Which is more important, ROM or Customary Wedding?

17 Dec 2010

Which is more important, ROM or Customary Wedding date?  There is this huge misconception that Customary Wedding date is much more important than the ROM date.  In fact, sometimes when a couple comes to me to select a date for their wedding, their ROM was already over.  During our conversation, I found out that they had randomly selected a ROM date as they thought that the Customary Wedding date is more important.  This is wrong, wrong, wrong!

Firstly, let me ask you. Which is the day that both of you become husband and wife?  Is it during the ROM or Customary?  Unless both your ROM and Customary Wedding falls on the same day, ROM is the day you OFFICIALLY become husband and wife.  Why is this so?  This is the day when both of you sign on the dotted line in front of the Justice of Peace.  This is the day where you carry out the solemnization and exchange marriage vows in front of your family and friends. This is the day that you bring back your marriage certificate and try your lottery luck with the given serial numbers!  If this is not the day you become officially husband and wife, then when is it?

As such, selecting a good date for ROM is much more important than the Customary Wedding!  However, how did the misconception that Customary Wedding date is more important than the ROM date arise?  The answer is simple.  In the old days, there is no such a thing called ROM.  There is only the Wedding Ceremony.  The process is simple, just like what you’ve always seen in Chinese movies.  The bride, after arriving at the Groom’s house, paid homage to Heaven and Earth, the family ancestors, and the Kitchen God.  Tea ceremony was offered to the Groom’s parents and the bride and groom bowed to each other.  This is the wedding itself and the ceremony is completed at this stage.  Both of them are declared husband and wife. Although we are now living in the 21st century, we still think that Customary Wedding is the actual wedding itself due to the way it is practiced in the olden days. 
Today, especially in Singapore, everything has changed.  Besides the Customary Wedding, we have ROM.  Most young couples go for ROM first because the flat they’ve applied for is ready and it is a requirement in Singapore that they have to get married within the next 3 months.  After they’ve ROM and got their new flats, they might not be ready to settle down yet.  Many of them at this stage still stay with their parents and most of the time, the Customary Wedding date is held about 1 to 2 years after their ROM date. 

Therefore, I emphasize again that ROM is the OFFICIAL day both of you become husband and wife.  An auspicious date for this day is much more important than the Customary Wedding day itself.  To be perfect, once the date is selected, you will also need to select an auspicious time within the day to sign the ROM documents. 

To conclude, do not ignore the selecting of a good date for your ROM.  I cannot stress how important this is!  However, at the same time, do not misunderstand that you do not need to select an auspicious date for your Customary Wedding.  As Chinese, the Customary Wedding is still an important part of our culture and tradition.  We want things to proceed smoothly on that day with no hiccups and therefore, an auspicious date for that day is just as important.  After all, marriage is a once in a lifetime thingy, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry! 

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