COVID-19 Weddings - Safe Distancing Rules, Ang Bao Rates in 2021

Attending A Wedding In The Time Of COVID-19: Ang Bao Rates, Safe Distancing Rules, And Everything You Need To Know

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Getting married during the time of COVID-19 is a complicated affair. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the madness. 

So you’ve been invited to a wedding by a close friend or relative. Even though you’re happy for them and really want to show your support on their big day, the fact that COVID-19 is still lurking about in the background may be giving you pause. 

You could be wondering what’s the latest guidelines on safe distancing (and with the constantly shifting updates, who could blame you?), how many people should you expect at the event, and maybe even how much you should put in your red packet

Fear not, we’re here to help. 

Here’s what we’ll cover in this post.

  • COVID-19 guidelines for wedding solemnisation
  • COVID-19 guidelines for wedding receptions 
  • Red packet rates for weddings during COVID-19

COVID-19 guidelines for wedding solemnisation

Venue Maximum attendees allowed Notes
At home 10  Maximum attendees includes bride and groom, plus existing household members,  but excludes solemniser and vendors

Registry of Marriage and Registry of Muslim Marriage (ROM) 10 Maximum attendees includes bride and groom, but excludes solemniser and vendors
External venues 50 (no pre-event testing required)
51 to 1,000 (pre-event testing required)
Group size: 2 attendees
Wedding party: 20 attendees

The following do not need to under pre-event testing:
– Those fully vaccinated

– Those certified to be fully recovered from COVID-19

– Children aged 12 or below

Other restrictions n/a

– No food and drink allowed

– Tea ceremony not allowed 

– Masks to be worn at all times

– Bride and groom may opt for face shields instead

– Masks and face shields may be removed during key moments, and photo-taking

Solemnisation at home or Registry of Marriage (ROM)

For wedding solemnisation performed at home or ROM, you can have a maximum of 10 attendees during the event. Do note that the solemniser and vendors do not count towards the 10-person limit, although you should still try to keep overall numbers as low as possible. 

For home solemnisation, this includes the bride and groom, and the existing household members of the residence you are holding your event at. 

For example, given a total of four household members, this means that including the bride and groom, six of the 10 slots allowed are already taken up. Hence, only four more attendees may be allowed to join the ceremony.

Solemnisation at external venues

If you’re holding your solemnisation at an external venue, such as a clubhouse or event hall, you are allowed to increase the number of attendees, subject to the following rules: 

  • Up to 50, with no pre-event testing required
  • 51 to 1,000, with pre-event testing for attendees who are:
    • Not fully vaccinated
    • Older than 12 years old
  • Group size: 2 

As with home or ROM solemnisation, the attendee limit includes the bride and groom, but excludes the solemniser and vendors.

No food and drinks allowed

Regardless of where your solemnisation is held, no food and drinks will be allowed. Unfortunately, this also means that any marriage traditions that involve the serving of food or beverages (such as the Chinese tea ceremony) will not be allowed.

However, you may arrange for such ceremonies to be performed during the wedding reception, or as a separate private event, taking into account the prevailing guidelines on social gatherings and household visits. 

Group sizes and safe distancing

For solemnisation held at an external venue, take note of the following groupings:

  • Wedding party – up to 20
  • Attendees – up to 2

There should be a minimum distance of one metre maintained between groups at all times, with no intermingling. 

Rules on mask-wearing 

Masks are to be worn at all times. Instead of a face mask, the wedding couple may opt for face shields. 

Face shields and masks may only be removed during key moments of the ceremony, such as photo-taking.

All attendees are also required to keep their masks on at all times. The sole exception is during photo-taking. 

COVID-19 guidelines for wedding reception

Venue Maximum attendees allowed Notes
At home 0 No wedding receptions allowed 

Registry of Marriage and Registry of Muslim Marriage (ROM) 0 No wedding receptions allowed 
External venues (excluding places of worship) 250 (pre-event testing required)
Group size: 5 attendees
Wedding party: 20 attendees

The following do not need to under pre-event testing:
– Those fully vaccinated

– Those certified to be fully recovered from COVID-19

– Children aged 12 or below

Other restrictions n/a

– Masks to be worn at all times

– Bride and groom may opt for face shields instead

– Masks and face shields may be removed during key moments, and photo-taking

Reception allowed only at external venues 

At present, wedding receptions at home or ROM may not be held.

Instead, you’ll need to book a suitable external reception to hold your wedding reception. Do note that places of worship are not allowed to host wedding receptions at present.

Do note the following when hosting your wedding reception:

  • Up to 250 attendees allowed (including bride and groom, but excluding vendors, such as wait staff, photographer, event organiser, etc.)
  • Pre-event testing required for those:
    • Not fully vaccinated
    • Older than 12 years old

Guidelines on serving of food and drink

As eating in a group elevates the risk of COVID-19 transmission, it is important to observe the following:

  • No self-service or staff-served buffet lines
  • Individual portions of food and drink should be served to seated guests
  • Sharing of dishes, cups and cutlery is strongly discouraged
  • No sale or consumption of alcohol is allowed after 10:30pm (not a COVID-19 restriction, but it still applies)

Group sizes and safe distancing

In order to minimise the risk of infection among your reception guests, the following guidelines have to be observed.

  • Wedding party – up to 20
  • Attendees – up to five per group 
  • Event venue to be separated into zones, with up to 50 attendees per zone
  • Each zone must either be:
    • Physically separated with a solid partition, wall-to-wall, at least 1.8m high, or
    • Have physical spacing of at least 3m, with clear demarcation 
  • All attendees, including wedding couple and wedding party, should only be assigned to one zone each
  • Only the wedding couple, serving staff and vendors may be allowed to cross over into different zones for specified purposes, such as taking of photos, or to clear dishes
  • Within their assigned zones, groups of five attendees may dine at the same table, but should not change tables halfway
  • All groups are to maintain 1m safety distance at all times with no intermingling
  • All attendees must be assigned to different staggered timings, with at least 30 mins in between each time slot for cleaning and disinfecting
  • Each time slot should have no more than 50 attendees
  • Wedding party may occupy multiple time slots

Rules on mask-wearing 

Masks are to be worn at all times. Instead of a face mask, the wedding couple may opt for face shields instead. 

Face shields and masks may only be removed during key moments of the ceremony, such as for photo-taking.

All attendees are also required to keep their masks on at all times. The sole exception is during photo-taking or when consuming food and drinks.

Red packet rates for weddings during COVID-19

Singaporeans, being the pragmatic lot that we are, tend to follow a wedding red packet rate that is based off the typical cost of the wedding banquet – worked backwards to derive the individual rate. 

Therefore, how much you should pack in your red packet depends on where the wedding reception is held – the ritzier the venue, the bigger your red packet should be. 

In fact, we covered this exact topic earlier this year, so we’ll extract a summary of the wedding red packet rates from our earlier article in the table below. Do note that this is by no means an exhaustive list.

Reception venueAverage red packet rate (per pax)
Park Hotel, Village Hotel, Furama, Copthorne, MercureS$100 to S$120
ParkRoyal, Hilton, Carlton, Novotel, Hotel Fort Canning, Hotel Jen TanglinS$150 to S$180
Conrad, Four Seasons, Goodwood Park, Grand Hyatt, Intercontinental, Mandarin, Pan Pacific, Fullerton, WestinS$200 to S$250
Andaz, JW Marriott, Shangri-La, Sofitel, Ritz Carlton, St Regis,  W SingaporeS$250 to S$280

Your rate may vary

You should take the above average rates as baseline figures – which means to say that it is customary to add more if the people getting married are close friends or relatives. 

And why not give more, if these are people you truly love and care for? In any case, giving a large red packet saves you the trouble of having to buy a wedding gift – the wedding couple can always buy what they want with your cash gift themselves. 

It’s okay to give what you can

Now let’s tackle the other side of the coin. 

Perhaps you’ve been struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s no shame in that; many others are also in the same boat as you are. 

As a result, you may be anxious about not being able to give as big a red packet as you’d like. You may even feel like you’re unable to match up to the prevailing baseline rates. 

But think about it this way: at a time when wedding receptions are a pain to hold (just see above!), if you still get invited nonetheless, you can pretty much take it as a sign that you’re important to the wedding couple, and they really want you there on their big day. 

So, instead of fretting about making a poor showing with your less-than-ideal red packet, just show up, give what you can, and celebrate the couple’s big day.

After all, if the bonds are truly strong between you and the couple, you can always make it up to them later on.

If ang baos are not your thing and you’d rather earn some sweet cashback by buying the couple a wedding gift instead, then be sure to charge your purchases to the right cashback card to gain some rewards!

Read these next:
9 Wedding Makeup Artists Across All Budgets For Actual-Day Wedding In Singapore 2021
Cost Guide: How Much Does Wedding Photography Cost In Singapore?
Ang Bao Rates For Singapore Weddings 2021
Cost Guide to Weddings in Singapore 2021
Planning A Wedding? Here’s How To Earn The Most Miles Possible


By Alevin Chan
An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.