I got married on October 1st. I spent quite alot of time researching how I could possibly incorporate some traditional Thai or Buddhist elements into the actual wedding ceremony. We ended up wedging the Thai Water Ceremony smack into the middle of what would be a traditional wedding.
For those of you who may be considering doing the same, here is a description of what this is:
According to Thai tradition, the pouring of water is the most important part of the Thai wedding ceremony as it signifies the couple officially becoming husband and wife. Traditionally, this was all that was required to validate the marriage.
During the ceremony, the bride and groom kneel together, and a holy string is draped from one head to the other, forming a circle and connecting the couple. This symbolizes their spiritual union. They then ” Wai ” by clasping their palms together in the traditional prayer-like gesture while one by one, guests walk up and pour a conch shell full of sacred water over the couple’s hands while offering a blessing or marital advice. The water ceremony is usually performed by all guests older than the couple, with the grandparents and parents proceeding first, followed by relatives and friends of the family.
Things You’ll Need:
- The Mongkol (holy string): You’ll need to get these blessed by a monk. So find a temple near you or have relatives or friends send one from Thailand. Take note that you can only wear these ONCE! So no practicing with them 🙂
- A special table for kneeling so that your back won’t hurt! We went with just a regular table and chairs… and let me tell you, our back were hurting! (See if you can borrow this from a temple of the local counsulate)
- Two bowls (with flower arrangement) for the excess water to flow into
- The talcum powder to put on your foreheads. Add that to the list of things to get blessed.
- Holy (blessed) water. My mother smuggled this from Thailand despite the ‘no liquids’ on airplanes rule.
- The shell and bowls (parn) to refill the water. Borrow from the temple, counsulate or order them
- Garlands for the bride and groom