Thailand "The Land Of Smiles" is one of the most popular locations for destination weddings in Asia. From the temples of Bangkok to the enchanted, mountainous regions of Chiang Mai and Chang Rai in the North, down to the tropical islands of Koh Samui and Phuket in the South, couples can be sure of an exotic and memorable wedding in Thailand. You may use the menu below to browse all of our featured wedding venues and vendors in Thailand.
Most Thai wedding ceremonies are non religious, even though they may take place in a temple with monks present to give blessings. A suitably auspicious date for the ceremony should be chosen after consulting with astrologers or monks, on popular dates it is common for guests to have several competing wedding invitations to choose from. A traditional Buddhist wedding ceremony takes place early in the morning (before 7am) and is attended by only the parents and close friends of the couple.
During this ceremony the monks will chant and pray while a lit candle is placed in a bowl of water, using this sacred water and small branch a senior monk will bless the couple and the guests. A bowl of white paste is also blessed and used by the monk to anoint the foreheads of the bride and groom, this is done by placing three dots on the groom's forehead, then taking the grooms hand to make three dots on the forehead of the bride. Couples may go to a temple for the ceremony or the monks may come out to visit them, in either circumstance the monks will always attend in odd numbers of 3, 5, 7 or 9.
In Thai culture it is customary for the groom to give the bride's family two gifts, known as Khong Man and Sin Sod, before the couple are engaged. Khong Man is a gift of 24 carat gold jewelry that makes the engagement official, similar to an engagement ring in western culture. Sin sod is a cash gift that should be given to the bride's family that shows the groom is committed and financially stable.
On the day of the wedding the couple will wear traditional Thai clothing and kneel in front of their parents or an elder. A white thread is looped around the couple's heads to form two circles that are joined in the middle, this signifies the linking of the couple's destiny. The elder and the guests then gently pour holy water over couple's hands using a conch shell in what is known as the shell ceremony (Rod Nam Sang) and each guest places an envelope of money in a basket as a gift to the couple.
White threads soaked with holy water are then used to link to the wrists of couple. The bride and groom then tear the threads on their wrist, whoever ends up with the longest piece of thread is thought to be the one most in love. Guests will tie thread bracelets (meant to bestow luck) around the wrists of the bride and groom which they will then wear for the following 3 days. An evening banquet will often be held in a hotel or restaurant that is similar in style to a western wedding reception with speeches, drinking and dancing.
*Non-Thai couples should note that a kiss at the end of the ceremony is not allowed inside a temple or in front of monks
Getting Married In Thailand
For non-Thai couples the starting point for a wedding in Thailand is a trip to their country's embassy in Bangkok. Most embassies will have documents online that you can complete before you arrive to save time during your visit. The documents are a statutory declaration (affidavit) to state that you are single and free to marry, if you have been previously married you will need to bring original, or certified copies of documents that prove you are legally free to marry again (such as divorce or death certificates). Some embassies take up to 3 days to endorse your statutory declaration while other can complete the process on the same day, please see the website of your embassy for more details.
After the affidavit has been notarized by your embassy you will need to get it translated into Thai by a certified translator then submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). You may go back to the MFA to collect the documents after three working days (not including public holidays or Sundays). Once your documents have been cleared by the MFA you can then proceed to legally register your marriage at an "Amphur" (Registration Office) in Thailand. The process at the Amphur only involves the signing of documents, after which you will be given two copies of your legal marriage certificate in Thai. If neither of the couple speaks Thai then they will need somebody who can speak Thai to accompany them to the Ampur to assist them.
If you wish to use your Thai marriage certificate legally in your home country it needs to be translated into your local language and notarized at the MFA or your embassy. The whole process requires you to be in Bangkok for 5-7 business days, or you can choose to hire a legal company to handle the process for you.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) — Legalization Division