The Best Time for Your Thailand Wedding

So, when is the best time of the year to get married in Thailand?

That’s a little tricky because different people have different wants and needs but there are some things everyone should consider. One is weather.

Okay, tell me about the weather in Thailand. Well,

Thailand is a tropical country so it is hot and rainy, but sometimes it’s hotter than at other times, and it doesn’t always rain. Actually, Thailand has three seasons. The best season to visit and probably to have a wedding is from November into February.

Temperatures are mild and even pleasant. In the northern parts or the country, they are even cool. And it doesn’t rain at this time. From March to May, it’s very hot and dry. This is probably not a good time to have a wedding, although the skies are beautiful. From June into October is the rainy season.

However, it doesn’t usually rain everyday or for long periods of time in most places. Temperatures are moderately hot. It’s possible to have a nice wedding during rainy season, although it might be better to have an outdoor wedding at another time.

Okay, tell me, weather-wise, what you think is the best time to have a Thailand wedding.

In general, the best time is probably from November to February. It’s really beautiful, it doesn’t rain, and it isn’t too hot. There is usually a quite nice breeze at beach locations.

Are there any drawbacks with this time period?

Yes, this is the peak of tourist season. Thailand is crowded and prices are at their highest. Other times are less crowded and cheaper.

Okay, what about other times, then?

I would avoid the hot months from March into May. I don’t think rainy season is too bad. As I said, it doesn’t rain everyday or all day. It usually rains at certain times during the day so it’s easy to know when it will rain.

But if you want an outdoor wedding, then rainy season might not be a good time for you. You can, however, usually get much better prices for accommodation during these periods.

What about the Phuket and Ko Samui areas? What’s the weather like there? What’s the best time to get married there?

Well, Phuket Island has two basic seasons, a dry and a rainy season. The dry season is from December through March, and the temperature is very pleasant, usually being between 25 and 33 degrees Celsius.

This is a great time to get married on Phuket Island. It’s a great time to have an outdoor wedding, too. But rainy season on Phuket is also not really bad. It’s a time of short showers. It’s possible to have a good wedding during rainy season, too.

It’s somewhat similar in Ko Samui, but it often rains very heavily there in October and early November, so it’s best to avoid Ko Samui during this time.

Do I have to worry about Tsunamis on Phuket and Ko Samui?

I wouldn’t worry about that. Tsunamis are a once in a lifetime event and Phuket Island now has a great warning system. They don’t occur around Ko Samui, because it’s on the other side of the Thai mainland.

How about Pattaya? What’s the weather like there? When is the best time for a Pattaya wedding?

I think the weather there is fairly similar to the weather in Phuket and Ko Samui. The best time is late November into February when the temperature is nice and it doesn’t rain.

After February it gets very hot in the Pattaya area - hotter than Phuket or Ko Samui Islands - so this might not be a good time for a wedding.

And Chiang Mai and northern Thailand? Maybe I would like to get married in the mountains!

Well, temperature shouldn’t be a big problem in this area. It’s usually three to five degrees Celsius cooler in the north than in other parts of Thailand. It does rain from May through September but not every day and not continuously. In December and January, it actually gets chilly.

Okay, you said there were some other things I should think about when deciding when to come to Thailand for my wedding. Can you be more specific?

Sure. You really need to consider Thai holiday and festival times. Some holidays and festivals are quite nice and worthwhile. Others are, frankly, to be avoided. In any event, festivals and holidays can cause disruptions to transportation and work schedules, so you need to check the Thai holiday calendar carefully.

You said there were festivals and holidays which those getting married should avoid. Can you give me an example?

Yes. I would strongly recommend that you avoid the Songkran Festival. It occurs in mid April, the hottest month of the year, and is “celebrated” at different times in different parts of the country. Its duration also differs from region to region.

In some places it lasts for two or three weeks. Despite what is said in various government tourist promotion publications, it has become a time of low level violence and hooliganism. It’s also a time when sexual harassment increases significantly. No matter where you are, or what you are doing, you will be under the strongest of pressure to “participate,” whether you want to or not.

Aside from the traditional religious practices, the activities which characterize modern Songkran will probably not be of interest to most who are getting married. Tourist arrivals are down significantly at this time, partly due to the nature of Songkran, and partly due to the very hot weather. It’s best to skip the month of April entirely.

That sounds pretty bad. Can you give me an example of a festival or holiday which would be enjoyable for planning to marry?

Yes. Sure. The Loi Krathong festival, held at the time of the full moon in the month of November, is an excellent festival to attend in conjunction with getting married. It involves putting elaborately decorated banana leaf boats – called krathongs – into or on lakes, rivers, or the ocean. The boats contain candles.

Huge numbers of Thais participate so the number of krathongs which sail under the full moon, their candles alight, is very large. It’s a true spectacle and lasts for several hours. It’s a one day holiday and doesn’t disrupt work schedules or transportation; and it’s characterized by friendliness and goodwill on the part of almost everyone.

Because it’s held in November, the weather is also really nice. A drawback to this festival is that it’s popular. People try to time their vacations to enjoy it, so there might be more foreign people in Thailand at this time than would ordinarily expect.

That does sound really good! Can you tell me any other suitable holidays or festivals?

The time from before Christmas until after New Years is also a really good to consider getting married in Thailand. The weather is great and it’s a beautiful then. The Thais work very hard to make these holidays festive.

The stores and local governments put up as many or more decorations than one would see in the United States or Europe, and they play Christmas and holiday music. One can really get a good holiday feeling. It is, however, usually quite crowded at this time, and prices are usually at their yearly highs.

I am really impressed. Are they any other nice holiday or festival times I should be aware of?

Well, Loi Krathong and the Christmas-New Years holidays are the two best for those who wish to marry, but there are some others to consider. The Thais are Buddhists and have some interesting religions holidays, featuring processions of monks and ceremonies at temples and public locations.

There are four that you might find interesting. Macha Bucha, held in early March, is a celebration of the Buddha’s first sermon; Visakha, held in early June, celebrates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and entry into nirvana; Asalha Puja, held in early August, commemorates the foundation of the Buddhist monastic life; and Wan Kaho Phansa, celebrated after Asalha Puja, marks the beginning of Buddhist Lent.

One should be aware that the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages is restricted during this period!! You might also enjoy the King’s birthday, celebrated on December 5, and the Queens Birthday, which is also celebrated as Mother’s Day. It is held on August 12th. Both are affairs of considerable ceremony.

I have heard that there’s a lot of social and political turmoil in Thailand. Is that true? Is that a problem? Should my finance and I worry?

Well, it’s true that there are disruptions from time to time because of social and political conflicts. Generally, these don’t occur – with the exception of Bangkok – in places that are heavily frequented by tourists. These disruptions don’t target tourists.

They don’t occur often, and when they do, they usually pass quickly. To my knowledge, no Western tourists have ever been hurt – except in the far south – as a result of this turmoil, although transportation has been severely disrupted. The far south is experiencing an ongoing Muslim insurgency against the Thai government and is best avoided altogether.

So far, this insurgency has not had any consequences outside of three Muslim provinces. This is unlikely to change. It’s pretty easy to keep up with social and political developments through television, newspapers, and government advisories in your home country.