How to get married in Thailand
An all-time favourite destination for couples wanting to combine their wedding with a honeymoon, Thailand is the perfect spot to say 'I do' – and the ideal destination for that long dreamt of beach wedding in Asia!
Thailand offers the perfect ingredients for a destination wedding, with a rich variety of picturesque locations to tie the knot, from the white beaches of Ko Samui, Phuket and other island gems of the Andaman Sea, to the tranquillity of Chiang Mai and the temples and saffron-robed monks of bustling Bangkok.
Legendary throughout the world for its friendly and welcoming people, Thailand also boasts some of the world’s finest hotels and resorts, great cuisine and beautiful weather – basically everything you need for an unforgettable wedding (and honeymoon) experience.
The legal requirements for getting married in Thailand are fairly straightforward, but to remove any stress you may want to engage the help of a wedding co-ordinator, and with a clergy member in the case of a religious ceremony.
To get married in Thailand, foreigner nationals must first obtain an affidavit from their respective embassies – a statuary declaration stating that they are both free to marry. This affidavit is then translated into Thai and authenticated by the respective Thai government agency. Once this is completed, the civil marriage is registered at any Thai district offices known as 'amphur' or 'khet'.
Under Thai law, marriages must be registered with Thai authorities to be legally recognised. While you can have a wedding ceremony almost anywhere in Thailand, you do need to be in Bangkok or Chiang Mai to complete most of the documentation before the ceremony; a religious ceremony on its own is not sufficient.
If you do not register your marriage with Thai authorities, you are not legally married in Thailand (or elsewhere). You can do this yourselves, through a wedding planner or your hotel as part of your wedding package.
None. However, you should allow at least three full working days prior to your wedding date to process the official paperwork, including translations and authentication.
Ensure that all documents are in your legal name, and provide affidavits in cases where you are known by another name.
All documents – originals or certified copies – must be translated into Thai. Contact the Thai embassy or consulate in your home country for an official translation. Your embassy or consulate in Bangkok can usually recommend an approved translator in ThailandDocuments required for a legal wedding in Thailand, include…
Once all your documents have been translated into Thai, you can take them to the Department of Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for authentication.
Once authenticated, you may visit a local Amphur office anywhere in Thailand during normal office hours to officially register your marriage.
After presenting yourselves and all the documents at the Amphur, you’ll be issued with two marriage certificates within the hour.
The certificates are in Thai, including Thai numerals that record the date and year under the Thai calendar. You will need two witnesses; the Amphur can provide these if required.
You may need to have your Thai Marriage Certificates translated into English (or your native language) and have it notarised at your embassy in case you need it for any legal purposes in the future.
You are now officially married under Thai law and free to have a religious ceremony or blessing of your choice anywhere in Thailand.
Once you’re ‘officially’ married in Thailand, the choice of ceremony and location is entirely yours. You can get married on a beach at sunset in the south or in a colourful lush garden in the jungle-covered hills of the north.
You may also personalise your ceremony to suit your concept of the perfect wedding: consider Thai dancers, a fireworks display and sitting atop an elephant with a ‘just married’ sign. Could that be the perfect wedding photo?
Some faiths may require additional documents for a church service. Couples are advised to contact their respective clergy as early as possible to determine what is required for their particular religion.
Additional documents for a Catholic ceremony must include permission from your own local priest to get married overseas. Your local priest will be expected to forward this permission directly to the priest here in Thailand.
Couples of the Roman Catholic faith should allow at least three months before the wedding date in order to process all the necessary paperwork (certificates of baptism, dispensations, statements of freedom to marry, etc.).
Couples may also choose to get legally married in their home country and have a non-legally binding blessing ceremony in Thailand.
The advantage of this type of ceremony is that you can have it in any location of your choice, taking advantage of the many beautiful wedding venues that Thailand has on offer.
In doing so, you do not need to worry about the legal requirements. For this kind of ceremony, you do not need any papers, and no authorities are involved. Such kind of Thailand weddings are usually performed by a celebrant
Statuary Declaration – THB 3000
Affirmation & Passport translation – THB 500 Thai Consular Affairs Authentication – THB 300
Fees may vary between embassies as can the translation of documents.
European Union citizens (except the United Kingdom and Ireland) may need to have their Marriage Certificate apostilled (or authenticated).
This does not apply to citizens of United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Citizens of Asian countries, South and Central America should check with their Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer as to whether an Apostille is required for your country.
A special stamp (Apostille) is required to validate the marriage certificate obtained after the civil ceremony for certain nationalities. Your wedding planner can assist you in obtaining the Apostille, if required.
Most hotels and resorts in Thailand can provide wedding planners to insure that the entire process of getting married in Thailand, including fulfilling all legal requirements, is stress free.
Further information: Thailand Marriage Registrar Office, Department of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 123 Moo 3, Changwattana Road, Kwang Toong Son Hong, Khet Laksi, Bangkok (Tel. (+66-2) 5751061, (+66-2)-5751057). Office hours: 08:30 – 15:30.
Latest update How to get marrried in Thailand: 9 December, 2017