So you’ve met the man or woman of your dreams, and they are from Thailand — awesome! But as with marrying anyone from another part of the world, many factors affect planning a traditional Thai wedding. Asian mail order brides put a lot of effort into organizing their weddings, and if you are marrying one soon, you should know what to expect and where to begin. So to ensure your big day goes without any hitches, use this article as a guide when planning your traditional Thai wedding.
Listen to the astrologers
Thai traditionalists believe in choosing auspicious dates and times for big events. Since weddings are among the most significant events in Thai tradition, Thai people contact astrologers to help them select favorable dates for wedding events. These astrologers assign befitting dates for weddings and have a say on intending couples’ compatibility based on their zodiac signs.
Make arrangements for the Buddhist ceremony
Before any traditional marriage, the couple will host a Buddhist ceremony to pay respect and homage to the bride’s ancestors. You should learn about the details of this ceremony and prepare for the rituals. For instance, nine monks will carry vials of water during this ceremony, and you and your partner will sit beside the first monk on an altar. Then, the monks will perform certain rituals with the water to ensure you have a happy home. Understanding this ceremony and planning for it will contribute to the success of your traditional Thai wedding.
Pay attention to the times on the wedding invitations
Wedding invitations outline the essential activities that will occur at a wedding and when they will happen. Unlike some other countries, keeping to the time on the different activities on the wedding invitation is non-negotiable. For instance, the Buddhist ceremony described in the previous tip always starts at 09:09, which is considered an auspicious time since 9 is a lucky number in Thailand. Though Thai people aren’t famous for their punctuality, they go out of their way to adhere to the time slots on a wedding invitation, and so you should too.
Plan an engagement ceremony
Sometimes, engagement ceremonies come before wedding events. Other times, to save cost, couples hold engagement ceremonies on the same day as their wedding and the Khan Maak Procession. Traditionally, the family members of the groom and bride deliberate on a befitting dowry, after which the engagement follows and the groom’s family offers gold and gifts (khan maak man) to the bride and her family. So, depending on your budget, you can either plan a separate engagement ceremony or combine it with your wedding.
Perform a door/gate ceremony
The Thais have a sanuk ceremony that includes frivolity and laughter, mainly at the groom’s expense. In this event, the bride’s friends and family tease the groom. So if you are a man marrying a Thai lady, you should prepare yourself mentally to take the jokes in good faith.
Your in-laws will also expect you to open symbolic gates and doors to prove that you can take care of their daughter. Often, this event will include a silver plate (pratoo tong) and a gold gate (pratoo ngoen), represented by a silver and gold ribbon or belt held by two ladies from the bride’s family. To open the gate, you must offer them an envelope with money inside. So when planning the traditional wedding, keep some money and gifts aside for this part of the ceremony.
Prepare for the rod nam sang
The Rod nam sang, which translates to soaking the hands of the newlywed with water from a conch shell, is also called the shell ceremony. You and your partner will wear garlands and kneel at the event while an elder prays and anoints your heads. Then each guest will pour holy water from a conch shell on your hands. Understanding this tradition will help you plan for it and get gifts for the guests, as you will exchange presents with them after completing this ritual.
There are many things to consider when organizing a traditional Thai wedding, depending on the families of the people involved. But setting gifts and money aside for different stages of the wedding, being punctual, understanding the rituals, and deciding when to hold your engagement ceremony are some of the most critical factors. So if you are hosting a Thai wedding soon and want it to become the talk of the town, use the tips in this article during your planning phase.
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