A Thai wedding

A village Thai wedding is unlike any western wedding you may have ever seen before. It is so much more relaxed and more fun then the tightly scripted ones that we are used to.
Generally if you are not family or close friends one person from each house in the village is also invited, this included us. Of course they quickly figured out that Seerung had access to the only camera in the village so was quickly asked to come along and I popped my head in as well for a bit of a look.
As I said in my previous post, the preparation had started 24 hours previously and continued on throughout the night with a cow being killed around midnight and then it had to be prepared. Family members and friends all came to help.
At sunrise the guests started to arrive. They would place some money in a bowl and then have their name and the amount of money given written in a book. The money is what they can afford and goes towards the cost of the wedding. The book is given to the parents of the bride so that for any future weddings that they attend they can make sure they give back at least the same amount.

Here are people arriving and having their donation recorded.


I named the welcoming committee biggles and blue santa.


Seerung had plenty of time to take some pics of the bride, her bridesmaids and her family as the groom was over 2 hours late!

*Edit* I forgot to mention when I first posted this to say that the bride is 15 years old and the groom is either 15 or maybe a year or two older according to my wife. *Edit*

Thai bride and her bridesmaids


With the groom so late (no idea why) everyone got stuck into the food.

Here are some photos of the preparation of it.


meat preparation

Nothing gets wasted, everything is eaten and I mean everything!

bucket of blood

Someone has to do the washing up!

washing up

The groom finally arrived.

groom arrives

It is now time to get into the serious ceremonial side of things. Serious for the minister and the bride and groom but a riot of a time for the guests who laugh, tease, yell and generally have a great time while this is going on. Half the people crowded into her house while the rest (mainly men) hung around outside out of sight.

wedding crowd

First things first, the sin sot. This is the money that the groom has to pay the parents of the bride for doing such a good job at raising her. The money varies depending on how wealthy the brides family and grooms family are. Whether or not the bride is a virgin or not etc etc. On this occasion it was 50,000 baht ($2,000 AUS) and 1 baht (15.2 grams) of gold. The money and gold is laid out for all to see and be counted.

sin sot

Then the ceremony can start.

thai wedding ceremony 1

thai wedding ceremony 2

thai wedding ceremony 3

You don’t bring presents to a wedding in Thailand, it is all about cash. During and after the ceremony money is tied to the wrists of the bride and groom with string.

thai wedding ceremony 4

Once the ceremony is over everyone goes home. A few people hung around an helped clean up but basically by lunchtime things were very quiet. After all the parties over new year and then this wedding the village was extremely quiet last night.

13 responses to “A Thai wedding

  1. The groom is a bit of a looker, maybe he was late because he had to do his hair??

    Great blog =)

  2. Some good photos that Seerung took. How old were the bride and groom?

    MeMock replied “Seerung thinks the girl is 15 and the boy would be 15 or maybe a year older or 2 max”

  3. Wow thats young – is that normal? Will they now live with familty, and if so, whose?

    MeMock replied “Young yes, but not that unusual. It seems that there were spending a lot of time together and got a little too intimate hence the brides family called for a quick wedding to save face.”

  4. That’s just opened my eyes a lot. What an interesting custom.

  5. I will bet my bottom dollar that she is pregnant. This would be the reason why they are marrying at this age.

    To have the baby out of wedlock, even if it is only the Thai village ceremony and not registered is a big loss of face.

    If this is the case, the girl cannot study anymore. Being pregnant and studying is not allowed in Thailand.

    If this isn’t the reason I would like to know why they married so young.

    I was at a village where a 26 year old married a 14 year old as she was pregnant to him. It was wrong but Thai law and culture is different to ours.

    MeMock replied “Hi Brunty, thanks for stopping by. I do know that they had been spending a lot of time together and therefore the local gossip is assuming that they are sleeping together hence the early wedding. Is she preggers? I doubt it but just the fact (if it is) that there were sleeping together is enough to force a wedding. I will revisit this post in 3 months time and let you know the outcome!”

    • Well I didn’t come back in three months time sorry as it is now 2 years and 1 month later but I just saw her this morning and she just had her first child 4 weeks ago!

  6. Had to check this out!I did not get off so lucky with the wedding costs(not going there!)Nothing gets wasted in Isaan country for sure!I ended up paying for a whole new bedroom with a western bathroom,A/C and all furniture(the required three nights at the Brides home)Really,you should mention this little known fact .I also would mention that Thais will offer the groom a place to stay in their Baan before the marriage(i accepted…..lol)Not knowing that you just can’t do this!Amporn and i stayed at a resort 30 klicks from her home after i figured out the real score on this issue.Also,in asking the parents for their blessings on marrying their eldest daughter,this required some presents in the form of “GOLD”,dinners and a few others things.If i was Thai,then it would have been different to a large degree,but being farang comes with a price!I am still married and not the least bit concerned about the price.If you have read any of my posts,you will notice that i have made many blunders during my time in “LOS”,but i love my Thai family and it is only money in the end!james

    • I actually got married in Australia and just had a ‘wedding party’ 6 months later when we came back to Thailand on holidays.

  7. hi just wondering for anyone of you who are living in Ubon if you could help me… i am having a Thai traditional wedding with my husband( we are already married but are now going back to his home town to have a wedding over there), and i need some info!!!

    We are having it in a very small village in Kanthalarom, Sisaket.. but i am thinking i need to organise caterers etc from Ubon as sisaket may not quite be up to scratch in the catering for ferang department…

    So if there is anyone that lives in Ubon that could suggest a good caterer with non plastic tables and chairs prefferably although doesnt matter too much…that can cook food suitable for picky westerners ( eg no liver and kidney cooked up with the beef….no pigs ears sliced up with the larb moo, well you get my point!!:) i will be having alot of family and young kids who arent used to thai cooking attending… also if anyone knows the around about prices of hiring the ubon ponglang for a night??
    any help with any of this and anything else would be greatly appreciated.or any suggestions… my in laws do live over there but are abit hopeless when it comes to organising or asking around..

    thanks so much my email is murzik_laura@yahoo.com!!


  8. Nice to read this blog since I’ll be going through the same thing 13 days from now. 🙂 Looking foward to reading the rest of your blogs!

    • 13 days from now? Awesome! I hope it all goes well for you. Remember, it wont be like anything you can imagine so don’t try and control it, just chill out and enjoy the amazing ride!

  9. Pingback: A Thai wedding, village style! | Life in rural Thailand

  10. I have read in some other blog about Thai wedding and I saw monks are involved in their wedding ceremony.
    Your blog is very interesting rural culture is differ from what I have seen in most tourism website.

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