The Buddhist elopement wedding
The Buddhist elopement wedding is a Thai wedding we offer in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. It can optionally be lawfully registered if you desire. So it can be a legally recognised marriage back home. We offer a romantic traditional Lanna wedding blessing with the early morning offerings and the temple blessing. This elopement wedding ceremony is perfect for couples who want just the most simple and amazing Thai wedding possible with maybe a witness or two from back home.
The Thailand Elopement
We start before evening arriving in Thailand by making sure the paperwork needed by the Thai government and your embassy or consulate in Thailand are in order, if you want to register your marriage legally under thai law.. To assure the marriage can be legally registered in Chiang Mai.
Thai wedding attire
We usually meet the couple before the wedding day to choose Thai attire for the blessing at the temple. We will take the couple to our place to try on the Thai clothes and firm up details for the big day. In the early morning, most couples choose to wear comfortable western wear early in the morning when we go to the local market to gather the morning offerings ingredients for monks. Thai wedding day schedule As mentioned, we start before the crack of dawn with us going to collect you from your city hotel or Guesthouse. Yes is early, but that is great as you will see the side of Chiang Mai few travellers rarely see or experience. We drop you off at the shop which is where I also live. From there we walk to the local morning market where they sell prepared foods as well as treats, flowers and fresh vegetables. We will choose the best food for the monks. With arms full of goods we catch a local “samlours” (a pedal rickshaws) back to the shop. There the two of you portion out the rice to 9 equal servings. And make nine pretty offerings of flowers, three incense and one candle for each monk. I must say it is fun to watch the couple try to do this with each having their ideas of the best way to achieve this task together. I said we would collect your from you place first thing well I forgot to mention that you will have a professional wedding photographer chronically your special day. So I hope your not camera shy or you will feel a bit like a celebrity followed around by paparazzi, but yours is a sweet unobtrusive Thai man called Art.
Buddhist Monk Morning Offerings
Then we walk to my shop to assemble and make the offering for nine monks who we will give the food and offering to as they do their morning collects from people. We are surrounded by temples so seldom do we not have at least nine monks wander by the shop which is on the main road in what has been the traditional silversmith area. As the dawn’s light starts to break the darkens you both will be instructed, in the proper etiquette of making offerings to monks by myself (Jit). We will then collect the food and other offering and set up on a table on the edge of the street will with any luck soon the first monk will wander by you will make your offering. As the monks come in all shapes sizes and ages in our area there often great opportunities for unique shots that will always remind you of your fantastic experience. You will often find that the older monks desire to offer you a special blessing for a beautiful life together, as well some of the younger ones like to practice their English with you as is often now taught in the temple schools.
Now depending on how you feel we often have a light snack of some of the stranger local treats that we will have collected at the market if you are a foodie. That could be sticky rice or northern specialises or sweets as this market is just for locals in the morning. So lots of foods here cannot easily be found in the south or central Thailand. Then most couples want to go back to their place and relax and freshen up before heading the temple.
Temple Blessing for the wedding couple
Now in traditional Thai wedding attire. We will take you to a unique auspicious local temple where three well-respected monks will bless you. The temple is a short drive away, and in spite of its closeness to the centre of the city, it is a well-hidden gem from the average traveller. There you will feel the truly spiritual bonding that no other wedding than a Lanna wedding will create.
I may be a bit impartial, as I too had a “Lanna” wedding blessing when I married. Let me state that even the Thai government will officially tell you that the most romantic Thai wedding is a Lanna wedding – in case you do not know Lanna is the name of “the northern Thailand Kingdom” which was in olden days a separate kingdom from “Siam” which was the central Thailand Kingdom. May I also state that we Lanna women are famous for being in the most beautiful in Thailand! OK not alI, but some of us must be smart instead. I regress. The blessing will be of many parts and best I explain the order on the day. It will have the trying of threads on your wrists and joining of heads and minds together as well as dots on foreheads but worry not, I am there to lead and explain to you the purpose and means as well as to translate for you. Hope you like chanting and traditions as we have lots of them.
Merit-making for your life together.
OK, we are a bit of a superstitious lot us Thais, but if you believe in duality or Karma, it can’t hurt. Right! So for creating merit, we release birds and fishes or maybe even the odd turtle or two to bring good luck or to make merit. The choice of terms is yours, but for the fish, birds or reptiles it is a chance to live another day and not be eaten. Yes, Thais are known to believe that if it walks, flies, slither or swims it taste good or at least taste to find out… So birds and fish are often saved by this act. You can release nine baby fish into the river or a flock or couple for birds on your special day. That is what you will do for merit after the temple blessing.
Now some portrait shots and more wedding photographs
Your wedding photographer, his name as is Art, so you remember that right? He will be ready for letting out his love of posed and location shoots with your consent. He would love to take you around a bit and do some newlywed shots with Chiang Mai as your background.
If you choose to make you day a legal under Thai law we will take you to register your marriage in Chiang Mai registry office which now a bit of a drive from the city proper. This will mean you must first get consent from your embassies in Thailand, beforehand and will take planning. It must be arranged before you come to Thailand. Best we discuss the legal aspect and embassy requirements on a case by case by email.
The registration can be finalised on your wedding day, only if it is a government work day or can be arranged on another day. We can talk about this and any other questions you may have.
The base cost of the Thai Buddhist Elopement wedding is only 19,000 baht. For all details of what that includes best to email me.
If you want to have your marriage legally registered under Thai law it is an extra 9,000 baht plus your embassy fees.
Contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org or see our contact page for more ways we can communicate.