Planning Thai Weddings

The Works of a Thai Wedding

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You may ask yourself why a western man would want to marry a Thai lady, who is from a completely different culture and country. She must leave her country, her family and face many uncertainties in hew future new home. While cultural, religious, educational, economic, lingual and even culinary difference can sometimes seem overwhelming, there need not be barriers to a successful US-Thai marriage. After the hand of the Thai Brides is requested from her father, the financial discussions of the union may be discussed.

While by no means compulsory, the dowry system and the prominent role of money in Thai wedding ceremonies can at first seem crass, or even distasteful, especially to an American groom. Nevertheless, it is important for a western man to understand that Thai ladies put a lot of emphasis on financial stability in marriage. Traditionally, a man marrying a Thai bride would move in with her family. The husband would be then obliged to take care of his new in-laws financially, and would receive their support in reciprocation. Family homes are usually inherited through female children. Their husbands also benefit from this business.

In return for future benefits, the husband of the Thai bride rewards the family of the bride in advance by presenting them with a dowry. The groom and the in-laws agree on a sum of money which is publicly displayed as part of the ceremony, often in small denomination bills or in gold for dramatic effect. The negotiation goes very easily. It can depend on the assets of both the bride’s family and the goods of the husband.

Thai brides marrying westerns in Thailand undergo a painstaking process. Traditional Thai Buddhist weddings consist of a series of intricate rituals that can require a great deal of rehearsal. For instance, in the morning, cash gifts are usually given by the guests of the bride and groom. The amount depends on their social and financial status. Every time an envelope of cash is given, a guest receives a token souvenir of the wedding. Paid for by the groom, a large feast is traditional in the evening, often with hundreds of guests. With an increasing knowledge of the western world and realising that western men show a great deal more respect for women, many unmarried Thai women are declining their local men and turning to western men.

Who can know more about the country and its culture than someone who has lived in it for more than 15 years? Our top author, Ahara Henris, tells her story and explains why she believes that stereotypes are things that prevent people from expanding borders in life and in dating.