In The Corner

What Makes Malay Weddings Unique?

Malay WeddingMalay weddings generally elicit thoughts of happy and festive occasions, but there’s more than meets the eye to the occasion based on historical traditions.

The different rituals performed during this event trace their roots to indigenous, Hindu and Islamic traditions. Although observing all of the rituals are no longer required today, Lagun Sari says that some Malay wedding packages in Singapore still provide marrying couples with a unique and memorable way to tie the knot.

The 3 Stages

A Malay wedding is unique because of the activities that take place before, during and after the wedding ceremony. The first stage involves the merisik: a background check conducted by the groom’s family on a potential bride. The merisik happens when certain members of a family will pay a visit to the lady’s home, with prior notice of course.

During the visit, the groom’s family members will subtly suggest the idea of a marriage proposal and gauge the reaction of the woman’s parents. On the other hand, the woman’s family may also give hints whether or not they agree to the proposal.

If both parties reach an agreement, the akad nikah will take place. This is the solemnization ceremony of the actual wedding often followed by the berinai ceremony, where henna is applied to the fingers of the bride and groom fingers and nails.

The final stage of the wedding includes the berarak, or arriving in procession, as well as the welcoming of the married couple to the bride’s house (i.e. sambut menantu).

Low Profile

In a modern context, the merisik is no longer necessary because a more lenient society has allowed men and women to have a closer interaction with another. Hence, a groom may already know his future wife well enough before the marriage.

Some also prefer to have the solemnization ceremony followed by a simple reception, aligning with the concept of a Malay wedding based on Islamic traditions. After all, the marriage should focus on a celebration of love between two people more than anything else should.

Let your big day be the most special of them all. Prepare beforehand, hire the right people, and enjoy the rest of your wedding.