The Groom List believes that men should behave like men and not be afraid to adhere to traditions where the situation dictates. You would have thought then that we would not even consider letting you ask for your lovely lady’s hand in marriage without having run it past her father, wouldn’t we?
Whilst we all know it is customary for the groom to ask the father of the bride for his permission to marry her daughter could this archaic tradition now be considered antiquated and perhaps even misogynistic? Will it make you look like a gentleman in her father’s eyes or will he be offended that you thought you actually had to ask him?
Permission or Blessing
In these modern times it may be sensible to forge a middle ground. Rather than seeking out his ‘permission’ to marry his daughter perhaps you could ask for his blessing. You could take this a step further and meet with both of her parents together (or each individually if they are no longer together) and ask them at the same time how they would feel if you proposed to their daughter.
Here is how such a conversation might play out:
- Call them in advance and ask for a private meeting or pull them both to one side during a family event
- Tell them that you are deeply in love with their daughter and that you want to make he part of your life forever
- Come straight out and say that you are going to ask her to marry you
- Tell them how much it would mean to you if they were to bless your union
- Have a very stiff drink and celebrate when they say yes!
Of course there may well be situations where informing her father of your intentions may not be the best thing to do. If your bride has a turbulent relationship with her family she may not appreciate you wanting to get their blessing, when really she couldn’t care less. Only you have the understanding of her family dynamic and it is up to you to make the call on this.
If you are a more mature couple, you (and her) may find it odd to ask her aged father for his permission when he hasn’t had any influence over his daughter’s life for many years. The same could be said for couples who are very independent of their families and who may not visit them very often.
Most importantly, if you do not intend to invite her father to the wedding – for whatever reason – then you should not approach him for his blessing. It will be a great insult when after having approved your union he does not receive an invite. This is just not cool.
It is probably true (and we have no research to back this up) that the number one reason for not going through with asking her father though is that the groom is too scared of, or intimidated by him. If you, like most men, have met your bride’s family and bonded with them over some time this excuse is not available to you.
If the one thing stopping you from asking for his blessing is that you are not sure how he will react, or that he might say no, then you need to suck it up and prove to yourself that you are a man. How do you expect to be a husband and provider to your new wife if you cannot even muster up the courage to ask an old man a question? He will respect you for it and she will no doubt think of you as her brave man-hero.
Remember those wise and immortal words of the great Dr. Pepper – “What’s the worst that can happen?”