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Email Enquiry: Is there a Need for Wedding Engagement?

I received an email enquiry from a reader:
“I have a Singaporean girlfriend who I want to marry and I am trying to ask her parents for their
blessing. I want to know if it is Singaporean culture to become engaged?”

“Hi, yes, you are right. In Singapore, there is a need for solemnisation to take place so that both of you are considered legally married in the eyes of Singapore’s law.

There are generally 2 arrangements local wedding couples do.

1. Solemnisation done about a year before the actual wedding day.

You can register at Singapore’s Registry of Marriage and book a date.

The solemnisation can be done at the Registry itself (like what my cousin did for her solemnisation) or you can book an external venue such as a restaurant or a function room of a hotel.

Some locals prefer a long time period between the two important dates so that they can get a local house unit using their names as married couples.

In addition, they can have ample time to renovate their house in time for their wedding day.

2. The second arrangement is the solemnisation day is on the same day of your wedding day.

You can have it an hour just before your wedding dinner in another function room or have it just before the first dish and it is done on the stage in the wedding ballroom.

This wedding post is about my cousin who had her Buddhist solemnisation just before her wedding dinner.

For more info on eligibility of marriage and the procedures, you can go to this page on marriage.

Extra tips to note:
After asking for her parents’ blessings, you may want to know more about the traditions of their family dialect group.

I’m not sure what race does your girlfriend belongs too.

If she is a Chinese, we Chinese have many dialect groups like Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese and so on. Wedding customary practices varies for different dialect groups.

It would be ideal if you can accomodate to her parents as most Asians are very particular about their customs.

So do check it out and ask her parents about anything you are unsure. They know the best.

In a way by asking, her parents will also feel respected.

Hope this is helpful.”

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