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Malay Wedding

A little information about Malay Wedding'..
The traditional wedding ceremony is in two parts. The first part is the akad nikah (marriage contract), which is the legal and religious part of the wedding. The second part is the bersanding (enthronement), which is a family celebration.

The adat merisik (asking ceremony, or more literally 'spying custom') is the traditional Malay system for arranging marriages. Nowadays, the man might suggest to his family who he would like them to consider, and it may be that a romantic link already exists between the man and woman. Having decided upon one particular woman, the merisik, or investigation process, takes place. The merisik does not constitute a formal proposal.

The adat bertunang (engagement custom) is normally held at the bride's home.

A Malay wedding proper begins with the akad nikah (marriage contract) ceremony. The groom signs the marriage contract and agrees to provide the bride with a mas kahwin (mahar,literally 'marriage gold' in form of money or goods or anything as requested by the bride).It is opposite to dowry where the mas khawin is paid by the groom to the bride. The mas khawin is a symbol to show that the men is willing and are prepared to build a family with the lady he chose to get married to. The contract signing is done before a religious official and is accompanied by prayer.

If the bersanding is to take place the next day, the couple's hands are dyed with henna during the berinai besar (great henna-ing) ceremony. The bride's hair is also trimmed, eyebrows shaped and make-up applied by a beautician, known as the mak andam. Then the bride puts on her tudung (hijab or headscarf) to cover their hair and a selendang, or embroidered and beaded shawl over that. A crown is also placed on top of the shawl. If the bersanding does not take place on the day following the nikah, these preparation customs are delayed until the bersanding.

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 bunga telur (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 pencak silat (traditional Malay martial arts).

After the bersanding ceremony, the wedded couple and their guests attend a celebratory feast called the makan beradab (formal meal). This involves the bride and groom feeding each other sweetened rice. The celebrations are concluded by posing for family photographs.
 
Source from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_wedding
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