As a guest at a Thai wedding, you should be ready to witness lots of rituals that may be new to you. In this post, we are going to look at the different stages of a traditional Thai wedding, the different events that you can attend and the ones you may not attend.
The easiest approach to a Thai wedding is to attend the activities that happen from the afternoon onwards, as the morning activities tend to be for the family. If you are able to speak a bit of Thai, you will enjoy listening to speeches, and even interact more with other guests in the course of the day.
To help you plan better for the wedding day, let us dive into learning more.
Before the D-day, a close friend of the groom approaches the father of the bride to ask for the bride’s hand in marriage. He also participates in the dowry (son sod) negotiations ceremony, which is an expression of how the daughter has been brought up. An astrologer is then consulted regarding the wedding day which is often held in August. On the eve prior to the wedding ceremony, a Buddhist ceremony led by nine invited monks is conducted, to pay respects to their ancestors. Since a lot happens before the wedding, you can use it as a topic to start a conversation with other guests or the family.
The water Ceremony – Who Attends it?
The parents of the senior couple place flowers around the necks of the newlyweds as they pour water on their heads. This ceremony denotes blessings from the parents and the only people who attend it are the guests who are older than the couple.
Religious Ceremony – The Different Activities to Attend
This specific ceremony is held very early at 6 am. Nine monks bless the couple once more where the couple is bound within a string that forms a circular shape. The monks receive a cash envelope after the prayer processions and lunch is served to finalise this part of the wedding. The couple also makes a donation to the temple (wat) for blessings.
The afternoon is the time when the main event, called rod nam sang takes place. The hands of the bride and the groom are connected by a flower chain as a show of respect. This event is officiated by the most senior member of the group. The couple then soaks their hands in a conch shell that has water, for blessings towards their union. The soaking of the newlywed’s hands will also be done by the parents and close friends. This ceremony proceeds until dinnertime. The dinner event is where guests flock in numbers.
Since Thai people like to drink together during festivities, be ready to enjoy a buffet served with drinks of all kinds. After dinner in a hotel like the Lancaster Bangkok Hotel, a traditional send-off of the newlyweds is orchestrated by the elders.
As you have seen, the best parts that are open to all guests include the rod nam sang and the dinner event. You are now able to know the type of event you want to attend, in a Thai wedding ceremony.