This article is part of our Planning a Wedding in a Pandemic: Covid-19 series.
Planning a wedding has never been an easy feat to begin with. The arrival of COVID-19 has made it all the more challenging with the need to constantly adhere to prevailing (and changing) government measures.
As of 19th November 2020, couples are allowed to host only one reception for up to 100 persons (or lower based on the venue’s safe capacity) with additional requirements on zoning and grouping of guests. (Please refer to the official GoCovid’s site for the most updated rules and measures.)
With the venue’s safe capacity and limitations being the starting point determining what can and cannot be done, we speak to several venue operators in Singapore on how they’re managing with the restrictions as well as any tips they have for couples when planning their guests list.
In this article, Rachel Ye, Associate Director of Event Sales at Grand Hyatt Singapore, gives us an insight on how things are being managed at their hotel property. (For insights on how restaurants and event spaces are doing the same, read our interview with them!)
Housed within Grand Hyatt Singapore is 16 event spaces built to cater to different types of special occasions. Its residential-style interiors and fittings makes it the perfect place to celebrate lifestyle events such as weddings. It is also one of the most distinctive venues we’ve seen with loft kitchens, lounges and also a digital canvas in the Grand Ballroom, which has remained one of the most iconic in the city.
On Zoning Requirements and Table Set Up –
With effect from 3 October 2020, if the venue permits, receptions with 50 to 100 persons must adhere to a zoning requirement of not more than 50 persons in a zone. Zoning rules also include the need to have a 3-metre gap and a continuous physical barrier or a solid partition of 1.8 metre or taller between zones.
For those seeking to experience a traditional wedding banquet, the Grand Ballroom at Grand Hyatt Singapore can comfortably adhere to the prevailing rules with an all-round table set up.
Round tables are always nicer in my opinion, as it is easier to communicate with all the guests on the table.Rachel Ye – Associate Director of Event Sales, Grand Hyatt Singapore
Depending on the capacity you’re expecting, the hotel will advise on the best setup with safety measures in place to mark out the zones and to facilitate guests’ flow to their assigned zones.
The Hotel is adhering closely to the Government’s guidelines to advise couples on the approved setup. Q poles are being used along the red carpet as well as colour wristbands for the respective zones and wedding party.Rachel Ye – Associate Director of Event Sales, Grand Hyatt Singapore
On Guest List Planning –
For the safety of all guests, receptions with more than 20 attendees must be split into a designated core “wedding party” comprising up to 20 persons and groups of up to five people for the remaining guests. At least 1 metre safe distancing must be observed between groups, as well as between the “wedding party” and other groups, at all times.
With the limit in guest capacity and zoning requirement, some might face the situation of accidentally over-inviting. Rachel offers a few tips on what to keep in mind when you get started on your guest list to avoid having to “uninvite” guests –
- Have guests who need to mingle or communicate with one another during the wedding be grouped within the wedding party, to avoid violation of social distancing measures.
- Always remember that baby/children are considered as 1 person.
- Give your parents the number of guests that your guest list allows. This is so that it does not come to a situation where they invite too many relatives or their friends, leaving you with not many of your own guests that you can have at your wedding.
On Additional Measures Implemented by the Hotel –
As mandated by the government, guests will be required to take their temperature, check in and out via SafeEntry before entering the premises, and download and activate the TraceTogether app before attending the event.
Besides adhering to these safety measures, the Hotel also goes a step further in ensuring guests and couples alike can celebrate and dine with a peace of mind.
We have changed our menus to be all individually plated with no side portioning. This is also to let the guest feel safe knowing that there is not too much touch points with the food by the wait staff.Rachel Ye – Associate Director of Event Sales, Grand Hyatt Singapore
We are sure many couples would gladly welcome this change as food served individually not just ensures a higher standard level of hygiene but also makes the guests feel more exclusive and taken care of.
On Approaching the “New Normal” –
There is truly no way to predict what would happen next. As we go about planning for the best (and worst) scenario, there are likely to be bumps along the way that requires for plans to be modified. Instead of feeling disheartened whenever the measures change, perhaps like Rachel said, the best approach is to stay open and adaptable –
To always keep an open mind and be ready for change. Nothing is permanent for now, at least.Rachel Ye – Associate Director of Event Sales, Grand Hyatt Singapore
This is a mindset we could all do with as we arrive at this new form of normalcy.
With understanding the venue’s configuration and limitation as a starting point, we hope this article has been helpful for couples who are planning their wedding during this pandemic. They could serve as a guide for the questions you ask your venue operator as well. Do keep in mind that regulations and measures are likely to change and to communicate with your venue first-hand before making any decisions pertaining to the reception.
Check out more about Grand Hyatt Singapore here. A special thank you to Rachel for sharing her inputs with us!
If you’re a couple thinking of starting off your planning journey now and have questions, feel free to drop us a message here.