Are you wondering what Sin Sod is or what is the significance of the traditional Thai long drums in relation to common Thai wedding traditions? In today’s post, we will walk you through the unique Thai wedding ceremony so that you’ll have a good idea of what to expect if ever you get invited to join one. Like with many Asian countries, Thailand’s traditional weddings are truly different than the usual ones you can see in Western weddings. The preparation of the Thai people leading to the wedding day can be surprising for many, and this is what we will learn about today.
Are you invited to be part of the official wedding guests, or are you looking to marry a Thai national?
When it comes to special occasions like this, there are lots of information that you need to learn in order to pay respect to the traditions and beliefs of your special person. At the end of the day, you are not just being married to the person but also to his/her culture as well. For this reason, even modern couples are looking to hold different wedding days to accommodate the traditions of both families (of different nationalities).
If you got invited to attend the actual wedding and the reception, please do remember that you are expected to learn a few bits of information regarding the Buddhist religious ceremony. In addition, you must pay attention not to look rude and out of place by making sure that you wear an attire that will blend in well with the theme. As a rule of thumb, stay away from white or black colors when joining a Thai wedding ceremony, as these colors are usually reserved for funerals. As a foreigner, you should also not talk about subjects related to the dowry of the newly married couple.
Another notable thing that many are surprised to learn about Thai weddings is the fact that it follows a fairly simple ceremony. Unlike in Western culture, where the wedding reception is all about good food, drinks, and partying, the Thai tradition for receptions is that it’s held for the sake of having pictures and talks with the newlyweds. This is also the perfect time to give your gift.
And speaking of gifts, do note that they do accept actual material wedding gifts, but it is more common to give cash instead. According to the locals, the wedding invitation envelope used to invite the guests must also be used as a cash envelope. So even if you did not attend the actual wedding, it is always better to send in your cash gifts which can range anywhere between 100 to 1000 baht.
Let’s learn more about the colorful Thai wedding ceremony facts in the section below.
5 Must-Know Traditional Thai Wedding Ceremony Information
Thai weddings are special since preparing for the special day is something that may be challenging but fun. While the process takes a lot of time, do remember that the common structure is this:
- Pre-wedding customs – the part where the groom and his closest friend will officially ask the bride’s family for their blessing to marry the bride. The closest friend will be the one in charge of negotiating the sin sod or dowry.
- Once both the bride and the parents officially agree to the proposal, an auspicious wedding date will be consulted with a monk. In Thai culture, the locals believe that there are indeed favorable dates for life-changing events like this one.
- It will immediately be followed by a Buddhist Thai wedding where the bride and groom will invite nine monks to seek blessings.
- It will be followed by the Khan Maak, which is a procession led by the groom.
- After that, sanuk or door games will be held, and it symbolizes the willingness of the groom to make sure that he wins the honor of the bride.
- It will be followed by the actual engagement ceremony, which is usually held with the family members of both parties. This is where the change of engagement rings takes place.
- The water blessing and white thread ceremony to signify the “oneness” of the couple will be held.
- And since the wedding is not just about the marriage of the two people but also of their families, there is also a presentation of gifts to the elders.
The dowry is an important aspect of a Thai marriage proposal as it symbolizes how thankful the groom is for the way the bride was raised. The dowry goes to the bride’s parents, but it is also usual for the parents to give it back to the bride and groom as a form of monetary gift to pay for the expenses of the wedding.
Buddhist Ceremony For Making Merit
It is possible to invite more than nine monks during the Buddhist ceremony but make sure that the number is an odd one. Also, do remember that 9 is a lucky number for the locals which is why is considered the normal number of monks to be invited for the Buddhist wedding ritual.
White Thread Ceremony
Known as the Sai Monkhon, the white thread ritual symbolizes that the couple is now married for good and that they are connected to each other for the rest of their lives. The thread is a headpiece that is placed on the head of both the bride and groom.
Significance Of The Conch Shell Ceremony
Known ad Rod Nam Sang, this ceremony is when the guests will line up to bless the couple with the use of a special conch shell. while pouring holy water on the shell in a prayer position, it is important that you wish the couple a good life together.
Traditional Thai Wedding Dress
The Thai wedding dress is somewhat the same as what the Western culture uses wherein the bride wears a white gown/dress and suit for the groom. However, traditional Thai attire can also be considered.
The engagement ceremony is not complete without the help of the close friends of both parties. The closest male friend of the groom will help him win the bride and settle the negotiations and will sometimes be the one in charge of finding people who will play traditional long drums during the Khan Maak procession.
As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you were able to learn much about the Thai wedding traditions and how different it is from the usual weddings. There’s something truly grand in it! If you enjoyed this post and figured that you would love to learn more, then feel free to read our previous Ling App Thai posts here.