Thailand Weddings

NicoleMaui Photography

Thailand Weddings


The wedding traditions of Thailand have so many different aspects to it. However, today’s Thai wedding has gone through changes and therefore not all of the wedding traditions are still being practiced. There can be many variations to the traditional ceremony in Thailand, as it can change depending on what part of Thailand you go to.


Weddings in the north and south can vary, while the more rural parts of the country are more likely to still be practicing all of the traditional parts of a wedding ceremony. Weddings in Thailand are not really a religious based ceremony despite that monks might be attending. They are more based on ensuring that the new couple will have good luck in their new life together. For the new couple to be sure of having good luck as they start out, they will consult an astrologer to help them pick out a wedding date and time. They will also pay homage to their dead ancestors.


Wedding Invitations and Engagement Ceremony


The wedding invitations will list the times for each important part of the ceremony. They will usually pick times that start with the number nine in the time because that number is considered very lucky. Even though most Thai’s are not the most punctual, they will make sure that they are on time so that the couple will have good luck. The engagement ceremony is called Khan Maak Procession and this is when the family of the groom will talk to the family of the bride on the sinsod. The sinsod is the dowry and how much should be paid. After they agree, the engagement takes place and the groom’s family gives the bride and her family gold and other gifts. Then the groom and his side of the family will form a procession carrying the gifts on special trays to the bride. It use to take place on a separate day but nowadays it takes place on the same day as the wedding. They will leave from the bride’s place to where the ceremony will be held. Music and dancing will be included.


Making Merit and Gate Ceremony


The practice of making merit is very important to Buddhists and is done on all special occasions, such as weddings. They invite the monks to the ceremony and make donations of money and food to them to make sure that they will have a lifetime of love for each other. If the groom gives a donation to the monks in the bride’s parent’s name, it shows great respect. Another way of making merit is to release a caged animal such as a bird from a cage or fish to a pond. This ceremony happens early on the wedding morning and the monks will chant, while the senior monk will bless them.


The gate opening ceremony usually has two chains that are gold and silver. To get pass the gates to his bride, the groom must provide a key which is usually an envelope with money in it. This ceremony is done to make sure that the groom is worthy and financially able to care for his bride.


The Sai Monkon and Shell Ceremony


The couple will kneel before the elder and a white thread called Sai Monkhon will be put on the bride and groom’s heads. This represents that even though the couple’s destinies are linked together, they still have an individual identity. Then the elder will pour water, which is sacred, over the hands of the bride and groom. The water will be caught by bowls below them that will contain flowers inside. During the shell ceremony the elder will say some words while anointing their foreheads with oil. Then a conch shell will be filled with the sacred water and all of the guests will use the shell to pour the water over the couple’s hands as well as leave a gift of money for them in a basket upon leaving.


White Thread Ceremony and Sai Sin


The couple will sit next to each other while the elder is blessing them and the wedding. The white threads are soaked in the sacred water and are tied to their wrists. Then the thread is torn until it breaks and whoever has the longest piece of thread is said to have the deepest love. Friends and relatives will tie a white string called Sai Sin on the wrists of the couple to wish them good luck and it must be worn for at least three days for the luck to work.


Maui Wedding Photographer- Nicole Sanchez