2introductionMalay weddings are grand affairs where the couple is treated as royaltyA Malay wedding is usually performed when either one or both spouses are Malay.Being muslims, marriage based on Islamic principles is adhered, with a blend of local customsWeddings are usually spread out over several days, starting with the Henna-staining ceremony, followed by the Nikah ceremony and ending with the Bersanding, which is the actual wedding day.
4Merisik "Investigating" When it is time for a young man to get married his family will look around to identify a number of potential candidates. .For this ceremony one or more representatives (wakil) of the young man’s family will pay a friendly visit to the family of the young woman whom they have in mind as his potential bride.The visit is purely for the purpose of further investigation. . A hint will be given to her parents regarding the purpose of the visit, and their reaction will be assessed. The girl’s parents may also give the visitors some idea as to whether or not their daughter will be interested in the match. Following the visit both sides can begin to think more seriously about the possibility or otherwise of the union.
5Meminang "Engagement"Once agreement for the marriage has been reached between the families of the potential bride and the potential bridegroom, preparations for engagement (Meminang) take place. On the side of the potential bride, a consensus is obtained regarding the following:(a) The date and time for the Meminang ceremony.(b) The amount of money to be paid by the young man for expenses ( Wang belanja).(c) Details regarding the gift (Hantaran) items.(d) The date and time for the actual wedding ceremony and feast.parents but by other carefully selected persons.
6Akad NikkaThe Akad Nikah is the actual religious solemnisation of the marriage. While all the other ceremonies performed in a Malay wedding before the Akad Nikah and after it may be considered as derived from the traditional culture of the Malays.the Akad Nikah is an Islamic ceremony without which no marriage is valid. Consent of both the bride and the bridegroom must be obtained, and the religious official (usually a kadhi) conducting the marriage must make sure the marriage is entered into willingly by both the parties.
7Adat BerinaiThe berinai (henna application) ceremony is held prior to the wedding. The bride's palms and feet are 'decorated' with the dye from the henna leaves.The ceremony of Berinai involves the staining of the couple’s hands with henna. Lesser or greater berinai ceremonies are held three times as follows:a. Berinai Curi takes place three nights before the actual wedding ceremony (akad nikah) with the participation of close relatives and friends only.b. Berinai Kecil. Takes place two nights before the wedding ceremony with the participation of family members, neighbours and close friends.c. Berinai Besar is usually held after the completion of the religious ceremony (Akad Nikah).
8THE bERSANDINGAN "WEDDING CEREMONY" The actual wedding day is the Bersanding. This literally means the "sitting together of the bride and bridegroom on the bridal couch".Known as the Pelamin, this couch is the centrepiece of the whole ceremony, and two pelamins are required - one in the bride's house and the other in the bridegroom's.The bersanding (enthronement) ceremony begins with the groom's procession with friends, relatives, musicians and people waving bunga manggar (palm blossom) to meet the bride.The main part of the bersanding involves the seating of the bridal couple on a dais and sprinkling them with yellow rice and scented water by family members, relatives and guests as a sign of blessing. Each guest will receive a egg flower( a decorated egg with a fabric flower) as a sign of fertility.The couple are considered royalty for the day, and so various royal customs are performed for them, including musicians playing court music and 'bodyguards' performing a display of Silat (traditional Malay martial arts).