03 Feb 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.
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: [email protected].
Make an appointment here.
Opening hours: 8am to 11am.
- 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.
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: [email protected].
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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: [email protected].
- 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).
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.
LamPosted at 18:29h, 10 July
I am a Maldivian. If we got marry in Thailand, will they send our marriage status to Maldives? Or we just have to go Maldives and renew it?
AmyPosted at 15:34h, 11 July
Hi Lam, when we got married in Thailand, our solicitor provided a legalised English translation of the documents for us to use back in the UK and that was all we needed according to UK law. I’m not sure about Maldivian rules though, perhaps you could contact a solicitor for advice?
Karen NicholsonPosted at 19:40h, 25 October
Hi, I adore your website, I travel to Asia a lot so I find it really useful.
My boyfriend and I want to get married in Bangkok in March 2018 then celebrate in Koh Lipe.
Would it be best if we organised the paperwork here in the Bangkok Embassy in London? Would we only need to book the local district office in Bangkok if we have the paperwork agreed here?
Thank you x
AmyPosted at 08:55h, 26 October
Hi Karen, thanks so much for your kind words 🙂 It’s the certificate of freedom to marry that you’ll need to organise first, so if I were you I’d contact the Bangkok embassy in London to find out if you can get that from them. I’d explain your plans and see what they say. You couldn’t make an advance appointment for the district office in Chiang Mai but you may be able to at the Bangkok one, again, I’d try to contact the district office in Bangkok to check this. There’s always the option of hiring a Thai lawyer to help with that too, we found one in Chiang Mai just by googling. Sorry I can’t be more help, good luck with everything.
AsmaPosted at 00:10h, 07 November
This site is really amazing.
I am an Algerian national and my fiance is a Yemeni national residing in UAE. I would like to know if the same procedure will be taken because unfortunately there is no Algerian embassy in Thailand to be contacted and what are the docs needed. In the same time how much time does it take to get the marriage certificate because we are planning to stay for 12 days only.
AmyPosted at 15:03h, 07 November
Hi Asma, thanks for reading and commenting. I don’t know for certain, but my guess would be that you need to get your freedom to marry certificates from your home countries before travelling to Thailand. Since you have a short stay in Thailand I’d also recommend contacting a Thai solicitor who can help you with the rest of the process once you arrive in the country. Good luck and best wishes 🙂
JuliePosted at 14:14h, 02 April
How happy am i to find your webpage. Me and my fiance are seriously contemplating getting married in Thailand next year. Is it easy enough to sort a wedding on the beach or would it be better if we did it at the local district office like you guys did?
AmyPosted at 18:56h, 03 April
Hi Julie, sounds great! You would need to go to the district office anyway to sort out the paperwork, most people do that and then have their ceremony at a beach/hotel/resort afterwards. If you plan to hire a wedding planning agency in Thailand, they will sort all this for you, or you can organise it yourself using the steps mentioned in the article. Good luck!
MelissaPosted at 15:37h, 03 April
Hi thank you for the advise!
me and my fiance are planning on getting married in Thailand Phuket in 2020 would we need to go to the Bangkok embassy before hand? This is all very new to me so im just trying to come to terms with the process 🙂
AmyPosted at 19:04h, 03 April
Hi Melissa, sounds like a great wedding! Yes, it is quite complicated. The best thing to do would be to either go through a wedding agency in Thailand to help you with the process. However, you will need proof that you’re free to marry, we got this from the embassy in Bangkok, if you’re coming from your home country though it may be possible for you to get that certificate before you come to Thailand so you can skip the Bangkok embassy. I’m not exactly sure if this is possible, you could contact a solicitor for advice, email the British embassy in Bangkok or speak to Citizens Advice in your home country and see what they say. Good luck and let us know how it goes, it would be great to add that information to this post.
brian wallingtonPosted at 21:16h, 26 August
Hi, I want to marry my Thai girlfriend next year Feb – Mar time 2019, I saw your story, and its what I am looking for too, as I am British and she is Thai will cost change?
AmyPosted at 10:04h, 29 August
Hi Brian, to be honest, I couldn’t tell you for sure, I’m sure your Thai girlfriend will be able to find out for you though. I imagine it would be a lot easier as she can do the translating for you.
Leonard LevinePosted at 10:45h, 21 September
Since neither of us are hai nationals, and wish to use Ban Amphur staff as witnesses, what do we need to pay them?
AmyPosted at 14:36h, 21 September
Hi, thanks for your comment. Unfortunately I’m not sure if/how much you need to pay for the witnesses, the best thing to do would be to give the office a call and see what they say. Good luck!
Carla MingarPosted at 21:19h, 28 July
Hiya I’m thinkin of getting married in Thailand in 2021, we are both British nationals! Do we need to be in Thailand a minimum number of days before we are able to complete these steps? Or can we do it as soon as we arrive??
AmyPosted at 15:10h, 29 July
Hi Carla, I think you can do it as soon as you arrive. You may be able to get the confirmation of freedom to marry from the UK before you leave for Thailand, which might speed things up. I’d contact the Thai embassy just to check that. Otherwise, you should be good to go! Good luck 🙂
Karl piercePosted at 18:02h, 31 July
Great stuff guys, thank you so much for sharing, my partner and I would like to get married in Thailand at xmas. However I have been married previously so obviously with correct paperwork in hand, do you think it would still be a fairly smooth process ?
AmyPosted at 11:06h, 09 August
Hi Karl, it should be fine as long as you have the correct paperwork, you can always email the embassy to double-check everything beforehand. Good luck and congrats!
Lani V. CoxPosted at 07:25h, 03 August
Thanks so much for this useful information. I wanted to know though how long did it take after you had the documents from the British Embassy? I noticed 2 days for the notarization. Just trying to plan out how long to be in CM. We’re American so there’s an Embassy already there. Thanks again!
AmyPosted at 10:31h, 19 August
Hi Lani, so sorry for the late reply. Yes, it took 2 days for the notarization, you can complete the process at the Ampur office as soon as you like after that. Good luck!
Lani V. CoxPosted at 06:18h, 09 September
Thanks, Amy. I wanted to let you and your readers know that I contacted Language Corner and these are their new costs: “The price for document relate to the need only translation are 500 baht per page. Any document sent to the Foreign Ministry Affairs will be an additional cost of 1,000 baht per page. Normal service will takes 7-10 days, and an additional cost for fast service is 1,500 baht per page, will take 3 days. For this process we require you and your fiancée’s original documents, copy of passports and a valid visa that will not expire within the next 10 days (with signatures), and a letter granting power of attorney (issued by Language Corner). After we have these things, we will start the process of translating and certifying your documents.”
As someone who lives and works in Thailand, these costs seem quite high and unreasonable. Folks might want to do some research and find a more reputable place. Thanks again, Amy.
AmyPosted at 16:23h, 17 September
Hi Lani, thanks for the update and extra info! Hope all your wedding plans go smoothly
rafael casaresPosted at 06:13h, 14 November
what the requirements to get married in Thailand
AmyPosted at 11:59h, 04 July
Hi, please see the info outlined in this post to start with, you can also follow up with your home embassy to see what you need for your nationality. Best wishes with it all.