H1 Thai Wedding Traditions and You

Thai Wedding Traditions You Should Know

A Couple With Garlands at Their Wedding. Source: Canva

Thai wedding traditions form part of the fabric of Thai society, in which timeless traditions give way to silk fluttering in the breeze and incense light the way for an occasion unlike any other. This article will cover topics from pre-wedding traditions to auspicious wedding dates. Remember that some of these traditions are followed less than before.

Auspicious Dates – Right Time, Right Occasion

Astrologers Speak to a Gathered Crowd. Source: Canva

Like most things in life, timing is everything. If your future spouse’s family is particularly traditional, picking an auspicious time and date to get married will be high on their list. Auspicious dates are considered a serious affair, and families will even consult astrologers to help future happy couples determine the best times and dates. Feel free to partake in these yourself as they can be a great way to get a good feel of your family’s cultural leanings.


Invitations for A Wedding. Source: Canva

A Thai wedding isn’t always attended by guests. Some Thai wedding traditions such as the blessing of the monks are a more intimate affair that the couple’s families and relatives will attend. When making an invitation, it’s best to have all the times of each wedding ceremony listed on the card. Do keep in mind that these will typically start at times with fortunate numbers on them, such as 9, which has a very special place in Thai culture.

Buddhist Ceremonies and You

A Wellwisher Participates in a Buddhist Ceremony. Source: Canva

These wedding traditions form a significant part of your wedding, each with its important meanings and symbolism. Buddhist ceremonies are open to all, and you don’t necessarily have to be a Buddhist to attend and participate.  When monks are invited to join a ceremony, it’s usually to enable a Thai couple and their families to be able to make merit. These ceremonies don’t necessarily mean that your marriage is legal, so if you fully intend to embrace Thai wedding traditions, it never hurts to have your marriage registered with your local district office!  Here are some ceremonies you should be aware of when you get married.

The Khan Maak Procession

Gifts from the Khan Maak Procession. Source: Canva

The Khan Maak Procession is an old wedding tradition that traces its origins back to the old days of Thailand. The procession happens right after the groom and bride’s family have decided on the amount of sinsod, or dowry that will be paid to the wife’s family, upon which trays laden with the gifts would then be paraded from the groom’s house to the bride’s home. In the present, the Khan Maak Procession happens on the same day as the wedding itself and has become as much of an anticipated event as the wedding itself, featuring musicians and a festive atmosphere.

The Door Ceremony: Ceremonially Blocking the Way

Doors Are Used to Symbolically Block the Groom. Source: Canva

The doors ceremony is a continuation of the Khan Maak Procession. During this part of the ceremony, the groom will find their way to their bride blocked off by a series of symbolic doors that are traditionally held by two members of the bride’s family. Bypassing the doors requires keys (the dowry in question), although the fun part about this ceremony is that the bride’s family members may even go as far as to tease the groom and give him a difficult time. Ultimately, the dowry will be paid and the ceremony will move to its next stage, during which offerings of food will be laid down for ancestors. This is to ensure that they are remembered and continue to play a role in such a happy occasion.

Sai Monkhon – Threads That Bind

A Couple With Sai Monkhon Receive Blessings. Source: Canva

After exchanging vows, the Thai wedding ceremony takes a turn towards tradition and blessings. A respected elder, often from the bride’s family, presides over the ceremony. The couple, dressed in stunning Thai attire, kneel before them. The heart of the ritual is the “sai monkhon,” where a white thread is looped around the bride and groom’s heads, symbolizing the intertwining of their lives while preserving their individuality. This union is further blessed with sacred water poured over their hands by both the elder and guests, a gesture known as “rod nam sang.” With each drop, the couple receives wishes for prosperity, happiness, and a life flowing with good fortune. In this way, the Thai wedding ceremony celebrates not just the union of two souls, but also the blessings of family and community, weaving a beautiful tapestry of tradition and love.

The Shell Ceremony

A Couple is Blessed in the Shell Ceremony. Source: Canva

Adorned in fragrant garlands, the bride and groom kneel in reverence as the elder’s blessings wash over them, culminating in a gentle touch on their foreheads. Then, a conch shell brimming with holy water becomes a vessel of community wishes, as each guest pours onto the couple’s hands, offering blessings for their new journey. Gratitude flows in return, not just through heartfelt smiles, but also through gifts placed in a symbolic basket – a reflection of both respect and tradition. As cameras capture the joy of the day, a small token from the newlyweds serves as a cherished reminder of this beautiful union witnessed by loved ones. In essence, this ritual paints a picture of Thai wedding customs, where reverence, blessings, and generosity intertwine to weave a tapestry of love and community.

The White Thread Ceremony

Threads Symbolizing Luck Tied to A Bride’s Wrist. Source: Canva

The “Phiti Bai Sri Su Kwan” ceremony is a beautiful and symbolic tradition in Thai weddings. In this Thai wedding tradition, the newlyweds, hand in hand, are enveloped in blessings and good wishes. An elder, respected for their wisdom and experience, invokes auspicious words, showering the couple with well-being and happiness for their journey together.

The white threads connected to their wrists represent the intertwining of their lives. Soaked in holy water, they carry the wishes and blessings of the ceremony. This culminating act of severing the thread into equal parts adds a playful element – whoever holds the longer piece is said to have the deeper love! Filled with joy, laughter, and the warmth of tradition, this ceremony strengthens the bond between the couple and fills their hearts with optimism for their future.

Evening Parties (And Afterparties)

A Vibrant Evening Party at a Wedding Reception. Source: Canva

Evening parties are a joyous occasion, and it couldn’t be more true for Thai wedding parties. These special occasions are as much of a highlight as the wedding itself. Thai wedding parties are quite similar to Western wedding parties, but you can expect to be drawn into the world of Thai party games, some of which can be quite entertaining to watch. The party will usually end well before midnight, but you can expect your guests to end up carrying on the festivities at a nearby par or karaoke pub.

The Bridal Bed

A Bridal Bed is an Important Part of Thai Weddings. Source: Canva

In some parts of Thailand, your honeymoon suite might come with a surprise – an old couple waiting to greet you! Don’t worry, this isn’t an awkward intrusion but a charming tradition. These elders represent a long and happy marriage, and their presence is meant to bless the newlyweds. They might comment on the “luckiness” of the bed, hinting at a future filled with children, or place symbolic items like rice and coins for prosperity and fertility. For the next three nights, the couple symbolically shares the bed with these auspicious objects, absorbing the good fortune and wisdom of the experienced elders. Thankfully, the elders themselves don’t share the bed for those three nights!

Where Can I Experience These Thai Wedding Traditions?

Because Koh Samui is vibrant, it’s possible to experience these wedding traditions in almost any resort. As an experienced wedding studio, Samui Dream Weddings recommends the following hotels.

Melati Beach Resort & Spa

Melati Resort Overlooking the See. Source: Canva

Melati Beach Resort & Spa is your tranquil gateway to the rest of Thailand. On Thongson Bay’s silent stretch of private beachfront property, an experienced team is on hand to give you more than just a place to say, “I do.” With a wide variety of customizable wedding packages available, couples can experience an authentic Thai wedding while enjoying the pristine sights and sounds of Koh Samui.

Chaweng Regent Beach Resort

An Outside View of A Suite at Chaweng Regent. Source: Chaweng Regent

Chaweng Regent  embodies the vibrance of Koh Samui, which it also expresses through its wedding packages. The team at Chaweng Regent has opened their resort’s doors to guests who want to have an idyllic venue for traditional Thai weddings. Take a guided tour of Thai wedding traditions and more as you plan out your special day while relaxing beneath a warm, sunny sky.

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