Are you thinking about your personal fairytale right now? You plan to get married in a Thailand but don’t know where yet?
As your wedding symbolizes the celebration of your everlasting love, your wedding day should create everlasting memories as well. If you’re looking for a unique way to say “I do” while surrounded by your family and closest friends, a destination wedding in a romantic location would be the ideal choice for you.
Destination weddings are usually less expensive than at home plus it allows you to spend quality time with your family and friends while they visit you. If Thailand, and in particular, Chiang Mai appeals to you, you have to take a few but important things into consideration. Let’s dig in!
Why Chiang Mai is a great wedding destination?
Getting married in Chiang Mai is different from venues on the beach or cities because of its unique culture, natural beauty and hospitable people. Nowadays many couples wish to get married on the beach, but have you ever thought about getting married next to picturesque rice fields surrounded by a chain of gorgeous mountains? In a village where you get blessed by the elders? Think about this for a minute…
What’s the best time to get married in Chiang Mai?
Anytime except mid-February until mid-April as the air is heavily smogged, caused by farmers that burn their fields to get ready for a new season of crops. The air is grey and it lacks visibility throughout the city, definitely a time you wouldn’t like to get married. If you’re looking for pleasant temperatures consider travelling between October and January.
What type of ceremonies can be arranged?
Most wedding planners in Chiang Mai focus on traditional Lanna style weddings, simply because it’s the most requested type of wedding. Lanna style weddings reflect the northern Thai culture and take often place in rural sites outside the city with people from villages, traditional costumes and local music. If you’re looking for the most authentic way to get married in Chiang Mai, this is it!
That being said, every planner will be more than happy to customize the wedding according to your needs. Among the latest trends are so called secular weddings that are not based on any religious belief but based on your personal wants and beliefs. Of course, it’s also possible to arrange weddings according to your faith like Christian, Muslim or Chinese style.
What are the costs of a wedding in Chiang Mai?
That depends entirely on your wants and wishes, the number of guests, the food, etc. To give you an idea: Anantara Chiang Mai’s wedding packages start from 99.000 THB (2800 US$) for a Traditional Lanna Wedding, 50 people. That includes the set-up, decoration, refreshments & entertainment (meals would be extra).
Exchange of vows vs. legalized marriage
One major question you have to ask yourself before you start planning your wedding is whether you want your marriage to be officially registered in Thailand or ‘just’ want the celebration, known as ‘exchange of vows’. If you opt for legalizing your marriage in Thailand, do note that this requires a lot of paperwork before and after the wedding and naturally, higher costs.
In other words, you might consider spending some time in Bangkok to complete the paperwork with your embassy. There are several consulates in Chiang Mai, but each consulate has their own regulations, therefore it’s highly recommended to get in touch with them a few weeks or months before your wedding to seek their advice. Local wedding planners might be able to assist you, but that’s not always the case or a must. You can find more info on how to get legally married in Thailand at the end of the article.
The exchange of vows ceremony is basically a full wedding just without getting officially acknowledged. Usually, couples getting married at home and combine their honeymoon with a local wedding ceremony.
What else you need to think about
Simply put – time. Unless you plan a small private ceremony with only you and your loved one, you have to make sure to plan enough time between your arrival in Thailand and your wedding day (and enough time after, if you plan to legalize it). That gives you space to check some last arrangements and do some possible changes. In addition, if you arrive from overseas, you might battle with jet lag, speaking, you have some time to acclimatize. Allow yourself 2-3 more days after the wedding before you fly on your honeymoon – why would immediately pack and rush?
Recommended Chiang Mai Wedding Planners
Consulting a local wedding planner is a great option if you’re looking for someone who knows the area well and who can help you to find the perfect venue. In addition, hotels and resorts may offer only an exchange of vows while local wedding planners are definitely more experienced when it comes to planning legalized weddings.
Thailand Weddings is a Chiang Mai based award-winning wedding planner that started with a wedding boutique in 1994. They offer a one-stop-service for all your wedding needs, from consulting over planning to execution. The team also finds the right entertainment, the perfect cake, floral creations and rings upon request.
Marry Thailand is a successful wedding company that operates offices in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya & Phuket. The team here has a lot of experience under the belt and helps even with legalizing your marriage. They are specialized in religious and secular weddings.
The Wedding Bliss is another full-fledged wedding organizer that operates nationwide. They’re not offering wedding packages but are highly specialized in customizing each and every request in order to make each wedding as unique as possible.
Planning a lavish luxurious wedding in Chiang Mai? Then don’t look further. Some of the world’s greatest hotels have their offshoots in Thailand’s ‘Rose of the North’ and are only waiting for you to get married. The hands-on wedding –and event planners know how to fulfil dreams and leave no request to be desired.
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts are worldwide known for their excellent service. The hotel offers great ballrooms that are perfect for larger weddings. You can check their four wedding packages here or request for an individual proposal. Don’t forget to book your honeymoon right away as well.
Romantically situated between lush rice fields in Mae Rim comes this splendid resort that is part of one of the world’s most prestigious hotel chains. Their signature wedding is the ‘Thai Lanna Wedding’ where the elders from a neighbouring village will bless you and your loved one – it couldn’t be more authentic. For more info, check their wedding offers here.
Located right by the river, Anantara Chiang Mai is a secluded getaway from the rest of the city. Choose between three different wedding packages, whereas each comes with a distinct program that suits your wishes. Picture the day of your dreams in a garden full of flower petals while overlooking the smoothly flowing Mae Ping. Anantara’s renowned service makes sure that everything runs flawless on your big day!
Further notable hotels that take care of all your wedding requirements are the Le Meridien, 137 Pillars House, Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa and the Ratilanna Riverside Spa Resort.
Chiang Mai Wedding Registration Office
If you marry in Thailand and plan to make it legally valid, you have to register it with the civil registrar at the district office here in Chiang Mai. Before you can officially register your marriage, the civil registrar requires from your consulate or embassy a document stating your eligibility to get married. Contact your consulate or embassy before you fly to Thailand and ask them whether they provide this document which is required by Thai law. You would also need to get it translated and legalized.
Address: Intrawarorot Road, Tambon Sri-Poom, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai 50000; near Three Kings Monument.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Legalization Division
Department of Consular Affairs
Chiang Mai Provincial Hall Building
Chotana Road, T. Chang Puek, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000