Malay Wedding Taboos

I initially wrote Malay Wedding Superstitions but the direct translation of superstitions in Malay is Khurafat. As Muslims, we are not supposed to believe in such things. Furthermore, what I am going to write about is more to 'pantang larang' which is translated to taboos. 

Ah yes... The 'pantang larang' for future brides and grooms. It can be annoying when the older generation insist on them especially when it effects your dating routine. Although some are challenging, I got to admit, 1 or 2 make some sense.

I'm not surprised if there are more superstitions than I have here so feel free to share if I missed anything. I am not going to include the obvious like having proper sleep, proper diet, etc. Just the out of the ordinary when compared to other cultures.

'Langkah Bendul'

[Pic source:Chronically Vintage]

It is directly translated as stepping over a sill. But the 'sill' in this case is the elder sister in a situation when the younger sister is going to get married before the single elder sister. The older generation believes if the younger sister marries first, it will bring bad luck to the elder sister which will delay her relationship status even further.

The 'only' way to avoid the bad luck, the future groom has to buy double the wedding gifts. 1 set for his future bride and 1 set for his sister. This is controversial for obvious reasons. Some families are willing to lessen the burden by just requesting cloth to be tailored to a Malay traditional outfit.

No dating or even meeting up for 40 days

[Pic Source: District Diva]

This is the taboo that will always leave a cringe to every couple especially couples who are like 2 peas in a pod like Jhon and I. It's funny, I was never the clingy-but-meet-everyday type of person but since Jhon is an affectionate guy who loves to spend time together everyday, I got hooked.

Couples are not allowed to date or even meet up for 40 days before their wedding day. In this generation, talking on the phone is allowable but no Skype and no physical contact. It didn't sense to me at first because we will eventually have to meet up because of outfit fittings and vendor appointments, right? But my mom explained that in the past, the parents would handle 100% of the wedding preparations so breaching the 'pantang' was not an issue.

The reason of this taboo is to avoid higher risk of lust ("we are going to get married anyways, so let's 'practice'") and increase the longing for each other which will lead to a greater impact of love on the day the couple meet on their wedding day. It does really makes sense but I wouldn't know how Jhon and I would handle it. He always have dinner with my family at home every night for years!

Early Curfew

[Pic source: flickr]

Future bride and groom are not supposed to spend too much time at night even with friends and family unless it's school or work related and emergencies. Basically, it's a curfew for the couple. In the olden days, black magic is rather common so it's to avoid jealous people placing a spell. It's also to avoid gossip.

This is especially strict to the future bride because "darah manis" which is translated to sweet blood as it attracts evil spirits which not necessarily to witch craft but also temptations.
It can be so strict that the future bride is not allowed to go downstairs her block to check out her decor even for a little while.

Forbidden to Lay on Bridal Bed.

[Pic source: Orkidlife]

No one is allowed to sleep on the bridal bed. It's reserved only for the couple and only after their are officially married. There is no other reason but etiquette.

Dropping the 'Sireh Lat-Lat'

[Pic Source: Reddit]

Read what is 'sireh lat-lat' here (Point 14).
It is a bad marital omen if the groom accidentally drops the 'sireh lat-lat'. So hold on to that bouquet guys.

Refrain from Shaping Eyebrows

[Pic Source: Lovetowax]

Future brides are not encouraged to shape their brows until the wedding day when the make up artist will shape for you. Hence, allowing a larger wedding day transformation.


I'm glad there are not many taboos but seriously, I don't know how are we going to deal with the 40 day no dating thing. Perhaps we can ask for an exception? Kesian Jhon won't have home cooked food for 40 days. haha

Also, check out:
28 Malay Wedding Traditions

Filipino Wedding Superstitions

Filipino Wedding Traditions

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