How to get married in Thailand

Fancy getting married on a white-sand beach surrounded by crystal waters? I’m sure that’s how most people imagine a Thai wedding, but Andrew and I decided to keep things much simpler. In fact, it took us just a few days of planning and less than £300 to tie the knot here in Chiang Mai. If you’re thinking of getting hitched in the Land of Smiles, here’s our step-by-step guide on how to get married in Thailand.

Us with our Thai Marriage Certificates at the Amphur Office in Chiang Mai

Us with our Thai marriage certificates

Getting married in Thailand for foreigners

For your marriage to be legally recognised in Thailand and your home country (here’s the UK Government advice about getting married abroad) you need go through the proper legal process. You can’t just rock up, have a beautiful beach-side ceremony and go home again.  Whether you’re a foreigner marrying a Thai person or two foreigners marrying each other, Thailand marriage laws require you to follow the procedure outlined below.

To give you some background information, Andrew and I are both British citizens with no children or previous marriages and we got married in Chiang Mai in January 2017. Read more about our Thai wedding story and why we decided to get hitched in Thailand.

1) Get an affidavit of freedom to marry

To get married in Thailand, you need to first prove that you’re not married to anyone else. That means getting an affidavit of freedom to marry from your country’s embassy. If you’re British like us, you’ll need to make an appointment at the British Embassy in Bangkok and fill out this form. Don’t forget to take your passport and the fee of £50 (2,300 THB) per person. The officials are quite strict so make sure you arrive on time and dress smartly. We made a mistake with our forms and had to fill out new ones and then wait for the certificate to be processed. The whole thing took around 45 minutes. Here’s the information for the British Embassy in Bangkok:

Address: 14 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330.
Phone number: +66 2 305 8333.
Email: consularenquiriesbangkok@fco.gov.uk.
Make an appointment here.
Opening hours: 8am to 11am.

British Embassy in Bangkok

The British Embassy in Bangkok

Notes:

  • You’ll have to provide details of exactly what month and district you plan to get married in, so be prepared for this. If you don’t get married within the month specified on your affidavit, you’ll have to get a new one.
  • If you’re marrying a Thai person, they’ll need to bring their ID card and House Registration Document.
  • If you’ve been married before you’ll also need to provide proof that your previous marriage has been legally terminated with a death or divorce certificate. Provide the original document along with a Thai translation.

2) Get your affidavit translated into Thai

Next, you need to get your affidavit translated into Thai. We hired a solicitor to help us with the marriage process and the translation was included in his fee. However, you can easily get translations from agencies in Thailand for around £4-11 (200 to 500 THB). If you’re getting married in Chiang Mai, Language Corner in Nimmanhamein charges 500 THB for translations.

Us in the Chiang Mai District Office getting our marriage certificates

Getting our marriage certificates

3) Get your translation notarised at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Take the original and translated copy of your affidavit, as well as your passport with a photocopy of the photo page to your local Ministry of Foreign Affairs office. You’ll need to fill in a form and pay a fee of £4.50 (200 THB) to get your document notarised, which takes two working days. Here are the details for the Chiang Mai Ministry of Foreign Affairs office:

Address: Chiang Mai Provincial Hall Building, Chotana Road, Tambon Chang Phueak, Amphoe Muang Chiang Mai 50300.
Phone number: 053 112 748 50.
Email: consularmfachiangmai@gmail.com.
Website: www.chiangmai.go.th.
Notes:

  • If you’re marrying a Thai person they’ll also need to take their ID card and House Registration Document.

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4) Register your marriage at the District Office (Ampur)

To complete your marriage registration in Thailand, you need go to your local District Office. Some offices put a cap on the number of people they marry in one day, so check whether you need to make an appointment first. In Chiang Mai, we simply turned up and joined the queue. Here’s what you need to take with you:

  • Both of your passports with photocopies of the photo page.
  • The notarised copies of your affidavit of freedom to marry (take the originals as well to be safe).
  • Two Thai witnesses with ID cards.
Chiang Mai District Office

Chiang Mai District Office

You’ll sign the legal documents in front of an official and your witnesses and then receive your Thai marriage certificates. This costs just £6-7 (300 THB). Here are the details for the Chiang Mai District office:

Address: Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand.
Phone number: +66 90 474 0398.
Notes

  • If you’re marrying a Thai person they’ll also need to take their ID card and House Registration Document.

5) Get your marriage certificate translated

Lastly, our solicitor translated and notarised our Thai marriage certificate into English in case we need to show it back in the UK. If you want to get this done independently, you’ll pay another £4.50-11 (200 to 500 THB) for the translation and around £4.50 (200 THB) for notarisation.

Our Thai marriage certificates

Our Thai marriage certificates

6) Have a ceremony

Now for the fun part! Thailand is the perfect place to have a fancy wedding and it’ll probably cost a lot less than it would in your home country. So, where are the best places to get married in Thailand? Many couples choose Thailand wedding packages in the southern islands like Phuket and Ko Pha Ngan, while others opt to get married in cities, mountains or jungle resorts. Although we didn’t have a ceremony, we did go on a mini honeymoon in Chiang Mai at the luxurious Veranda Resort.

The beautiful Veranda Resort, Chiang Mai

The beautiful Veranda Resort, Chiang Mai

How much does a wedding in Thailand cost?

So, how much does it actually cost to get married in Thailand? Here’s a breakdown of what we spent:

  • Certificates of Freedom to Marry: £100 (£50 each), that’s 4,600 THB.
  • Solicitor’s fee: £170 (7,500 THB). It’s perfectly possible to complete the whole Thai marriage process independently but we chose to hire a solicitor so we didn’t have to do the legwork, struggle with the Thai forms and provide our own witnesses. Our solicitor was great and had the cheapest fee we could find in Chiang Mai, here are his details:

Name: AD Legal Firm Ltd.
Address: 188/12 The Trio 1st floor, Huay Kaew Road, Changpueak, Chiang Mai 50300.
Telephone number: 053 22 33 59.
Email address: krit@adlegalfirm.com.
Website: www.adlegalfirm.com.

  • Total price of our Thai marriage: £270 (12,100 THB).

We spent an extra £188 on flights and accommodation for our trip to the British Embassy in Bangkok, so if you add that on, the total comes to £448 (19,900 THB).

A pool selfie at the Veranda Resort and Spa, Hang Dong

Getting married in Thailand

Cost of getting married in Thailand without a solicitor

If you opt to complete the entire Thai marriage process yourself, here’s what the cost could look like:

  • Certificate of Freedom to Marry: £100 for two people (4.600 THB).
  • Translations (x 4): £18 – £44 (800 – 2,000 THB) based on one translation costing £4.50 – £11 (200 -500 THB).
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs notarisation (x 4): £18 (800 THB), that’s £4.50 (200 THB) per document.
  • Registering the marriage at the district office – £6.50 (300 THB).
  • Total: £168.50 (7,700 THB).

Getting married in Thailand was a great option for us. We were able to get everything sorted for just a few hundred pounds with minimum fuss, which was just what we were looking for. Are you considering getting married in Thailand?  If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below.

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