Marriage in Thailand – Engagement and ceremonies

By: panit p

We already spoke about how the types of wedding involved in marriage in Thailand work out and what is required but we also spoke about how the typical engagement ceremony is also very different. For an engagement for anyone involved in marriage in Thailand this is an event that is steeped in Thai tradition and customs and proves to be fascinating and wonderful experience if you abide by the rules.

In Thailand even engagement itself is a special ceremony which really goes to show how important the entire matrimonial ceremony is taken in Thailand. During the engagement period gold is given to the fiancée by the groom and this is something that many foreigners cannot comprehend or cannot afford as the value of gold that has to be given can be quite expensive. It is just the same though as giving a diamond ring in the West though and can be just as joyous. Imagine the woman of your dreams and her surprise when you present her with either a diamond ring (in the West) or a bar of gold that is valued to one baht.

It is also an act to prove how serious the groom is about the entire marriage as many grooms may get cold feet or may misunderstand exactly what it is they are undertaking. Thai women take marriage very seriously and if you are not as serious in the same respect as the prospective groom then it may be time to take a long look to see if this is what you are actually wanting to do. Marriage is fantastic and everything but if your heart is not in it then how can you give your heart to the woman that you will most likely be spending the rest of your life with?

Another part of the marriage process is the dowry process. This is also a controversial subject that many Western men do not understand for essentially the groom is paying the parents for the loss of their daughter who, in oldern times, may have been the sole earner of the family. This shows how serious marriage is but it also sadly shows how antiquated Thailand can be in terms of modern traditions and many couples disagree over the entire dowry situation and there are plenty of websites out there with more on this controversial subject. Many men see the dowry as nothing more than paying to be a husband and believe that obviously, if love was really in the marriage, then there would be no need to actually pay for it. We all know Thailand can be a seedy place also and that sex (literally) sells so it is understandable that this can cause confusion when money (the dowry) is mentioned as part of the marriage process. After all is love not all you need? Either way it seems that sometimes you cannot get by on love alone and that is why the dowry is there, to prove you, as a groom, are serious about what you are about to get involved in.

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