So you’re finally sure she’s the one and are ready to take your relationship to the next level. However, before you pop the question, there’s one urgent task you need to take care of – asking her father for permission to marry his daughter. No matter how close you are to her family, this can be a nerve-wracking experience. Fortunately, the 10 tips below will help you impress your soon-to-be father-in-law. Soon enough, you’ll watch him walk his daughter down the aisle.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Tip No. 1 – Make Sure She’s Ready
Matters of the heart are no joke so before popping the question, make sure you and your partner are on the same page. After all, you don’t want to speak to her father only to be rejected on what was supposed to be one of the most joyful days of your life.
You’ve likely discussed your future if you’ve been together for a while. Think about how she talks about her plans. If she often includes you, it’s a good sign she’s ready to take the next step while holding your hand.
Only once you’re sure she’ll say I do, is it time to consider talking to her father. If she comes from a tight-knit family, she’ll be happy you hold her father in such high regard. On the other hand, brides-to-be who don’t have the best relationship with their families might not want their partner involving others in their intimate moments.
But if you two have discussed marriage and are ready to spend the rest of your lives together, there should be no problems. Even if her father hasn’t been your biggest fan, he probably won’t want to ruin his daughter’s happiness and go against her wishes.
Tip No. 2 – Prepare Your Words
You’ve possibly had dozens of deep conversations with her father. But nothing compares to the moment you’ll ask for his blessing. You’ll feel even more nervous if you’ve only seen him a few times.
Top Tip: Although no guidebook will help you find the right words, keeping it short and straightforward is a safe bet. Don’t overthink it. Regardless of how many times you’ve spoken before, he’ll probably be open to hearing you out. As long as your words come from the heart, there’s no need to worry about this important man-to-man conversation.
If you feel anxious, play out the conversation in your head. Stick to what matters most – your love for his daughter, the life you’ll create together, and what her father’s blessing means to you. After hearing your heartfelt words, there’s no reason why he should disapprove. He’ll shake your hand or bring you in for a hug, and then you can relax and celebrate with a drink.
Tip No. 3 – Choose the Perfect Time and Location
Another aspect you should consider is the time and location of the request. It will set the mood for the conversation, so you don’t want to meet her father in a crowded bar or restaurant. Similarly, your heart-to-heart shouldn’t take place during a family get-together. Raising your voice to get his attention as other family members are talking doesn’t leave the best impression.
Perhaps your partner can help you with picking the time and place. If a family function is coming up, she could distract the other family members, granting you the perfect opportunity to address her father. Ask if he has a few minutes to step outside and talk about something that matters to you.
This doesn’t mean restaurants and bars are a no-go, but you should look for a quiet and private place. It doesn’t have to be a fancy venue either. As long as you keep your speech short and sweet, the whole thing should be over quickly. But remember to find a place with a somber atmosphere that accurately reflects your intentions.
Tip No. 4 – Be Professional
Fathers are protective of their daughters, and you’ll need to convince him you’ve got what it takes to look after her. Try to keep your nerves at bay and keep the jokes to a minimum. This is an important conversation for both of you, so showing that your intentions are serious should be a top priority.
Start with talking about how much you value his daughter and praise her qualities. In a way, children are extensions of their parents, so he’ll surely appreciate the compliments. You don’t have to go overboard. You’ve asked to meet with him privately, which already shows respect.
Additionally, speak confidently. The confidence will reflect your commitment to his daughter, and there’s no better way to earn her father’s trust and blessing.
Tip No. 5 – Prepare for Counter Questions
Although you may feel nervous and overwhelmed, her father likely feels the same way. Not only is he supposed to welcome a new member into the family, but he’s also determining whether you’ll take good care of his daughter. Understandably, this can be a tough pill to swallow for many fathers.
So, expect to answer a few questions. He’s not trying to interrogate you or uncover hidden flaws. Instead, he wants to know whether you’re ready to provide his daughter with the life she deserves. He might ask some of the following questions.
- How do you plan to support your family?
- Have you worked out a long-term living arrangement?
- Have you discussed having children?
- Will you get her a diamond ring?
You shouldn’t provide this information if the questions don’t come up. Some fathers need this reassurance, and if your future father-in-law does too, you should be ready to ease his mind and answer these questions.
In some cases, nerves get the better of fathers, and they could ask a few inappropriate questions. Understand that this is stressful for him, and do your best to stay calm and steer the conversation in a different direction.
Tip No. 6 – Compliment Him and Express Gratitude
Put yourself in his shoes. His daughter is one of the most important people in his life; and he may be wondering whether he’s made a good impression on you too. If you’ve spent some time with the family, you probably have some idea about his character. You can express gratitude that the family has welcomed you with open arms and that their trust in you is invaluable.
Again, don’t overdo it. A few simple sentences are sufficient to reassure him that his daughter has chosen the right person as her life partner.
Tip No. 7 – Don’t Ask for His Blessing in Public
As we’ve mentioned, you shouldn’t take him to a crowded bar or restaurant. If you’re struggling to narrow down the location, think about the kind of man your future father-in-law is.
A small, quiet coffee shop might be a good choice if he enjoys a warm cup of coffee.
Another way to go about it is by calling ahead of time and arranging to meet at his home. Explain that you wish to discuss a private matter and would appreciate meeting with him. By visiting him at home, you’ll display you’re willing to go the extra mile to ensure his daughter’s happiness.
If her father lives on the other side of the country, meeting in person can be tricky. Provided you both have time in your schedule, you could make the trip. He’ll appreciate the effort and gain a newfound respect for you.
That’s the best-case scenario, but it’s not always possible. You can set up a time for a phone call or video chat. The same rules apply. Be sincere, keep it brief, and confidently answer questions to highlight your love for his daughter.
Tip No. 8 – Ask Her Mother as Well
For some, asking for a father’s blessing is an outdated tradition. But that doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate the gesture. Instead of only speaking to her father, involve the mother as well. They’ll be happy to take part in the joyous occasion and give you their blessing. Dealing with both parents might be more stressful than talking to only one, but you’ve made it this far and have almost reached the bliss of married life. Approach them sincerely, and they’ll see how much you cherish their daughter.
Tip No. 9 – Talk to the Family
You should approach other senior family members if your significant other’s father isn’t around.
Make sure your future mother-in-law feels comfortable and respected before discussing the matter. If possible, try to have an in-person conversation. Although traveling can be an issue, especially if she lives far away, make plans to visit her and ask for her blessing.
Of course, family dynamics can be complex, and depending on the culture of your fiancée’s family, you may need to talk to other family members . In such cases, speaking to the person your significant other is closest to is the best course of action. This could be her uncle, brother, cousin, or sister.
Remember that respect and confidence go a long way regardless of the family member you’re approaching.
Tip No. 10 – Show Him the Ring
If you’ve already picked out the ring, it might be a nice idea to show it to your future father-in-law. He’ll examine the piece and see how much care and thought went into selecting the perfect choice.
The gesture could even prompt him to fill you in on some family traditions. You can use the information to plan a memorable proposal and wedding.
Bear in mind, the ring may pique your future in-law’s curiosity, and he might ask for more details about the proposal. If you’ve planned an intimate affair, you probably don’t want to involve too many people. After all, the occasion should be all about surprising your partner. You can share some general details, but keep more personal information close to the chest.
If you still haven’t found the ring, you can ask your significant other’s family for help. They know her best, and are aware of what type of jewelry she likes the most. Tell them you appreciate the insight and will let them know how the proposal goes. Once the day arrives, they’ll eagerly await your call. Instead of shocking them with the news, you’ll provide them with a welcome surprise.
What to Avoid When Asking Her Father for Permission to Marry
If your significant other values her independence, she may not be on board with your asking her father for permission. Communication is key, so whatever you do, make sure you respect her wishes.
Some people have strained relationships with their parents and might not want to involve them in the wedding. If you’ve never met them, asking for their blessing will seem unusual.
If the future in-laws are still getting used to your presence in their daughter’s life, they might not have given you the warmest welcome. In that case, you may hope that asking for their blessing will repair the relationship. Talk to your partner and if she green-lights the idea, arrange to meet with the in-laws. But make sure your words and behavior don’t make them feel uncomfortable. Offending her family is the last thing you want to do when asking for your partner’s hand in marriage.
Another thing you should avoid is excessive self-praise. Her parents already know their daughter approves of you, so the conversation shouldn’t sound like a sales pitch. Focus the discussion on your significant other, the happiness you share, and the bright future you want to build together.
How Long Before Proposal to Ask Father for Permission to Marry?
It’s better to ask her father for his blessing sooner rather than later. If you ask him mere weeks before the wedding, he may feel hurt and excluded from the festivities. Thus, play it safe and sit down with your future father-in-law a few weeks before the proposal.
One the other hand, if the relationship is somewhat contentious and you expect that the conversation will cause added stress, then it may be better left for later. If it’s planned for closer to the wedding, it will give you more time to get the important tasks arranged. Then you can ask for his blessing just as a matter of courtesy and you don’t need to worry about it getting in the way since his answer won’t make much of a difference anyway.
Should One Ask Her Mother Permission to Marry Girlfriend?
In general it’s a good idea to ask her mother as well as her father. It shows her the respect due to her position as your girlfriend’s mother and let’s her know that you value her input. However, if your significant other comes from a very traditional household, then it’s likely her father is the head of the family. In some cases, he may expect you to speak with him first about proposing to his daughter. If you know that to be the case, stick to the traditional route and don’t ask her mom. The father will be the bearer of good news and inform the rest of the family about the upcoming wedding as soon as you talk to him.
Another way you can inform her mom is by throwing a pre-proposal event. It’s a celebration of the upcoming proposal that includes the extended family. Although you’ve taken a less traditional approach, you can still uphold family values. If you haven’t yet chosen a ring, you can also ask for her input in choosing a style that her daughter will love.
Should One Ask Father for Hand in Marriage in the Modern World?
Unless you specifically know that your girlfriend won’t appreciate it, it’s a good idea to ask permission from her parents. Although many are reluctant to speak with their future in-laws for fear that such traditions have no place in the modern world, it’s still a sign of respect and a good way to start off on the right foot with your future in-laws. If your partner has explicitly stated there’s no need to get her father’s blessing, you can go straight into planning the actual proposal. Also consider that some families have adopted more non-traditional lifestyles and aren’t fans of seemingly outdated gestures.
Still, her parents should be involved in some way and it’s a good idea to meet with them early on to help them feel included in the process. Perhaps she’ll sit them down and personally invite them to the wedding. Or, you could reach out and ask for help planning the perfect proposal. Again, it all depends on the family dynamic.
Should You Have the Engagement Ring Before You Ask Father for Permission?
In most cases yes. He’ll expect you to have a ring picked out if he respects traditional values and the fact that you’ve already purchased a ring proves your commitment. Moreover, he could ask to see the ring and determine whether it suits his daughter. If your future father-in-law fits this bill, it’s better to err on the side of caution and select a ring well ahead of the proposal.
However, if you know your fiancée would rather choose her ring herself, you might want to hold off on jewelry shopping. Alternatively, if you’re unsure what she’d like, you can ask her father for helpful tips on finding a piece his daughter will cherish for decades.
Many people struggle with this task, despite advice from family. They’re afraid of selecting the wrong size, color, and style.
Since a proposal is a major milestone, finding the ideal engagement ring can make or break the special event. Fortunately, the Estate Diamond Jewelry collection is full of stunning pieces that will delight the bride-to-be.
Whom to Ask for Permission if Her Father Isn’t Available
It goes without saying that if your fiancée’s father is not involved in her life, then her mom should be asked before anyone else.
In cases where speaking to parents isn’t an option, it’s best to arrange to speak to a senior family member. For example, if she has grown up with a loving stepparent, they’ll happily give their blessing.
Similarly, consider talking with her older siblings. They may be protective of their younger sister, so meeting with them before the proposal can strengthen your bond with them.
Whichever course of action you choose, first make sure your significant other is okay with it.
What if Her Father Says No?
In the modern age, parents usually respect their children’s decisions. So, your partner’s father probably won’t refuse to bless your union. On the off chance his answer is no, don’t take it personally. He may be struggling to accept his daughter has grown up and is starting a family of her own. Besides, no isn’t a deal breaker. As long as your partner says yes, few things should spoil your happiness.
Ready to ask her father for permission? Do you first want to find the perfect ring? Talk to one of our expert consultants to find the ring that’ll make her say yes!