Marriage in Thailand

Like in other countries, there are two forms of marriage, civil and religious. For the civil marriage (chot tabian), the spouses go to the amphoer (equivalent of the city hall) with two witnesses and fill in a few forms, then they are delivered a certificate of marriage. There is no special ceremony, it’s only an administrative procedure.

A traditional Thai wedding

The real marriage, the actual wedding, is the religious ceremony. It usually lasts one day, beginning at the bride’s house with a ceremony in the morning in presence of the monks, who will say prayers and receive offerings. Blessed water may be mixed with wax candle and other ungents and herbs and applied by to the foreheads of the bride and groom. Then friends and family members are invited to bless the couple, and pictures are taken.

In the afternoon, the bride will go and visit the groom’s family members houses, to pay her respect. In the evening, everybody is invited to have dinner, and finally the newly-weds are led to their bedroom, where the parents express their best wishes.

Please note that we have tried to describe a classic marriage, but the ceremony can vary a lot, depending on the province where it takes place, or on the social status of the families.

Traditionally, the groom will be expected to pay a dowry to the family, to compensate them and to show that the groom is financially capable of taking care of their daughter. Sometimes this sum is purely symbolic and will be returned to the bride and groom after the wedding has taken place.

Of course, if you have read our article about supersititions, you already know that a monk needs to be consulted for choosing an auspicious date for the wedding!

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