Thai Traditional Wedding Ceremony is various depending on the regions of Thailand. Although the theme of the wedding might be different, but the processions are almost the same. However, some rural areas may require more sacred rituals than others.
The date and time of the wedding day is specifically important, thus the couples and their parents will consult a monk or an astrologer to find a perfect auspicious date and time for the wedding.
The ceremony is non-religious despite the nine monks are invited to bless the couple in the early morning before the main events. Exchanging of vows will not be announced but it has a strong symbolism to insure the good fortune of the newly-weds’ future.
Thai Wedding Ceremony takes place in the morning, and the feast or the wedding reception will be held in the evening after the processions.
Khan Marrk Procession
Khan Maak Procession begins with the arrival of the groom and his entourage at the bride’s house. The parade will carry banana leaves and sugar canes and other traditional gifts that represent ‘good luck’ for the new couple, also the agreed dowry(Sin-Sod). They all will be led by drummers and dancers to announce to the bride’s neighbors their arrival.
2. Barring the Groom from Approaching the Bride
Once the groom and his entourage arrive, he must bring the bride from her room to the ceremony. But before that, he has to pass through the symbolic ‘doors’ set up by the bride’s family. The keepers of each door, which are two female family members or friends, will hold the ‘door’ represented by flowers or precious stuff asking some questions or teasing the groom. He must answer them or negotiate the ‘toll’ to get pass them to the bride’s room.
3. Counting the Dowry (Sinsod)
Sin Sod is the dowry decided in advance that composes of money, gold and jewelry that will be given to bride’s parents to promise the wealth of the couple. Many parents-in-law return the sinsod to the couple as a gift to start the new family, some keeps it and some requests nothing from the groom’s family.
4. The Engagement
Traditionally, this process is to introduce the bride to the groom. As in the former days the bride’s parents would choose the groom and the couple would never see each other before the wedding. But these days as the couple choose each other by themselves, the engagement is to exchange wedding rings. Sometimes the groom will put the jewelry from the sinsod tray for the bride as well. The engagement will take place in front of both bride’s and groom’s parents.
5. Water Pouring (Rod Nam Sang)
The couple will sit together at the water pouring tables and cup their hands over the magnificent bowl filled with flowers, with a ceremonial headdress on their heads to symbolize their union. The headdress has been blessed by the monks previously in the wedding.
Start with the eldest, guests will take turn approaching to the couple and pour the water from a water pouring conch shell over the cupped hands of the couple and offer their blessings.
6. Preparing the bridal bed
At the end of the day, the bridal bed will be prepared by an elder married couple who have been together for a very long time. They will place special nine items on the bed as symbols of fertility, prosperity, harmony, and long life of the newly-weds. After explaining the meanings of the items, the elder couple and newly-weds’ parents will then leave the room. The wedding ceremony ends, and the life of new husband and wife has just begun…