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*
With the groom so late (no idea why) everyone got stuck into the food.
Here are some photos of the preparation of it.
Nothing gets wasted, everything is eaten and I mean everything!
Someone has to do the washing up!
The groom finally arrived.
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.
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.
Then the ceremony can start.
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.
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.