Do we need a visa?
It depends on which country you are from and how long you are going to be in Thailand for. Visitors from most Western countries who are going to be in Thailand for less than 30 days and who have a return flight ticket don’t normally require a visa. There are some exceptions so it is always advisable to check the current situation with the Thai embassy or consulate in your home country. See the Thai embassy page on this site for contact details of your embassy.
If you are marrying your Thai partner then marriage is not normally a guarantee that your spouse will be allowed to return with you to your home country. Always check the situation with your embassy.
How long does it take to complete all the legal paperwork for the wedding?
Typically, this takes between 4 and 5 working days. A wedding planner may be able to speed things up for you, but as a benchmark be prepared to spend at least 4 days in Bangkok for all of the paperwork to be complete. You should also take into account the dates for Thai public holidays when offices are closed.
Thai public holidays for 2012 »
Can we get married first and complete the paperwork afterwards?
The marriage is only legal when you complete the process at the Amphur Office so there is nothing to stop you from having a ceremony first and going through all the paperwork afterwards. However, a religious ceremony by itself will not make the wedding legal. It is the completion of the paperwork that makes your wedding legal.
Can you recommend a wedding planner?
No. This site acts as an independent guide and cannot recommend any particular service over another. The links and information we provide to wedding planners and wedding packages are there to help you compare different services available so that you can make an informed decision.
Where is the best place to to have a suit or dress made?
As with wedding planners we cannot recommend one particular service over another. All of the main tourist areas and resorts in Thailand have tailors’ shops who can make dresses, suits and other clothing to order. The quality can vary and it really is a case of buyer beware. Every tailor shop will provide you with a catalogue to look through so that you can point out a particular style you like. However, if you’ve seen your ideal dress back home, it’s a good idea to get a picture of it and bring it with you to Thailand to give the dressmaker something to go by.
Whilst clothes can be made-to-order, shoes in larger Western sizes can be difficult to find so it might be best to bring them with you. This applies equally for men and women.
Bangkok shopping guide »
My partner is Thai and I’ve been told by friends that I will have to pay a dowry. Is this true?
The dowry system, sinsod, is part of Thai culture and is paid to the bride’s parents. If your bride-to-be is Thai then her family may request that you pay sinsod. The circumstances will vary so it’s impossible to give a definitive answer here, but if you are marrying a Thai woman you should be aware that there is a chance that you may be obliged to pay sinsod.
Read more about sinsod »