Malaysia – a multicultural country, where many ethnic groups live and interact in peace and harmony. A country filled with contrasting landscapes, this is where you can find rugged mountains, rainforest-clad slopes, sandy beaches and rich mangroves. A wide array of traditional handicrafts can be found here, ranging in size and price, but all delightful and enjoyable.
If you plan on getting married in Malaysia, be ready to spend at least a month in the country or be prepared to book two (or three) separate trips. You will understand why after reading the following requirements:
- Notice of marriage must be given to the Registrar of the district in which the marriage will be held. This can only be done after the couple has been residing in said district for seven days.
- Both parties must declare in writing that they are legally free to marry and submit a letter of Confirmation of Marital Status from their country of residence or Embassy. They must also declare that there is no impediment to their marriage.
- Once the necessary fees have been paid and 21 days have passed, a certificate of marriage is issued and a wedding ceremony date can be arranged with the Registrar. This day must take place within six months of the date of notice and two witnesses are required.
The following paperwork is necessary to register your marriage:
- Passport with photocopy front page containing personal information and page showing date of arrival in Malaysia
- A colour photograph against a blue background for each person (32 mm x 38 mm)
- The Decree Absolute if one of the applicants has been divorced
- The Certificate of Death of a Spouse if an applicant has been widowed
Please note that forms may be completed in English but the forms are only available in Malay. They are available for download from here.
With the variety of ethnic groups living together in Malaysia come a variety of entertainment options. More traditional selections include the Tarian or Candle Dance (women perform a delicate dance while balance candles in small dishes), the Kompang (arguably the most popular Malay traditional instrument) and the Gamelan (a traditional orchestra that plays ethereal melodies using an ensemble of gong, percussion and stringed instruments) – all pretty unique and cool!
I had to include this! Pulut Kuning = rice wedding cake! I imagine the Canadian equivalent would be a wedding cake made of mac and cheese. Either way, why not give it a try?
Overall, Malaysia is a year-round destination as the country experiences hot and humid weather throughout the year. If you would like to avoid the steamy heat, it would be best to go between the months of May and September, when the temperature is slightly cooler. Beware of monsoons! If you are planning an outdoor wedding, it would be best if you avoid the months of October to January when it tends to rain quite heavily. Daily afternoon rain is quite normal. When it does fall, it is heavy but short; the sun will start shining again before you know it.
Embassy of the United States (2013). Marriage in Malaysia. Retrieved from http://malaysia.usembassy.gov/marriage.html
Tourism Malaysia (2013). Malaysia – Truly Asia. Retrieved from http://www.tourism.gov.my