I am very fortunate to have witnessed and be a part of a wedding in a different country which practices a culture distinctive from what I have always known. I’ve seen big weddings in the Philippines but to my surprise, those celebrations were not even close to how Malaysians do it. Malaysian weddings are nothing but grand and festive!
The wedding that I attended was of my cousin’s, the celebration lasted for three days and according to them that’s the shortest instance possible.
Day 1 – The Solemnization
The first day took place at the bride’s home. It was officiated by an imam, their religious leader. During the solemnization, the imam will recite verses from the Quran to the groom regarding his new responsibilities to his wife. The groom will then vow to the imam that he will be taking on these responsibilities.
The solemnization also incorporates giving of dowry to the bride. As I recall, dowries should be quantified in odd numbers and a minimum of three gifts. The celebration will then be ended by a feast prepared by the bride’s family.
Day 2 – The Bersanding (Day of Completion)
The Bersanding starts with the groom going to the bride’s house accompanied by a kompang band.
During this part of the celebration, the couple will sit on their wedding thrones as their guests offer their blessings to them.
The guests are encouraged, especially the elders, to put rice and other dried plants on the couple’s hands which symbolizes their well wishes.
The celebration is again concluded by another feast in the bride’s home.
Day 3 – The Wedding Reception aka THE GRAND BANQUET
The last day of the wedding ceremony, the grandest and the most festive, takes place at the groom’s house where in hundreds of visitors come and go to celebrate with the newly wed couple and their families.
The reception starts with a small parade, featuring the bride and the groom, accompanied by traditional performances to celebrate their union.
Before the feast started, a prayer was lead for the couple. The last day of the wedding is technically just a whole day reception. There are tons and tons of food – I can even recall that hundreds of chickens were prepared for the day. It’s definitely a huge banquet!
Here are the newly weds, slicing their third wedding cake!
The celebration is concluded by the couple thanking their families and guests who shared with them one of the most important events of their lives.
My family in Malaysia will always be very close to my heart… terima kasih.