Young Singaporean couple makes painful choice to postpone wedding due to fears of COVID-19 spreading.
For Melissa and Michael (not their real names), April 2020 was supposed to be the most memorable month of their lives.
They had meticulously planned for their dream wedding since July last year and were eagerly counting down the days to becoming husband and wife. But with slightly more than a month to the big day, the couple made the painful decision to postpone the wedding.
And it wasn’t because Melissa and Michael, both 28, had second thoughts about embarking on a life journey together.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases in Singapore had Melissa’s family members worried if the couple should take the risk of holding their wedding banquet, potentially putting the guests at risk of contracting the virus. This, especially after the government recommended that gatherings with more than 250 guests must be suspended.
“It was quite a shock and upsetting for me when my father first broke his consideration to me,” Melissa told Youth.SG, adding that she did not know how to react initially.
“I told my family I needed time [with Michael] to discuss it… We were very upset and we almost felt as if we were grieving.
“I had imagined and planned how my wedding would be and I was looking forward to it. Now, there’s a possibility that I have to re-imagine and plan everything from something that was the scale I imagined it to be, that was very difficult.”
Melissa ended up taking a walk that night to clear her mind. The couple then spoke to Michael’s family – but it wasn’t the easiest conversation to have.
“At the end of the day, do we really want to fight this battle by continuing with the wedding? If we fight this battle, we may end up losing the war instead,” said Melissa.
“We didn’t want to make people feel they are obliged to attend our wedding, and to feel fearful and wonder what is going to happen after the wedding. We postponed [our wedding] to honour our family’s concerns, and to love the people who love us in that manner.
“The one thing we didn’t want was our wedding becoming a COVID-19 cluster.” Melissa added that while practicing safe distancing was possible at the wedding, it would have made things awkward – especially if each table had only five guests.
With the blessings of Melissa’s future in-laws, the couple decided to make the painful decision to postpone the wedding. However, the couple had to fork out extra money out of their pockets due to changes to the packages or contracts they have signed with the hotel and vendors.
To date, they have paid a mid-to-high four-figure sum in extra costs.
Melissa said that having to do so was painful, but they don’t want to “leave it to chance” either. Thankfully, most of the vendors have been helpful in acceding to Melissa and Michael’s requests, which has made what Melissa described as a “logistical nightmare” easier.
Their wedding vendors, such as Forte Visuals, Yipmage Moments and makeup artist Jace Ang, also made significant adjustments for the couple so that they did not incur too much financial losses.
“I was looking at the things listed in the contract when I first signed it and we had to pay up almost 100 per cent of the banquet cost one to two months before the wedding date if we postponed or cancelled the wedding. I looked at it and thought to myself what would have made us postpone the wedding,” Melissa said. “I really didn’t expect it to come to this. But it isn’t just us having a hard time. The vendors were telling me that overseas shoots were also postponed and they have no idea what else they can do.”
The couple are now looking to hold their wedding banquet sometime in November this year. However, they will still need to register their marriage in April as they have collected the keys to their new home.
Being cautious of the virus, they plan to hold their solemnisation ceremony at their new home, in the presence of just their family members. Despite all the troubles they’ve had to face, Melissa remains upbeat.
“Now, we are joking that our two cats can attend our wedding. In our house, we have this nice wallpaper. I can say things like I’m a visionary – I knew we were going to get married in our house,” Melissa quipped.
“I was also thinking of all the wedding jokes I will say at my wedding banquet. Things like, ‘Hi everyone, you better enjoy yourselves, because this wedding took one and a half years to plan!’, to make ourselves feel better.”
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