THAILAND WEDDING: NEUNG + JUDE Part 1

Hello world again!

Imagine my blogosphere was on hiatus  for more than 2 years! Anyways, what is important I am back and I am ready to share again love stories through my photographs. Ahem!:)

What a perfect time to resurrect my blog by posting another international wedding I covered in Bangkok, Thailand last September 26, 2015. This I am sure is a very long and educational post. I hope you won’t complain considering my long time off in blogging. I promise you’ll learn a thing or two about traditional Thai wedding rites.

 

Welcome to the marriage of Kochakorn Khattapan and Philip Jude Acidre according to the traditional Thai marriage rites. The traditional Thai marriage ceremony is composed of several special rites and sacred customs what have long been maintained and handed down from generation to generation. The rite is essentially non-religious; however, Buddhist monks are invited to pray for the couple and their families and bless their marriage. No vows are exchanged but the ceremony conveys the rich meaning and understanding of the unity, permanence and commitment of married life through ancient rites, meaningful gestures and auspicious symbols that celebrate this very special moment that is unique and special to Thai life and culture.

THE PREPARATIONS

The blings!

Jude’s Thai suit and sarong.

Neung is all set.

Last minute adjustment on Jude’s suit by the bride.

Neung helping his dad with his suit.

Gorgeous bride.

Neung on her Thai traditional wedding dress.

Jude wearing the traditional Thai sarong.

Sorry Jude, no leather belt in wearing the traditional Thai sarong.:)

Neung on her way to the ceremony venue with Jude in front.

Jude and Neung arriving at the Bann Reuan Thai Onnut. It’s a Thai house wherein traditional Thai wedding rites are commonly held.

BLESSING BY THE MONKS

To ensure a happy and prosperous marriage, an auspicious time and date shall be selected. For Neung and Jude, the date and time of 26th September 2015, Saturday, anytime before 10.28 hrs has been chosen. The time for the Buddhist blessing is set to ensure good fortune; as such the wedding ceremonies will punctually  commence at the auspicious time set for the couple. Traditional Thai marriage ceremonies are customarily held at the bride’s home. Specific rites, such as the Blessing by the Monks in the morning, are attended only by the families, relatives and close friends of the bride and the groom.

According to Thai tradition, the number nine is a very auspicious number. For this reason, nine monks were invited to bless Neung and Jude. The Blessing by the Monks took place at exactly 7:30 AM.

Guests in traditional Thai dresses arriving at the ceremony venue.

Details. Details. Details.

Photos taken during our prenup shoot in one of the parks in Bangkok.

The banana leaves and sugar canes  will be used in The Khan Maak Procession. These will be paraded like banners.

The “Khan Maak” trays where the items for engagement will be placed like the dowry and other traditional Thai gifts.

Jude having a light moments with his guests while waiting for the monks to arrive.

Breakfast was served while waiting for the Blessing by the Monks ceremony. Of course, Leyte’s delicacies were present in the breakfast table.

Some informal group photos before the Blessing by the Monks ceremony.

Jude and Neung with their co-delegates in the Ship for the Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program.

The part of the house where the Blessing by the Monks will take place.

Things needed in a traditional Thai wedding rites.

Neung and Jude waiting for the monks to arrive.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Neung and Jude, light the candles, offer incense and place flowers before the shrine.

Neung and Jude performs the “wai” to the Buddhist monks.

The sacred white cotton thread is first tied  around a Buddha image and then passed along to the monks in attendance. The chanting of the monks and the associated merit is then symbolically passed along the thread.

The first monk holds a special fan in one hand and, covering his face, leads the other monks in chanting the three standar Buddhist prayers.

Neung repeats the final verses from the hymns after the monks while Jude is enjoying the chants. I am sure like every one else (Filipino guests) we were enjoying the chants as well.:)

Monks chanting prayers.

Everybody observes an atmosphere of prayer and reflection while the monks are chanting the prayers.

Regardless of their faith traditions, all guests were enjoined to pray for the couple as they begin their married life.

Buddhist monks chanting prayers in the ancient language of Pali, which cover love, respect, kindness, consideration, faithfulness, honesty and mutual assistance.

A bowl of white paste will be blessed by the monks and will be used to anoint the foreheads of the couple.

The lit candle is lowered into a bowl of water. The blessed lustral water  will be used to bless the couple.

A monk anoints the forehead of Jude and Neung using the blessed white paste.

After the prayers, the couple and their families offer food to the monks as a way of making merit. Making merit is important to Buddhists and it is particularly important on special occasions such as weddings.

After offering the food to the monks, everyone was asked to leave the hall to allow the monks to eat.

After the monks finished their meal, the monks begin their chants again and the senior monk blessed the couple and everybody present with the blessed lustral water.

Neung and Jude offering the merit gifts to the monks, including envelopes containing money. As Buddhist monks cannot touch money, the cash gift is placed inside an envelope and onto sashes provided by monks on top of their robes. Monks are forbidden to touch women, so the bride placed her hand on Jude’s arm as he hands over the donation then followed by a ‘wai’ to each monk in gratitude for the officiating the ceremony.

Some portraits after the Blessing by the Monk ceremony.

 

To be continued….

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