Weddings are often heavily laced with culture and traditions. Greek weddings are different from Korean ones, while Polish affairs are also unlike anything in Australia. Malay weddings, for instance, are usually grand and elaborate, which can be a little intimidating for non-Malay guests.
Malay weddings are grand affairs that typically require the help of wedding planners, like those from Lagun-Sari.com.sg. If you are invited and about to attend one, this mini guide will help you become a responsible and respectful guest in any beautiful Malay wedding.
What You Need to Know First
The wedding is usually divided into two segments: akad nikah, a solemnisation ceremony and majlis bersanding, which is the reception. During the akad nikah, only close friends and family are invited, while the majlis bersanding is open to a bigger audience.
What to Wear
You are probably going to be invited in the second segment, which typically happens either late afternoon or at night. There are no protocol with the attire, just remember to dress decently. In some places, women are advised to cover their heads.
When to Arrive
Arrive on time. The person who invited you will likely tell you when the best time is for you to come to witness the newlywed’s arrival or any other cultural performances they have prepared. You may also be welcome to invite a guest with you, as Malay receptions function with huge crowds and merriment.
What to Do
Like other formal gatherings, you have to go up and greet the newlywed and introduce yourself to their family, especially if they don’t know who you are. They will then say, Jemput jemput makan!, which means Eat! So, go eat.
Malay weddings are known for the elaborate dishes so get your plate and fill it up. Then sit back and enjoy the show – because they always put up a show. There will be a lot of drumming, a lot of performances in front of the couple and other exhibitions.
Finally, you’re not exactly expected to bring a gift, but guests usually contribute cash, which they put in wedding envelopes. $10-$20 is a respectable amount. Then remember to pass the envelope to either parent of the bride or groom when you’re about to leave.
Guests are not expected to stay for the entire duration of the reception, since these affairs usually last a really long time. You will be given a wedding favour and you’re ready to call it a night. You’ve participated in a beautiful event respectably.