The Untold Secrets Of Mak Andam

History of Mak Andam

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Every community have their traditions and individual cultures to observed when it comes to weddings. Traditionally in malay weddings in both Singapore and Malaysia, Mak Andam plays a significant and critical role as guidance in managing wedding events.

She not only gives advice on customs and rituals, but also oversee the well-being of the bride both spiritually and physically. Malay community tend to be more on the conservative side and treat weddings as a sacred ritual.

In modern times, a Mak Andam may provide more services like her own collection of wedding gowns and bridal wear. This is because let’s face it, everybody loves One-Stop service right?

bride with mak andam in black and white

In the olden days, there is a ceremony called ‘potong andam’ whereby the Mak Andam would cut a few strands of baby hair in the forehead region of the bride. Slight shaving is also done on the facial region like the back of the neck and eyebrow.

The ritual is usually done 3 days to half a day before the marriage ceremony. What you may not know is that the potong andam ceremony can be done from head to toe!

Customarily, the bride will also be bathed in water mixed with 5, 7 or even 9 types of flowers. This is done to not only refresh and enhance the beauty of the bride, but to also protect the bride from any bad luck or mishaps.

bride waiting for mak andam

Psychologically, the emotions and mood of the bride can also improve.

Malay custom also believed that a person’s radiance not only come from physical looks, but also spiritually. This cutting of the baby hair of the bride requires special techniques, tools and know-how.

The same goes when it comes to applying henna on the bride. Being a henna artist takes years of practice. We have more bridal henna galleries for you to feast your eyes on to get more henna inspirations and ideas.

This ritual will make the bride more enchanting to both husband-to-be and guests alike. This is different from the usual ritual by modern make-up artists.

It is said, that the radiance after the andam ritual, can last up to 3 months.

mak andam doing make up for future bride

Another mind blowing fact that you might be interested is that the Mak Andam can tell whether or not the bride-to-be is a virgin or not! A well-experience Mak Andam can even tell without performing the said ritual.

Mak Andam(s) have been known to reveal the above facts only to the girl’s family. This is because in malay traditions, parents take religious matters and the chastity of women very seriously.


Dying Traditions Of Mak Andam

Over the years after seeing and going through frequent squabbles, it seems that Mak Andam(s) don’t normally reveal their findings anymore.

The rituals performed is a dying tradition as it is only passed down the generations. It is said that this can only be performed by married women. Now as generations goes by and the daughters of Mak Andams refuse to carry on the traditions of their mother, the practices slowly died down.

bride tearing during ceremony


Mak Andam And Black Magic

In Brunei, Mak Andam is also called ‘Penganggun’. She can stay up to 40 days to watch over and protect the bride-to-be. The Mak Andam would have to be well-versed with chants and rituals. This is so because the practice of black magic was still widely spread then.

The Mak Andam would know if there is someone who is performing black magic to harm the future bride. Traditionally the wedding ceremony would be long and regimented.

The preparations would include spiritual practices to protect the newlywed couples and their families from black magic that could possibly be sent by family rivals or jealous parties.

bride and mak andam at wedding ceremony

In modern times, much of the old rituals are eliminated. Some would even disregard customary rituals in favour of a make-up artist.


Modern Make-Up Artist

Normally, the duties of a modern make-up artist would be to make sure that the bride looks exceptionally beautiful and her make-up are done a notch up from her daily make-up rituals. This means that she would even sit beside the bride on the pelamin or dais throughout the event. Nowadays we don’t really see that because the limelight should be both on the bride and groom.


10 Simple Steps To Be A Beautiful Bride

While we are at a topic of a bride’s well-being, here are some tips that can be beneficial to you;

malay bride close up shot

  1. Exercise regularly few months before your wedding. This will improve your stamina and let you maintain your ideal weight.


  1. Avoid doing heavy chores as it will cause fatigue and increase your stress level.


  1. Only apply light make-up a few weeks or months before you big day. This will enhance the radiance seen even by your close family members and friends.


  1. To strengthen your body, take approved supplements or ‘jamu’ especially when you’ve been busy with wedding preparations.


  1. Pamper yourself to a massage or spa. This will help with your blood circulation and relaxes your muscles.


  1. Do take care of your personal hygiene. This includes oral, private areas and physical hygiene.


  1. Do not stay up late. Give your skin a chance to rejuvenate with enough sleep.


  1. A lot of women swore by putting sliced cucumbers on their eyes, before sleep, and after waking up. There are a lot of scientific proof that this will refresh your eyes.


  1. When possible, avoid direct contact with sunlight to protect your skin. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen and lotion too.


  1. Always have panadols on standby. You’d never know when that migraine spell will hit you.

wedding event photoshoot

We will continue our article with bridal services provided by modern day Mak Andam and makeup artists soon enough. Do drop us a message if you have any questions or if there is any topics that you may want us to explore further.



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