What should I wear? How much money should I give? What should I bring along?
Ah, it’s your first time going to a Malay wedding, isn’t it? Have no worries my friend, for I’ll guide you on your first journey to the unfamiliar land. To the details, we go!
What You Should Do
When in Rome, do as the Romans. Upon attending a new place, it’s important to act as the others. Trust me, I know how it feels to be a deer in headlights. Or to really stick out like a sore thumb. Talk about awkward and a red tomato face. Hence, let’s begin with the things that you can and should do at any Malay wedding. Happy attending, guys!
Bring the Invitation Card
Yup, just as the sub header said. Bring you invitation card along to the wedding reception or kenduri kahwin. You may be wondering on why you should bring it. Is it a must item? Well, you need to bring it to prepare for the worst. Let’s say you forgot the venue’s address or location. For sure, you can’t call the bride or groom to ask for directions. They’re too occupied to answer your phone call. So, if you bring the card, it would definitely save you. I mean, you never know what’s going to happen, right? Plus, some reception requires you to bring the card in order to enter the venue. It would be a hassle to go back home just to retrieve the card.
Put on a Megawatt Smile
Yeay, you made it to the wedding reception! What now? It’s time to flash your pearly whites.
“Because you got a smile that could light up this whole town”
A wedding day is a happy day. So, you could definitely get the happy vibe by smiling. It doesn’t hurt to smile anyway!
Modesty is the Best
“I don’t know what to wear.”
“What’s considered modest? Does a dress sounds okay?”
Sounds cliché, isn’t it? Wondering on what to wear. Just remember that the event you’re about to attend is a traditional Malay wedding, so be conservative. And by conservative, I didn’t mean you should wrap yourself from head to toe. That’s surely not necessary, my friend! Wear a decent attire, it should not be too revealing or showing too much skin. You can go for a smart casual look. A polo tee with jeans for guys or a knee length dress is considered appropriate. As for the colour, it’s your personal choice. Black, red or green is totally fine. There is definitely no specific colour that you must wear. On top of that, you can also wear the traditional Malay clothing if you like.
“Traditional Malay clothing?”
Yup, baju kebaya or baju kurung for woman. Also, you can finish you traditional Malay look with a head scarf. As for man, it is baju melayu with samping and songkok. For those who don’t know, samping is worn around the waist while songkok is a black headwear. But rarely do we see guys wearing the traditional malay clothing when attending weddings unless you are family of the pengantin or you are the groomsmen.
Have a Good Timing
“When’s the best time to come?”
My advice, come during the bersanding time so that you can see and meet the bride and groom. Moreover, there will be a lot of interesting performances like kompang, silat and karaoke during this hour. You can definitely experience the whole Malay wedding. It’s definitely entertaining to eat while watching the performance.
Meet and Greet
Upon arriving at the venue, the first thing that you should do is meet and greet the parents of bride or groom. It depends on which side of wedding you’re attending.
“I don’t know who’s who. How do I tell who’s the parents?”
Actually, it’s pretty easy to find the bride’s or groom’s parents. They usually stand at the wedding entrance and are always surrounded by guests. So, what are you waiting for? Go and meet them. You should congratulate them on their son’s or daughter’s wedding.
Give a Wedding Gift
Actually, giving wedding gifts is not a must. In fact, the bride and groom are more than grateful that you made it to their wedding day. Even so, it’s okay if you still want to give something.
“What should I give?”
It really depends on you. People usually give money in an envelope or packet. You know, it’s sort of like ang bao. The amount does not matter. After all, it’s the thought that counts. Normally, people would give around 30 to 50 dollars depending on a few factors. Some even give up to 300 dollars. Shocking, right? Other gift ideas are vouchers, glassware and electrical appliances.
“When should I hand the gift?”
Honestly, it’s up to you. You can hand it before taking a sit or before leaving. But most of the time, guest will wait till they are leaving before giving the gift to the bride or groom’s parents.
Sit Anywhere You Like
Most of the time, there is no specific place for the guests. It’s basically an open table. See an empty spot? Just sit and dine on! Usually, the food is served in a buffet style. Hence, you can grab anything on the buffet table. Well, anything except the flower vase of course! Even so, you should know the limit as there are other guests too. Eat considerably, okay?
Say Your Goodbye
“How do I leave? Can I just walk out of the wedding reception like that?”
You should tell them that you are leaving. It’s a common sense for you to inform them before leaving. If both bride and groom are present, have a chat with them and take a couple of photos. Then, tell them you’re leaving. This is rather optional, but you can compliment them on their wedding reception before bidding your farewell. Or, if they are too busy, you can approach their parents instead. However, if everyone is busy, you can just wave goodbye to them.
What to Avoid
Before you commit these mistakes, I think it’s best to tell you about it beforehand. Just like any other event, there are in fact a number of things that you should never do and refrain yourself from doing so. As serious as it sounds, these mistakes may upset some parties.
Strictly No Alcohol
You should not bring any alcohol to the wedding reception. On top of that, no alcohol drinking at the wedding reception. Drinking alcohol at a Malay wedding is considered disrespectful. Malays are Muslims, they’re forbidden from drinking or handling any alcohol. Your act of drinking could be considered as tainting the holy unification of both bride and groom. Other than that, don’t ever give alcohol as wedding gifts. There are many other things that you can give. For example, glassware.
Need No Smoke
Do not smoke at the wedding reception. Why? Because there’s going to be many kids and elders. Moreover, some people may find it suffocating. Smoking could be a stress reliever to some. Nonetheless, it could also harm others with health issues. Still craving for a smoke? Find an open yet secluded spot to do it.
No Making Out
This goes to those who is bringing their partner. Let me tell you a fact. In the Malay culture, people don’t make out in public. It is considered improper and opposing their culture. Also, there are kids who know nothing about love and whatnot. So, please keep your public display of affection as PG-13.
No Pork Allowed
Once again, Malays are Muslims. Therefore, they don’t and can’t eat pork. It’s strictly forbidden for them. Thus, don’t give pork as a gift. That’s certainly a major insult to their religion. Living in a multicultural society means we should always respect other cultures. Furthermore, there’s a ton of wedding gifts that you could choose instead of pork. All in all, just remember to not bring or give any pork to them, okay?