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boyfriend meeting girlfriend's parents

While some feel that the age-old tradition wedding tradition of asking your significant other’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage is archaic, others disagree. Maybe your partner’s father thinks that asking permission to marry their child is a sign of respect and that they can trust you will take good care of his little girl. Maybe it’s actually your girlfriend’s mother that wants to give her blessing. Or maybe your boyfriend has step-parents who have experienced major milestones with him in life, so they also want to be included in a proposal. Whatever the case might be, while proposals have evolved over time, asking for permission tends to still be an aspect that is always appreciated.

If you’re planning to propose and you’re still on the fence with this decision, we’ve got your back. Whether you can do it in person or distance requires a phone call for the father’s blessing, there’s certainly some value in getting your partner’s family on board before you propose. We’ve put together five reasons why you should still ask your partner’s parents before proposing.

1. It Shows Respect to the Parents

Woman's left hand wearing The Scarlett on ring finger

Featured: The Scarlett

Choosing to go forward with a marriage proposal is a weighty decision! Including the parents in this decision shows that you respect them and their opinions. They know their child the best, and they have lots of wisdom and knowledge that they can give you. Asking them beforehand shows that you recognize this and hold them in high regard. 

You might also get a good heads-up on how to ask her. Obviously, you should have a good idea of what to do at this point, but her parents have a viewpoint that even you don’t have in regards to your bride-to-be. Not only is it respectful, but it’s advantageous for you to get that extra insight. If you’re working through a few different proposal ideas, her family members are going to be a great sounding board. 

2. The Family Is Very Traditional

Woman's left hand wearing The One and Only

Featured: The One and Only

If your future bride’s family is more traditional, not asking for her dad’s permission may cause some friction before you even say I do. Her family may feel left out of the situation, and feel even more distant from their future son-in-law if they don’t know him well. Parents who feel that they are “losing” their child may appreciate being included in such a big decision.

Asking her father for her hand in marriage may seem a little odd or old school. Maybe it is. This is likely one of those scenarios where you just have to bite the bullet and keep a good relationship with her family members. It’s just useful to be on good terms with your future wife’s family, even if you don’t really see eye to eye with them on this one. 

3. The Parents Will See How Committed You Are

Woman's left hand wearing The Victoria and The Zoey

Featured: The Zoey and The Victoria

Asking the parents for permission is never an easy situation. More than likely you’ll be sweating bullets the whole time. However, this shows your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s parents that you’re committed to their child for the rest of your life. It’s certainly a respectful gesture, especially if you don’t know them as well as you’d like to. Maybe you knew early on that they were the one. That’s awesome and we love to hear it, but their family may have some concerns about them marrying someone they don’t know particularly well. Asking for a parent’s permission here is likely a show of good faith and dedication.

4. You’ll Receive Support From the Family

Woman's left hand wearing The Grace on ring finger

Featured: The Grace

Including the parents in this decision will likely result in you receiving their blessing, as well as family support. If you need help in the long run, they may be more likely to give advice or other help that may be needed. It will help you start on the right foot with your future in-laws. It’s certainly good to have them on your side when it comes to wedding planning, both in terms of money and ideas. The less they know you, the more input they’re probably going to try to throw into the wedding. If nothing else, you want to get out ahead of an overly involved mother-in-law taking over the wedding planning.

5. Parents Can Be in on the Proposal

Woman holding compact mirror wearing The Belle on left ring finger

Featured: The Belle

It’s no secret that parents love to be in on surprises. Asking for permission before proposing gives them a heads-up, and you can include them in the proposal surprise. Your future father-in-law or mother-in-law will certainly appreciate being a part of this monumental occasion. They might be the help you need to pull off a big day for your future spouse. They’ll appreciate being included on a special day as well!

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  • Kim Richards

    I’m 59 years young and I just got engaged with a man I’ve known for almost 15 years. We just started dating a year ago. This will be our second marriage. He did ask my father permission to marry me. My father was very impressed by that. I think it’s a wonderful idea.