This will probably be the first thing you are going to think about after the boyfriend pops the question. It can go in conjunction with your wedding planning or be held as a separate occasion due to myriad of reasons such as requiring the paper for submission to HDB, budget, etc.
We held our solemnization 7 months before the wedding banquet due to our schedules and private matters. Fortunately, we had the budget to hold an external ceremony.
However, no matter how it is going to be, the process will be the same.
1. When? Is it going to be to be held on a different day from your wedding day? Pick and decide on a date but please note that it has to be at least 21 days before your intended date.
2. Will you be using the ROM solemnizer or a privals solemnizer? Please make sure that they are available on your intended dates. For those who are not using the ROM solemnizer, please check the approved list of solemnizers. You will also need to obtain the solemnizer consent via this consent form.
3. Budget. Marriage is a big thing and your pocket usually bleeds. Therefore, please discuss with your husband-to-be and work out a suitable budget. It is definitely cheaper to do it on the same day of your wedding banquet. However, if you decide to skip the wedding banquet, this itself is a celebratory occasion because you are officially married! My husband and me would honestly have skipped the banquet if we could.
4. Location. Whether it is going to be on a separate day or not, you still need a location. It can be as simple as using the complimentary room in ROM, function room in a condominium and call for some canapés and confectioneries, a sit-down meal in a restaurant private room or a lavish event by booking a floating pod with Fullerton with a really expensive buffet and sit down tables. As a foodie, I am extremely particular with food and as our families are still very traditional, my husband and I picked Hai Tien Lo from Pan Pacific Singapore. They serve excellent Chinese Cantonese cuisine and have private rooms to accommodate your event. Howeve, please do note on the space, it can only take a maximum of 4 tables for their biggest room and still a little squeezy with just enough space for my father to walk me down the “aisle”. Each table set us back $1188++ and comes with free solemnization setup of red roses centerpiece, red roses flower petals, complimentary parking coupons for guests, a night in a deluxe room and a complimentary bottle of wine per table. The decoration was decent enough for me not to do anything. For such an important event, you better have a photographer and videographer on standby. We were very lucky to have Kok Chin from Sweet Potatoz who did it complimentary for us (will blog about them in another post).
5. After you have decided on all the above, please e-File your marriage (ensure that it is at least 21 days before your intended day of marriage). Upon filing, the solemnization must take place within 3 months or it will be voided. There is a small fee of $26 that comes along with it if at least one of you is a Singaporean.
Remember, marriage is a life-long commitment. Do think carefully before you decide to embark on this journey. It will no longer be just ‘Me’ but ‘Us’.