Married In Thailand, We did it!
Are you a foreigner wanting to get married in Thailand?
I’ve read many posts/forums on the things you need to do to get married in Thailand. Most of them conflicted with each other, some people saying you need one thing and others saying you don’t.
Here is my experience on the whole process, what I did right and what I did wrong. In the hope that you will be able to complete the whole process without any hassle.
Get to know us here. who we are and how we met.
Before you start reading this post, If you’re planning on getting married in Thailand in the next 1-3 months. Book your appointment with your embassy as fast as you can. If you are from the UK you can do that (here) Click Affirmation of marital status then book an appointment.
We found out the hard way, the British Embassy takes only around 15 appointments per day and is an appointment only service. When you first go on HMRC you will quickly find out that the day you wanted will already gone.
What we did!
We checked 3 times a day every day until an appointment opened up (a cancellation from someone else). Finally we booked for the 17th January 2019. Which was no good for us as we were only in Thailand until the 18th January, I booked it anyway. We kept on looking, a few days after finally another appointment came free on the 8th January 2019 at 8.40am. so I rescheduled for then.
Location of the British Embassy is (here)
14 Wireless Road
Documents needed for your embassy
Once you have your appointment its time to attend. There are two main things you need to attend your appointment.
- A completed Affirmation form (here)
- Authentic UK Passport
The affirmation document needs to be fully completed before you attend your appointment. Inserting all yours and your partners details leaving them in Bold Capitals so they are easily readable.
You do not need to take a photocopy of your passport with you. The Embassy will print you a high quality coloured photocopy after they certify your passport is real.
Extra documents you should take
- A Photo copy of your Partners ID card. You can either have your partner present while you are there or have their ID card on you or have a copy of the ID card. I chose to have a copy, they use this to check your partners details are correct on the affirmation form.
The officers behind the counters at the British Embassy are Thai people and speak great english. Even if you take your Thai partner along to help you the officer will speak mostly English with you both. After all its your Affirmation form not your partners.
- Copy of completed Affirmation form saved to your email account. Even though you may check your completed form ten times it may still have a spelling mistake or an error that you didn’t notice. A completed copy of the Affirmation form on your email is advisable.
Remember that the embassy will take your phone, Laptop, tablets and even battery banks or camera equipment of you before you are allowed to enter. They have a single computer inside the building for public use for if you have a problem. This is why I advise you to have it saved on your email not your laptop so you can access it on their computer.
Translation of the two documents
Once you have both your passport copy and your affirmation officially stamped by your embassy. It’s time to get them both translated from English to Thai.
Around the British Embassy there are a lot of translation offices that will translate your documents for you. My advice is go to the translation office near the (MFA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If for any reason your documents have not been translated correctly. The (MFA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs will give them back to you without a stamp and tell you to go back to the translation office to fix them. It’s a lot of messing about if you have to go miles out of your way back to the centre of Bangkok to get them re-translated correctly.
It’s worth noting, most of the translation companies will make the translations and complete all the next steps for you at an extra cost that is if you have the time. They will translate them, then post them to the (MFA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs then get them posted back to you. This process would take longer than I had allotted for. I did it all myself because I knew I could get it done quicker by going to the (MFA) building myself.
Catch the BTS to MoChit station then get a short taxi ride for around 100 – 140 Baht (Traffic dependant). Later in 2019 there will be more BTS stations opening so may be an easier way to get there. I will update as and when.
When you arrive there will be many touts that will be stood in the lobby wanting to do the whole process for you. Entirely up to you If you want to do it this way I don’t know their fees as I did not ask. Personally you have made it this far by yourself the rest is easy.
Inside the lobby you will see some escalators in front of you, go up them to the second floor. The translation office is directly in front of you at the top of the escalator you can’t miss it.
Translation office inside the MFA building
Once again the lady asked me several times “you want translation or want me to do whole process for you” Just translation please. The translation of the two documents cost me 900 baht in total. The process takes 2 hours they will give you a receipt and tell you to come back. To the left of this translation booth are some more stairs. You have two hours to kill so go upstairs and get a feel for the next step. Look around and watch the process for 5 minutes that’s what I did. Go downstairs grab yourself some food and think about the fact you will soon be married in Thailand.
After you get your documents back the whole reason you are here at the (MFA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to get them stamped as being official translations. To the left of the translation booth go upstairs again and join the first two queues on the left.
These will check you have all the correct documents and if you do they will give you a queue ticket. Sit on the seats and wait for your number to be called.
The documents I needed for this part
- Affirmation with official stamp from embassy
- Translation of the affirmation document
- Official copy of passport with stamp from embassy
- Translation of my passport
- Photocopy of Orawan’ ID Card
- Photocopy of my visa entry stamp into Thailand
It is also worth noting that they do a same day pick up service for those who pay a little extra. You have to get all your documents to the (MFA) upstairs before 12 o’clock. For me this was not possible as after I finished at the British embassy and got over to the (MFA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs building at 10.30 then had to wait for translation 2 hours.
Your number will be called pretty fast and you will go to counter 1-6. They will ask for your documents and 800 Baht for the four documents. It’s 200 Baht per document stamp you will have 4 documents that require stamps which are the first 4 in the column above. Then they will tell you to sit again and will call your name when your receipt is ready. This took about 20 minutes for me they gave me a receipt and told me to come back to collect in 48 hours.
If you see your number on one of the number screens but it has not yet been announced on the tannoy then wait until it is announced. I got moaned at twice by going up before my number was called but yet it was on the screen.
When you go to pick them up the final documents you should have are the
- Affirmation with two stamps one from your embassy and one from the MFA
- Translation of the Affirmation with MFA stamp
- Photocopy of passport with two stamps one from your embassy and one from the MFA
- Photocopy of passport with MFA stamp
Keep in mind that these official documents expire after 30 days. So will take a lot of planning to get everything perfect. From my appointment with my Embassy on the 8th January we were married on the 14th January 2019. We can confidently say this whole process can be done in 1 week if you both do a lot of forward planning.
All my costings as of 2019
3,225 Baht for both Affirmation and Official photocopy of passport with stamps from British Embassy
900 Baht for translations
800 Baht for 4 MFA official stamps
4,925 Baht Total remember this was with me doing the whole process myself so is possibly the cheapest way to be done
Actually getting married in Thailand
If you’ve made it this far then a congratulations is in order.
After that we could finally book the register to marry. Remember all of the official registers will not marry you Officially and it will not be registered in your home country unless you have completed all of the above steps. Most of them will not even let you make appointments until you have physically shown them your four stamped documents.
The Amphur office we went to was at Khet Bangrak Registration Office
5 Nares Road , Kwang Siphraya, Bangkok 10500. It’s a very popular venue in Bangkok for both foreigners and Thai people and booked up sometimes weeks in advance.
I turned up on the Friday morning to show them our documents so we could book for Monday morning. The lady told me the earliest appointment they had was 15 days from now. Or we can always come very early Monday morning and try to get a queue number.
Two things to know about this Amphur office
- It’s worth knowing you can only make an appointment here if you physically turn up with all your documents. They want to check you have the right documents before issuing any appointments. This is to save people booking appointments then getting turned away for not having the right documents and thus making other couples miss out on a slot.
Also they have room for only 5 walk-ins per day at a first come first served basis. The first five that turn up will be the only five that get married that day, along with the 10 couples that already have booked appointment slots.
Luckily we turned up at 4.30am that Monday morning and we were second in the queue with many more people arriving closely after us.
Checklist for getting married in Thailand
Congratulations once again. This was our experience on getting married in Thailand, hope this helps you.
Getting married in Thailand is a wonderful process if you don’t stress about all the paperwork. Remember this is the start of the rest of your life together. You’re in Thailand after all, a smile goes a long way.
DharmawanAugust 3, 2019 at 7:47 am
This was very helpful, but I’m wondering how did you go about finding the witnesses and translator for the signing/ceremony? Did Bangrak have translators/witnesses available on-site?
Mark LovattAugust 6, 2019 at 6:32 pm
Sorry for the late reply, our witness was Orawan’s best friend and her brother. They do ask for at least one family member to be present if you can.
Its worth noting that they do not have witnesses/translators on site, we asked this question ourselves but while we were sat waiting our translator (our friend) was running late. The security guard offered to be a witness/translator for a fee (under the table). Something to consider if you need an extra witness.
Tirza AlbertaAugust 15, 2019 at 11:48 am
Ah, I see!
Thank you for responding!