A traditional Thai wedding is a complex ceremony containing many rituals that may last for several hours. If you are the fiancé or part of the fiance’s family, you are expected to give the bride and her family certain wedding gifts prior to the wedding. If you are a guest, you should give a gift at the event or provide a donation to a local Buddhist temple.
From Guests: A Check
A check is the safest and most customary gift for a guest to give a couple at a Thai wedding. The check is traditionally given in the same envelope in which the guest received the wedding invitation, provided that the envelope bears the guest's name. The check should be presented at the registration area upon arrival. The amount of the check typically ranges according to the giver's social position and that of the bride and groom, but an average gift runs between 100 to 500 baht, or $3.30 to $16.60. However, if the guest has a high-paying job, holds a respected position in the community or has flown overseas to attend the wedding, a check of about 1,000 baht, or $33.25, is appropriate. Giving less than expected can make a guest appear stingy. If you are still unsure about the appropriate amount to give, ask the person who invited you to the ceremony.
From Guests: A Merit Gift
Guests may also choose to give a ritual “merit gift,” or donation, to the local Buddhist temple in the name of the bride-to-be. In Thai tradition, this ritual ensures that the couple experiences a love-filled marriage for life.
From the Fiance: Gold
During a traditional Thai engagement ceremony called the thong mun, the fiancé gives his bride-to-be gold, usually in the form of jewelry. The metal is always at least two baht of 96 percent pure gold from Thailand, which equals 30.4 grams. It is considered unlucky to give an odd number of baht.
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Victoria Smoothens has been writing for eCopywriters and Constant Content since 2006. She has been published on McSweeneys.net. Smoothens has a Bachelor of Arts degree in music performance and a minor in English.