ plans to wed back on track.
Here’s what he had to say about a tabling a bill to stop Covid-19 from hindering their marriage plans in the month of May.
If you know anyone who’s planning to say their ‘I dos’ in the near future, here’s how they may be able to go about getting solemnized while supporting circuit breaker social distancing measures.
Most marriage solemnizations postponed due to Covid-19
As of right now, couples have to both be physically present with their officiator for marriages to be solemnized under law.
The Covid-19 pandemic has obviously put a damper on the plans of engaged couples with solemnizations postponed for both civil & Muslim marriages.
But Minister Desmond Lee shares that we should try to allow “important life events” like marriages to continue.
In his own words,
We should not let COVID-19 hold back those who are ready to start a new life together.
No need to be physically present at ROM for solemnization
The minister further shared that a bill will be introduced in Parliament on 4 May, to allow marriage solemnizations to be conducted “remotely”.
Couples will be allowed to solemnize their marriage without being physically present at Registry of Marriages (ROM), as long as a certified solemnizer and witnesses are present.
That said, all parties – solemnizer & witnesses included – and the couple must be “physically in Singapore” during the marriage ceremony to sign the statutory declaration & for verification of the “necessary documents”.
Non-Singaporeans & PRs can’t be wed this way yet
As long as one party in the union is a Singaporean or Permanent Resident (PR), they’ll be able to solemnize their marriages online officially.
Unfortunately, to safeguard to verification process, couples with both parties holding foreign-issued documents will not be able to get registered this way.
If bill is passed, marriages can start from mid-May
Of course, this measure – if passed – will be an interim one. Solemnizations will be conducted in person when “it is safe to do so”, says the minister.
If initial trials are successful, Mr Desmond Lee also mentions the possibility of extending this “as an option to more couples” even after the circuit breaker is over.
Love in the time of Covid-19
We live in extraordinary times and we’re glad that efforts are being made to ensure that our lovebirds get the happy ending they deserve.
With these past 2 months of circuit breaker measures limiting the time we have with our loved ones, we hope that the bill goes on to make many happy marriages possible for Singaporeans.
Will you be excited to bear witness to a virtual wedding soon? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Featured image adapted from Minister Desmond Lee on Facebook.