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Marriage in Thailand

Traditional Wedding Ceremonies
Thai Customs and Rituals

  Is it legal?  What is dowry?  How come?

Welcome to our guide on marriage in Thailand, where we explore the diverse customs, ceremonies, and legal procedures that define matrimonial unions in this culturally rich country. In Thailand, marriage is more than just a legal agreement; it embodies deep-rooted traditions that reflect Buddhist beliefs, cultural heritage, and societal norms.

Throughout this guide, we'll delve into two main aspects of marriage in Thailand: the several traditional rituals observed step-by-step of Thai weddings and the legal processes for marriage registration. From ancient ceremonies filled with symbolism to the practical steps of official recognition, we'll provide insights to help you understand and navigate the complexities of getting married in Thailand.

Whether you're a foreigner considering marrying a Thai partner or simply curious about Thai marriage customs, join us as we uncover the beauty and intricacies of matrimonial traditions in the Land of Smiles.

Wedding Planning

Many Thai girls and especially their families embrace the traditional Thai wedding ceremony to honor Buddhist beliefs and preserve cultural heritage, even though it may not hold legal recognition. The legal marriage in Thailand is effected in person at any amphur (Civil Registry Office) countrywide. These government offices are responsible for managing all registration matters, including marriages between Thais, foreigners, or when Thai-foreign couples tie the knot.

The legal process of marriage registration often coincides with the wedding ceremony or may take place before or after it. Marriage certificates issued in Thailand are recognized as such by the authorities of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Australia, the USA, Canada, and likely many other countries. We know of none it will not be legal.

Marriage Registration Made Easy

Click on the  Thai Marriage Certificate  to see how it looks.

The procedure for legal marriage registration is relatively straightforward. Produce and submit all necessary documents to the amphur officer, and your marriage certificates will be issued shortly thereafter. Although, one shouldn't enter into that quite a bureaucratic procedure lightly. For the sake of tranquillity, and peace of mind, and to expedite the process of marriage registration, you will be better off contacting the experts at , who specialize in the preparations of all relevant provisions, including translation and certification of all required documents. Take the hassle out of the registration of your marriage in Thailand. A complete marriage registration service for mixed couples (a foreigner marrying Thai) is THB 25,000 (some US$ 700.00). A prenuptial (premarital) agreement binding under the Thai Law* and tailored to your specific needs can be arranged upon request.

* - Counties with an Anglo-American-based legal system viewed marriage as a matter of contract between two consenting adults. Terms of the marriage contract are dictated by the laws of the country (state) where the married couple lives unless they have a prenuptial agreement ('prenup' for short) containing different terms. A prenup based on Thai law shall not only preclude unforeseen impacts or unwanted consequences, but it may also entail rather noticeable privileges.

Thai Traditional Wedding Ceremony

Thai traditional marriage ceremony
Traditional wedding ceremony ritual: Bonding bride and groom
with sacred strings—a focal point in Northeast Thailand

According to Thai customs, a couple traditionally becomes engaged during a ceremony known as thong mun. This is the giving of gold by the prospective groom to his fiancĂ©e. Parents, relatives, and friends will attend this ceremony. Instead of a diamond ring, as common in the West, Thais opt for gold, normally in the form of jewelry. It is almost 96% pure gold made in Thailand. When traded locally, its weight is measured in baht. One baht of gold equals ½ a troy ounce or 15.2 grams. In practice, an odd number is never given (as it were for a couple), so the minimum should be two baht of gold.

Dowry ౼ SINSOD

Thai marriage customs are closely tied to the ancient tradition of sinsod (or sinsot), which plays a significant role in Thai matrimonial practices. A custom of paying a dowry (dowery) presumably to compensate the family of the bride for "mother's milk".

A concept of sinsod was initially brought in to ensure that one's daughter does not marry below her potential standing in life. To stipulate that her social, financial, and professional status and reputation are preserved and secured.

Before the in-law family accepts you, they should know who you are - whether or not you are a suitable suitor. There is no set amount, the sum of sinsod is typically determined on the one hand by the suitor's perceived wealth, and on the other hand by the "value" of the future wife. Her beauty, personality, background, education, and other qualifications, if she is a virgin, or has got a child, and so forth.

It is quite customary to negotiate the sum and terms of sinsod. Just bear in mind that Thais, by and large, reckon all farang (Caucasians in Thai) as wealthy. Even though you're probably aware of the charm and beauty, and attentive to the mindset of young Thai girls, it definitely won't hurt to take a look at the title Thai Girls in Sexy Student Uniforms.

As an aside yet practical for some fellas comment, and without any attempt to overlook the value of Thai brides, a dowry is normally waived in case of re-marriages.

Nowadays, many parents-in-law hand the dowry back to the married couple as a wedding gift. Some families do not require a dowry, and some choose to keep the money. Traditionally, sinsod is reciprocated by the parents-in-law. More often than not, a part of the money is used to pay for the wedding ceremonies, parties, and other related expenses. Dowries or sinsod payments range from THB 50,000 to 250,000 and up, although these upper figures are rarely asked for, except the marriages amongst celebrities being motivated by the extraordinary figures to create a sensation.

Thai Style Wedding

Traditional marriage ceremony in Thailand
Traditional Thai wedding bonding ceremony: Guests wish
the Thai bride and farang groom well on their marriage

In the past and until today, for the most part, wealthy Thai women often forgo official marriage registration for a variety of reasons, in particular, because they lose scores of legitimate civil rights. Instead, they prefer to perform a ceremony of a traditional Thai wedding. This marriage is taken quite seriously by all concerned and regarded as a lifelong commitment made by the couple. In the eyes of the Buddhist religion, marriage is recognized and sacred, albeit the fact that in contrast to other religions, in Buddhism, marriages are not recognized as religiously sanctioned.

Thai traditional wedding ceremonies and rituals need not be conducted in the presence of a monk and are usually performed at someone's home. Simply put, there is no such thing as a "Buddhist Wedding Ceremony", and if monks are present at the wedding, they are not directly involved. Whenever monks are invited, which happens quite often, there always should be an odd number: 3, 5, 7, and the maximum could be 9 monks.

Based upon the Buddhist faith, to ensure a lifetime of love marriage, or what is called
"a marriage made in heaven", there is an old Thai ritual of 'Merit Gift' ౼ a donation to the local wat (Buddhist temple) to perform a wedding blessing ceremony. Even if it is not directly related to marriage, a merit-making ceremony would mean a lot to the bride-to-be and in turn to her family to have a gift made in their name by you. It shows that you care about her religious beliefs, value the Thai ways, and respect the Thai culture.

Thai style traditional wedding ceremony
Traditional Wedding Ceremony Thai Style


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Wedding of Foreign Couples in Thailand

Thailand has recently become quite a popular destination for fellow travelers to register their marriages. Very few formalities are required for non-Thai couples to get married in Thailand. It is fast, easy to arrange, and inexpensive. The complete service is just about US$ 1,000.00.

Contact    for arrangements.

To marry in Thailand, in addition to the passports, a couple must provide proof that they are both single and free to marry, a statutory statement or an affidavit of non-attachment notarized by your respective Embassy in Bangkok.

Some embassies may require proof of your marital status from your home country, some others, like the UK and US Embassies, will provide an Affidavit or a Statutory form and after completion, will notarize it for you. If you have previously been married, which ended by divorce or death, you should present the original certificates.

All documents should be translated into Thai and attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand.

Note:     Thai-style traditional wedding with a blessing ceremony in
                a Buddhist temple or a Western-style wedding ceremony
can be arranged upon request: get in touch.


Thailand Marriage Equality Bill
Rainbow Flag in Bangkok

Thai Senate Approved Landmark Same-Sex Marriage Bill

The bill seeks to amend the existing marriage laws, ensuring that same-sex couples enjoy the same rights and protections as heterosexual couples. The bill will apply to foreign LGBTQ+ individuals seeking to register their marriage in Thailand.

On 27 March 2024, the Marriage Equality Bill was approved by the House of Representatives. This landmark legislation is expected to bolster Thailand's reputation as a progressive nation and a global supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.

On 18 June 2024, Thailand’s senate has passed the final reading of a historic Marriage Equality Bill, paving the way for the country to become the first in south-east Asia to recognise same-sex marriage.

The bill gained the support of nearly all upper-house lawmakers and will be sent to the palace for endorsement by King Maha Vajiralongkorn. Once the bill ratified, the law will come into force 120 days after it is published in the Royal Gazette.

The new legislation changes references to “men”, “women”, “husbands” and “wives” to gender-neutral terminology such as “spouse” and “person”. Couples will have equal access to marriage, as well as the same rights in areas including child adoption, healthcare consent, and inheritance.


Marriage in Thailand

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