The process for a legal wedding in Thailand involves a multi-step process including important paperwork and visits to your embassy as well as the local district authority. You should plan to visit your Embassy in Bangkok at least 10 working days before your wedding in Phuket or elsewhere. The Embassy will issue an Affidavit stating that you are free to marry so that there are no issues later when you try to have it recognized in your home country.
Each Embassy has its own country-specific regulations and document requirements which can be a lot easier to manage with someone like us helping you. We always advise you to call the embassy first to ask about their requirements prior to your visit. Upon receiving your Affidavit, we can then take over until your legal wedding in Thailand is complete.
Getting Married in Phuket Thailand
We’ve prepared a step by step list to help you have a better idea of the process and requirements for a legal wedding in Thailand. Getting married in Phuket Thailand where we mainly operate will happen according to the directions below which are the same in any other part of the country.
For your marriage to be legally valid in your country, several steps are required. Be sure to keep copies of all documents submitted and received.
Step 1. Apply for your Marriage Visa at your home country Embassy. To locate the address of your local Embassy, go to: www.embassy-worldwide.com, and then select your country.
Step 2. You will need to acquire a certificate verifying your eligibility to marry. This document will state that you are not currently married and therefore eligible to marry your loved one in Thailand. We recommend you do this in advance from your home country so the paperwork is readily available and on-hand when you arrive.
Otherwise, you can obtain a certificate from your representative Embassy or Consulate in Thailand. You’ll need to make an appointment to do this, which should be done online at least one week before your wedding date.
Step 3. After you make your appointment online, you’ll need to assemble these documents and bring them with you:
- Print a copy of your appointment confirmation page
- Passport and government-issued ID plus two copies
- Two copies of your entry Visa
- Evidence that any previous marriages have been terminated, such as a divorce certificate, death certificate, or court decree.
- Documents must be originals, not photocopies.
Step 4. Visit your embassy on the date and time assigned in your online appointment, then complete the “Affirmation of Eligibility to Marry” form. For example from the US Embassy, go to Affidavit that you are legally free to marry. Write your name exactly as it appears on the photo page of your passport. The form will need to be accompanied by a fee in the Thai currency.
Sep 5. You will need to obtain a certified translation of the processed affidavit and any documents verifying the termination of a previous marriage. This is required before we can move forward with a legal wedding in Thailand. The Embassy does not provide translation services, but you can find translators in Bangkok here, or they can translate for you at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Consular Affairs, Legalization Division
- 123 Chaeng Wattana Road, 3rd Floor
- Tung Song Hong, Laksi District, Bangkok
- Phone: 02-575-1057 or 1058
- Fax: 02-575-1054
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Service hours: 08:30 AM – 2:30 PM (closed on weekends and public holidays)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Consular Affairs, Legalization Office
- Chiang Mai Provincial Hall,
- Chotana Road, Chang Phueak Sub-district,
- A. Mueang, Chiang Mai 50000
- Tel (053) 112-748-50, Fax (053) 112-764
- Email: ConsularMFAChiangMai@gmail.com
- Service hours: Monday to Friday, 08.30-16.30, except public and official holidays
Step 6. Get the affidavit and translation legalized by going to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs Legalization Division. This normally takes two working days and they can then send you the necessary documentation.
Legalization and Naturalization Division
Department of Consular Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 3rd Floor
123 Chaeng Wattana Road, Laksi District, Bangkok 10210
Open: 8:30am-2:30pm, Monday-Friday
Step 7. If you want a legal wedding in Thailand or specifically in Phuket, you’ll need to take your documentation to Phuket District Office to obtain the marriage certificate.
Bring the following:
- Legalized affidavit and translation
- National IDs
- Original document verifying the end of a previous marriage and its Thai translation
The information for the Phuket District Office is:
Phuket Wedding Registration Office (Amphur)
Mae-Larn Road, Tambon Talardyai, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000
Telephone – 076-211-1716
Step 8. Your final step will be to receive your Thai Marriage License and have it translated into English for your marriage to be legally recognized worldwide.
Additional Notes for a Legal Wedding in Thailand
To get married legally in Thailand you must visit your Embassy in Bangkok about 10 working days before your wedding date (+20 days for Philippines, +3 months France, so all embassies have different criteria ). It used to be quicker but the Thai Foreign Affairs have removed the express Service.
Each Embassy has its own country-specific regulations and document requirements for the Affidavit. We do advise you to call them first on what these requirements are, as the rule and regulations are changing monthly.
The embassy document stating you are free to marry (Affidavit) is then translated into Thai (we can recommend a translation company) (at this stage you are now free to leave Bangkok) and the translated affidavit is passed to the Thai Foreign Affairs office in Bangkok which our office in Bangkok completes.
The normal legal wedding in Thailand paperwork required in Bangkok are passports, National Id numbers, etc and divorce papers if you have been married before. You must make an appointment online and normally most embassies allow appointments to be booked up to 1 month in advance.
This paperwork from Bangkok is posted to contact in Phuket i.e us. The paperwork is further processed in Phuket local district (Kamala we use Kathu district ) about 2 days (6-8 days have passed since you started in Bangkok) and when signed you are legally married in Thailand. You can sign at the government office or we can arrange for an official to come to the wedding ceremony.
The paperwork, when translated back into English? is then recognized by your government when you submit it to your local office at home. (if you have left Thailand, we will post the marriage paperwork to you)
I hope this helps and from experience, most couples leave the embassy appointment too late hence our advice above.
How to Find a Wedding Celebrant in Thailand
I’ve been a Celebrant in Phuket for a number of years and always find I get asked the same questions about how to find a celebrant in Phuket or what is required for a legal wedding in Thailand. Since I get asked these things so often I wanted to provide detailed information about getting married in Phuket Thailand and also about how to have a legal wedding in Thailand. Our local business Unique Phuket Wedding Planners can help with all your wedding needs.
How do you find your Wedding Officiant?
Most wedding planners should able to recommend a suitable Celebrant for you or have a group of celebrants they use regularly and have built up a strong relationship. Of course, an internet search will give you many additional options. Established Celebrants, like me, will have Google Reviews and Videos to help you in your decision.
How do I book a Wedding Celebrant?
Once you have found a celebrant, if recommended to you by your Wedding Planners, the Celebrant in most cases should write to you first. If this is not the case a simple email outlining your Wedding Details and date and then you can communicate by email.
A good idea is also a quick Skype call to ensure that all is clear and you are a match. Then the final arrangements and bookings can be made.
Is a deposit required for booking a Wedding Celebrant?
In most cases no, as the email confirming the booking is sufficient as an agreement. If travel is involved the Celebrant may ask for the Travel expenses upfront.
A nice way for the final payment is to deliver it personally after the Ceremony in a white envelope and maybe some written words from the happy couple?
What happens next in for Wedding Ceremony Preparations?
You may have some ideas already on what you would like to say to each other and your personal vows but the celebrant should be able to send you a few examples of different types of Wedding Ceremonies. I can also help advise you on the requirements for a legal wedding in Thailand.
The process normally takes 1-3 iterations before a complete final Ceremony is formed. Then you can add in extra Wedding Rituals like Unity Sand or Hand Fasting to add and make your ceremony and day more special
Thai Traditional Wedding Ceremony
Many couples decide to have a traditional Thai wedding ceremony which certainly has its own unique charm and romance. Considering this is one of life’s most special moments, celebrating it in a special way according to Thai traditions can make it even more meaningful, especially if your significant other is Thai. You don’t have to have a traditional Thai wedding to have a legal wedding in Thailand but since you’re here, and your spouse may be Thai, perhaps it’s something you should consider.
Step 1: Make Merit to Start the Ceremony
This is a religious ceremony that is expected in any Thai Buddhist wedding. If you want to have a prosperous marriage then it’s expected for you to invite 9 monks either the day before or on the morning of the wedding to bless your union and to also give thanks to her ancestors. You will also be expected to feed the monks.
Step 2: Khan Maak Procession
After the religious ceremony step, the groom would traditionally lead a Khan-Maak parade to the bride’s house where his family and friends are singing and playing music. Once you arrive at the brides’ family home, there would be a Khan-Maak-Ek, where you would give the family a dowry payment and other gifts, usually made up of Gold, Silver, Food, and Sweets.
Step 3: Barring the Groom
When the groom arrives he will need to pass through some gates or doors which are symbolic and usually made of string which he can then breakthrough to get to his bride. This is not necessary for a legal wedding in Thailand but you’ll be expected to get past each set of gates. The groom usually also has to provide some form of payment, this can either be money or a public gesture of his love to his bride-to-be
Step 4: Proposal and Marriage
Once the groom has made it past and succeeded in making it to his bride, the family will then count the dowry and gifts.
Step 5: The Engagement
When the appropriate time arrives, the bride and groom will exchange rings.
Step 6: Water Pouring Ceremony
The water pouring ceremony is the most important part of any traditional Thai wedding ceremony. The bride will sit to the left of her groom and their hands will be bound together, then an elder or the wedding celebrant will pour water on them from a conch shell symbolizes their union and blessing them.
Step 7: Pay Respect to Elders
Because in Thai society attaches great importance to respecting elders so the wedding ceremony couldn’t overlook this step. Groom and bride will sit in front of their parents or the elders in the family to ask them for forgiveness then their parents will tie the holy thread on their wrists and give some valuable things to the couple such as money and gold necklace.
Step 8: The Nuptial bed
The last step of the ceremony is when the groom takes his bride to their Nuptial bed where they will consummate their marriage, but not before the parents of both families visit them to teach them some final lessons about life as a married couple.
Legal Wedding in Thailand Planners
Paul and Supparin of Unique Phuket Wedding Planners are professional creators of a beautiful traditional Thai destination wedding in Phuket. Paul is an event planner and wedding celebrant while Supparin is a talented, professionally-trained florist and certified tour guide. Together, we help couples from all over the world plan the destination wedding of their dreams with a legal wedding in Thailand. We are affordable without compromising on elegance & quality as we can provide most services in house.
We have created a simple set of initial questions to get your Phuket Destination Wedding started; we can give you a quick budgetary estimate based on the answers you provide and will respond to you via email for your Wedding. The Wedding Questionnaire can be accessed here to help us plan your Phuket wedding costs. It’s our ultimate goal to help you get everything you want to be arranged at the best Phuket wedding packages prices available.
Just contact us by phone or email us to ask about how we can help you have an amazing legal wedding in Thailand. We’ll de everything possible to help make your special day even more unique with our tailored wedding services. We will take care of all the arrangements for you and help you make the best memories that will last a lifetime.
Thai Wedding Planners
Telephone: +66 817288269 or + 66 878957026
Skype ID: @UniquePhuket
Additional Legal Wedding in Thailand Resources:
- Wedding Planning
- Wedding Flowers Phuket
- Wedding Celebrant
- PC Consulting Asia
- Thai Monk Wedding
- Planning Your Wedding
- Wedding Venues
- Thai Wedding Ideas
- Phuket Wedding Costs
- Phuket Destination Wedding
- Phuket Villa Wedding
- Wedding Venues
- Pre Wedding Phuket
- Honeymoon in Phuket
- Phi Phi Island Wedding
- Getting Married in Phuket
- Thai Wedding Dress
- Wedding Coordinator Checklist