Sunday, 26 August 2007

Sao's wedding

Sao is my wifes best friend.

Since a couple of months it was decided that today was a good day to get married, according to the monks. So, we're off to the mainland, to Donsak, where she originates from. Donsak is also where the ferry arrives from Samui and this weekend proofs to be a very popular weekend for marriages, all the monks must've looked in the same crystal ball, since it's marriage galore, everywhere are marriage parties, both Samui and the mainland.
The hotel we're staying at in Surat Thani has a party every night as well.

Sao in her wedding dress. She's in her room in her house, where she had to stay all morning, waiting for the groom to show up.

The groom and his family are arriving. The women of his family have been sent in first!

The groom has to pay a fee for every door that he enters in Sao's house. He will give the holders of the gold chains a small amount of money in an envelope. The chains are normally held by the bride's friends.

The groom arrives with his posse. His Dad in front and he's on the left next to him.

Before he can enter the actual house, he must take off his shoes, which in this case is done for him.

One of the envelopes that is used to 'bribe' his way into the house.

Entering the living room, where the actual wedding ceremony takes place.

Earlier this morning, around 6 am, the monks came to the house and had a blessing party.

The actual wedding is about to start and prayers are held.

The ceremony is not supervised by monks, but by elder people, in this case the Grand Mother of the bride. The elderly are very well respected in Thai culture.

The dowry, or Sin Sot in Thai, is paid to the father of the bride (the Mother has already passed away a few years earlier).

Here's the complete dowry, about 50.000,-Baht for this wedding, a golden wedding ring, a gold wrist chain and a golden necklace. The gold is worth a few bath as well, in this case, the word Bath is used as a weight rather than the monetary variation. One bath equals about 10 gram (if memory serves me correctly) and is currently valued at about 12.000,-Baht per Bath.

Putting on the wedding ring.

The bride thanks the groom for everything.

The groom receives his ring, so he can proof he's married.

Final blessings by the elderly.

A few over the crowd that gathered in the room, watching the ceremony.

Than we were off to the groom's village, about 70 km away from Sao's village, since she had to meet the groom's family elders, who all gave their blessing.

Around the corner of the groom, one of my wife's other very good friends lives. Sao, Kob (the other friend) and my wife all went to the same school and university.

This is Kob's beautiful wooden house, in the middle of nowhere, very relaxed.

Sofar it's been an eventful and busy day. We have a short break now but are almost on our way again for this afternoon's wedding party in Donsak at Sao's, to be held in the school grounds next to her house. About 400 to 500 people are expected during the evening.

It was interesting to experience the wedding for me, since it's the first time I actually witness the actual wedding. Parties for which we are about to leave soon, I've visited plenty of times in Samui already.

Hope you enjoy the pictures, more pix later from the party.

Please feel free to leave comments.


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