Thailand Legal Marriage Requirements: Top 5 Facts
1. Most couples prefer to get “legally” married in their home country.
Brides and grooms come to Thailand / Phuket not because it is an easy place to register a marriage, but because it is truly a unique and world class paradise-like environment to have a dreamy ceremony by the beach at a reasonable price with great weather, food and fabulous service. Also the interfaith non-denominational and secular (non-religious) Wedding Ceremonies such as those performed by CelebrantPhuket.com are exactly what most couples are looking for in a modern ceremony.
2. If you want to get legally married here, in most cases — you can! That said, you will need to visit Bangkok for at least half a day in order to obtain paperwork form your embassy.
After the initial embassy visit, agents can take care of the remaining processes for you at a fee. After you get the paper from your embassy (usually with an appointment in-person) which states that you are actually eligible to marry; you or your agent then needs to have that paper translated and legalized by the Thai government.
A selection of countries, with few exceptions, will not permit their citizens to marry here. As of this article writing (August 2016) these include: Burma, Cambodia, Peru, China proper, Vietnam and India. There is no specific legal reason for this, they simply will not issue the required documents.
3. Couples can do some steps themselves without an agent, or they can work with an agent (wedding planner/resort/celebrant/wedding agency) to help with everything after the initial embassy visit.
There are many well-detailed guides online about the process of getting married as foreigners in Thailand, so I will not go into all the particulars here. Please be sure to find a recent guide however — because the wait times in Bangkok can change slightly (as of recently, 3 days are required).
In the first step, eligibility to marry paperwork is obtained at a couple’s embassy in Bangkok, translated by an agency and legalized by the Thai government.All next steps can be done outside of Bangkok. This involves visiting a local government “Amphur” office with all paperwork, where couples can finally register their marriage. However do not expect the Thai government officers will speak any English at all, or even be willing to help you — it is much simpler to hire an agent/agency/resort, wedding planner or Thai friend to join you and translate for the Amphur visit. Contact us if you require this type of assistance, we can help! For those willing to pay a bit more, a VIP full-service package can handle all this very professionally.
4. If you would like to register your wedding on-site at your ceremony, it is also possible.
For this service and unless you speak Thai, you will almost certainly require help to book the government official to sign your certificate at the ceremony. Witness names will already be entered on the certificate. The government official may attend your ceremony in official regalia, it is part of the VIP package and fee for legal marriage registration in Thailand.
5. After you are officially married in Thailand, do not forget to have your certificate translated back to your home country’s language! This should come in very handy, as brides and grooms will likely want their home country to recognize their foreign-registered marriage!Luckily, the vast majority of countries will happily recognize your new status once all the paperwork is in order.Now enjoy your wedding planning and honeymoon — you may wish to contact us for getting this paperwork out of the way with the least amount of hassle!