Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife
— Franz Schubert, Austrian Composer
After Warin and I decided that we were perfect for each other; it was time to plan the wedding ceremony. At first, we had decided on a wedding studio where her family originally lived in Khon Kaen. We thought the wedding studio was a great location, but we had a problem because only a few of her relatives were there, and we couldn’t get her friends and relatives to travel all the way to Khon Kaen.
So we had to think of something else; somewhere closer to where she was currently living in Nakhon Sawan. The best solution was to change the location from the wedding studio to a resort area where many of the teachers that she worked with would have their wedding ceremonies. This took care of the problem of choosing a place that all the guests could easily travel to for the ceremony.
The owner of Mamaungpaa Hillside Resort was a nice man and was involved in a lot of the wedding planning; we were able to work out all the costs and details such as decoration and location. The principal and teachers of Preeyachot School, where my wife works, were able to help us with a lot of the decorating and planning.
We hired a makeup artist and photographer who were friends with Warin. Looking back, I wish I had considered more time with my look, but we were on a tight schedule already.
We started things off with the traditional Thai Kan Maak ceremony. It’s a sort of procession that starts with the groom and a small group carrying flowers for the bride and other decorations or flowers. The second part of the Kan Maak ceremony is called the Golden Gate Barrier ceremony, and it involves the groom walking towards two people that are supposed to be gatekeepers before he can move. The groom has to give the two people an envelope of money as a gift before they can move to the next group of two people. These people are usually close relatives or friends of the bride and groom; that deem the groom able to care for the bride by gifting them the money in the envelope. After you move through the gatekeepers; you eventually go to the center stage where you are seated and wait there for the next ceremony.
The second ceremony involved the Bai Sri tray. After we have walked to the main stage; the Bai Sri is presented along with the other trays for the Sin Sod as the offering to the bride’s family. It contained the wedding rings for both the husband and wife and the Thai dowry, which is called the Sin Sod. Once accepted by the bride’s family we exchanged rings and then the elders will place the wedding garlands on both of us, and we sit on chairs and await the next ceremony.
The next ceremony is the Sai Sin or white thread ritual; which involves each of the guests coming to both the bride and groom and tying a white thread on their wrist as well as some words of good luck and support of their marriage. After many kind words, we cut the cake; I was expecting a small cake knife, but it was a large sword! Thai weddings usually use a long sword instead of a kitchen knife. After the cake cutting, we took some more group photos.
After that, we got a little more comfortable and started having dinner with all the guests. It was mostly a Thai menu, but I also cooked some Indian food. The Thai cooking was made by the hotel owner’s wife and kitchen staff. And since I wanted to include an Indian biryani as well; they let me cook right alongside them. Everything was great. We all enjoyed an excellent meal; did a little mingling with all the friends and family that came to the wedding. And towards the end of the evening, we went to our hotel room at the resort where we spent the night as husband and wife.
That night we were both happy we got through the hectic ceremony. It wasn’t really the ceremony so much as it was just all the planning that led up to it. We got into some heated arguments days before the ceremony; which happens unfortunately to many couples during their ceremonies. But it was just wedding planning tension, and we got through it. The next morning, we said our goodbyes to the resort owner and his wife, and we had to move quickly for our trip to the beachside resort in Pattaya for our honeymoon! Although we only had a night of rest; we knew we would only get a chance to have quality time together during our one-week honeymoon reservation.