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What to Do and Give for Malay Weddings?

The Malay weddings that I have been to, they usually have the Bersanding (Enthronement) and Kenduri (Wedding Reception) on the same day. Bersanding starts with the groom’s procession of friends, relatives, musicians (kompang band), carrying trays of hantaran (gifts) and people waving bunga manggar (palm blossom) to meet the bride. The couple will sit on a pelamin (dais) where family members, relatives and guests congratulate, bless and take pictures with them.

Take photos of the beautiful wedding decor. Photo by RC Studio.

If the wedding feast is buffet style, the guests who arrive earlier can greet the parents and family, find available random seats (usually free-seating) and start helping themselves with the wedding food first before the couple’s arrival. The invitation card will state the time of the wedding, from 11am – 4pm for example, you can go at anytime within the time frame. Each guest will receive a bunga telur (hard boiled egg decorated with artificial flower), as a symbol of fertility.


Your presence at the wedding is considered a precious a gift. You are not expected to bring any gifts. You give as an act of sincerity (seikhlas hati); kitchen appliances such as blender, fork and spoon set, electric oven, rice cooker, etc. as cooking is significant in Malay culture, or money in green packet/ envelope, maybe from RM20.

Giving Money as Wedding Gift

Giving money is seen as more practical because it can be used to buy things that the couple really need. Gifts are good but sometimes they might not be what the couple want or other guests may give the same item. 

Generally, the amount to give is dependent on how close you are to the bride & groom, or their family and the wedding venue, for example 5-star hotel in KL: Mandarin Oriental KL wedding packages 2022: from RM3388 nett per table | Sunway Putra KL Malay wedding packages: from RM1488 nett per table. Others like halls or at home (wedding caterer): The Wedding Heritage wedding packages 2022: from RM70 per pax. Sri Payung Catering packages 2022: from RM9.50 per pax. 

Dress code

Dress modestly, no plunging necklines or anything too revealing. Kebaya, kurung, baju Melayu, batik, semi-formal, ethnic wear, dress, collared shirts, long pants, etc. are fine.


Sep 2017:  “A good rule of thumb is to dress modestly. To me Malay weddings are a semi-formal affair so I always put on a batik shirt or baju Melayu with long pants. Or just a buttoned up shirt will do.”
“It is not expected for you to bring a gift, your presence to celebrate their wedding day itself is a gift. What to give: from cash to electrical appliances. I usually give them either kitchen blender or just cash.”
“The money could be used to buy things that the newly wed really need after the event. Other reason, sometimes the newly wed received duplicated gifts from a different group of friends.”

Oct 2016: “Normal RM10 – 20 if alone. Close friend / subordinate / relatives 50. Immediate family member >100 – 1k.”
“if the ceremony is done at home,per head catering is about rm10-15 only.. IF the venue is high keras one,give lah 100..”
“I am Malay, during my wedding, i never expected any angpow, all i wanted was to share my big day with family and friends, their attendance would be enough.”
“Better give household items la. Something simple like kitchen items, rice cooker, electric fan, chair, etc.”
“I usually give the rice cooker I got from my wedding. Only three more rice cookers to go.”

Bless and Congratulate the couple at the pelamin. Dress modestly, kebaya is fine. Photo by RC Studio.

During a Malay Wedding, the groom will come with en entourage to meet the bride. RC Studio.
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