Nov 5, 2010

An Engagement And A Wedding

Last weekend was a busy one for me having to attend several functions. On Saturday attended a friend's wedding and another's engagement. Coincidentally, both bearing the same names but the events were at two different places and at different times. Time for feasting again, whether it is a wedding or an engagement, many mouth-watering food are for guests. The ceremony is not complete without food like curry chicken/beef, rendang beef, fried fish in dark soy sauce, eggs cooked in sauce, mixed vegetables, fruits pickle, fruits, rice and soft drinks.

The first ceremony I attended was the wedding ceremony of my friend, Sebrina, a young and beautiful girl, who is always available to help with the technical side at work. She is our IT technician. At 10 a.m. my friends and I headed off to her house. The place was full of guests and everybody was in the merry mood. We straight away went to see Sebrina congratulating her on her big day and handed over some wedding presents. Apart from wedding presents, it is customary here to give away some amount of money which is put inside an envelope and given to the family members or representatives of the host. It is also considered as a present to the wedded couple.

Young and beautiful Sebrina at her best being groomed before meeting her husband.

The happy newly-wed couple dressed in traditional attires.
In the afternoon at 1.30 p.m., I attended another friend's engagement. As mentioned earlier, both bearing the same name though spelt differently. The lucky girl of the day was Nor Sabrina engaged to be married in November this year.
The same scenario could be seen at her house. Full of guests, young and old. The delegates from the man's side arrived with eleven beautifully decorated trays of gifts for Sabrina. In return, the girl's side gave away thirteen trays of gifts. It is a must to give gifts in odd numbers as part of the custom.

The beautifully decorated trays of gifts from the man's side ranging from expensive attires to perfume , a set of make-up, handbag and shoes.

Chocolates, fruits, cakes and man attires are some of the gifts from the girl's side.

The mother-in-law-to-be slid the engagement ring on Sabrina's slender finger.

The newly engaged, sweet Sabrina, dressed up in white.

Sabrina and a friend admired the gifts.

Here's a brief preliminaries prior to the wedding.

Majlis Pertunangan,  engagement ceremony is carried out after both sides have agreed to hold it at a certain date. When a couple in a relationship agreed to get engaged, the man will inform his parents of his intention. The parents or relatives will go over to the girl's house in what is called as merisik, literally translated enquiring whether the girl is available and does not belong to someone else. During merisik the elders of the man's delegates normally ask in a such a fine way by reciting the pantun, more like a poem or rhyme of four lines. An example of what is said is, " We are attracted by a flower blooming in your garden. It is our humble wish to pick the flower for our beetle at home." This could be the answer from the representatives of the girl's side, " Our flower isn't that attractive. But if it is your wish to pick it for your beetle, we humbly accept it as the flower does not belong to anyone else." What I write here are simple examples of how the merisik is carried out. Actually, we are rich in culture and elders usually have such a great way of conveying their intention to the girl's side.

The man's representatives will go again for the second time to the girl's house. This time, many matters are discussed prior to the engagement. For example, the dowry and once a certain amount is agreed, the next step is to hold an engagement ceremony.

On the engagement day, lots of gifts are exchanged between the man's and the girl's sides. The mother-in-law-to-be usually slides the ring into the girl's finger representing her son.

After the engagement, the next step is the wedding day. After being engaged for a few months, the couple are going to be married. The couple have to go through the Majlis Akad Nikah, an Islamic requirment and rule, which is to be observed before the couple are legally proclaimed husband and wife. It is sort of a wedding contract signed and agreed by the groom to wed the bride based on Islamic rules. Here, the ceremony is usually carried out at Jabatan Agama Islam (Islamic Religious Department) or at the girl's house.

After the akad nikah is the Majlis Bersanding, a wedding reception. Months before the reception, wedding cards are sent to friends, relatives and neighbours inviting everyone to the big day. On the wedding day itself, the couple are dressed in traditional attires and sit on the pelamin, a dais which is beautifully decorated. They are called as King and queen of the day.

What I write is not in details but the main events are mentioned here. The engagement and wedding ceremonies may vary in different parts of Malaysia.

To both Sabrinas, I wish them an everlasting love till the end of time.


  1. Such a beautiful way to lead a so important event!

    I felt wholly delighted by all the steps so well regulated, and that take care of many small details that we cannot follow, and you cannot describe, unless your post became a juggernaut!

    It was a refreshing feeling I enjoyed reading your description, sharing those beautiful moments when both families happily prepare the path where the wedding pair is going to weld into only one group.

    I know your post is complete and demanded time to be done, but it is so delightful I ended with the desire of learning more.

    Thank you for sharing so beautiful cultural traits!

  2. Can we have some water- I'm felling little bit of sleazy for curry chicken! If you tell that good- can't help! ;)

    Those trays of gift looks so different and cool. Best wishes to both the Sabrinas and their new family.

    Like Od said, keep sharing please.

  3. My dear friends, Od and Moon, it's always a pleasure getting the visit from you both. Thanks a lot for your nice comments. No problem, dear friends, surely I'll share lots more with you both and the rest. :)

  4. food food food and more food!
    huhuhu can I have some please!

    and that yellow engagement dress! borrow!!!!!!! kidding! so bring and yellow and I love it!

    oh by the way this is ellah I transfer to another blog hehehe! maintaining a lot of blogs makes me dizzy on what to click... "salute you though for having one blog and yet it says everything"
    here's ny mew blog hope you can visit sometimes! it's new but I guess i'm sticking to it! for now hehehe!

  5.'s good that you introduced yourself. Thanks for your visit. Sure, will check out your blog. :)

  6. The brides are beautiful. What a joyous event to attend.

  7. this is so interesting.. I love learning about totally different cultures than my own! :D

  8. @vagabond sister, thank you! Likewise, would love to learn your culture too. Let's share it in our blogs. :)

  9. Nice post! :) Happy to learn a Muslim wedding. We have Filipino Muslims in Mindanao area but I have not met a blogger from the place who writes well like you. Thanks for sharing your traditional wedding.

  10. I think you have enjoyed both the parties . and really both the bride and groom are beautiful . the bride in the picture is looking like you . goodbye , Iam looking forward to hear from you

  11. @fassy, thanks. Yup, really had a good time. And btw, pls tell me who you are. :)

  12. marriage as in the my county south Sulawesi :)

  13. @enalwidi, thanks for visiting. Glad to know there are similarities. :)

  14. I am just awestruck at the beauty of these ceremonies! Sebrina looked breathtaking on her wedding day. I can't thank you enough for sharing these stories, they are very special.

    1. Thank you so much for your appreciation, Aggie. :)