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Old proposal traditions
Old 07-25-2016, 12:50 PM
  #1

Sorry to post again, I keep getting topic ideas that I find interesting from previous posts.

Do you think that in this day and age men should ask the woman's parents permission to marry?

Don't get me wrong, I think those who do that are very generous and polite. However, times have changed so much. Many couples who get engaged are already established, and in many cases are already living together as if they were married.

As I mentioned on that engagement post, though it was my first marriage, I was already 37 and my husband 49 when he proposed. We had been living together for 6 months and each on our own for at least 10 years prior to meeting. In this case, it is polite to inform parents of your engagement, but not necessarily ask for permission. Advice maybe.

What do you think?


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Old 07-25-2016, 12:58 PM
  #2

I lean toward old fashioned and ask the girl's parents. May be a formality, but I think it is wise to do it.
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:00 PM
  #3

I consider myself somewhat traditional but I don't think asking permission is necessary. What if the parent says "no"?

At my age, I wouldn't want the guy to ask permission and my dad would never be able to keep it secret from me, either.

For my daughter, I wouldn't care either way. Her bf can or can not do that. I don't think DH will care either way. However, if he does approach DH, I'm sure he will be talked to death. He'd be better off approaching me.
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:01 PM
  #4

My dh did ask my parents, after he asked me. We were in our mid-20s and self supporting, so I think it was more of a polite formality in our case.

My oldest dd eloped. She was 21 and had been living independently for a couple of years. Since she was our foster dd, not our birth dd, we were not terribly offended, but we would have loved to be allowed to host her wedding. She had lived with us from age 13.

Ds...I am not sure! I believe he did ask his dw's mom. They were pretty close...

Youngest dd got engaged at age 17. She had been dating her (now) dh since puberty. He was in the Marines. He called us from Iraq to ask permission. We knew they wanted to get married eventually, but they had been planning to wait till she finished college and his time in the Marines was up. Deployment changed their minds and made them want to marry sooner. In her case, I think it was obligatory for him to ask. She turned 18 on Feb 20 and got married March 12. They are still married 11 years later, so it wasn't such a crazy idea, I guess. The priest called us and required our permission before he would agree to do the ceremony, as well. (Priest was a close family friend of the groom). If they had been 25 years old, it wouldn't have been such a big deal.
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:03 PM
  #5

Got engaged 13 years ago when I was 31. DH didn't ask permission and I'm pretty sure my dad would have thought it was weird if he had and I certainly didn't think it was warranted. This would have been true even if I was younger.

I have friends who think it's sweet and wanted their DH to do it.

I think it all depends on you, your fiancé/fiancée, and your parents and everyone's relationship with one another. And if you don't know what the right thing to do is for your particular situation, you probably should learn more about your BF/GF and their family.


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"asking permission"
Old 07-25-2016, 01:08 PM
  #6

I have three young adult DDs. One is married, two are engaged. All three young men came to my DH and I before asking our daughters. I think it's sweet of them to do so, although I wouldn't say it was necessary. When my DS is ready to ask his longtime girlfriend, I'm going to encourage him to talk to her father first. I say that if you have a good relationship with each other, then it's a nice touch to request the family's blessing. If the relationship is rocky, then going to the parents could be plain uncomfortable and therefore unnecessary. It's a quaint, old-fashioned tradition whose appropriateness probably varies widely these days.
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:21 PM
  #7

The feminist in me objects to the father of the bride, to anyone really, giving permission for an of-age woman to marry. However, I like what Youthcantknow wrote; I think it's sweet to ask for the parents' blessing as an acknowledgment of the parents' role in raising their daughter.
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:27 PM
  #8

Thanks for bringing up a good memory. I was a widow and my DD's boyfriend called me at work one day out of the blue and asked me if he could meet me for lunch. I was so sure he was going to ask to borrow money that when he asked me if he could marry my daughter I was so relieved! I knew they were both crazy in love with each other. They were both 18 and I said no....that I thought they should both finish college first. They did get engaged that Summer but waited five more years before they got married. They've been happily married for 15 years this week! Couldn't ask for a better SIL....so we were lucky and I would lend him money today if he needed it!!! I loved the fact that he asked me first and kind of agreed with me.
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:32 PM
  #9

Interesting thoughts. I would like to hear more.

I am thinking that if the woman is in a certain age range like under 30, this is a good idea. I still can't see a man asking a 35 plus year old woman's parents for permission though.
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:55 PM
  #10

I was 36 when I got married. My DH did ask my father's permission. For us, it wasn't the formality of actually getting permission, it was traditional for both our families.

When DH asked for my hand in marriage, my loving dad replied, "Nope, you gotta marry all of her." Must be where I get my weird sense of humor!


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Old 07-25-2016, 01:58 PM
  #11

The answer to your question all depends on the brides age and her family. If the bride is young or the parents are old school then the groom should ask or at least discuss the marriage proposal. Asking does seem ridiculous if a couple are living together prior to marriage. Please be sure to talk to parents about a future marriage before you tell friends. I would not like to find out from friends or on Instagram that my boys are getting married!
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:58 PM
  #12

This sounds so wishy washy but I genuinely think it depends. For me, we're both in our mid 20's and she's incredibly close to her parents so I guess it felt right to ask. I definitely get not needing to. On the other hand, my sister is getting married in September and her fiancée didn't ask for permission. I don't view it as a necessity in any way
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Old 07-25-2016, 02:42 PM
  #13

My husband asked my parents after he asked me and had already said yes.
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Old 07-25-2016, 02:44 PM
  #14

Personally, I think it's a throwback to more misogynistic times. It's my permission he needs, not my father's. I think it's creepy and implies my father is the boss of me until I marry at which time my husband becomes the boss of me.

If someone were to ask my husband permission to marry our daughter, he would say, "You should ask her."
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:03 PM
  #15

Quote:
Originally Posted by amiga13
The feminist in me objects to the father of the bride, to anyone really, giving permission for an of-age woman to marry.
Me, too, amiga13. When questions like this come up, I like to turn it around to see if it works for the other gender: if a woman asks the man's mother for permission to marry him, would that be weird? I think so.

It seems sexist and outdated. It smacks of the idea of women being the property of men and that women aren't smart enough to make their own decisions...not that I have strong feelings about this or anything.

If a couple were to decide to get married and then go to each other's parents and ask for a blessing? Yes, absolutely, that seems respectful and would make any traditional parent happy.
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:07 PM
  #16

Quote:
I like to turn it around to see if it works for the other gender: if a woman asks the man's mother for permission to marry him, would that be weird? I think so.
This made me wonder...what about same sex couples? Who asks which parent? It's just antiquated and needs to go the way of the dowry.
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:29 PM
  #17

Our niece just got married a few weeks ago. When her groom popped the question, the very first thing she said was, "Did you ask my Dad?" Luckily for him he had!
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Old 07-25-2016, 04:01 PM
  #18

My DH asked my dad first. I don't think it's necessary at all, but my DH did. My dad said he thought he'd never be asked. Guess at 28 he'd already given up hope! He asked Thanksgiving morning while my mom and I were at church. My dad kept it from my mom until after our extended family gathering because he knew she'd never be able to keep it secret. DH proposed the next day.
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Old 07-25-2016, 04:34 PM
  #19

Well, I have to say that it is really a formality. Imagine a parent saying no! Even with my very young dd, we were fully aware that she could certainly go right ahead and get married without telling us or getting permission. And, although we thought she was really too young, we were unwilling to put her in a situation where she would go behind our backs and get married without our love and moral support. Just not worth it. We told her (and him) frankly what we thought might become issues for them later, but she had finished high school and had started college, living on her own at school, and they were capable of supporting themselves, so we also told them that they were adults, we love them both, and we would be happy to have him as our son in law. Frankly, one of the things we love about him is the way he showed respect for us by asking for our blessing and permission.
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Old 07-25-2016, 04:58 PM
  #20

Yes, I think it's still respectful. I remember when DH asked my dad, my dad said it was totally up to me and I could make my own decision. He gave his blessing, but I had lived on my own for about 9 years so I guess he figured there wasn't a lot he could do to stop me if I wanted to anyway.
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:23 PM
  #21

I was 37 when DH proposed. He spoke with my parents a week earlier and wanted their blessing, not quite their permission. We had discussed it and I liked the fact that he did want to speak with them.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:39 PM
  #22

DD's steady boyfriend (they were both in their mid-20's) did ask us for our blessing before he proposed to DD.

He asked to meet DH and me for breakfast and I thought it was so sweet. He was visibly very nervous and even brought me flowers! He didn't propose until 2 months later so it was a long time to keep a secret!

He is a wonderful and very thoughtful son-in-law. Love him to pieces!
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:46 AM
  #23

My brother did this and he was 47 first marriage and SIL 42. Her dad really thought it was cool. DS did, too.
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:34 PM
  #24

I proposed to my dw 10 years ago. She was a couple of months out of college, but not living at home. I had been out of college a year but still living at home. I asked her father about a week or so in advance. I am a bit of a traditionalist and I know her parents are, too. Also, we had been dating for nearly 6 years by then so I knew the answer they would give. Now I have a dd and would like the opportunity for my wife and I to give our blessing, but it isn't a deal breaker.
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