Getting Married in Thailand

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Getting Married in Thailand


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Old 4th February 2013, 03:47 AM
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Default Getting Married in Thailand

Could anyone please give me some advise on marrying a Thai girl in Thailand.

I intend to marry my Thai girlfriend but haven't the faintest idea how to go about it. I know where to start........ asking her to marry me! But what arrangements need to be made and what costs are involved.

I appreciate any feedback.

Steve

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Old 4th February 2013, 06:41 AM
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Easy enough, you take all the documents required plus fotocopies and go to the Amphur where you are planning to live. Not expensive, takes up a few hours, you can go get drunk afterwards. Best thing, if your GF never did it before, is to go to the Amphur and ask how to do it, early in the morning.
You first need an eligibility to marry document from your embassy in Bangkok, probably the most onerous bit, needs two visits, official translations, patience and a little money.
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Old 4th February 2013, 07:03 AM
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Thanks Cooked.

So no big expensive ceremony, sounds great. Ok so the embassy first, thanks for that.

Steve

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Old 4th February 2013, 11:39 AM
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Aussiesteve

Have you met the family yet. are you to pay dowery "Sod sin". are the family throwing a party for you? Does mil want gold.I found out the hard way.Would suggest you search the thai forums for love and marriage before rocking up in the village and thinking its free. dont worry im still married to my wife, but felt like a lemon no knowing a thing about what was going to go down.we had about 150 guests "the village" pop in, you have to feed and booze them up. made about tbht 5500. dont sound like a lot but average wedding gift was tbht20. this only on loan to you. wife has to write it in a book and return it when that donor has a wedding or a son or daugther has a wedding and remember your a farang so interest on loan should be alot. need any more info from a lemon just shout

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Old 4th February 2013, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooineckrsa View Post
Aussiesteve

Have you met the family yet. are you to pay dowery "Sod sin". are the family throwing a party for you? Does mil want gold.I found out the hard way.Would suggest you search the thai forums for love and marriage before rocking up in the village and thinking its free. dont worry im still married to my wife, but felt like a lemon no knowing a thing about what was going to go down.we had about 150 guests "the village" pop in, you have to feed and booze them up. made about tbht 5500. dont sound like a lot but average wedding gift was tbht20. this only on loan to you. wife has to write it in a book and return it when that donor has a wedding or a son or daugther has a wedding and remember your a farang so interest on loan should be alot. need any more info from a lemon just shout
I think we are talking about a legal marriage giving you access to extension of your 'O' Visa on the grounds of marriage. It's true that many things get happened to you here but up to now it has been me that has decided in the family and I get on with everyone. We were married at the Amphur in July, our marriage in the village happens in March. Because I said so. ฿5500.- sounds very cheap, we are aiming at ฿10- - 20 000.- . No free give outs to villagers, security people present, and alcohol consumption controlled (by me as long as I am sober).
If you make a big display of wealth, people will be collaring you for loans until the end of (your) time. If you don't pay much, you are a skinflint. Just do what you feel you can/want to do.
I saw ฿100 000.- being paid out in public as sinsod at a wedding recently, all going back where it came from after the ceremony, fact hidden from mother of the bride. This was between two Thais. Up to you, don't get carried away by bitter stories told by Farangs.
Good luck!

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Old 4th February 2013, 03:29 PM
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Default An American marries a Thai Foreign National

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Originally Posted by AussieSteve View Post
Could anyone please give me some advise on marrying a Thai girl in Thailand.

I intend to marry my Thai girlfriend but haven't the faintest idea how to go about it. I know where to start........ asking her to marry me! But what arrangements need to be made and what costs are involved.

I appreciate any feedback.

Steve
I visited the American Embassy requesting instructions on what was required to marry a foreign national (Thai girlfriend). I received a one page list of the steps involved. This included collecting a rather large number of original documents, several were formal legal documents from the two countries involved.

I needed to provide an affidavit (swore to an American Embassy official that I was legally entitled to marry). As I had never been married before no formal "divorce decree" was required. If you've been married before you will need a formal, or official, document that shows you are "eligible" to marry. This affidavit did cost money, forget how much. One note; this marriage occurred sixteen years ago. We are still going strong, only another 50, or so, years to go.

Each of the steps outlined did, in fact, cost money. The funds expended (except for the "expensive" formal Thai Buddhist ceremony) were incremental. However, due to the many, many steps, they did add up to a reasonable amount of money. All in all, I expect my total outlay was on the order of USD 5-6k. Fairly expensive but downright frugal compared to a full-blown American wedding ceremony (USD 20-25k). The majority of the funds expended were for the bride price/dowry which did in fact, go to the bride's father. My father-in-law then used the money to pay for the two wedding ceremonies we had (half day thai Buddhist Wedding followed by a half day American Wedding reception dinner dance).

After swearing to the Embassy Official concerning my eligibility to marry I had to take the affidavit to a "recognized" official English to Thai translator. I think there were only two recognized (by both the US and the Thai government) translators in Bangkok at the time. I also needed several documents from the USA so I had my family DHL courier them to me.

At this time I had several specific original documents that I needed translated to Thai. After I had collected them I brought them to the translator. Translation took about a week. Note: due to incredible speed of traffic in Bangkok metropolis, each step required my taking a day off from work (no work, no pay) additional cost(s).

After picking up the package of translated documents we, myself and my soon-to-be-bride, went to the Thai Foreign Services office to request formal permission from them for her to marry me (a USA foreigner). Needless to say, they needed a bunch of documents from her. So, we had to collect her documents and take them back to the Thai Foreign Services office, another day (another days pay gone). Two weeks later we returned. Of course, one my original documents was translated incorrectly. Back to the translators. Document was immediately repaired. One individual letter had been mistranslated. D versus T. Document repair took ten minutes and was free, no cost, other than transit time. So back to the Thai Foreign Services office another day. (Again, day off, day's pay lost). Return one week later to pick up the permission to marry an American document allowing my soon-to-be wife to marry a specific American, namely myself.

OK, now were getting somewhere. Take another day off. Myself, my soon-to-be wife, two soon-to-be sister-in-laws and a soon-to-be-brother-in-law travel to Bangkok City Hall to register our marriage. Registering the marriage took approximately four hours including a one half hour period arguing that I did not need a formal Thai translator as I was talking Thai to the registering official. Anyway 200 Baht later we came to an agreement that my command of Thai linguistics was indeed adequate to answer the many, many, many questions asked and I could forgo the required "Translator". Now, he did earn that 200 Baht. He spent more than three solid hours asking questions and writing the answers down in a "huge" downright massive ledger. This ledger must have weighed at least fifty pounds. It was huge.

After he finished his scribing, he knocked on a large door, and entered. About five minutes later he returned and escorted us into a very large opulent office where a Thai big-wig was watching a TV with his back to us. He turned to TV off. Swiveled his large leather chair around to face us, and asked the scribe "Is this them?". Then he slowly, and with adequate ritual, penned his name and title in the journal below all of our signatures.

All in all, four hours answering questions and journal entries and a three minute signature ceremony, and we were officially husband and wife with out marriage formally registered in the City of Bangkok. The we waited around for about an hour before the "official" marriage certificate (two copies) with seals and signatures were completed.

OK, next day, back to the translators. One week later, pick up the translated to English marriage certificate and return to the US Embassy to start the paper chase for my wife's immigration visa to America (another story that I won't get into as you only asked about marriage).

Now, we are officially married (our marriage has been registered). However, we are not married, nor blessed, in the eyes of Buddha.

The Buddhist Wedding Ceremony is another chapter for another day.

In closing, you asked for what was involved. Go to your Embassy and get the correct information. Registering your marriage is the "low cost" formal legal part, although it can evolve into a bureaucratic nightmare. It's the religious Buddhist Ceremony where the acceptance into the Thai community and, of course, the gold, gifts and dowry come into play.

Hope this helps. Good Luck.
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Old 5th February 2013, 02:35 AM
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Slightly different with the Swiss embassy but I must admit it needs some patience and maybe a sense of humour. It looks, and is, complicated, you just do it one step at a time, maybe learning the Thai for 'what do I do/need now'?
The info I got from the Thai Embassy in Switzerland, the Swiss Embassy in Bangkok and the Amphur all differed in some details, so just take everything with you, with copies.
Translation: if they get a name one by one letter, you have to get it corrected. Your wife's correct name is registered at the Amphur, my wife's sister came back for a new ID card and discovered that she had a series of documents with the name written wrong. She has to pay for the lot to be redone.

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Old 5th February 2013, 06:32 AM
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Best of luck in your marriage. The process for the legal aspect of it is long and tedious. And you will end up shelling out money for mistakes made by so called "translation" experts. But as long as you keep your cool about you, you should have documents ready without too much of a dent in the wallet. My advice: find a translation place you trust.

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Old 5th February 2013, 09:10 AM
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Thanks to all those who have responded.
Stednick, yours was an epic, sounds like you had fun.

Maybe it's easier to take her out of the country and marry quietly here in Australia............

Thanks guys.

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