Getting married is one of the most important days in a person’s life. It is a day where one celebrates their love hoping to cherish those memories in the future. Therefore, it should not be surprising that Thailand is a popular destination for people who want to make their special day one to remember.
Thailand offers settings that are quintessential for this special day. Regardless of what your preference is, from tranquil beaches to picturesque mountains, Thailand’s heritage and culture, and its beautiful landscapes easily intrigues and fascinates couples to exchange their wedding views in Thailand.
Organizing the Big Day
Couples who know the Thai language can easily organize their wedding themselves. If not, then you will definitely need assistance to plan and organize it all. Many non-Thai couples prefer to use the services of a wedding planner to execute their plans in a much smoother fashion. No matter which option you opt for, being responsive to the legal procedures ought to leave you stress-free on your special day.
A person with local know-how and knowledge will be able to serve you with the best organization in case you and your partner really admire the magnetism of a Buddhist ceremony. However, you need not worry about having a Buddhist ceremony by default, as arranging a different type of wedding in Thailand is easilly done. Whatever option you select, one must be extremely careful with the legal formalities. Below are the assorted steps you should take if you’re marrying in an Asian country.
Legal Formalities for a Wedding in Thailand
For the marriage to be legally recognized in your home country, couples must follow the legal procedures of Thailand. You have to complete the paperwork which is generally done in Bangkok at the Thai embassy or the consulate. If the marriage is not justifiable under Thai law, then it won’t be legal under the law of your home country as well.
A religious ceremony is crucial to the wedding, however the religious ceremony doesn’t by itself make the legal binding amongst the couple. Therefore, when getting married in Thailand make sure that your paperwork is done right and officially registered at the ‘khet’, the district office.
If you wish, you can avoid spending four or five days at your embassy running around getting the paperwork right. Instead, you could get your marriage registered at your home country and then have a ceremony in Thailand without having to stress about the legality.
Visit Your Embassy
If you aren’t a Thai citizen and want to get married in Thailand, then you have to visit your home country’s embassy/ consulate in Thailand. This means that you have to stay for a couple of days in Bangkok or Chiang Mai to get your paperwork processed. You may also ask your wedding planners to help you speed up the process.
Make sure you have a minimum of 4 to 5 days kept aside to get your marriage documents. Also, make sure your passport is up to date and valid for 6 months. Apart from this, double-check the weekends and the public holidays in Thailand so that there is no hindrance in the process.
Affirmation to Marry
The affirmation is a typed-out form that confirms you are legally free to marry. It is supposed to be signed in front of a consular official from your country’s embassy and it is chargeable. You must collect this form the next day as it is countersigned by the official from the embassy.
Make sure you carry your passport and original evidence of the termination of previous marriages. Once you receive the ‘affirmation of freedom to marry’, it needs to be translated in Thai by you from any translation service offices and would cost you around 1000 Baht.
Authentication From Thailand’s MFA
The Ministry will authenticate the form and returns it back to you the next day for which you’ll have to pay a fee. In case you want it on the same day, you could do so by choosing the ‘express fee’. You can also post the documents instead of going there.
Visit the Amphur/Khet Office
Your marriage will only be recognized under Thai law if it is registered at the Amphur office. And you would be officially married on the day that you register at the office. Make sure you carry your affirmation and translated document. Having someone who speaks Thai would be beneficial. If, your partner is a Thai then she/he must submit their ID Card and their House Registration Certificate.
Thai Law for Marriage
For the marriage to be legally valid under the Thai Law you must fulfill the following criteria:
- The couple must be 17 years or above when they file for the marriage.
- The couple’s parents should have granted the marriage permission.
- Neither of them should have multiple spouses.
- The couple should not be direct blood relations or be adopted by the same set of parents.
- A widow or divorcee will be allowed to remarry in not less than 310 days post the prior marriage has expired
Speak With an Expert- Do you need Visa?
Depending on your country and the length of your stay in Thailand, visitors who plan to be in the country for less than 30 days do not require a visa. But there are a few exceptions, hence, you are advised to cross-check scenarios with the Thai embassy or consulate in your home country. The good news is that Thai visas are usually easy to obtain no matter where you’re from.
To sum it up, you can have your dream wedding in Thailand while you are on a tourist visa. Just be mindful of how long you have before you initiate the process as it might take up to 5 days for you to get legally married under the Thai law. And not to forget make sure you have your travel insurance with an adequate coverage in case something doesn’t go as per the plan.