Thai marriage at large and definitely the ceremony of traditional Thai wedding interlinked with an ancient tradition called sinsod (สินสอด). A custom of paying a dowry (dowery) to compensate a family of bride “for mother’s milk”. A concept of sinsod was initially brought in to ensure that one’s daughter does not marry below her potential standing in life. To stipulate that her social, financial and professional status and reputation is preserved and secured.
Traditionally, a downry (สินสอด [sin-sot]) will be formally presented by the groom’s parents to the bride’s parents on the Kan Maak tray. This dowry will consist of money and gold/jewelry. The dowry is then counted out onto a red cloth by the bride’s parents. The amount of the dowry is usually predetermined which is intended to represent prospective wealth for the couple.
There is no set amount, the sum of sinsod is typically determined on the one hand by suitor’s perceived wealth, and on the other hand by the “value” of the future wife. Her beauty, personality, background, education and other qualifications, if she is a virgin, or has got a child, and so forth.
Nowadays, many parents-in-law hand the dowry back to the married couple as a wedding gift, some families do not require a dowry, and some need to keep the money. Traditionally, sinsod is reciprocated by the parents-in-law. More often than not, a part of the money is used to pay for the wedding ceremonies, parties and other related expenses. Dowries or sinsod payments range from THB 50,000 to 250,000 and up.
The ceremony I attended the sinsod was 1,000,199 Baht together with a car and a house. Thai people believe that number 9 brings good luck, so they like to set the sinsod amount ending with number 9.