Etiquette and the Thai Wedding


Thailand – Each Traditional Thai Wedding has many steps and stages and maintaining proper etiquette throughout all of them is important.
For the first stage, the early morning offering of food to the monks, a good offering includes something special from one’s home country. For example, home preserves or locally produced food goods are always a good idea as the monks live on a basic diet and variety is appreciated.
Typically, the bride and groom make food offerings to nine monks who are performing their traditional morning begging rounds, and one to nine monks at the temple for the ceremony. At the temple, a well respected senior monk will offer his blessing and he mustn’t be forgotten in the offerings.
Becoming involved in the Thai wedding and the preparations is important. Ideas include going to the market to see the traditional Thai flower arrangements being made and helping make some of the fruit offerings.
Just like in any culture, there are specific items that the bride and groom should avoid doing. For example, the dots shouldn’t be removed from their foreheads till days after the ceremony; feet shouldn’t be pointed at anyone as it is a gesture of rudeness; and bride shouldn’t forget to sleep with the flower arrangement on her wedding night as it will bring long happiness in the bedroom.
Also, women should not touch the monks and shorts should not be worn during a trip to Thailand because it is considered impolite or low class attire.
Lasting, the strings used to bind the wrists during the Lanna wrist-binding ritual should not be removed for a few days as it is said the longer they are left on then the longer the couple will have a better life together.
Thai wedding ceremony’s are typically held during the day at the bride’s home and are generally small, attended by family and close friends. The ceremonies are usually followed by a large evening reception at a hotel or hall with between 100 and 300 people. Parties include cocktail parties, buffet dinners of Thai or Chinese food or traditional sit-down dinners and Thai dancers are often hired for entertainment along with Thai musicians.
Thai wedding attire is typically traditional, close-fitting, brightly colored Thai silk ensembles for the brides. Gold jewelry encrusted with semiprecious stones is often worn.
As symbols of luck and fertility, guests often leave good-luck tokens such as rice, sesame seeds and coins on the bridal bed.