The Akad Nikah is the first official ceremony where the couple ties the knot because this is where the marriage contract is sealed. At this ceremony, the groom will sign the contract and will agree to provide the ‘Mas Kahwin’ to the bride. Mas Kahwin literally means marriage gold which usually come in monetary terms although it could also be goods and such. The amount are usually pre-specified by both parties but it is more a symbolic gesture that the groom is willing and whole heartedly build a family with the bride.
The Akad Nikah is a Islamic ceremony as compared to the other earlier stages which are traditionally Malay. This means that the Akad Nikah is the most important ceremony in the wedding because without this, the marriage would not be valid.
This solemnization stage is where the religious officer ensures that both the parties are willingly getting married to each other and he will give a briefing of the rights and responsibilities of both the groom and his bride. Apart from the couple, there would need to be 2 official witnesses at this ceremony, one from each side.
After that, it will be on to the next stage which is the Bersanding ceremony. This ceremony usually take place on the next day although there are cases where it takes place later. So the day before the Bersanding ceremony takes place, the hands of the couple will be dyed using henna while the bride will have her makeup done, hair trimmed by a Mak Andam who is a traditional beautician. She will also put on her ‘tudung’ as well as the ‘selendang’ and the crown too.