Spice up your wedding Thai style
Choosing a destination wedding in Thailand is a fabulous way to make that special day extra special. Even better, if you borrow some traditions from Thai-style ceremonies and celebrations you and your wedding guests can enjoy a unique celebration that not only suits your sense of independence, but also the location.
Thailand's varied and colourful culture is a rich source of ideas for non-native couples looking to add a little originality to their wedding ceremony and marriage celebration. From traditional costumes and elaborate flower decorations to ancient rituals and modern interpretations, the choice of appealing Thai inclusions is vast, and adding a little local flavour will definitely enhance your wedding day. Here are 5 popular ways to enrich the experience of a wedding in Thailand...
Arrive on an elephant
The elephant is one of the symbols of Thailand and has played an important role in its history and culture. In Thai legend it is even said that a marriage is like an elephant – the front legs represent the husband as they choose direction, while the wife is back legs, offering the power – together they provide strength and stability. Depending on your chosen location, it's easy to arrange for an elephant to carry you to the alter and it will even arrive dressed for the occasion.
Long Drum Parade
Traditionally a procession through the village to usher the groom bearing gifts to the house of his bride-to-be, the Long drum parade has now been adapted as a novel "wedding march" in many locations around Thailand. Local musicians, drummers and dancers dressed in colourful Thai costume accompany the bride and her bridesmaids to the wedding shrine, adding a real spectacle to the ceremony, and at the same time giving the guests some excellent photo opportunities.
Orange robed monks
Although Thai weddings are non-religious by nature, monks from the local temple are often invited to bless the union and this tradition has also become a popular part of the ceremony for foreign couples when they marry in Thailand. It is considered auspicious to invite three, five, seven or nine monks to perform the ceremony, who are offered food as a form of merit making and then chant their blessings while the couple kneels before them. To complete the rite, the most senior monk in the group will also bless the couple and their guests with a light splash of holy water.
Conch Shell Ritual
In traditional Thai wedding ceremonies, a village elder or member of the family is called upon to join the newlyweds together with white thread as a symbol of their union. He then fills a conch shell with holy water and pours it over their outstretched hands, with the wedding guests following his example. These simple but profound gestures add to the mystique of the ceremony and also give family and guests an active part to play.
In Thailand, as in other parts of Asia, it It is considered good luck to release lanterns into the sky. The concept is similar to the annual Thai tradition of Loy Kratong in November, when people decorate and release vessels into open water so the their troubles to float away. Particularly stunning at a beach wedding after the sun sets when guests can join the couple by releasing their own sky lanterns to create a spectacular display that decorates the night sky.
by MAX VEE
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