Getting Married in Phuket
Thai or Western Style Wedding in Phuket
Islands are undeniably romantic; the word ‘honeymoon' conjures up images of a young couple frolicking on endless stretches of deserted beach. But why wait until the wedding is over to enjoy paradise? Phuket has an abundance of locations ideally suited for Thai- or Western-style marriage ceremonies – and not all are on the beach.
Thai Style: a Unique Wedding
The Great Day usually starts at the bride’s or groom’s house in the morning with a blessing by monks, after which the two families will often have lunch together. Sometimes the couple will then head off to the District Office to register their wedding, though they may do the paperwork before the wedding day.
The most important event of a Thai wedding comes in the afternoon or early evening. It is called the rod nam sang (rod = pour or soak, nam = water and sang = conch shell). This is when the two families, friends and guests all come together.
Weddings in Phuket
The couple sit close together on a small stage with their hands in a wai, usually supported on cushions in front of them. A single length of white thread is wound around both their heads as a symbol of their unity. Senior family member and guests then gently pour water over the couple’s hands using a conch shell, at the same time offering them good wishes for their future life together.
The ceremony over, everyone then enjoys the wedding party – usually 100 to 300 guests. These days this may take many different forms depending on the couple’s preference – a buffet with Thai or Chinese food, a cocktail-style party or a sit-down dinner, usually with speeches and entertainment.
A Special Western-Style Wedding
On 28 February this year, Jena Surat and Mert Ulusoy decided to make their formal commitment in Phuket. Neither comes from the island – she is from Chiang Mai and he is from Turkey – but both have lived and worked in Phuket for about three years.
They chose to have a non-religious Western style ceremony. The bride worn a beautiful white gown and her beau a smart light-gray suit. A close friend performed the rites.
“We wanted our friends to be part of our wedding day, so we had the wedding in Phuket, where we met,” the new bride explained.
“I just can’t imagine a better, more romantic wedding than we had, aboard a wooden boat with the sunset as a backdrop. My parents flew from Chiang Mai and Mert's brother flew in from Istanbul to celebrate the moment with us.
The Ulusoys’ wedding is just one of many types of ceremony that can be organised in Phuket. Some couples come here specially to have Thai ceremony wedding. Others dream of a wedding on a tropical beach or on a private island, in a chapel on a lake, in a marina, in the jungle, at a private luxury villa or in a 100-year-old Phuket mansion – the possibilities are almost endless. All the top hotels in Phuket have long experience in making such dreams come true.
The Wedding Planner
The Chapel on the Lagoon is the perfect location to have a romantic wedding ceremony. With its picturesque location, the floating chapel on the lagoon provides a stunning backdrop for wedding photos.
Our wedding team is dedicated to organize your wedding and make it so easy for you that you won’t even notice that you are doing so from abroad! We offer a one-stop service for everything, from the flower arrangements, hair and make-up, photography and even a baby elephant to entertain you and your guests.
When Divia Lalvani wed chocolate heir Joel Michael Cadbury, they did it in the Royal Indian style at Amanpuri, followed by a week of partying at the Lalvani family business, the Royal Phuket Marina. The Lalvani-Cadbury wedding reportedly cost around USD 1.3 million, making it easily the grandest Phuket wedding of 2006.
Not everyone can afford a wedding as posh as the Lalvani-Cadbury one. Happily, there are plenty of options. A typical wedding package on the island usually will usually include a Thai or Western-style blessing ceremony with a celebrant to conduct the ceremony, a fresh floral bouquet for the bride and corsages for the groom and special guests.
It may also include fresh floral arrangements, the wedding cake and champagne (or sparkling wine), and a photographer or videographer to record the ceremony and reception. Some resorts offer live music and wedding spa packages, or such exotic extras as having a baby elephant join the ceremony, laser and fireworks shows or a plant-it-yourself “love tree” in the resort garden, for example.
The Choice Is Yours
Most hotels can easily assist with a dream wedding, but require a minimum of two weeks’ notice. Here are some examples of the wedding packages available on the island:
In the north of the island, the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa offers wedding packages starting from USD 1,290 and honeymoon packages starting from USD 917 for three nights.
The price for wedding chapel packages at Laguna depends on which hotel it is booked through: USD 3,400 at the Banyan Tree, USD 3,400 at the Sheraton Grande Laguna, USD 2,300 at the Dusit Laguna and USD 2,100 at the Laguna Beach Resort.
In Kata, the Katathani Phuket Beach Resort offers a wedding package at USD 2,600, while in Rawai, the Evason Phuket Resort & Six Senses Spa sells its Bon Island Wedding Package for USD 2,495. In Patong, the Blue Marine Resort & Spa, charges USD 1,030 for a Thai or Western wedding package and USD 1,225 for its Wedding on the Beach package.
The Legal Issue
A marriage in Thailand is legal only when officially registered. When this is done, the union is recognized throughout the world. Non-Thais must first get a letter of affirmation, in their native language. This is a declaration that you are free to marry. This letter must be taken to your embassy in Bangkok to be certified. Once this is complete, it must be translated into Thai and then certified again by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Tel: +66 (0)2 575 1056 – 59 or +66 (0)2 981 7171). You can turn up at the Register Office on any working day, produce all the relevant documentation and within 30 minutes leave with a marriage certificate.
If you want to have your marriage registered in Thailand, you can do the paperwork yourselves, but this can be a very time-consuming; there is a lot of running-around from one government office to another, mostly in Bangkok, where the relevant offices are. It is probably much easier to consult your wedding planner, who may be able to organise it for you. Usually this cost is between 5,000 and 10,000 baht. You should allow an extra four or five days at least for this process.
Here are the recommended wedding planners
The Wedding Bliss by Nanya - The Wedding Bliss provides an exceptional and comprehensive service for couples who seek to have their dream wedding and reception on one of the most beautiful islands on earth; Phuket, Thailand.
Contact number: +6680 588 3322 Email: [email protected]
Coral Seekers - With more than 10 years experience in conducting beach and island weddings in Phuket, Coral Seekers has an intimate knowledge of all the locations and practical considerations for planning such a special event. We also organise special Romantic Getaway speedboat charters to islands off Phuket, private beach dinners and sunset trips – perfect for celebrating your special union.Contact number: +6676221442 Email: [email protected]
- Rafting & Elephant Trekking
- Cruise on the June Bahtra to Phang Nga Bay
- Phi Phi Island by Speedboat
- Phuket Fantasea Show
- 4 in 1 Safari with Junk Cruise
- Phang Nga by speed boat + Canoe
- Bamboo Rafting or River Canoeing + Elephant Trekking + Elephant Bathing
- Krabi Highlights by Speedboat
- Khaosok Discovery (Canoe)
- Hong by Starlight with John Gray Sea Canoe