Getting married is one of the most important life-changing decisions one can ever make and getting married in Thailand “the Land of Smiles” is definitely something to look forward to but you’ve got one major question before taking the big plunge. “How much dowry do I need to pay for my bride?” is a question that always pops up along with the other requirements for Marriage in Thailand.

“The Thai dowry system” (in Thai culture man give dowry for his bride) is a topic that has been met with much curiosity and many queries due to varying opinions about it. The Thai dowry system is an important aspect of Thai culture and goes hand in hand when Marriage in Thailand is discussed. More popularly known as “Sin Sod”, this is paid as a sign of gratitude to your Thai bride’s parents for the good upbringing of their daughter.

It is a way of honoring your bride’s parents for raising their daughter well. This is also a way of showing that you are financially capable of taking care of your Thai bride throughout your married life, because her parents tend to consider financial security as basis for the marriage.

One aspect of the Thai dowry system that has been met with much speculation is the price range to be paid upon marriage. Most Westerners are met with some confusion when the concept of Sin Sod is discussed.

The price of dowry to be paid for your Thai bride is based on a combination of her social status, educational attainment, occupation, family background, and all other related aspects of her upbringing. Therefore, you should expect a higher dowry to be paid when you’re marrying a university-educated Thai lady from a middle-class family, most especially if she is still a virgin at the time of your wedding.

In these cases the average dowry price is expected to be set at 100,000- 1,000,000 baht (or more!!!).

You will need to negotiate with your bride’s parents regarding the amounts of the Sin Sod and “Tong Mun”. Tong Mun, which means gold engagement, is 24-karat gold that you give to your wife-to-be. The rule of thumb is, the higher the amount of the gold, the better. This is similar to the giving an engagement ring in the West.

On the other hand, Thai dowry prices would be significantly lower if you are marrying a Thai lady from a humble background and living on modest means. A lot of foreigners usually encounter a case wherein their fiancée asks for a ridiculously high price of up to a million baht for dowry even though she has not finished school or has previous experience working as a bargirl.

This is one common scenario, but one has to keep in mind that if your bride-to-be is not a virgin anymore, comes from a low-income family, has a child from a previous relationship, or has already married previously, then she doesn’t really deserve to be paid dowry anymore, would say “no money no honey”.

One important thing that you should keep in mind when discussing Thai dowry is that its amount is based on your Thai fiancee’ status, education, occupation and other related social background information (such as her virginity). An average middle-class, university-educated Thai lady deserves a dowry of 100,000- 300,000 baht.

A dowry of a million baht for an uneducated lady of modest means is just ridiculous. Thai dowry prices fall drastically if your bride-to-be has been previously married, already has children, or is not a virgin anymore. In fact, in most of these instances, no dowry deserves to be paid.

Thai dowry, however, is usually symbolic in nature and will normally be returned to the married couple after the wedding, to help them start on their new life. When registering your Marriage in Thailand, there is really no need to show proof that you have paid dowry, as it is presented during the actual wedding ceremony itself.

Marriage in Thailand can be the best experience you will ever have, but it would be best to inform yourself as much as possible about all its traditions and requirements. It would be best to engage the services of a reputable Thai law firm who can assist you with Marriage Registration in Thailand and even drafting a Prenuptial Agreement to secure your assets prior to your union with your Thai fiancée.

You marry me because of “true love” or “financial reason”?

From Chiangrai Bulletin

By Dr. Manta