What Happens in a Malay Wedding: A Peek into Customs and Traditions

What happens in a Malay wedding? It’s a celebration of the love and fusion of two families. Each event is filled with distinctive Malay customs and traditions, from the engagement ceremony to the wedding reception and feast.

Let’s dive in and learn more about this exciting and diverse experience!

The Proposal: Merisik

A Malay wedding begins with the Merisik, or proposal. At this point, the groom’s family formally approaches the bride’s family and suggests that the two families join together.

In a private setting, the bride’s family will discuss the proposal with the representatives of the groom. They will exchange gifts to symbolize their engagement if everyone is in agreement.

The Engagement Ceremony: Bertunang

The engagement ceremony, also known as Bertunang, is the second step in the Malay wedding process. This is a formal announcement of the couple’s engagement and upcoming nuptials.


Typically, during this ceremony, the bride’s family will receive gifts from the groom’s family, and the two families will talk about the upcoming wedding.

The Wedding Ceremony: Akad Nikah

The Akad Nikah, or wedding ceremony, is the most significant occasion in a Malay wedding. At this point, the couple is legally regarded as husband and wife.

In front of witnesses, the bride and groom will agree upon the marriage contract during this ceremony. A mosque or other appropriate venue is typically used for this sacred and lovely occasion, which is overseen by a Kadi.

The Wedding Reception: Bersanding

After the Akad Nikah is the wedding reception or Bersanding, which is a lavish celebration of the newlyweds. Usually held in a large indoor or sheltered wedding venue, it gives loved ones a chance to congratulate the newlyweds.


During the ceremony, the bride and groom sit on a throne-like dais called the ‘pelamin while guests take photos with them and also alternately sprinkle flower petals and perfume on them. The celebration is lovely and joyful, with dancing, music, and laughter.

The Feast: Kenduri

Next is the feast, also known as Kenduri. It is a significant component of the Malay wedding festivities. This is the time when loved ones get together to eat a scrumptious meal. The meal is typically served on banana leaves at a traditional Malay wedding, and guests eat with their hands.

Nowadays, the feast is usually a buffet spread serving traditional and modern dishes like nasi Minyak, briyani, rendang daging, and ayam masak merah.


A Celebration of Love, Family and Tradition

A Malay wedding, to sum up, is a distinctive and colorful celebration of love, family, and tradition. It entails a number of activities, each with unique rituals and customs that add to the experience and make it memorable. Every event is rich in traditions and cultural significance, from the engagement ceremony to the wedding reception and the feast.

Therefore, if you ever have the chance to go to a Malay wedding, do so! You won’t forget the experience, I can guarantee that.

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