If you are getting married in Thailand then you will need to register the wedding in order for it to be legally binding. This is the only way to obtain a Thai marriage visa, US Spouse visa or an Australian Visa for a Thai national in Thailand. The traditional wedding ceremonies are not binding if it has not been registered by the government.
Getting Married in Thailand
In order to start the process you will first need to prove that you are single and able to get married. For this you will need to obtain an affirmation of marriage from your Embassy. Each Embassy has its own process for this. The American Freedom to Marry in Thailand you can apply for at the US Embassy in Bangkok. You will need to apply for this and provide an original divorce decree if you are divorced or a death certificate of your late spouse. As you can see that each Embassy has their own rules and process. If you are from Sweden it is not a 2 day process but can take up to a week if you have affidavits from 2 family members at home who will swear that you are single.
Other nationalities have more complex problems obtaining their documents. As an example if you are from the Philippines and older than 18 but younger than 21 you will require a letter from your parents to have the letter of affirmation issued. The Arab countries are even more complex as you need to obtain your status letter from your Home Affairs office in your country and bring it to Bangkok. The same with Malaysian nationals who get married in Thailand. Certain Embassies will also only issue the letter if you are going to marry a Muslim in Thailand. See the page on Islamic marriage in Thailand and its process.
Once the letter has been issued it will need to be translated into Thai and then be certified. The letter and all your other documents need to be taken to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok who will verify that the signatures are correct and that the documents are authentic and from the local Embassy in Bangkok. This takes a few hours to complete so consider spending most of the day waiting for this.
Once the documents have been verified you will need to take all these documents to the District Office or Amphurs Office in Thailand where the documents will be taken and a marriage certificate issued. Note that you do not need to have a wedding ceremony in Thailand to register a wedding. You simply need to register it – that’s all. It’s not like the West.
Your Thai fiancée will need her Tabian Baan or house papers for the registration. If she was divorced for less than one year she will also need a certificate from the hospital to certify that she is not pregnant. She will also require a copy of her divorce decree.
The marriage laws in Thailand are not the same as in the West when it comes to community of property so speak to a property lawyer in Thailand if you are going to buy a condo in Thailand as the laws can become complex.