I stumbled upon an old article in the Boston Globe that talked about the revival of the old “man basking the bride’s dad’s consent” tradition, and it made me think of The Beard’s proposal. He did in fact call my dad to ask his blessing, mostly because I’d told him a number of times that my dad would really like that. My dad, as you might guess, is an old fashioned dude. For the record, I would have married The Beard even if my father had told him to buzz off–he was asking for my dad’s blessing, not his permission.
What interested me more than the article itself was the range of responses I found in the comments section.
If a young man wanted to come talk to me about marrying my daughter BEFORE he had talked to her, I would have serious reservations about the man. I think it would show a lack of respect for the woman he wanted to marry. This is something I would expect my daughters to figure out on their own (like grown women) and then come tell me once they had decided. For most of us women, it is a reminder of a time when we were excluded from a lot of the decision making about our lives. Completely creepy.
If you’re going to discuss getting married as a couple, then why even propose or ask?! What’s the point if you’ve already discussed the subject? Sorry but with how important my family is to me, I would want my parents consent before a guy asked me to marry him. Maybe I’m old fashioned or maybe I am lucky to have a supportive family that knows who I am.
I asked her father’s permission before proposing to my wife. What was his answer? Essentially: “Thank you for asking; we like you and would certainly welcome you into the family; however, it’s not our decision to make, but our daughter’s.” Many of my friends have done the same thing with similar results; I think it helps the situation by recognizing that family extends beyond the two core people involved in the proposal.
Because I respect my wife, I did not ask her father for permission to marry her. And, he was old school. Why not? Because, it wasn’t his decision. And, what if he had said no? I would have really disrespected him by marrying his daughter against his wishes. Or, I would have disrespected myself and not have married her. Women aren’t property–I’ve looked on eBay.
I always thought it was super lame and old school to ask for my parents “permission”, as I am not a piece of property and i have been on my own since i have been 19, and my parents are not paying for my wedding either. My boyfriend knew my feelings, and to be honest I was not very strong either way. He ended up asking them, taking an entire Saturday, driving to RI, taking a hour long ferry asking them and then taking the hour long ferry back FIVE hours later. It meant a LOT to my parents. I’m happy he asked them, just because they are happy.
If this is really just about greater inclusion of the families, then why aren’t prospective brides being asked to call their potential husband’s mother/father to “ask permission”?
While I did not ask my father in law for my wife’s hand in 1988, it was a mistake. I hurt my relationship with him for the first 5-6 years and only in the last 3 years before his premature death, did we finally make friends and become family. There’s something called respect and common decency that had been largely forgotten by Americans. I am glad to see it returning with the young people. The path to my daughter is through me.
Honestly, I would have been offended had my (now) husband asked permission of my parents. I was 25 and living on my own when we got engaged – why on earth would they have any say in my decision? Even a “courtesy conversation” is ridiculous, IMO – I think there’s something twisted about the parents knowing before the daughter that the proposal is coming.
What say you? Is this tradition quaint or creepy?