A new service making headlines in Thailand this week caters to couples who cannot afford dowry but don’t want to lose face in front of wedding guests.
As dowry is an integral part of a Thai wedding and a way for couples for honor their families. Now, Romantiese, a Chiang Mai-based company, rents out money, gold bars, and a Mercedes for couples to display at their weddings.
The couple who owns the company Tawan Supanontakorn, 31, and his wife Kangkai, 28, said they had previously rented out vintage cars for wedding or as filming props but just started offering the dowry service three months ago.
Kangkai said the idea came from the couple’s very own wedding day — when they could not afford to have an expensive dowry.
“We got married five years ago, and we dreamed that we’d have gold and cash to honor our families, but we didn’t have them, so we hope the business will help all the brides and grooms to have a good memory of their wedding day” Kangkai told Sanook.
The husband added, “Our service simply helps their special day to be perfect.”
Customers can rent up to THB10 million (US$320,000) in cash and gold bars up to a 100-baht weight. (A one-baht gold is about 15 grams.)
To be fair, in the present day, it’s no longer necessary for the groom for pay up for all of the dowry. Many modern Thai couples save up for the dowry together, and often times the bride’s parents return the money to the couple to start their lives.
Therefore, Tawan was convinced that the dowry business would work. In the past three months, they’ve rented out dowry to a dozen couples, with the highest amount being THB1 million cash (US$32,000).
According to the information listed on the company’s LINE account, there are two promotional packages for the dowry rental. For THB35,000 (US$1,100), the couple can have THB500,000 ($US16,000) cash and a Mercedes displayed at their wedding. To step it up to THB1 million and a Mercedes, they’ll have to pay THB49,999 (US$1,600).
Tawan said that couples who use their service, along with the parents, must sign a contract to acknowledge that the dowry is only for display.
He added that the money is real, but at the wedding, no one — not even the bride and groom — gets to touch the money aside from his own staff.
The couple insists that they’re not simply “renting out the money,” but they’re just “organizing weddings.” Only instead of ice sculptures and flowers, their company offers cash for display.