Recently an increasing number of couples from all over the world travel to Thailand to celebrate their wedding on tropical beaches overlooked by red sunsets, with spectacular mountains surrounded by lush vegetation. However, how does a real Thai wedding looks like?
The wedding ceremony has no civil effect, there is no exchange of vows or promises, it is rather the spouses’ voluntary choice to celebrate their love, through suggestive rituals and blessings for an happy life together and eternal love. Ancient traditions are represented through songs, processions, bright colors, and blessings that emphasize the intensity of an intimate moment that must remain unforgettable and establish the beginning of a bond with the best wishes.
Outside of Bangkok, where 5-star hotels are the favorite destinations, weddings begin at dawn, to highlight the beginning of a new life. Monks go to the couple’s house to bring their blessings; though religious chants and prayers, after that families offer gifts to show respect. Everything must follow the tradition. Before the wedding the groom agrees with the bride’s family the dowry amount. The dowry is then carried in procession on the day of the ceremony and offered on large trays in the bride’s house.
Thai Wedding Parade
The parade is a moment of great joy during a Thai wedding, in which relatives and friends sing and dance following the groom to the bride’s house and encourage him to overcome the obstacles – symbolic doors or gates – which are set along the route. Symbolically, each closed door represents an obstacle that the groom has to overcome by passing a test like singing a love song and then provide an offer to the gate keeper to pass and go forward. The bride’s house symbolizes the sentimental journey destination that needs to be reached in order to conquer the heart of the beloved. The bride needs to be reassured about the seriousness of the groom’s feelings as well as the sustenance that he is able to provide. After exchanging gifts between the groom and the bride’s family members, another important step takes place in the presence of an elderly person, often a spouse family member.
The bride and groom dressed in colorful traditional dresses and with flowery necklaces kneel to pay respect to their respective families while their heads are tied by a holy white threads that symbolize their choice to live together in order to receive the blessing of their union. The guests then pour holy water on their hands and pronounce happy wishes for a long life together. After that the guests, one by one, pour holy water on the couples’ hands, tie white holy threads to the spouses’ wrists, to wish the best luck to both the bride and the groom.
This is followed by a wedding party that goes on till late night with the traditional toast, the cutting of the cake and photos at the end of a day that must remain memorable and unique.