Understanding the Difference Between Engagement and Marriage

We offer traditional Thai engagement and wedding ceremonies

There are two significant milestones in the lives of couples in love – engagement and marriage. While both are expressions of commitment and love, they differ in terms of their nature, purpose, and the level of commitment they entail. In Thailand, traditions are also followed that form a traditional engagement ceremony. The traditions of engagements vs. marriage can be combined in a modern Thai wedding. We’ll help you understand the role each plays in a couple’s life together.

At Riverine Place Hotel & Residence, we’re specialists in engagement and wedding ceremonies. We offer engagement and wedding ceremony packages at our hotel that handle all the details of your big day. We also have a staff of professional wedding planners and food and beverage specialists who can ensure your day is perfect.

Let’s look at the differences between engagements and marriage and include an explanation of the Thai engagement ceremony.


Engagement marks the beginning of a more formal commitment between two individuals in most cultures. It’s the period where a couple decides to take their relationship to the next level by publicly declaring their intention to get married. This announcement is often accompanied by exchanging engagement rings, symbolizing the promise and commitment to a future together. The engagement period is a unique chapter in a couple’s story, filled with excitement, anticipation, and planning for the upcoming wedding.

One key distinction between engagement vs. marriage is the legal and social implications. Engagements are not legally binding, and the commitment is more symbolic than contractual. During the engagement phase, couples are allowed to understand each other further, strengthen their emotional bond, and navigate potential challenges before entering the legally binding institution of marriage.

Thai Engagement Ceremony

The Thai engagement ceremony was traditionally held before the marriage ceremony in the town or village where the bride and groom lived. Today, the ceremonies are often combined in a wedding venue, with the engagement ceremony taking place in the morning, surrounded by close friends and family, and the wedding ceremony occurring in the afternoon for a larger gathering of guests.

The engagement ceremony, referred to in Thai as “Phitee Mun”, consists of several steps, including a bestowal of a dowry from the bridegroom to the bride’s family. At the end of the engagement ceremony, attendants tie a string around the bride and groom’s hand, signifying their acceptance of the engagement to be married and giving their blessings to the union.

In other cultures, the engagement is marked by a ring given to the intended bride by the future groom and can be celebrated or simply announced to friends and family members. It’s considered the start of the lead-up to a wedding.


Marriage is a legally recognized pact between two individuals. It signifies a deeper level of commitment and involves legal responsibilities and rights. When a couple enters into marriage, they form a partnership recognized by society and governed by legal frameworks. Marriage often involves a formal ceremony, whether a grand celebration or an intimate affair, where vows are exchanged, and the couple officially becomes husband and wife.

Another notable difference between engagement and marriage is the level of permanence associated with each stage. Engagements are generally seen as a commitment to marry in the future, but they allow couples to reassess their compatibility and make informed decisions. Marriage is considered a more permanent and enduring commitment. It involves a legal contract and, in many cultures, carries significant societal expectations regarding fidelity, support, and shared responsibilities.

The purpose of engagement is often to plan and prepare for the marriage ceremony. It allows couples to give thought to the details of their future life together, such as living arrangements, financial matters, and family planning. During this phase, couples may discover more about each other’s values, aspirations, and potential challenges, which can contribute to a stronger foundation for their married life.

Marriage is the culmination of this preparation – a legally binding union that solidifies the couple’s commitment and opens the door to a shared future.

Have Your Wedding at the Riverine Place Hotel & Residence

Our professionals ensure a beautiful wedding ceremony

Whether planning a traditional Thai engagement ceremony followed by a Thai wedding, a Western-style wedding celebration, or a Chinese-style wedding, the Riverine Place Hotel & Residence should be your first consideration when looking for a wedding venue.

Engagement and Wedding Venues

With our location beside the Chao Phraya River in Nonthaburi, we provide a romantic, scenic and intimate venue. We have six rooms suitable for engagement or wedding ceremonies and celebrations, two on the ninth and four on the tenth floor. They all look out over the river, providing your celebration with a beautiful panoramic backdrop.

Professional Wedding Planner Services

We also offer three inclusive engagement packages and two wedding packages. The wedding packages include a cocktail celebration, buffet, or a Chinese set dinner. In addition, we offer professional wedding planner services, including an emcee, floral arrangements, wedding ring trays, blessing signing books, and bride and groom garlands. We also can provide an LCD projector and display screen so all the guests can see the festivities.

Contact the Riverine Place Hotel & Residence

Couples wanting to trust their wedding celebration to a professional venue with experienced wedding planners should contact the Riverine Place Hotel & Residence. Learn more about how we can raise the profile of your special day.