If you’re organising a wedding, the most important part is the solemnisation ROM in Singapore. This is the part whereby you’re exchanging your vows. Hence the solemniser /Justice of Peace is the most important person to guide the whole ceremony. There are 2 types of solemnisation ROM. One is religious and the other, secular. Typically speaking if you’re secular (without any religion) you’ll want to hold your solemnisation ROM at around 6pm in the evening just before your banquet. And if you’re religious, you will probably hold it during your church ceremony typically in the morning at 10-11am.
Do remember to contact Just Married Films for your wedding videography and wedding photography needs for your Wedding Day.
We got in touch with Joanna Portilla to understand more about Solemnisation ROM.
Finding your Solemniser for your ROM
Finding the right one of the best solemniser might be quite challenging. Why? Because, you can only do so 3 months before your wedding. Unlike other vendors where you can book them, the solemnisers can only lock down the date with you 3 months before. But you can do some agreements with the solemnisers prior your date, way in advance.
You can try your best to express interest in the wedding solemniser of your choice. Do note, that these individuals are appointed by the Registry of Marriages, (ROM). Hence, they more often than not, have FULL TIME JOBS. Most Solemnisers do this as an act of service or for their credentials. If you reach an agreement with them in advance, they can softbook the date and when it’s 3 months before your wedding, you can confirm with them again and summit the appropriate documents.
Spread your choices
Since it’s 3 months before your wedding that you can officially book your solemniser, you can have a few options. But most importantly, align your expectations appropriately. You might be settled on a particular Justice of Peace, but he/she might have an urgent appointment on that day or have to go for a vacation.
What to do after engaging your solemniser for your ROM
- After contacting your solemniser, he/she will check his/her schedule, and accept your request if available
- Get license number from solemniser in order to file for marriage
- Meet-up with solemniser
Many Solemnisers meet their couples on the day of the wedding. However, I would recommend that you meet your Solemniser way before your wedding. This is the person who will make your marriage official, have a look at who this person is. EVERY SOLEMNISER CONDUCTS THEIR SOLEMNISATION ROM DIFFERENTLY. Feel his/her vibes, and know what is required of him/her. Let him/her know of your intended venue, size and number of guests. The solemniser would thus be able to better advise on the steps to do and what to bring. He/she would also be able to set common expectations. You can also let him/her know at this point on what you are comfortable with. Some couples might be comfortable speaking in front of others but some are not. Let your solmniser know of your concerns and he would be able to better advise.
How much to Give your SOLEMNISER / Justice of Peace?
This is a burning question most couples have. What is an alright amount to give your Justice of Peace. Unlike the United States, as Singaporeans, we may not be accustomed to paying for services. It is after all just reflected in the bottom part of every receipt. It becomes especially so difficult when there’s no market rate for a Solemniser. Worst yet, they are doing as an act of service back to the community. How in the world can you judge on how much to give to your Solemniser?
Well, a few factors can be used.
1hr- Prior to your solemnisation, the Justice of peace has to take time to meet you. This can take around 1 hour of his/her time.
1 hr-On the day, he/she has to travel down to your area. Sometimes, they do drive, sometimes they might take a Grab. After the Solemnisation ROM, they have to travel to where they need to be.
1 hr– In case someone in your family arrives late, the Solemniser might need to come earlier and finish later to prepare for damage control. Normally a solemnisation ROM takes around 30 minutes to complete, but let’s say we cater for an hour with all the photo-taking and guiding of family members.
1 hr– After your Solemnisation ROM, they are required to submit the documents over to the Registry of Marriage.
That’s a total of 4 hours needed for the whole process, give and take, for a successful solemnisation ROM to take place.
From the video, it is recommended that you give above $100 as a token of appreciation. A safe gauge is $120-$150. The craziest incident I saw was that a Solemniser received the Ang Bao and prepared his own Ang Bao to give back to the couple.
THAT’S OUT OF THIS WORLD…
Now I call that excellent service. But remember most importantly, this is a day of giving and receiving love. So be chilled and be positive on the day. It’s a milestone and celebration. Something you can look back and say, this went beautifully. Treat your solemniser well and your solemnisation ROM will be awesome.
Check that fulfil the requirements of ROM
- The couple must be 21 years old and above.
- Present in Singapore for at least 15 consecutive days for a non-Singapore citizen or non-permanent resident.
- Proof of divorce or death certificate of late spouse if either partner has been married before.
- Divorcees who remarry must make a declaration on existing maintenance orders, and whether they owe any maintenance payments.
What makes a good Solemnisation ROM
Wedding solemnisation ROM rooms tend to be smaller and can be quite difficult to manoeuvre around. But please enjoy the whole process of coming in. In addition, please guide your parent to handing over your daughter’s hand to the groom once the walk-in is completed. More often than not, we do see the dad/mum walking the bride to the solemnisation ROM table and often going back to their seats.
- It’s pretty anti-climatic.
Do offer your new son in law some words of wisdom or threats. “Take care of my daughter”. It’s a rite of passage and a beautiful moment to capture down in wedding photos and wedding videos.
Pace of Vows
This refers to pacing on the delivery of your vows. Sometimes, it’s understandable that you will feel the wedding jitters and in front of your family and friends, it can be nerve-wrecking to recite your vows. That’s why it’s important to practice your vows in front of the mirror prior to the wedding. Unless you’re a professional emcee or presenter, it might be difficult to improv on the day itself. So remember, slow down your delivery, enunciate your words and tons of eye contact.
For some solemnisation ROM’s, especially the religious ones, you’re unable to write your own vows and instead have to recite the given ones. But if you do have the opportunity to write your own vows, please do so as it’ll make the videos much more impactful and real. We had situations whereby couples write in 3-4 pages of vows. This is simply not necessary and too time-consuming. It is recommended for you to write in half a page, or around 100-200 words.
Less, sometimes is more.
In your vows, have the beginning, middle and end. Do a good introduction of your relationship, speak of your gratitude but most importantly, say the vows you’re willing to commit too. Sickness, death, guiding your partner, stick through the thick and thin. It’s alright to have some funny anecdotes in your vows but from my experience, it can be quite cheesy.
Some of these I have heard from the past would be:
- “I promise to make you sandwiches when you’re angry.”
- “I vow to take you on 2 holidays once a month.”
- “Vow to stay awake with romantic movies although I hate it.”
These are the vows that have comedic elements and is more suited for your gatecrashing activities. When it’s vows during your solemnisation, it needs to be serious and romantic. Spend a little more time figuring out what you would want to promise your partner in this journey you’re embarking on.
PROCESS OF SOLEMNISATION ROM
Now comes the process of Solemnisation ROM. I did mention that every Solemniser conducts his/her solemnisation ROM differently. But here’s a rough guide as to what happens.
March in– This is where the father of the bride marches in with his daughter.
Are you here of your own free will– This is the part of the Solemniser asking if anyone is forcing you to do this. He will also in some cases ask if anyone opposes to the marriage.
Exchanging of vows – This is when you exchange the written vows.
Exchanging of rings – This is when the solemniser ask you to pick up your wedding bands and put it on the third finger, left hand of your partner. Remember to show your hands to the wedding videographer and wedding photographer.
Kiss– This happens after all the formalities are out of the way. Remember to hold your kiss longer and be as passionate in this. No pouting of lips and twist your heads to get the right angle in.
Sit back down for Signing of Certificates– This is the part of your both witnesses, couple and Solemniser sign the certificate needed. The Solemniser will then hand the certificate to you and have a copy for himself/herself to summit to the Registry of Marriage.
THAT’S ALL FOLKS.
You can then proceed to take photos with your certificate with the guidance of your wedding photographer and videographer.
Brief your bridal entourage and groomsmen
There are different variation for your groomsmen and bridesmaids to come in during the ceremony.
You can opt for your groomsmen to stand next to the groom during the march in.
You can opt for your groomsmen to pair with the bridesmaids when they come in during the march in.
They can come in with a dance routine together.
When your bridesmaids and groomsmen are standing to witness the ceremony, you can brief them to smile and stay attentive.
These are all useful tips to give them as they may be clueless about what to do during the whole ceremony.
Silence your mobile phones
This may be a no brainer but you’ll be surprised. In the middle of some solemnisations ROM, I have heard the fathers/mothers receive calls from relatives to ask for the location of the solemnisation ROM room or where the banquet hall is. This is understandable, but do remind the older folks to stay calm and answer these calls at a later time. In some cases, the solemnisers may choose to wait for the relative to finish the call and this can be quite embarrassing.
In some instances, I’ve witnessed some of the older folks not understanding the whole procedure. Therefore, you can hear them talking loudly during the ceremony and this can be quite distracting. Please get your emcee to brief the audiences prior to the ceremony to avoid such incidents.
Stop filming and blocking the photographers and videographers
Well, this is me begging. If you do have photographers and videographers capturing your event, please let your guests know that the whole ceremony is being recorded.
For this reason, they should be not blocking the photographers and videographers from doing their jobs. We have had so many incidents when guests has appeared out of nowhere and blocked the framing of the ceremony. Have them relaxed and be present in the ceremony and leave it to the professionals to do their jobs.
Here is a youtube video from Today Online that discusses tips on how to make successful long marriages.
If you really boil down to it, solemnisation ROM is quite a simple easy 30-minute process. But there’s a lot that should go behind it as this can be the most important 30 minutes of your lives. Take time to meet your Solemniser and get to know the whole process. Appoint one of your groomsmen or bridesmaid you trust to lead the whole ceremony. When you do look back at the footage, I hope you can enjoy that memory that is integral to solidify your new milestone in your lives.