If you have been invited to a Thai wedding, it can be difficult to know what gift to give to the bride and groom. Only close family and friends will be invited to the Buddhist ceremony; other friends and acquaintances will be invited to the evening reception. A Thai wedding is full of traditional customs, so it is important to respect these if you are attending. Status is important in Thai customs, and what you give will depend upon the position you hold.
One of the safest and most frequently given gifts at a Thai wedding is money. You can give money whether you attended the religious service or the reception. However, there are certain guidelines you should follow to determine how much you give the couple. If the guest is in a position of high social standing, has a professional career or has flown overseas to attend the ceremony, a gift of about 1,000 baht should be given. No matter what job a guest from overseas holds, he automatically receives high social status, which should be reflected in his gift. On average, most other guests give between 100 to 500 baht.
Rather than enclosing your gift of money inside a wedding card, it is customary to present monetary gifts in the envelope in which you received your wedding invitation. Your envelope will already have your name written on it, and the married couple can see who gave them the gift. The envelope should typically be given to the couple at the evening reception. If the bride or groom's family is of Chinese descent, present your gift in a red envelope, which is known as "ang pao" or "lucky" in Chinese culture.
If you do not feel comfortable giving the couple money, make a donation in the bride's name to the local Buddhist temple. This is known as a merit gift in Thai tradition; it is thought to bring the couple a happy marriage.
Gifts from the Groom
A special ceremony called Thong Mun takes place before the wedding. At the ceremony, the groom must present his bride with a gold piece of jewellery that is made of up to 96% pure gold. The gold is measured in baht, and it is thought unlucky for it to weigh an uneven number; therefore, it should weigh a minimum of 2 baht, or a higher, even number.