Malay Wedding in Malaysia – Become The Perfect Guest
As Malaysians, I think we all know that our melting pot of a country comes with many different cultures and races that all intertwine with each other. With all the mix of cultures and different views, it can be confusing when you’re attending a Malay wedding and you’re from a different race. However not to worry, this article will be giving some tips and headers for a person attending a Malay wedding for the first time! Oh, and I forgot to mention if you love food, you’ll definitely love a Malay wedding!
What To Wear
The dress code is very simple and easy. All you have to do is dress in an appropriate fashion that is both modest and if need be, comfortable.
For men, all you have to do is wear something that is smart and casual. So like a long sleeved button t-shirt with jeans and appropriate shoes for the occasion. Try to wear the most formal shoe you have possible, so no sneakers or joggers. Even a batik shirt is very common for any function, so it will just fit in during a Malay wedding.
For ladies, there will be a bit more specifics, sorry! The easiest option is to just wear a baju kurung as it fits right in with the specifics for women. However, if you don’t have a baju kurung, you would have to wear something that is conservative and not revealing in any way. So no see-through, very tight clothing, and pants/skirts/dresses that go above the knees. You could wear a scarf over your head if you would like, however it is highly advised to do so if you’re attending the solemnisation ceremony.
Now we know that in Chinese cultures black is a colour that should not be worn during a wedding, however for a Malay wedding you can wear any colour, but remember it has to be modest, so don’t come in yellow pants, a red shirt and a blue jacket. So don’t worry about the colours, just remember to dress modestly and appropriately, oh, and remember to refrain from wearing revealing clothes.
So when you’re leaving you don’t have to stay for the entire duration of the wedding. The wedding day can last the whole day! Unlike most Chinese weddings that are usually held at night for a dinner reception, a Malay wedding has a reception that will last for the entire day. Of course, there are certain ways to leave because you definitely shouldn’t just get up and leave unnoticed or unannounced as that will be rude in any culture.
Usually, after most people have finished eating it is time to mingle and drink teh tarik to settle the delicious food. After mingling around, you might talk with the parents of the couple, and hand over any money in a packet as a sign of congratulations. Then after all this, then only you should leave.
So remember at any type of wedding don’t just get up and go whenever you please, even if that’s allowed, pay as much respects as you can to the hosts and the families before you leave. As long as you announce your departure to the families involved with the ceremony, it will be just fine as they are more than happy that you came to the wedding.
As we all know that a lot of western ideology for weddings is to bring gifts, and presents for the newly married couples. However, in Malay culture, this is a very uncommon thing to do. Honestly, I’m not too sure why it is uncommon to bring gifts for the couple, however, what is very common is to give the new couples money.
How much money to give?
The amount of money you give to the couple is up to you. With saying that don’t be a cheapskate, definitely try to give as much as you can afford as this is a once in a lifetime event for the couple. The money must be placed inside a packet/envelope, usually it is coloured red or green. This shouldn’t be passed on to the bride and groom, but rather their parents, just before you leave the wedding.
However, with our changing cultures and the more we are influenced by western culture, some Malay weddings wouldn’t mind gifts and they can be accepted. But just to play it safe, it is better to follow the more traditional way as it won’t offend anyone.
One thing about Malay weddings is that there is no specific time when you have to arrive and leave. There will be times of when it starts and when it ends, but other than that you can arrive anytime in between those times.
What I’ve grown to know is that in Malay cultures, as long as you attend the wedding, they will be more than happy already! It shows that you care for the couple and the family and this is all done just by your presence. So arrive when you can because your whole day can’t be booked up, even if you stay for just an hour or two, the families will appreciate you nonetheless.
So, take it slow, enjoy your time at the wedding as there is no rush for anything during a Malay wedding. Enjoy the atmosphere and take it in as much as possible, as it’s not like every day you have a wedding to attend to.
Last, but definitely not least is the food! Usually for me when I attend a Malay wedding, I always look forward to the food. “Oh, but aren’t you excited for the couple? Surely they are the highlight.”, first of all, yes I’m excited for them. But, I’m sorry the food is my main priority once I reach the wedding.
Eat as much as you want!
You see one of the perks of being a perfect guest at a Malay wedding is the food. It is encouraged to eat as much as you can as they don’t want any food to be wasted. So my advice to this solution is to roll your sleeves up, wash your hands cleanly and start to dig in. In most Malay weddings, they will have rendang, satay, nasi minyak and so on. Trust me if this sounds mouth watering already, you clearly haven’t thought about the dessert yes. They usually have ais kacang, a variety of kuehs, and sirap bandung.
Honestly, Malay weddings always have good food. They always have something for everybody, but of course, the food is halal, and the variety they have will make you just get up and take some more. So, eat as much as you can because you will be much appreciated for it at the end of the day.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you in your journey of becoming a perfect guest at a Malay wedding. It is definitely easier than it sounds and if you follow every tip properly from this article than you’ll definitely nail the role. If you’re engaged and going to get married as well, check out these free places for your prewedding photoshoot. Also check out our articles on wedding photographers and packages.