Planning your perfect proposal isn’t easy, particularly when your future bride is not the only one you have to pop the question to! Tradition dictates that the Father of the (hopefully soon-to-be) Bride’s permission must be sought before asking the most important question you’ll ever ask, but is this now an outdated tradition or one that should be maintained?
Time to find out!
In the Red Corner, fighting the feminist corner and arguing that permission should not need to be granted, it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”
In the Blue Corner, he didn’t actually get advanced permission to pop the question himself but has always since regretted it, arguing to continue the tradition and ask for the father’s permission first, it’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”
Asking the Father’s Permission Vs Popping the Question Without
Dom: Asking the father’s permission is a tradition that stems from out-dated ideas of male ownership over women and that is no longer relevant – it is the person being proposed to’s decision whether or not to get married, not the father’s.
Matt: I think we all accept that nowadays asking the father’s permission is more of a courtesy than a requirement, but one that shows a lot of respect towards your (hopefully soon-to-be) fiancé’s family and shows how important they are to you both.
Dom: Sometimes even if you know you’re ready to pop the question you maybe don’t know how you’re going to do it until the perfect opportunity presents itself. You don’t want to let the moment pass you by simply because you haven’t yet been able to ask permission from the father.
Matt: But you don’t need to provide the specific details of how and when you plan to ask, permission to marry someone doesn’t generally have an expiry date so you can ask as soon as you’ve decided you’re ready and then figure out the specifics later
Dom: If you live a long distance away from your future in-laws it can be very tricky to actually find the opportunity to ask the father of the bride’s permission as it’s not really a conversation you want to have over the phone.
Matt: Asking the father’s permission can help to form a better bond between you and your future father-in-law as you’ve shared a very private and important conversation together. You both share a deep love for the same person and talking about that can only bring you closer, you’re going to be family after all!
Dom: If you want the proposal to be a big secret surprise the more people know about it the harder that becomes, particularly if the FOTB isn’t great at keeping secrets! What if the proposal plans go wrong and you don’t have the opportunity to pop the question and then the FOTB puts his foot in it by offering congratulations before you have chance to warn him?! There are so many more things that can go wrong when more people know about the proposal in advance
Matt: Asking the father’s permission is a polite gesture and one that shows her family what kind of person you are. It’s important to all really get along and be one big family and asking permission is a good start. In some cultures though not asking permission is actually hugely insulting so it’s generally best to tread carefully!
Dom: Not every bride has a great relationship with their father and asking permission of them might in fact be inappropriate, particularly if they choose not to give it or if the daughter would not plan on asking her father to attend the wedding which can then cause huge family tensions.
Matt: Although it’s traditional, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the father whose permission you ask, you could always ask the mother or guardian depending on who seems the most appropriate person in her family to ask. You may not necessarily need anyone’s permission, but asking for it is likely to be seen as a lovely gesture by all.
So those are our thoughts but where do you stand? Place your vote in our poll below or leave a comment to join the debate!