Once you have had you wedding ceremony in Thailand you need to register your marriage in Thailand. You can register your marriage at any Thai Amphurs offices in Thailand. This can be in Bangkok or it can be in the area where you had the wedding ceremony. The first step however as a foreigner in Thailand is that the process begins at your embassy in Bangkok. You need to contact your embassy in Bangkok so that you can obtain a letter of affirmation or a letter of no impediment which is a letter stating that you can get married in Thailand.
Each embassy has their own cost as you have to pay for this letter and each embassy also has their own timeline. Some embassies are overnight while others can take a week to obtain the letter. Once this letter is issued you now move to the next step. If you are divorced you need a certified copy of your divorce decree or if your wife has died you will need a death certificate for the embassy. If you are not certain what to do then speak to a lawyer in Thailand for guidance. Note the issue with a prenuptial agreement in Thailand before you register your marriage. This oversight could be a costly and also a regrettable mistake.
Thai Marriage Registration
The next step is that you have to have this letter certified by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) which is the second step in the marriage registration process. This is located in Lakasi in the back ends of Bangkok. This normally takes a few hours or a day so you would need to go early to get the letter verified. They will take the letter and hand it back to you a few hours later to verify that the letter was issued by your embassy. They will now place a small stamp on the back of the letter to show the Amphur or District Office in Thailand that the letter has been verified authentic.
From here you need to go to the local Amphurs office and have a marriage certificate issued. This normally takes about an hour and they will issue you two certificates. There is a multipage one identifying you and your wife and your particulars and there is a fancy certificate which looks like a diploma. When you apply for a marriage visa you need to show the Thai embassy where you are apply for the visa both copies of the marriage certificate. The marriage registration process is now complete.
The process can take 3-4 days to complete or even longer if the embassy takes a long time to issue you with a letter. Most foreigners simply hand all the documents to a lawyer to have it done for them instead of having to deal with taxis and the Thai red tap which can become very frustrating.
Once you are married you can now also apply for a visa for your Thai wife. If you are taking her back to the US you can apply for a US Spouse Visa or a UK Spouse visa if you are British. If you are an Australian then you can now apply for an Australian Spouse visa in Bangkok. For this reason you would normally ask the lawyer to not only register your marriage in Thailand but to also begin the spouse visa process for your home country.