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Dressing up for weddings – What should you wear?

Many are still quite clueless on how to prepare for weddings when it comes to fashion. So here’s a guide to help you decide what to wear to weddings, Malay weddings specifically.

First things first, do note that Malay weddings are usually divided into 2 segments – akad nikah (solemnisation ceremony) and majlis bersanding (reception). The akad nikah, which is the actual wedding ceremony, is typically held early in the day at the bride’s parents’ home or at a local mosque. Usually, only close friends and family are invited.

Often taking place in the afternoon, majlis bersanding are usually held in community centre halls, multi-purpose halls, void decks of apartment blocks or the yard or garden of a residence. There is no fixed itinerary apart from the bride and groom’s appearance on the pelamin (bridal dais) and cultural performances (if any), so guests may come and go as they please within a certain time period.

Some couples may opt to hold an evening reception instead, which is typically held in restaurants, hotel ballrooms, or country clubs. Evening receptions are a more formal affair, with a set multiple course dinner with fewer guests invited.

So… What should you wear? Here are three basic rules when it comes to the dress code for Malay weddings – wear modestly, appropriately, and comfortably.

If you are attending the akad nikah ceremony, bear in mind that it is a bit more muted and conservative. Female guests can opt for something like the Baju Kurung, Baju Kebaya Labuh or the Baju Kedah. This goes without saying – refrain from wearing shorts or skirts or dresses that are above knee length or tops that show too much cleavage. It is also advisable to cover your heads with a tudung or scarf.


It is pretty basic for the male guests. Just opt for the usual Baju Melayu or long shirts and you are good to go. Then again, remember to avoid shorts or really tight skinny jeans or pants.

Next, the majlis bersanding. Afternoon receptions can get pretty hot and stuffy, especially if they are held in venues without air-conditioning such as community halls and void decks. While it is okay to go a bit more adventurous in your style for this event, you want to stay comfortable as well.

The many, many varieties of Baju Kurung, Baju Kebaya, Baju Kedah are all excellent choices for such affair. Also, unlike Chinese weddings where the colour black is frowned upon, you can wear whatever colour you like to a Malay wedding. So, be bold in your style and have fun in dressing up.

For the men, traditionally men wear baju Melayu with a songkok and songket, but a simple long or short-sleeved shirt with some long pants and covered shoes would suffice. If you want something that is both unique and comfortable, our Men Batik Shirts – both short and long sleeves – would be the perfect.

In essence, it is pretty simple to dress up for Malay weddings, from the akad nikah ceremony to the majlis bersanding. Just stick to the three basic rules of wearing modestly, appropriately and comfortably and you will be alright. Just have fun, enjoy the food and company and share your joy with the newlyweds and their families.

If you’re looking for some new wedding-worthy looks to sport, head on to our boutiques to explore a wonderful selection of various designs and styles, colours and cuttings, for the young and old. As the home of ultimate traditional wear, we have something for everyone.


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