Many foreigners get married to Thai nationals while in Thailand. The very first step to getting legally married in the country is to ensure that you and your Thai fiancée meet the marriage regiments of Thailand. Once this is done you will also need to follow the process of registering your marriage in Thailand. This starts with your local Embassy in Thailand for most Westerners.
You will need to apply for a ‘freedom to marry’ or ‘affirmation to marry’ from your local Embassy in Bangkok. The process is straightforward if you are an American, British or Australian. You can normally obtain your declaration the following day or 2 days later. The form you need to complete is to ensure that you are allowed to get married in Thailand. This needs to meet the requirements for marriage in Thailand which is explained elsewhere on this website. For your part you need to show that you are single and able to get married. If you are divorced then your will need an original divorce decree from your home country and if your wife had died then you will need to obtain a death certificate of your late spouse. See also Islamic marriage in Thailand.
Marriage in Thailand
Other nationals have a more difficult time with this as their procedures are more complex. If you are from the Philippines the process will require a letter from your parents if you are between the ages of 18 and 21. If you are Swedish you will need confirmation from home that you are single by way of two affidavits to state that you are single by two friends. Each country has their own process. The Arab countries are the most difficult as they will want to know if it is an Islamic marriage or not before they issue the needed paperwork. See also marriage requirements.
Once the affirmation has been issued you will now have to have it translated and certified with all the other documents you might have such as a divorce decree or death certificate. These documents then need to be taken to the office of Thai Foreign Affairs who will then authenticate the documents as having been issued by the relevant Embassy. It takes about 6 hours to get this done on average and its simple a small stamp at the back of the documents to show that they have now been verified as authentic.
Now that the documents have been authenticated you will need to take all these documents as well as your passport and your Thai wife’s Tabian Baan and other documents to the District Office in Thailand. This is also called the Amphurs Office in Thailand. Here they will issue you with a marriage certificate. Note that in Thailand you get two certificates. The first is a diploma style certificate and the other is a multipage certificate with your names, location and other details on.
Always take legal advice when getting married in Thailand as the laws in Thailand are not the same as in your home country. If you want a Thai prenuptial agreement then this needs to be filed with your marriage application at the district office.