Wonders and Weddings Bangkok 

Same-Sex Marriage Buzz: Thailand Experiences Rise in Wedding Reservations

Thailand's 2023 announcement to legalize same-sex marriage spells hope as anticipation builds, inquiries for LGBTQ weddings surge in the Kingdom

When Thailand announced their progressive move to legalize same-sex marriage in 2023, it spelled hope for many in the country.

Excitement over the proposed act has already seen LGBTQ wedding inquiries increase, according to Wannida Kasiwong, owner at Wonders and Weddings in Bangkok. 

“There’s definitely an increase of interest. I take up 12 weddings per year, and I have 1 to 3 couples who are LGBTQ couples. So that would be about like 25 percent of all the bookings,” Wannida told VICE. 


“A lot of couples are looking to celebrate. But I do have a lot of couples who say that [they] really want the law to finally pass first. They want to do the marriage registration first, the legal protection, [get] access to social welfare or spousal support. That's more important than the celebration itself,” she added.

Thailand is a popular destination for weddings with the industry contributing to the country’s crucial tourism industry. International visitors choose the Southeast Asian country because of its luxurious resorts, pristine islands, and favorable weather.

Wannida said that she will form a consultancy team to cater tofor an expected surge in inquiries if same-sex marriage becomes legal.

“We are thinking and exploring the consultancy base where they can come and we [can] provide some guidelines. [We are] also working with vendors as well to understand how to accommodate LGBTQ couples,” she said.

Thanadech Jandee, 34, told VICE that the equality law makes him feel like everyone is truly equal, living together as a family. Thanadech was born biological female but had gender reassignment surgery to identify as male last year. The Bangkok-resident now lives happily with his 33-year-old girlfriend and her son from a previous relationship. 

“I am hopeful that the new marriage equality law will be passed,” he told VICE, adding that before he didn't think of getting married, but now he is excited to get married if the law passes.


When Thailand announced a marriage-equality law was being deliberated in parliament late last year, the optimism was like never before within the country’s LGBTQ community.

Thailand's lawmakers voted in favor for a marriage equality law in a first hearing after four drafts had been proposed by political parties and civil society groups in December. This year the draft bill will be deliberated in several more hearings before a finalised version is proposed.

Prempreeda Pramoj Na Ayutthaya, a Thai transgender activist, said legalizing the marriage-equality law is essential.

Approximately 9 percent of Thai people identify as LGBTQ, according to market research firm Ipsos Group. That translates to over 6 million people, based on a 71 million population. 

“Thailand really needs to improve its legal protection for LGBT people, to ensure it becomes the real paradise for gender diversity and this is not only at the level of social practices, but the legal support can improve protection of rights and liberty of all Thais regardless gender,” Prempreeda told VICE.


“Legal support can also stimulate cultural spheres, which embrace all genders, for today we hope marriage equality would pass, so that the general public can go together beyond the [stigmatization] that love can only occur and maintain positively among heterosexuals.”

The prospect of marriage equality was boosted after Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin threw his support behind the draft law.But not every politician supports it.

Lawmakers for Thailand’s Prachachat Party, a conservative political party that is popular with Thailand’s Muslim-majority in the country’s south, have said in recent years they would vote against the bill as it “defies natural order” and goes against Islamic teachings.

Mookdapa Yangyuenpradorn, a Thailand human rights associate at Fortify Rights, said the Senate will be the biggest hurdle to overcome.

In 2020, a nationwide protest was carried out, where demands from protestors included LGBTQ rights in tandem with democratic changes. 

The community demanded for marriage equality in Thailand, which led to the development of the draft of the Marriage Equality Bill. 

“I think [the 2020 protests] was one of the first moments that brought issues of LGBTQI rights into the mainstream political narrative in this country, and then just a couple years later, we see the bill into the parliament. There is a kind of cause and consequence to these incidents for sure,” Mookdapa added.


While the approval of the bill remains uncertain, Thanadech and his girlfriend could only dream about getting legally married but they still remain hopeful that the marriage-equality law may open the door for policy changes for same-sex couples, such as IVF treatment and adoption.

“[The marriage-equality law] is necessary for other matters. Sadly, there is still no law to support having children through medical procedures. Even though the law has been drafted and approved by the Cabinet, it still does not allow for joint adoption of children.”