Has proposing to your partner been on your mind? This can be a very anxious time in a man’s life. After all, you may have no idea what the answer will be, or the best way to go about asking. But before you start thinking about all that, you may be wondering if you need to speak with the father or parents to ask for permission to marry.
If you’ve never heard of this, speaking with with the parents—particularly the father—to ask permission to marry before proposing your partner is a long-standing tradition. But do people still do it? Do you have to? And how do you even go about doing it?
Read on to see what our years of expertise as a wedding venue have taught us about this tradition and the rules that go along with it.
What Is Your Relationship With The Parents Like?
Every relationship is completely different, and this might affect your decision to ask for permission to marry. If you’ve never met the parents before, this might give you pause before deciding to ask or not. After all, if you’ve never really met them before, they probably don’t have a good gauge on who you are yet.
On the other hand, you may have a perfectly good relationship with her parents, which would make things a little easier.
Have You And Your Partner Discussed Marriage?
Before you even consider approaching the parents to ask for permission to marry, make sure that you and your partner are on the same page about marriage.
There’s never a perfectly-timed moment or place to bring the subject of marriage up. It’s different for everyone. Some couples openly talk about it, while others may skirt around it or not even consider it.
But at some point, it’s important for you to have a good idea on your partner’s feelings about getting married.
Have A Proper Sit-Down With Her Parents
When you’re ready to ask for permission to marry, have a sit-down with the parents and lay things out for them. Let them know your feelings about your partner and what your intentions are.
To some, this may sound chauvinistic. However, many believe that it’s a respectful, time-honored way to give your future in-laws a heads up about your future together.
Lay Out Your Plan
This may not be completely necessary when you go to ask permission to marry, but having an idea about what plans or goals you have in your future is definitely good to have on hand in case things don’t go as smoothly as you hoped.
Just like a job interview, it’s always good to be prepared. If you have future goals in mind relating to how you’ll be able to financially and emotionally hold up your end of the marriage, let them know.
It’s better to be prepared than to fumble over your words if they ask you about what you have in mind for the future.
Ask For Their Blessing
Once you’ve declared your overwhelming love, let the parents know that you plan to propose, and that you hope you have their blessing.
You can also take this opportunity to ask them for any advice they might have. This is great for making them feel like they’re a part of the process.
What If They Say No?
So what happens if they say no when you ask permission to marry? The biggest thing to remember is to remain calm. Freaking out, raising your voice, or showing anger won’t help.
Try to respectfully ask them for their reasoning, and try and understand what their point of view is. Maybe there are some issues they have that you can put them at ease about.
Perhaps they simply feel that the time isn’t right. For example, perhaps they prefer both of you to be finished with school and have stable careers underway. Whatever the reason is, be understanding and try and put them at ease.
If you decide to tell your partner about their parents saying no, make sure you aren’t bashing the parents. You can decide together whether you may want to give it some time and approach them together, or perhaps you decide to put a plan in place that will help them understand your wonderful relationship with each other.
As you can see, we definitely believe you should ask—or at least tell—the parents of your intentions. If you’re worried about them saying no, then instead of asking for permission to marry her, you could instead tell them that you are, and hope that they will give their blessings.
While this is an older tradition, we think having this conversation with the parents is the right route to take, especially if family is a big thing for both of you. After all, you’re not just marrying your partner—you’re also marrying the family to a degree. You want that relationship to start off on the right foot.