Malay Wedding Traditions: #5 Best Facts To Know

What is the tradition of marriage like in your country?

Gatecrash, or hadang in Malay, is a tradition where the groom is stopped by the bride’s family and friends and demanded to perform a series of tasks such as dancing or singing before meeting his bride for the first time. Malay wedding traditions sound like a lot of fun, don’t they?

We’ve got much more fascinating information on the rich cultural heritage of Malay weddings, and we can’t wait to share it with you. In addition, you’ll be motivated to continue learning Malay as a result of hearing this story.


Malay Wedding Traditions: Step-By-Step

Engagement Ceremony

Malays use the phrase “Adat Bertunang” for this wedding stage. Before deciding on a wedding date, Malays have a tradition in which the groom’s family elders visit the bride-to-be and her family. Generally, families have a small ceremony during which the bride’s family members see and give her an engagement ring (traditionally placed on her finger by her mother) and other gifts. In most cases, the purpose of this meeting is to set a date for the Solemnisation Ceremony as well as the gift or money given on top of the dowry.

During this ceremony, they will discuss gifts, dowry, and the length of time the couple plans to be engaged before marriage. As the future husband-to-be may or may not be in attendance, the future bride-to-be remains in her room while his family gives away gifts, including a dowry, to her.

Gift And Dowry

Groom offering gifts to the bride’s family are typical in Malay culture. As a sign of the beginning of a husband’s commitment to his wife in providing for her daily needs, gifts presented by the groom to the bride are required. However, marriage can go forward even without it.

Malay Wedding Traditions

Solemnization Ceremony

The most significant part of a marriage’s celebration is the Akad Nikah, or Solemnization Ceremony. Some couples prefer to have this done in the mosque, while others prefer it at the wedding reception. The newlyweds must have a guardian, generally the bride’s father, grandpa, or brother; two male witnesses; dowry; and the solemnizer, who will conduct the ceremony.

As a result, the solemnizer will instruct the groom on how to treat his future wife and confirm that the bride is happy being married. Then, when the groom is ready, he will lead him through the ceremony of getting married to his bride, asking the witnesses and others in attendance whether they accept his proposal. Finally, the couple will sign a marriage contract.

Bersanding Ceremony

Bersanding is the Malay name given to the wedding reception. It’s a way to tell family and friends about the marriage.

The Groom Makes His Way To The Bride’s House.

The kompang, a drum-beating parade, will accompany him to reunite with his wife. Palm blossoms crafted of tinsel on bamboo poles, which represent health and wealth, will also be carried by his friends and family.

The Gatecrash

Before seeing his wife for the first time, the groom must pass a series of exercises, such as dancing or singing, as part of the Malay tradition of hadang, meaning gatecrashing.

The pelamin is the sofa placed at the center of the bersanding ceremony, where the bride awaits. She will greet the groom after he completes the hadang. As they have their first meal together as husband and wife, the couples are treated like royalty the rest of the day. Guests are welcome to come up to the happily married couple and give their blessings or take pictures with them. 

Malay Wedding Traditions

Tepung Tawar Ceremony

Rice flour, white rice, yellow rice, and rose water are sprinkled on the hands of the couple during the Tepung Tawar ceremony, which originates in Hindu culture. The ceremony is intended to bless the couple’s gifts and prayers and keep them safe and secure. However, the practice of this ceremony is becoming less popular among Malay people.


What Is The Malay Version Of The Hen’s Night?

Yes, and it’s called Malam Berinai, or henna night. When it comes to the pre-wedding festivities, the bride and her bridesmaids gather together for a night out. In contrast, in Malay culture, people get together for an exclusive henna party when they get their hands and feet henna painted. The night may be easy for some families, but for others, it’s a huge event that includes singing, dancing, and a lot of food.


Malay Wedding Traditions Vocabulary

Malay (Melayu)English Definition
Malam BerinaiHenna night
Adat BertunangEngagement ceremony
Mas KahwinGift / Dowry
Akad NikahSolemnization Ceremony
BersandingWedding ceremony/Wedding reception
KompangGroom’s parade
PelaminThe wedding sofa serves as the center of the ceremony.
Tepung TawarBlessing ceremony
Baju MelayuTraditional Malay attire



Apart from the stunningly beautiful traditional Malay attire (or Baju Melayu in the Malay language), Malay wedding traditions have much more exciting experiences we can enjoy. As you’ve read, in Malay society, it is the husband’s responsibility to make sure his wife is happy and well. That’s how the ritual plays out, with the gatecrashing and the gifts and dowry the groom brings to the bride’s house. If you’re interested in learning more about Malay culture and the language, we hope you’ll continue to do so.


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Learn Malay with The Ling App

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