Chef Win, an occasional guest chef on this site and friend marries another close friend Boom and naturally I went to their wedding in Bangkok. I've never been to a Bangkok wedding, so I want to see what traditions they have here. Different regions have their own traditions, but with a lot of similarities.
I was a little worried that the anti-democracy protests would disrupt the wedding, they've been marching on the streets of Bangkok, invading government offices and cutting power lines. But I never saw them, except on television, and the wedding went smoothly.
A 6:30am start for the religious ceremony. With 9 monks on hand to do the religious chanting and prayer. This will be a full traditional wedding, with all the trimmings!
Professional photographers are on hand to make lah-di-dah professional photographs. I on the other hand will be taking photographs of the carpets, lamps and other decor. I decided I would make desktop wallpapers of the textures of their wedding, and leave the professionals to do their job better than I could. Right click on the photos and select 'save link as' to save the linked wallpaper, and you can celebrate their wedding too.
Tradition states that the future groom, marches to the wife's home, demanding to be let in, then seeks her out from whichever room she is hiding. Even though we're at Elephant building, Chef keeps up the tradition, marching down the corridor, into the wedding hall waving leaves and screaming like a banshee. Once in, he searches the side room to find his bride, is she in this room? No, is she in this one? No, Ahhh there she is!
The dowry is next, a substantial sum of money, property, gold and expensive sought after Buddha pendants are given from the groom and family to the brides mother as compensation for the loss of her daughter. This is for face more than for profit. The parents have agreed to the marriage and the money is unimportant, only for show to the guests.
In the north, we tie string around the wrists of the marriage couple, representing our good wishes. In Bangkok, they pour water over the hands and speak words of wisdom.
In the evening party we were fed well with Chinese dishes, and Boom and Win put on a video showing them as children, and performing a song they had composed together.
It's not the wedding, it's the marriage.