Dowry in Thailand
Getting married in the Land of Smiles is definitely something to look forward to, with exchanging vows to forever amidst Thailand's colorful landscapes. Be it wedding by the beach or a traditional Thai wedding, there's one unique concept one has to understand when planning to get married in Thailand.
The concept of dowry is a topic that has been met with much curiosity and many queries due to varying opinions about it. The Thai dowry system is an important aspect of Thai culture and goes hand in hand when Marriage in Thailand is discussed. More popularly known as Sin Sod, this is paid as a sign of gratitude to your Thai bride's parents for the good upbringing of their daughter. The dowry is mandatory at any Thai wedding ceremony, as Thais view marriage as based on financial stability.
Why Have a Dowry System in Thailand
Apart from thanking your Thai fiancee's parents for being able to raise their daughter as the great person you're marrying, you are also paying dowry to prove that you are financially able enough to take care of your Thai bride for the rest of your lives. This system is directly linked to Thai culture as it places great emphasis on family relations that go beyond the marriage.
The payment of dowry is a symbolic aspect of a Thai marriage, and the amount (or most of it) is usually returned to the couple after the wedding to help them get a headstart on their new life together. However, during the legal marriage registration there is no need for the presentation of the dowry as this is only required during the Thai wedding ceremony.
How Much Dowry to Pay
One aspect of the Thai dowry system that has been met with much speculation is the price range to be paid upon marriage. Most Westerners are met with some confusion when the concept of Sin Sod is discussed.
The price of dowry to be paid for your Thai bride is based on a combination of her social status, educational attainment, occupation, family background, and all other related aspects of her upbringing. Therefore, you should expect a higher dowry to be paid when you're marrying a university-educated Thai lady from a middle-class family, most especially if she is still a virgin at the time of your wedding. In these cases the average dowry price is expected to be set at 100,000 - 300,000 baht.
On the other hand, Thai dowry prices would be significantly lower if you are marrying a Thai lady from a humble background and living on modest means. A lot of foreigners usually encounter a case wherein their fiancée asks for a ridiculously high price of up to a million baht for dowry even though she has not finished school or has previous experience working as a bargirl. This is one common scenario, but one has to keep in mind that if your bride-to-be is not a virgin anymore, comes from a low-income family, has a child from a previous relationship, or has already married previously, then she doesn't really deserve to be paid dowry anymore.
Getting married is one of the most important life-changing decisions one can ever make, and it is best to be well-informed about all its accompanying procedures and address all the issues prior to taking the big plunge. At Siam Legal, we are looking forward to assisting you with all the services you would require and answer all the questions that you may have with Marriage in Thailand.