Wight Wedding Blog

Asking for Father's permission -
better safe than sorry?

Nowadays there are some stages of the marriage process that aren’t easy to negotiate.

Brides were once governed by set procedures, which meant they could anticipate exactly what the different steps were in the wedding process. Back in the day, people knew what was expected – who would give permission, who would propose, who would pay. Girls would have expected their sweethearts to eagerly approach their fathers for their hand in marriage; and fathers would absolutely have expected it.

Image from Silk Wedding Photography

Including your in-laws in your proposal plans will help them feel respected
and involved in your future. 

It may also reduce the likelihood of her Dad pouring champagne down yer trousers.

These days with most of us women earning our own money, making our own decisions and funding our own dreams it might seem strange to uphold this tradition. Why would we need to ask for our father’s permission. This is particularly outdated when you consider that most couples are already living together– and may even have children together by the time they decide to get married.

Despite this – we have heard of a few instances where a couple’s decisions to wed has left the father feeling neglected and hurt. I would hope that if my boyfriend were going to propose that I would have an idea that it was coming before my parents did. I would also dislike the thought that such a big life decision was discussed without me knowing, by two blokes – even if they were my favourite two blokes.

As many parents still contribute to the cost of the couple’s wedding it’s considered normal practice to send an invitation from both the mother and the father, and most people these days would consider their Mother to be the head of the household. So in this modern age, should Mums not also be asked for their blessing?

I know from my sister’s engagement that my Dad really appreciated being asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Not because he was on a power trip, but because he felt touched that his soon to be ‘son in law’ cared about his opinion and respected him.  I understand that it was also a particularly lovely gesture because my sister’s boyfriend took the opportunity to ask the Big Man for advice on becoming a husband and how to cultivate a marriage that’s as wonderful as my parents’. Yes - he was being a total brown noser, but it went down a storm and did a lot for building relationships, and I think I could live with allowing this particular tradition if it meant that key relationships could be reinforced.

It seems that although it’s not something couples think is necessary,  it’s something parents still see as a thoughtful ‘gesture’. Like most things, it seems like it’s better to be safe than sorry! Any groom to be will want to keep on the right side of his fiancé’s parents – but if he’s got any sense, he’ll discuss his plans with his bride to be first – or at least drop a good few hints along the way…

We would love to know what you 21st Centuary ladies think about asking for parents' permission to wed - get in touch or leave your thoughts on our Facebook page!