Love in the time of Covid-19 is a wedding stuck in limbo

Brides-to-be forced to post­pone nup­tials af­ter new dis­tanc­ing mea­sures re­strict the num­ber of guests

The New Paper - - FRONT PAGE - CHEOW SUE-ANN & HARSHITHA SMRUTHI L. KANDAKUMAR

Af­ter plan­ning for 18 months and spend­ing more than $15,000, Ms Vi­vian Kwok has had to put her dream of a per­fect wedding on hold in­def­i­nitely.

Her nup­tials, which had been slated for April 5, which is also her birth­day, can no longer go ahead as planned af­ter the lat­est safe dis­tanc­ing mea­sures to stem the spread of Covid-19.

“No one knows when things will im­prove. I am feel­ing a bit help­less, but I am try­ing to be pos­i­tive,” Ms Kwok, 26, told The New Pa­per yes­ter­day:

“I am grate­ful my fam­ily has been sup­port­ive. We have been men­tally pre­par­ing for this even­tu­al­ity since Jan­uary when the virus started spread­ing.”

Ms Kwok said that sev­eral guests were fly­ing in from over­seas, and friends in the med­i­cal sec­tor had taken time off to at­tend the wedding.

“It has been a lo­gis­ti­cal chal­lenge, with ev­ery­one hav­ing to ad­just their sched­ules ac­cord­ingly. Now we will have to do it all over again.”

Ms Kwok is thinking of go­ing ahead with the cus­tom­ary por­tion of the wedding with just im­me­di­ate fam­ily mem­bers and hopes to hold the wedding re­cep­tion later this year, Covid-19 per­mit­ting.

An­nounced on Tuesday, the lat­est mea­sures in­clude the clo­sure of bars, night­clubs and cin­e­mas.

So­cial gath­er­ings such as weddings are also re­stricted to not more than 10 peo­ple at any one time.

Yes­ter­day saw a new high of 73 in­fec­tions, with a spike in lo­cal cases to 35, of which 17 are linked to a new clus­ter at the PCF Sparkle­tots Pre-school at Feng­shan Block 126.

Thir­teen are staff from the pre-school and four are fam­ily mem­bers of the prin­ci­pal.

An­other bride-to-be, whose wedding was sched­uled for Satur­day, told TNP that she will be go­ing ahead with the mar­riage reg­is­tra­tion but has post­poned the ban­quet.

She was dis­ap­pointed that the limit of 10 peo­ple meant she was al­lowed only five guests.

“This means only my fam­ily could join us. I am un­cer­tain how to even feel about this,” said the bride-to-be, who de­clined to be named.

“It is sad that we are un­able to share our joy with peo­ple that we care about and want to cel­e­brate with.”

OVER­WHELMED

When she heard the news on Tuesday, she said she felt over­whelmed and had to scram­ble to sort out the ar­range­ments.

A lo­cal wedding plan­ning com­pany, The Wedding En­tourage, said all its events from now un­til end-April have been post­poned.

Plan­ning has also stopped for weddings sched­uled for July to

De­cem­ber, pend­ing fur­ther de­vel­op­ments.

Its spokesman said it would not charge clients for post­pon­ing their weddings as the sit­u­a­tion is out of their con­trol.

New dates are be­ing sug­gested by the cou­ples, with many of them con­cerned with hav­ing an aus­pi­cious date, the spokesman added.

She said: “For weddings sched­uled this week­end, the flow­ers would have been or­dered. So the florists are plan­ning to ei­ther try to sell them or do­nate them, perhaps to ho­tels as they need fresh flower dec­o­ra­tions ev­ery day.”

Ho­tels host­ing wedding ban­quets have also had to make sig­nif­i­cant ad­just­ments.

Mr Kieran Twomey, group chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer at Mil­len­nium Ho­tels and Re­sorts, said: “We are happy to dis­cuss cre­ative solutions with clients on their events, such as video con­fer­enc­ing or split­ting the group into two rooms to keep num­bers small.

“Our sales teams have been reach­ing out to clients to of­fer options for post­pone­ment and reschedul­ing.”

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