MARRIAGES MADE IN THAILAND
Maybe that should read 'Marriages made in Heaven ?
Before you start:
Marriage in Thailand by non-Thai couples or a Thai National and foreigner couple is easy to arrange and can be quickly accomplished. The legal Thailand marriage registration can be done at any district office in any province on any working day between 8am and 3pm. To marry in Thailand you need original passports and proof that you are single.
If you have previously been married which ended in divorce or death you need the original certificates. If never been married you need to show the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a statutory statement of non-attachment notarized by your home embassy in Bangkok. Your Embassy may require proof of evidence to this fact.A statutory statement required by the Thai officials will cost 1,000 Thai Baht each (US$30). Your home embassy in Bangkok will normally charge a fee for notarizing it and the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) charges a minor fee for registering it and issuing a certificate to enable you to legally marry at any location in Thailand. An additional fee will be necessary to have the Thai Marriage certificate officially translated into Thai after the ceremory.
Special attention should be made about pre marriage planning. Assets of the foreigner should be protected. A Thailand prenuptial agreement prepared by our licensed Thailand lawyer is highly recommended. Prenuptial Agreements in Thailand should be prepared in both the Thai and English languages. If, for example, the foreigner is a US Citizen with assets in USA and Thailand, the prenuptial agreement should be prepared in such a manner that it is recognized and legally binding in both USA and Thailand. Prenuptial Agreements are less likely to be contested when prepared and signed well in advance of the marriage date. We recommend you choose a Thailand law firm to assist you with your Marriage Registration in Thailand so that your marriage is properly registered to avoid having legal difficulties in the future.Traditionally a couple become engaged during the ceremony of Thong Mun. This is the giving of gold by the intending groom to his bride to be, her parents and friends and relatives who will be attending the ceremony. Gold weight is measured in Baht which is equal to one half Troy ounce or 15.2 Grams. As it involves a couple an odd number is never given, so the minimum gift should be two Baht of Gold.Most Thai marriages involve the ceremonial tradition of Sinsod
(Sinsot), a custom of paying a Dowry to the brides parents or family to compensate 'For Mothers Milk'. The Dowry was to ensure a daughter did not marry beneath her social status.Before the brides family accept the potential groom, they will wish to determine whether or not he is a suitable suitor. The Dowry or Sinsod is not a set figure, but will be determined by the potential grooms financial standing, and matters appertaining to the bride, her beauty, education, qualifications, if she has been married previously, if she has a child, or if she is a virgin.It is usual to negotiate the Dowry or Sinsod , but of course it should be remembered that most Thai people consider foreign men to be wealthy, rich and own property. In the case of a bride having previously been married and divorced , the tradition of paying a Dowry or Sinsod is usually not performed.
How much Dowry to Pay
One aspect of the Thai dowry system that has been met with much speculation is the price range to be paid upon marriage. Most Westerners are met with some confusion when the concept of Sin Sod is discussed. The price of dowry to be paid for your Thai bride is based on a combination of her social status, educational attainment, occupation, family background, and all other related aspects of her upbringing. Therefore, you should expect a higher dowry to be paid when you're marrying a university-educated Thai lady from a middle-class family, most especially if she is still a virgin at the time of your wedding. In these cases the average dowry price is expected to be set at 100,000- 300,000 baht. On the other hand, Thai dowry prices would be significantly lower if you are marrying a Thai lady from a humble background and living on modest means. A lot of foreigners usually encounter a case wherein their fiancée asks for a ridiculously high price of up to a million baht for dowry even though she has not finished school or has previous experience working as a bargirl. This is one common scenario, but one has to keep in mind that if your bride-to-be is not a virgin anymore, comes from a low-income family, has a child from a previous relationship, or has already married previously, then she doesn't really deserve to be paid dowry anymore.In today's world, many brides parents return the Sinsod to the couple as a wedding gift. Quite often the Sinsod used to pay for all the expenses of the wedding itself.Wealthy Thai women, whilst undergoing a traditional Thai wedding ceremony, will decline to have the marriage officially registered, because by doing so, they would lose a considerable number of their civil rights.Traditional wedding ceremonies do not need the involvement of Monks, This is because there is no such thing as a 'Buddhist Wedding Ceremony' Because of their involvement in funeral rituals, Buddhist monks take no part in the wedding ceremony itself, but they can, and often do attend the ceremonies, but always in an odd number, three, five, seven, up to a maximum of nine.There are several parts to a Traditional Thai wedding ceremony.
The couple are joined together with white thread, by a vilage elder or a senior member of the brides family. This is done in a way that symbolises they are being joined together, but that in life they are still individuals. The elder or senior family member hen pours holy water over the hands of the couple.
Rod Nam Sang (shell ceremony)
The couple, wearing garlands, are anointed on their foreheads by the Elder or senior family member. Each guest then gently pours holy water from a conch shell, over the hands of the couple, and at this time, place a gift, usually an envelope of money in a basket. In return all guests usually receive a small memento of the wedding day.
Phiti Bai Sri Su Kwan (White Thread Ceremony)
The couple sit together whilst an elder speaks wise words, the couples wrists are linked with white thread which are then soaked in holy water. The thread is then torn, and whoever retains the longer piece of thread, is deemed to be the one who