Popping The Other Question

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Asking Permission to Propose

We asked our missies Did your h2b ask for your family’s blessing before proposing?  You may or may not be surprised to learn that 67% answered No.  So what’s YOUR opinion?  Outdated relic of a paternalistic society in which women are viewed as objects?  Or a touching and considerate gesture that is a sign of respect for your wife-to-be and her family?

Well, if it’s something you’re considering, we’ve got the pros and cons of the asking your girlfriend’s parents for her hand in marriage.

When It Might Be Nice

  • If you think your girlfriend’s family would appreciate a bit of a polite heads up, especially if they would like to offer to pay for part of the wedding.
  • If you’re a sucker for tradition, or if her father (or family member you’d be asking) is.  Some families consider The Big Ask a sign of respect, and could be a bit offended if you were to surprise them with an unexpected engagement announcement.
  • If you get on well with your girlfriend’s family.
  • If you’re planning an elaborate proposal.  Especially one where you might need help from others.  Odds are your future in-laws would be only too happy to help!
  • …and most importantly, if it’s important to your girlfriend.  You will definitely want to suss this one out beforehand.  Some girls hate hate HATE the idea of asking a parent’s permission to marry, while others think it’s charming.

When It’s a Bad Idea

  • As mentioned above, if she thinks asking permission to marry reduces women to a commodity, to be passed from father to fiancée.  Avoid at all costs!
  • If there is a possibility he’ll say no.  Could you imagine?  But if you’re still bound and determined to ask, try tweaking what you say.  Try to make it less like asking permission and more like a heads up, or a casual by the way….
  • If there’s a possibility he’ll say yes, but that she might say no!  But then, if that thought had even crossed your mind, you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now.  So… moving on.
  • If they don’t get on.  Not all girls get on with their fathers.  Plus, there are so many different types of families out there that you might ask her mother, her stepfather, a grandparent.

Just Remember…

At the end of the day, you know your girlfriend and soon-to-be-future-in-laws best.  The Big Ask isn’t for every couple, or every family.

And besides, it’s not that ask that you’re supposed to agonise over it’s the proposal!

So, what do you think? A lovely gesture, or an outdated tradition?
Grooms, did you ask your fiancée’s parents for her hand in marriage? How did it go? Let us know by leaving a comment below.


One thought on “Popping The Other Question”

  1. Hydrangea Girl says:

    My fiance asked my dad permission before he proposed, and I’m so glad he did. I think it’s a nod to tradition, and I feel it’s also out of respect as well. My guy is pretty old school like that though.

    It was so sweet when he asked my dad beforehand. They said it was very emotional and my dad even broke into tears! Kudos.

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