If neither you nor your partner is Thai, you can still elect to have a Thai wedding but you are probably going to need some help along the way to organize it all. On various pages throughout this website are listings for wedding planners and hotels who can arrange things for you. They range in price so it’s worth comparing a few quotes from different sources. Many non-Thai people like the appeal and charm of a Buddhist ceremony and this is best arranged by somebody who has local knowledge and can organize the blessing for you. Of course, you don’t have to have a Buddhist ceremony and it is possible to arrange Christian, Hindu and Muslim weddings in Thailand. Whichever option you choose, please pay careful attention to the legal formalities.
Most wedding planners and hotels can organize a simple Buddhist ceremony for your wedding. If there is a particular part of the traditional Thai wedding ceremony and customs that you wish to include, make it clear to the person organizing your event. A good wedding planner should be able to tailor a package to suit your individual requirements. In Thailand there are many regional variations on the wedding ceremony, but as a guideline a typical Thai wedding package offered by hotels will include a blessing by monks, a merit-making ceremony, the rod nam sang ceremony, sai monkhon and flowers and garlands. Please have a look at the traditional Thai wedding section of this site so that you have an understanding of what the different parts of the ceremony involve.
Around 95% of the Thai population are Buddhists and visitors to Thailand should note that there are certain do’s and don’ts when it comes to Buddhism. The Buddhist monk is on the highest tier of Thai society and should be accorded respect. Women should not touch monks and nor should they hand anything directly to them. Buddhist monks are not permitted to handle money, so when financial donations are made the money is placed in envelopes and offered on trays. Don’t sit cross-legged in front of monks but kneel with your feet behind you. During a wedding blessing ceremony, the guests will be sitting or kneeling on the floor whilst the monks will usually be sat on chairs or a raised stage so that their heads are at a higher level than the guests. Try to keep your head lower than those of the monks during the wedding ceremony and this is also true if you are taking photographs which should be taken from a kneeling or crouching position. Thai people at your wedding will show you the correct way to behave so try not to worry too much, but finding out in advance about manners and etiquette will gain you a lot of respect in Thailand.
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What to Wear
Firstly, don’t wear black which is associated with funerals. Thai people as a whole are very superstitious and wearing black at a wedding is believed to bring bad luck to the bride and groom. Your guests should wear something loose fitting and comfortable and the same is true for the couple being married who may elect to wear traditional Thai wedding attire. Very often this can be hired, especially if you are using the services of a wedding planner or hotel. Alternatively, you can always have something made up by hand comparatively cheaply and quickly just about anywhere in Thailand.
More advice on what to wear to a Thai wedding »
Advice for guests invited to a Thai wedding »