Buddhist marriages are founded on living a Buddhist way of life together, rather than any religious agreement or contract.
Marriage is considered a social occasion, rather than a religious one, with faith in the harmony of a couple at its core.
There is no duty under Buddhist law to be married or have children and Buddhists feel that, as long as your commitment to family life is that of a Buddhist's, even without formal registration, you are considered married.
In leading a Buddhist way of life, advise has been offered that faithfulness and loyalty and the integral part of a happy marriage.
Although Buddhist teachings are personal and individual, they promote happiness and well being. Readings suggest that a husband should adorn his wife with gifts, courtesy, faithfulness and provide her with authority. A wife should be faithful, hospitable to those around her, protect and be diligent with what is provided.
Buddhism is more of a philosophy and way of life than a religion and can be summed up as follows:
Suffering exists and is due to attachments that can be overcome by following the path of a moral life in which we are aware of our thoughts and actions. A commitment to the development of wisdom & compassion is obtained by understanding Buddhist teachings.
There are rules one should abide by as part of being Buddhist. They are – not to take the life of any living thing, not to take anything not given away freely, to abstain from sensual overindulgence's, loss of mindfulness in intoxication and untrue speech.
Anyone can become Buddhist. The solutions to leading a Buddhist life can be found within oneself. So, Buddhism is a system of teaching beliefs that a person can take and use in their own way, with the purpose of avoiding suffering, gaining enlightenment and merit for the next life. The ultimate goal is being released from the cycle of rebirth and onto nirvana.
Watching a Buddhist wedding performed by monks in Thailand truly is a blessing to be a part of.
Chanting in the ancient language of Sanskrit, they will conduct the variety of Thai Wedding customs that take place in their wise, kind and spiritual manner.
Monks of Thailand uphold Buddhist teachings are a revered everywhere.
Because Buddhists are accepting of other religions, there are no religious laws that require you to be Buddhist before having a Buddhist marriage blessing.
Buddhist wedding ceremonies, while beautiful and somewhat mystical are actually quite easy to understand.
It is worth remembering that there is no such thing as a standard format for Buddhist weddings. Depending on where you are, the parts that make up a wedding a more an observance of cultural norms, rather than any actual Buddhist requirements.
In Thailand it is important to obtain the blessings of monks from the local temple and there are a number of traditional elements that can be incorporated.
Your wedding planner will run through everything that will be a part of your ceremony beforehand and be there will be assistant to yourselves and to the monks who will prompt you as required at your ceremony and help the monks as they need it.
Monks, usually seated upon a raised platform, will be waiting for the bride and groom's arrival. Guests, if present, will be seated, usually on the floor, as it is customary not to raise ones head above that of the Monks.
Kneeling, you will light candles, incense and place flowers at a shrine erected to Buddha. Then, with your hands placed together and heads down, in the Thai gesture of greeting (otherwise known as a 'wai'), to the Monks, the ceremony will then place with blessings asked for your union, chanted in the Buddhist language of Sanskrit.
Two head garlands, tied together with string, will be placed over your heads. String from these will also be tied over the heads of the monks, then somewhere up high as the connection point between our world and the spirit world, so that blessings from this world will join you.
Blessed water will then be sprinkled lightly over your heads, symbolic strings tied around your wrists, and special ointment applied at three points on your forehead.
Gifts and donations to the temple of enveloped money, care packs, incense & lotus flowers are given in thanks for the blessing. After or prior to the ceremony, a banquet is prepared for the temple or monks present, depending on whether you choose a morning or afternoon ceremony.
Have a look at some of our recommended Buddhist Unity Ceremonies here.