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How to Ask a Father to Marry His Daughter

by Molly Jones
Last updated on August 22, 2023
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Asking your significant other’s father for permission to marry can be nerve-wracking. Possibly even more nerve-wracking than popping the question to your girlfriend. Not to fear though! We’ve compiled this handy guide on “how to ask a father to marry his daughter” just for you. It will help you prepare to ask your girlfriend’s father’s permission.

You’ll be walking down that aisle before you know it. Read on to find out how to ask.

Where Does Asking Your Future Father-In-Law for Permission to Marry Come From?

Many people view asking your future bride’s father for permission to marry as a respectful gesture. But others see it as downright sexist. After all, your future wife isn’t property, and she is free to do as she pleases.

While this is all true today, the practice of asking a father for his permission to marry first began in Ancient Rome. In those times, women were considered to be the property of their fathers through the power of pater familias (father of the family).

In order to prevent Roman women from marrying husbands who were not up to snuff, or worse yet—who might have already married before—it was important for fathers to vet and approve of the match. This was so that they could ensure the woman’s new husband could provide for her financially. It was also to ensure he could support her during times of hardship. Back then hopeful husbands-to-be would present the bride’s father with a coin- if the father accepted the man was free to marry his daughter. If not…it would be on to the next suitor.

The Tradition Today

Fortunately, as time progressed the misogynistic and ethical implications of this tradition have fallen to the wayside. More people view requesting and receiving a father’s blessing as a symbol of respect and honor. A promise to an important man in your beloved’s life that you will take just as good care as he has provided over the years.

The tradition has continued to evolve over the years. It is more and more common to ask not only the father for his blessing to marry his daughter, but the other family members’ blessings as well!

How to Pop the Question and Get Her Father’s Blessing

Ask Your Future Father-In-Law to Meet in Private. How to ask a father to marry his daughter.
Ask Your Future Father-In-Law to Meet in Private

Now that you know where the practice comes from it’s time to ask your partner’s father for his blessing. Nervous? Don’t be! Be sure to follow the following tips, and you’ll receive his blessing in no time!

Make Sure You and Your Girlfriend Are On the Same Page

First and foremost, it is vitally important to make sure that you and your girlfriend are on the same page when it comes to this whole marriage thing. If you’re not sure whether or not she wants to get married, it is best to ask her directly before involving her father.

You will also want to make sure that your girlfriend would be ok with you asking for her dad’s permission to marry her. As we’ve mentioned before, some women don’t see asking permission to propose as an important tradition. Additionally, most women would also prefer if other family members were involved as well. Whether it be a step-parents, your girlfriend’s mother, or the whole family, do your best to sneakily ask what she would prefer and then honor her preferences.

Know Who Your Future In-Laws Are

Get to Know Your Future In-Laws. How to ask a father to marry his daughter.
Get to Know Your Future In-Laws

If you’ve had the opportunity to get to know your future in-laws ahead of time, then you may have an idea about their expectations regarding your asking for their daughter’s hand. By observing your future father-in-law, you can determine the best course of action in approaching him or any other family member to ask permission.

Do Your Homework: Outline Your Thoughts

You wouldn’t simply pop the question to your girlfriend without first coming up with the proposal plans. Therefore, you shouldn’t jump into this conversation without first thinking long and hard about what you want to say. This is one of the most important conversations you’ll ever have in your life, so take some time to mull it over.

Think about where you’re at in life. Consider who you are as a person, and what you want from life—and from your future partner. You might want to write down some notes on these topics.

Then, think about what qualities your girlfriend’s father would like to see in his future son-in-law. Do you share similar interests? Are there any shared hobbies or activities that you could suggest doing together? What do her parents look for when they consider potential partners for their daughters? Think about how your relationship fits into all of this.

Finally, reflect on your girlfriend’s family dynamic and family values. Your future father-in-law has most likely played a very important part in your girlfriend’s life. You’ll want to understand how you fit in and align with these values.

Ask to Meet Somewhere Private for an In-Person Conversation

You don’t want your girlfriend’s father to feel like he was ambushed. So it is a good idea to ask you ask your future father-in-law to meet somewhere private, like a bar or coffee shop, to talk man-to-man.

He’ll understand that you need to speak about something important and can have time to prepare himself. (In fact, if you’ve been dating his daughter for some time he may be expecting this conversation!). Plus, meeting in a private yet neutral space prevents the possibility of any bystanders eavesdropping and making either of you uncomfortable.

Be Ready to Have a Conversation

Be Open and Listen to Each Other. How to ask a father to marry his daughter.
Be Open and Listen to Each Other

The moment is here so take a deep breath to compose yourself before you begin.

Show respect to your potential father-in-law by recognizing his importance in your girlfriend’s eyes. Share that you’ll always know that she’ll forever be his little girl and that you intend to honor and cherish her in good faith and perfect love.

You can ask if he’d be willing to talk about how he sees you fitting into his family dynamic, what he hopes for from his daughter’s spouse, and what kind of man would make her happy. You can also ask him what kind of things he thinks are important in a marriage—things like fidelity, kindness, and quality time spent together as a family unit. What does he want most, as a father, for his daughter if she were to marry?

By asking questions you are showing that you respect his wishes and input. Accept what he says in good faith, and listen to any constructive criticism he may have. He does know his daughter best.

Once you receive his blessing, it might be nice to acknowledge the bonding experience you both had with a hug. It only seems appropriate because now, you’re family!

After You’ve Received His Blessing Find the Perfect Engagement Ring at Clean Origin

Clean Origin Has the Perfect Ring For You
Clean Origin Has the Perfect Ring For You

Now that you have the father’s blessing, it’s time to find the perfect engagement ring at Clean Origin.

Clean Origin is a one-stop shop for all your wedding and engagement ring needs. We carry a wide variety of styles, from diamond solitaires to halo rings and so much more. Whether you’re looking for something simple and classic or are interested in something more ornate, we’ve got you covered.

We also offer a wide range of cuts for your lab grown diamonds, including round brilliant, emerald, Asscher, heart-shaped, pear-shaped, and more. If you want to go beyond just a single stone, we have options that include multiple stones set in different styles of settings—from channel set to pave set—to help create the perfect look for her finger!

Ready to find the perfect engagement ring? Browse our selection of premium diamonds and settings now.

Thankfully, society is much different in 2023, where couples proudly run away together without bothering to contact their families, nor are expected to solicit approval. That said, recent statistics show that more and more men are doing so, viewing the gesture as a blessing rather than a formal expectation of permission.

So should we still expect grooms to ask the bride’s father for permission? Men who pride themselves on manners, etiquette, and old-school charm will undoubtedly ask permission because it’s the gentlemanly thing to do. But some women might be offended by the act. After all, she can think for herself. And even if her father said no (he won’t), it’s not going to stop the two of you from doing it anyway.

Should you still ask? Here are a few tips on how to decide whether it’s appropriate or not.

If she values family and tradition…

…then asking her father is an absolute must. She’ll love the gesture and will be flattered by your manners. Consider it the “old-school” thing to do and retro is most certainly in!

If she values family but doesn’t hold tight to traditions…

…then make sure her family is aware of the proposal, but don’t feel the need to ask. Perhaps involve a sibling or another family member in asking what type of ring or jewelry she’d like. Maybe something from Clean Origin’s collection will really generate that excitement. You may be presently surprised by the size of the diamond you can afford when shopping for lab grown diamonds.

If she’s not that close to her family…

…then it’s probably not a good idea to feature them so heavily in the proposal. In fact, she might even be insulted if others knew about the proposal before she found out herself.

Those are our suggestions. Feel free to shoot us a note or leave a comment if you have the advice of your own.

This post has been provided by Clean Origin, curators of 100% lab-created diamonds. We bring our customers exceptional, high-quality jewelry for any momentous occasion. Our team of experts has been in the industry for three generations, providing superior quality settings and diamonds for a fraction of the price. Clean Origin offers concierge service and a 100-day money back guarantee to back all of its fine jewelry. We’d be honored if you made us part of your life’s journey.