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Wedding Trends Then and Now

wedding trends through the years

Wedding trends in Malaysia have changed so much over the years. Most couples were ok with a minimalist design, such as some balloon, flower, pedestal decorations and what the wedding venue provides years ago. It is most often not the case now. Couples now are big on fresh flowers, designer wedding cakes, invitations, backdrop with the wedding monogram, extensive draping, rustic decorations, elaborate wedding details, center pieces, photo display, photobooth or dessert corner. 

modern decor malaysia
Wedding decor now. Photo by The Wedding Barn. Extensive photo display corner with lots of flowers and decorations, a combo of metallic and pastels.
wedding decor 2008 melaka
Wedding banquet decorations 2008 in Melaka. Simple balloon decor. Source: Orna Golf Club
Pre-wedding photography was pose-oriented, couples would pose for the camera and it does take its toll on them as they have to stay in that position and smile for a particular shot until the best result is achieved. Compared to a more photo-journalistic concept now, wedding photography can be really fun. In the lifestyle concept you can be yourself, doing the things that you do everyday. The photographer will take many shots and you can choose the ones that you like. The photos will look more natural.
1960s wedding portrait in Malayisa
Pre-wedding in the 1960s Sarawak. The famous Sideway Look. Source: Sarawakiana
pre-wedding package samples, 2008
Pre-wedding photo then (2007). Source: eOneNet. Pose-oriented, with special wedding album design theme and special effects of confetti petals.
lifestyle pre-wedding malaysia natural
Pre-wedding photo now by TWO OF US Signature Studio. Lifestyle, journalistic. Simplicity is the new black.

Makeup and hair have taken quite a drastic turn. The trend now is the slightly tousled and curled hair. It is achieved by a good curling technique to make sure that the hair is all manageable. The hair design is also very important because you want an updo that looks nice and holds well. The bridal makeup now focuses on the eyes, thicker, Korean-inspired manicured brows and and more dimensions on the lids. The highlighting and contouring have also improved so much, bringing out the bride’s features more prominently. 

malaysia wedding penang 1970s
Bride 1970s in Penang. Generous amount blusher, eye shadow and lipstick (Source: vintage news daily)
makeup years ago for wedding
Bridal makeup and hair then (2008) photo by Edwin Tan. Thinner eye brows, simple eye lid makeup with a dash of blue tint.  Well groomed hair. Pearls accessories. Perfectly lined hair pieces.
Bridal makeup and styling by Jessica’s Makeup Zone. Makeup now is more 3-D, more defined fuller brows. Structured curled hair. Boho-inspired accessories.

Interestingly the bridal dress trends did not change much, other than the 80’s dramatic style of puffy sleeves and big veils. I think it went from dramatic to simplistic to details, details, details.

puffy sleeves bridal gown
Michelle Yeoh and Dickson Poon’s wedding in 1988. Bridal gown in the 80’s was voluminous, ballgown with big sleeves and veil.
malaysian tv host wedding 2009
Belinda Chee’s wedding dress (2009). Source:
2018 bridal gown trend Malay wedding
Berjaya heiress Chryseis Tan weds Naza’s S.M. Faliq Nasimuddin’s wedding (2018). Wedding gown with lots intricate details, illusion sleeves, lace and embroidery

Pelamin decorations have changed from the bright striking colors to the more subtle and pale colors for draping and flowers.

pelamin 70s garden
Pelamin of the 70s in Penang. (Source: vintage news daily)
pelamin striking yellow, sunflowers
Pelamin then (2008) Source: eTawau – more bright and striking colors
pastel soothing pelamin inspirations
Pelamin Decor now by NH Muhibah Catering with use of modern pale colors, lots of flowers and draping 
The wedding banquet decorations (almost 20 years ago), the backdrop with the couples’ names, cartoon, pictorial backdrop, dummy tiered ceremony wedding cake with columns, simple artificial or fresh flower decor. Now wedding stylists use more pastel colors, sometimes rustic, elaborate tall center pieces, fresh flowers, special lighting, couples monogram, themed table and chair linen.
wedding malaysia 2001
Wedding banquet then May 2001 (Source). Brighter colors, garden of flowers with a fence, pictorial backdrop. Stacked cakes with columns.
hotel wedding extensive decor
Wedding Banquet now by Ethanity Photography at Sheraton Imperial KL. Elaborate tall center pieces, fresh flowers, special lighting, couples monogram, themed table and chair linen.
designer wedding cake gold
Designer wedding cake by BITTER/SWEET. Rustic, a touch of bohemian style. Intricate design using cream or fondant, metallic colors are epitome of glamour.
Wedding entertainment used to be like Astro Classic Golden Melody competition where veteran guests could have an enjoyable time singing their hearts out.
karaoke session wedding
3 sisters having a karaoke session at a wedding. Photo by
It is more common now to hire a wedding live band as they are more professional, have good vocals, better sound system and very entertaining.
Wedding live band – The Raw Note Entertainment
Ribbon wedding invitation was a big hit back then with formal fonts and classic floral patterns. Wedding invitations now use more retro and brush type of fonts and graphics. The color trends are the pastels, and ashy tones.

wedding invite 1930s
Wedding Announcement 1930. Source: Shine Wedding Invitations
ribbon wedding invite 2011
Source: moderninvitationsforyou (2011)
modern invitation
Now, Brush fonts and graphics with ashy pink and green tones. Wedding invites by Paperose.
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