How to ROM In Singapore
Whether your boyfriend proposed over dinner at a romantic restaurant in Singapore or it was an elaborate affair with him proposing overseas, you are now engaged and ready to start preparing for your big day. The first step to achieving the wedding of your dreams is legally registering your marriage with the Registry of Marriages, aka ROM Singapore.
To save you the hassle of endless nights researching, we’ve put together a guide to tell you everything you need to know before you ROM in Singapore.
Who can register to marry in Singapore?
In order to ROM in Singapore, both parties should be at least 21 years old (if you are under 21, parental consent is required). If either party is not a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR), he/she must have been physically present in Singapore for at least 15 continuous days preceding the date of notice.
You can refer to this list of ROM FAQs for more information.
Things to consider before registering your marriage
Holding your solemnisation within or outside ROM
If you prefer a fuss-free solemnisation with minimal planning, go for the option within ROM. It will probably cost you a lot less too. However, this option comes with some restrictions. Firstly, you are only allowed to invite 20 guests to witness the ceremony.* You will not be able to choose your solemniser, and you might not be able to choose your preferred date as it is on a first come, first served basis. You will have to book your date in the system when you file a Notice for Marriage, and your solemnisation can only be done on weekdays.
*Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the maximum number of guests allowed at your solemnisation is 8 people. This includes witnesses, photographers, interpreters, etc.
A seaside ROM ceremony at Panamericana
If you would like to customise your solemnisation experience, you can opt to have it outside ROM. You will be free to choose any venue and decorate it according to whatever theme you like. You can also invite as many friends and relatives as you want to grace the joyous occasion. The drawbacks are that it will cost more, and there is a lot more planning that goes behind this option.
Deciding on the best date and time
This very much depends on the couple as well as your families. For couples who believe in feng shui, you can approach a feng shui master to calculate an auspicious date for both parties. Some feng shui masters you might want to check out include Master David Tong, Master Yuan Zhong Siu and Master Sung.
Those who are not particular about feng shui can do a quick Google search on the list of auspicious dates to get married for the year just to see if any dates resonate with you. These include palindrome days as well. Should you end up deciding on a particularly popular date, you will need to camp out at the ROM website if you want to hold it within ROM. Or, you can simply pick any date that holds significance for you as a couple.
Choosing a solemniser
Photo courtesy of Germaine Tan
There are a few things to consider when choosing your solemniser. First and foremost, the language you would like your solemnisation to be conducted in, or if you might require a bilingual solemniser due to the profile of your invited guests.
Secondly, think about whether you’d prefer the solemnisation to be a fuss-free affair where you simply go through your marriage vows or a longer session where your solemniser shares some wise words and snippets of married life. Would you and your guests prefer a more light-hearted jovial solemniser or have a more serious setting for your solemnisation?
Within each religion, there is also a list of licensed solemnisers (LS) whom you can invite to precede over the event.
Steps to ROM in Singapore
Now that you have a rough idea of your perfect solemnisation venue, decided the date you deem as best and found your ideal solemniser, it’s time for things to get a little more real. This is when you will make your first step in committing your lives to each other after clicking on the ‘Submit’ button.
In order to get married in Singapore, these are the 3 steps you would need to complete:
Step 1: File a Notice of Marriage online
You will need to file a Notice of Marriage on the ROM website at least 21 days before your intended ROM date. Your marriage also needs to take place within 3 months of the notice, or it will be voided. You can check out the calendar to know when to file your notice.
Before filing the notice, it would be good to think about who you want your witnesses and solemniser to be, as well as your date, time and venue of solemnisation. Although you can still make changes after filing, there will be a standard fee of $25 payable before each application for change.
You can also prepare the following items before filing:
– Credit card (CashCard/NETS only accepted at the internet kiosks at ROM): It costs $42 for Singaporeans/SPRs and $380 if both parties are foreigners.
– NRIC (for citizens and SPRs) or passport (for foreigners) of the groom, bride and 2 witnesses who should be above 21 years old.
– Consent form duly signed by your solemniser (if the solemnisation is being held outside ROM).
– Printer to print out your receipt and Summary of Notice of Marriage at the end of the online filing session. You could also save a copy and print it later on.
After that, you are ready to file a Notice of Marriage. Here is a summary of what you will be expected to do:
– Read the terms and conditions for filing.
– Complete a checklist.
– Enter all necessary details including that of your witnesses and solemniser (if the solemnisation is being held outside ROM).
– Check all entries for accuracy.
– Book a solemnisation date and time.
– Make payment.
– Print out the Summary of Notice of Marriage.
Your payment receipt and Summary of Notice of Marriage are proof of successful filing, so it is important that you keep these documents properly.
Step 2: Go to the Registry of Marriages to verify documents and for statutory declaration
Once you have successfully filed a Notice of Marriage, you will be allocated an appointment date and time for the Verification of Documents and Statutory Declaration. This is so that a marriage licence can be issued within the legal time frame to proceed with your solemnisation. This appointment will take place regardless of whether your marriage takes place within or outside ROM in Singapore. Any requests to change this date are subject to approval by ROM.
Remember to bring along the printout of your Summary of Notice of Marriage along with the other necessary documents as stated in it, including photocopies of both witnesses’ NRICs.
This process can only be conducted by an officer from ROM who is also the Commissioner for Oaths. Both you and your spouse-to-be are required to be present for this appointment. The appointment will take approximately 15-20 minutes. However, the waiting time from registration to your turn being called could take around 45 minutes. Typically, the officer will verify all the necessary documents before conducting the Statutory Declaration. You will need to take the marriage oath, which you and your spouse-to-be will need to read out loud with your right hand up. If either of you does not understand English (and/or Mandarin), you will need to arrange for a Certified Interpreter from an Embassy to be present at this appointment as well as your solemnisation.
If you are conducting your marriage within ROM, the next step is to proceed with your solemnisation on the date you have booked.
Those conducting their marriages outside of ROM will be given a set of marriage documents during this appointment, which you will need to bring along on your actual ROM day.
The documents consist of:
– Marriage Certificates (a coloured copy for you to keep and a white copy duly signed by the couple, witnesses and solemniser to be sent back to ROM)
– Marriage License (a pink form)
– Checklist for ROM
– ROM self-addressed envelope
– Photobooth coupon (at the photobooth kiosk in ROM)
Step 3: Proceed to marriage solemnisation, in the presence of a licensed solemniser and 2 witnesses above 21 years old
After all that planning, it’s finally D-day! Here are some friendly reminders and a checklist for your easy reference.
Solemnisation within ROM
Things to prepare
You will both need your NRICs (Citizens/SPRs) or passports (foreigners). Remind both your witnesses to bring theirs too.
ii) Wedding rings
If you are planning to exchange wedding rings, remember to bring them along. Nowadays, some couples opt to exchange other items such as watches; it is up to you to be creative.
As with other important occasions, you are required to be appropriately attired. For the groom, this means shirt and pants or other formal male attire. For the bride, it means a dress or other formal female attire. Similarly, all parties involved are expected to respect the institute of marriage, the dress code at ROM and the solemniser.
The ceremony held within ROM will typically take about 5 minutes. Thereafter, you can head out to the grass area outside to take a family photo.
Solemnisation outside ROM
If you have decided to conduct your solemnisation out of ROM in Singapore, you have a bit more planning to do.
Choosing a venue
A solemnisation set-up at Boufé Boutique Cafe
You will first need to scout for a venue. It could literally be anywhere! I have attended solemnisations in hotels, cafes, churches and even in the backyard of my friend’s house. Explore your options and choose one that works best for you. Since you have decided to do it outside of ROM, you are free to choose the date and time. A word of advice: It would be best to secure your solemnisation venue booking before filing your Notice of Marriage.
Things to prepare before the actual day
i) Invite a Licensed Solemniser (LS) to officiate your marriage
After you have decided on your venue, date and time, you will have to invite a LS to officiate your marriage. This could be done about 3 to 4 months prior to your actual date. In the event that your preferred solemniser is not available, you will still have time to find others.
ii) Meeting up with the LS
After establishing contact with your solemniser, you will need to meet up with him/her to obtain his/her signatory on the Invitation to Solemnise a Marriage form. It is also a common practice during this meetup to have a casual chat so your LS gets to know the bride and groom a little better.
iii) File a notice of marriage
This has to be done at least 21 days prior to your actual date, and you can choose to do it 3 months prior to your actual date too. You will also be required to enter some details including some particulars of your LS, so be sure to have them ready when filing.
iv) Attend your VD/SD meeting
During the VD/SD meeting, you will be given a set of documents that you will have to bring along on the actual day.
Things to prepare on the actual day
Remember to bring along the set of documents given by ROM, together with the NRIC (Singaporeans/SPRs) or passport (foreigners) of the bride, groom and both witnesses. Without any of these documents, the ceremony will not be able to take place.
At the end of the ceremony, you will receive a coloured copy of your Marriage Certificate duly signed by the LS. The black-and-white copy will be duly signed by the LS, bride and groom as well as the two witnesses. This copy will have to be sent back to ROM.
ii) Wedding Bands
As mentioned above, wedding bands are good to have but not compulsory. You can let your creative juices flow and find an item that is meaningful for you and your partner.
iii) Bouquet of flowers
You can consider getting a nice bouquet of flowers that goes well with the bride’s attire or fits your theme, if you have one.
It is your big day and there are no hard and fast rules about your attire. The general guidelines from ROM is for the groom to be in formal shirt and pants. The bride should be in a dress or other forms of formal attire.
All You Need To Know About How to ROM In Singapore
The most important thing when it comes to your wedding is to have fun planning this once-in-a-lifetime event. Figuring out everything including how to ROM in Singapore can be an uphill task. But try to find the joy in planning this event together and you will have a blast. All the best!
Check out the rest of our wedding series here: