Proposal Etiquette 101: Should you still ask her father for her hand in marriage?


meet-the-familyOne of the oldest rules of Proposal Etiquette 101 is for the groom to ask the bride-to-be’s father for permission to get married. The old rule goes all the way to a time when marriage was up to the bride’s family, not so much the bride herself. So in relation to how traditions were like back then, it was only fair and proper etiquette for the groom to ask the bride’s family for permission to get married before he proposed to the bride.

Obviously things are much different in the 21st century where couples proudly run away together and elope without bothering to contact their families. So should we still expect grooms to ask the bride’s father for permission to get married? Men who pride themselves on manners, etiquette and old-school charm will undoubtedly ask permission simply because it’s the gentleman thing to do. But some women might be slightly offended by the act. After all, she can think for herself. And even if her father said no, that’s hardly going to stop anyone.

So what’s the point? Should you still ask anyway? Here are some tips on how to decide if it’s appropriate to ask her father for permission or not:

If your girl is someone who puts a lot of value on family and tradition, then asking her father is an absolute must. She’ll love the gesture and will be flattered by your manners.

If she’s a woman who values family but doesn’t hold on tight to traditions, then make sure her family is aware of the proposal. A good way to include her family in the proposal is to have a few of her family members help with picking out an engagement ring or help setting up the proposal. This way her family is still in on the proposal without you having to ask them for permission.

If she’s incredibly liberal in values or isn’t that close to her family, then it’s probably not a good idea to feature her family so heavily in the proposal. In fact, she might even feel insulted if her whole family was aware of the proposal before she found out herself. Instead, wait until you have popped the question before announcing the news to friends and family.

Engagement 101

Related Posts

Comments (57)


  1. Austin says:

    Hi everyone! I am 21 and my girlfriend is 19 (about to turn 20). We both are madly in love and have only been together for just a little over a year. I have talked to my family and my pastors at the church I work at about proposing to her. We are both very mature for our age and financially stable as college students (no student loan debts).

    Tonight I am meeting with her father, whom loves me dearly and is one of my best friends to ask for his blessing to propose. I don’t really know what to say and I am freaking out. Really I just don’t know how to start. If someone can help and give some tips, that would be awesome.

    thank you all so much!

  2. admin says:

    Hope it went well. Don’t forget to share your story.

  3. edward says:

    Im thinking of asking my girlfriend to marry me but I want to ask her father for permission first….

    How soon before I ask her, should I ask her father for permission?

    Is it a 2 weeks thing or a 6 months thing?


  4. admin says:

    Confused about this question. You can ask the father anytime or tell him your intentions. Ger, it’s when you are ready with a proposal plan and a ring. So it depends on you :)

  5. Paul Mendoza says:


    I’m 48 and divorced. My children are 22, 19 and 16. My girlfriend is 37, widow with two children, ages 12 and 10. Whats the etiquette in asking her parents permission to marry their daughter? Both families are catholic, by the way. Thank you. Paul

  6. admin says:

    Here are some ideas.
    In your case though, don’t forget to ask the children, all of them and maybe ask them to help you with the proposal. Good luck!

  7. ANDREA FOXX says:

    hi my name andrea and my fiance name cariter and he lived in florida and i in oklahoma city and we r in diffrent state . we love each other very much and we viedo chat n text n send pic n talk on phone each other. he dont mind the distance. as long he love me. i never felt that way before . he want get married right away. how soon should we be enagaed? or married? dont wanna leave any thing out

Leave a Comment