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My Sister’s Malay Wedding – The Complete Cost

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My youngest sister beat all four of her elder siblings and got married first, that over-achiever 🙂

From my request, she agreed to let me share the complete cost of her wedding. If you are planning a wedding, this can be a guide of sorts.

(if you are unfamiliar with Malay weddings, this is a TL;DR version: akad nikah is the marriage solemnisation ceremony, usually only family members and extra close family friends are invited. The wedding ceremony if for inviting everyone else)

Some background information about my sister’s akad nikah and wedding ceremony:

  • The akad nikah ceremony was held at parents’ house in Shah Alam, Selangor. We invited approximately 100 guests.
  • The wedding was held at an events hall in Shah Alam. It was a joint wedding ceremony for both bride and groom (as opposed to one wedding ceremony each for each side… I didn’t make the rules). Each side invited approximated 1000 guests.
  • This is based on 2015/2016 pricing.
  • The wedding, all things considered, looked very expensive but was done on a budget. My sister is REALLY good at fashion and branding. She’s an entrepreneur and owns her own Instagram shop  called

I mean, srsly. If you see her instagram, you’ll know what I mean.

 Malay Wedding Cost – The Akad Nikah

The dais
My parents sitting in between the newlyweds
  1. Canopy: RM880 – rented 1 x canopy, 10 x tables, and 3 x buffet tables
  2. Catering: FREE RECEIVED HELP– provided by family members
  3. Pelamin (aka Dais): RM2000 – 1 x pelamin, 7 x dulang hantaran, floral bouquet
  4. Photographer: RM900 – 1 x event + free outdoor photoshoot
  5. Door gifts: RM400 – 100 x cupcakes, VIPs get extra water and a book, 100+ paper bags
  6. Sound system: FREE – borrowed
  7. Bridesmaids outfits: RM350 – for 7 people
  8. Makeup services: RM500 – Mak Andam came to house
  9. Bride’s outfit: RM900 – custom made
  10. Malam berinai: RM200 – Inai lady came to house
  11. Spa for bride: RM300 – package set


The amount above DID NOT include: wedding rings, gifts for the groom, house cleaning and renovation (culprit: Mom), new bedroom set, random stuff that we needed (like sound system cable we had to get super last minute), money given to the Tok Kadi,  fabric+tailoring costs for family members’ matching outfits, and other bits and pieces

Malay Wedding Cost – The Wedding Itself

The arch
The dais
Theme was purple and gold
  1. Venue: RM5000 – originally RM10,000, but since it was a joint wedding, each side paid 50%
  2. Catering: RM30,000 – THE BIGGEST EXPENSE RIGHT HERE. It was the venue’s in-house catering service. RM30 per pax for 1000 guests.
  3. Pelamin + Decoration: RM4000 – originally RM8000, but since it was a joint wedding, each side paid 50%
  4. Wedding Cards: RM900 – Package set. This includes: 450 x wedding cards, 4 x buntings, 1 canvas, 50 x VIP box, 4 x arrow signs, 53 x button badges, 1 x guestbook, 1000 x name stickers, 1000 x thank you tags, and 2 x welcome boards.
  5. Photobooth: RM750 – Originally RM1500, but since it was a joint wedding, each side paid 50%
  6. Photographer: RM900
  7. Door gifts: RM3000 ESTIMATION – This includes 300 x fans, 600 x prayer mats, ? x big boxes of assorted sweets, and boxes/casing for each of them.
  8. Sound system + DJ + MC + Entertainment: RM2500 – originally RM5,000, but since it was a joint wedding, each side paid 50%
  9. Bridesmaid + Flowergirl attire: Minimal – covered under akad budget
  10. Makeup: RM700 – Mak Andam
  11. Bride’s outfit: RM1800 – custom made
  12. Bunga Pahar (or bunga telur): RM80 – cost price; family member helped made

TOTAL: RM49,630

The amount above DID NOT include: hotel room for my sister, fabric+tailoring costs for family members’ matching outfits, and other bits and pieces

Grand total for both events: RM56,060

Expensive? Ugh, yes. But this is in line with the average cost of Malay weddings, which according to this news articles, is between RM50,000 to RM80,000.

As much as I don’t like the price tag, I have to admit that the wedding was very tasteful and classy. If they told me it costs 5 times the amount, I would have believed them.

What she did right:

  • No kompang (much to my mom’s horror)
  • No tiara (also much to my mom’s horror)
  • Wedding music selection done in-house (my other sister’s job)
  • Family members helped with akad nikah catering and other stuff
  • Borrowed sound system
  • Helpful friends
  • Getting a lot of quotations
  • Splitting cost with the groom’s family

What could have been better:

  • The biggest expense, hands down, was the catering for the wedding. RM30k! This could have been lowered if we reduced menu items (too much leftovers!) and/or reduced the number of guests.

malay wedding

All in all, I think that the wedding was extremely value for money. My sister is mad talented when it comes to this – subscribe to her Instagram account for source of fashion, ideas, and inspiration.

Getting married soon? How much is your budget and what do you plan to do with it? I hope this guide helped you somewhat. Share if it helped!

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  1. Very cool breakdown! My Malay neighbours on our street have invited us to lunch weddings over the decade and I’ve never given much thought as to how much everything costs. Now that I’m planning my wedding, and even though I’m not having a Malay wedding, it’s very interesting to read about how the Malays do it! Especially when I’ve only tried analysing how a Chinese wedding should cost. 😀

    1. During Malay weddings, some people slip envelopes with money to the bride/groom/their parents, to help with the costs. I know this is common in Chinese weddings, too.

      I assume Chinese weddings are expensive because of all the alcohol 😛

    1. I can’t recall the location name, but its at Shah Alam city center and has a Bank Islam on ground floor. My guess is they are an alcohol-free venue (if they allow, I’d be surprised)

  2. Having attended many Malay Weddings, the picture looks exceptionally grand. Really surprise at only RM 56k?

    1. There are indirect costs too like clothes and stuff, but the cost of the events itself was listed, that’s how much it was. Note also some costs were shared with the groom side. But yes, that was the amount, more or less 🙂

    1. I personally agree, but from parents’ POV, it’s a chance for them to reconnect with friends and acquaintances. I’m neutral about no of guests, not my wedding :p

  3. Would you be able to share the photographer’s contact? Was your sister happy with how the pictures turn out? Also, was there a viedographer? I am looking for the right person for my upcoming wedding 🙂

    1. Hi Ann,

      Can’t answer that on her behalf, but I know she found the person on instagram. Wedding photographers share their work there so you should be able to compare a few and find one you like! I’m not an instagram native so I have no idea what hashtag they use, but idk use #gambarkhawin or something lol

    1. It’s trendy in Malay weddings! You can check who can provide it on Instagram. See #pakejkahwin or #pelamin or something, it’ll come up.

  4. Can sharing the wedding decoration done by which company ya? Thanks for sharing . Appreciate ur sharing too . Helps a lot dear suraya

    1. I think my sister found it on Instagram, not sure if they’re still operating now. Try search for #sayajualpakejkahwin or similar, should show up plenty of options.

  5. Just my opinion. My wedding was about 35K plus minus, maybe. Because I detested to have it at other places than my parents house. So, kinda saved on venue. Had 3 ceremonies at the house, from morning till night. Akad, Wedding reception, Dinner with VIP.

    1. Thanks for sharing your own costs, Nadia! Awesome that you had suitable venue already, sounds like you saved a lot of money!

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