With a rich heritage, top-notch hospitality and diverse sites, from beaches to mountains, Thailand is an ideal place for a destination wedding. Moreover, a traditional Thai wedding ceremony adds more vibrancy and meaning to a couple’s big day. Below is what a quintessentially Thai wedding entails.
First, the bride and groom would wear traditional costumes, which can be rented or tailored in any major Thai city. There is a range of dresses for women, from understated elegant to elaborate. For men, the wedding outfit is simple, consisting of a mandarin collared jacket and matching pants.
On the morning of the wedding day, the groom and his family and friends would begin by walking in the ‘khan maak’ procession to the wedding venue. They will carry trays with the dowry, including cash, jewellery, traditional sweets, banana trees saplings and sugar cane shoots, to demonstrate the groom’s financial standing. This practice serves as the engagement, and it is commonly performed on the same day as the wedding.
In each doorway en route to the wedding venue, the bride’s family or friends will block the groom’s path with chains (i.e., necklaces). The groom will have to give these gatekeepers cash to pass through each barrier, showing that he can take care of the bride.
(These rituals are by no means mandatory – and they are meant to be more for fun than a flashy or tasteless display of wealth.)
When the groom and his party have presented the dowry to the bride’s family, the bride enters the room. Rings can be exchanged. The couple then kneel together, with hands pressed together on a pedestal, while a holy string is strung around their heads to represent the linking of two destinies. A senior member of the wedding party dots sacred powder markings on the couple’s foreheads.
Elders and adult guests then pour water from a conch shell, which signifies purification, over thecouple’s hands while saying an individual wedding blessing. Called ‘rod nam sang’, this act symbolises cleansing as the couple embark on a new life together.
Full of meaning and goodwill, the Thai wedding embodies the essence of a marriage. Coupled with wonderful service, delicious cuisine and beautiful settings, there is no better place for a wedding!