No Money, No Honey: Dowry dispute stops Thai wedding, groom walks out

The family after the wedding was called off. Photos: Sanook
The family after the wedding was called off. Photos: Sanook

A dowry dispute caused a wedding in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima to go off-script on Saturday. When the groom’s family didn’t show up with enough cash, he walked out, his would-be bride fainted, and the police were called.

Pimai police received a complaint from the family that the bride, Benjaporn Warisri, 25, was stood up at her own wedding when the groom, Adirek Chatachan, 24, and his family showed up with less than the agreed-upon dowry of THB100,000, a little less than $3,000, and a certain weight in gold.

What should have been the site for the wedding.

They had the gold but only half the cash. After fighting over the money with the bride’s family, the groom had a change of heart and took off with the dowry, leaving her on the most important day of her life with more than 100 people gathered to watch her humiliation.

During the episode, the bride’s aunt Thongwai, 64, attempted to negotiate, requesting that the missing THB50,000 be paid post-wedding since the guests were already assembled and they had spent THB100,000 on the party.

However, the groom’s family disagreed, saying they needed to discuss the issue elsewhere and left the wedding. The bride fainted on the spot but headed to the police station when she regained consciousness.

The issue was finally resolved on Sunday when both families came to an agreement.

The groom’s family agreed to pay the cost of the wedding reception, and they will also host a small, traditional Thai wedding so the couple can finally get hitched.

“The couple has confirmed they still love each other,” Boonsuan, the bride’s father, said. “I apologize to the wedding guests for this unexpected turn of events on Saturday on behalf of my daughter, and I hope everyone will understand and forgive our family.”

Even today, dowry remains an integral part of a traditional Thai wedding. It is common for the bride’s family to accept a dowry and offer to pay for the reception.

Some families give whatever’s left of the dowry money to the couple, after paying for the wedding, as a fund to start their lives together.


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