Every year in February in the south of Thailand in the province of Trang an amazing underwater wedding, a romantic event that will be remembered for a lifetime
Thailand has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best places in the world for weddings and honeymoons. Exchanging vows on a sandy beach against the backdrop of a warm ocean and gently swaying palm trees is certainly romantic. But if you and your partner love scuba diving as much as each other, you can opt for an original wedding in the gorgeous southern Thai province of Trang.
Located on Thailand’s Andaman coast between Krabi and the border with Malaysia, Trang is home to some of the most spectacular islands in the kingdom. And since the mid-1990s, this area of southern Thailand has hosted a festival called the Trang Underwater Wedding.
This unique way of hosting a wedding was originally conceived as a one-time event for a small group of scuba divers, but since the first event, the popularity of underwater weddings in Thailand has grown. In 2000, the event in Trang province was officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest underwater wedding in the world.
Trang’s underwater wedding has become an important event for the province, providing international publicity and boosting the local economy. Couples participating in the annual event come from all over the world and are treated like celebrities during their stay in Thailand. A special flight takes couples from Bangkok to Trang. Upon arrival, the couples are greeted by traditional Thai dancers and showered with flower petals.
An underwater wedding in Trang usually takes place over three days in mid-February and ends on Valentine’s Day, February 14. On the first day, the wedding couples dress in traditional Thai costumes and take part in a Thai wedding parade through the streets of Trang. On the second day, couples take a boat to the site of the underwater wedding ceremony. In the past, this was a location near (Ko) Kradan Island, but in recent years the location is near the Emerald Cave on (Ko) Muk Island.
An underwater wedding in Trang uses many Thai wedding traditions. They include a blessing ceremony and a “rod nam sang” ceremony where water is poured over the bride and groom’s hands from a seashell. All of this creates amazing wedding photos, with some participants wearing wedding dresses or tuxedos along with their snorkeling gear.
Underwater, a representative from the Trang District Office becomes the witness and approves the ceremonial waterproof marriage certificate. After lunch, a celebration takes place on Pak Meng Beach. The next day, the couple visits important temples and shrines in Trang City to make offerings that will bring good luck in the marriage.
The Trang Underwater Wedding Festival prides itself on its diversity and is open to all. Even if you are already married, you can take part in a vow renewal ceremony. If you want to participate in a water wedding ceremony, you and your partner must be qualified divers and must have your own wetsuit, masks and flippers.
Although it’s a fun event and a memorable way to start family life, organizers are keen to promote eco-tourism in Trang and note that the venue has been carefully chosen so as not to damage the marine environment. The event is organized by the Trang Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by various groups including Thai Airways and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
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