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Groom 101

Should I Ask Her Father Permission to Propose?

Chris Easter

It’s something that every traditionalist will tell you is a requirement for the engagement — asking the bride’s parents for permission for their daughter’s hand in marriage. Many will tell you that it’s not necessary in today’s modern world — but trust us: They’re expecting it. And if overlook this step, it could be a rocky and uncomfortable start to your marriage.

Sure, it’ll be uncomfortable and maybe a little awkward at first. It will probably be pretty obvious what you’re getting ready to ask. Parents can be intimidating, especially if you don’t have a close relationship with them yet. Fathers and mothers have a special relationship with their daughter and it’s not easy to let go of seeing her as their “little girl.” But if you can muster the courage to spit out the words, we guarantee you’ll feel incredible afterward, not to mention the major brownie points you’ll likely earn from your bride-to-be later for doing the right thing.

Here are some tips for making it all go smoothly:

  • Be sure to tell them how much you love their daughter and how you believe that marriage is a sacred one-time bond.
  • Re-assure them that you’ll treat her with all of the respect that she deserves.
  • We know that tradition mainly mentions asking the father for permission, but it’s a very nice gesture to include the mother as well. She loves her daughter, too!
  • Meet in person. This is NOT something you want to do over the phone. If you live in a different state, get creative and use a webcam (we know you’ve got one, you stud).
  • You don’t to meet with them at their home or at a coffee shop (boooring). Take them out to lunch or dinner at a favorite restaurant, to a ballgame or an art exhibit —basically whatever will help put them in a good mood and show them how considerate you are.
  • Wherever you plan on meeting with them or taking them out, be on time, and under no circumstances cancel or reschedule! This doesn’t exactly make you look very dependable or reliable as a future husband.

TMR Recommendation: If you’re wavering on asking for permission, think about this: Do you want your daughter’s future husband to bypass you and go straight for your daughter? Show your future in-laws some respect by asking permission to marry their daughter. Remember, future grooms, it pays to stay classy!

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