The marriage proposal and engagement mark a couple’s first step towards marriage when a person asks for the hand of their soulmate! Although it comes from an ancient tradition, engagement today tends to disappear, and couples focus mainly on how to make their marriage proposal and announce it to their respective families.

You can find in this article some interesting details about the history of the request for the hand of the loved one in marriage, what this custom represents and how long it dates back. You will get some tips about how to ask for the consent of your partner’s father to ask her in marriage about receiving the parents’ blessing for the wedding. Also, we tell you what happens if the girl has no father around and what to do in this case.

1. Hand in marriage throughout history

Hand in marriage through history

When deciding to ask for your partner’s hand, there things to consider before asking this life-changing question. Where, how, and when should I do it? How to choose the best moment and the most spectacular ring? A marriage proposal is a whole story to plan for your love affair history. 

There is, however, another question for you to think about: should you ask for your girlfriend’s hand from her father? This tradition has been observed for centuries in many cultures around the world.

The interest between spouses and relatives was the main criterion for establishing these relationships during much of the Ancient Age. Formerly, when a young man wanted to marry his fiancée, he had to ask permission from the girl’s legal guardian. Without this authorization, he could not marry his fiancée. 

Those were the times when the future spouses had no opinion about the decision to marry or the person they married. For nobles and royals, arranged marriages united two great families to turn them into allies and expand their power. Most of the time, arranged marriages were mainly financial; young girls had to consent to marriage to start a family early and protect themselves from want. 

With changing times, arranged marriages disappeared, and young people could choose the person they wanted to marry. Today, some people are still attached to the idea of ​​applying the protocol of etiquette by first asking for the hand of their future wife to their father-in-law, but it is a tradition that tends to disappear. 

The bride and groom prefer to discuss a future wedding project together without first asking for the parent’s consent. But nowadays, each couple can make the marriage proposal that suits them best without worrying about tradition or etiquette. Today, making a surprise proposal to your better half is more common.

This does not exclude this traditional gesture of asking for the family’s permission to get married. Or rather, maybe you ask for their blessing if it is closer to your values. You can make this gesture together after you receive the big Yes.

2. How to ask your girlfriend’s parents for a blessing?

How to ask your girlfriend's parents for a blessing

If asking a blessing or permission was once a standard part of an engagement, today, it is considered an archaic or misogynistic ritual. Today, things have changed. Women are no longer considered as belonging to their fathers, so does this tradition still exist?

Generally, this is a nice gesture, assuming your love is close to his relatively traditional parents. If they’re non-traditional, or you’re worried they might see it as a sexist gesture, be careful how you phrase it. It may be a better option to ask for their blessing. It is a situation that will put you on the same level without being offensive to your girlfriend or her parents, even more so if they are more traditional.

Even if you want to follow the tradition of asking for your girlfriend’s hand in marriage from her father or asking for his blessing, there are cases in which this is not possible, objectively speaking. 

Among these can include if she’s separated from her parents or she has a bad relationship with them, if her father or parents are dead or if you think her parents will not approve of your marriage or they will spoil the surprise of your proposal. In this case, it is safest to turn to the paternal or maternal figure with the most crucial role in the life of your future wife.

3. Wedding blessings from parents: why could it be important for your relationship?

Wedding blessings from parents why could it be important for your relationship

Many traditions are related to the wedding day, but most refer to relatively recent customs. Retracing our ancestors’ footsteps, we can come across a veritable multitude of traditions; among these, we cannot fail to mention the request for the bride’s hand to her father.

Asking for the hand of the bride from her father is a deeply rooted tradition in Western culture. However, it was set aside over the years in various social environments with the sexual revolution and the emancipation of women because it was considered excessively male-dominated.

However, in the postmodern era, everything is revisited. So this act of consent has been dusted off and is trending again. You can adapt this custom to our days, transforming this mandatory gesture in the past into a declaration of respect for your girlfriend’s parents. 

After all, this gesture can mean that you appreciate their love for the woman of your dreams. And because of that, you both have reached this point where you want to start a family. If you are more traditionalist and this gesture could offend your more progressive girlfriend, then it might be better to discuss it beforehand.

Hand in marriage how to do it nowadays

4. Hand in marriage: how to do it nowadays?

If you have reached this part of the article and have decided that you want to get the blessing of your girlfriend’s parents, then it is time to plan the moment well. First, you must consider how you want the moment to occur. Some men propose to their beloved and go together to ask for their parent’s blessing. Others prefer a more personal discussion with them and only ask the big question.

The truth is that no matter how much you read about this relatively delicate subject, you must adapt to your situation. This gesture of asking for your girlfriend’s parents’ permission or blessing could be misunderstood if this custom is not practiced anymore in your country. In some areas or cultures, it is customary for the future groom’s whole family to visit the future bride’s family to bless the new family.

If you want to opt for something simple and effective:

  • Invite them to a dinner in town.
  • Express your gratitude for all their love for their daughter and everything they have done for her.
  • Tell them that you love her and want to have a wonderful life together and that it would be significant if they gave you their blessing for this great moment in your life.

If it is important for you to make this gesture or know that it is the kind of symbol that your girlfriend would appreciate, it will be welcome. It would be best if you used this moment to establish how you want your parents to help you somehow in the wedding organization. Sometimes, the safest thing is to discuss these aspects together and then communicate them clearly to your parents. 

Nowadays, couples have a different perception of the traditional wedding ceremony in which the whole family has a say. Today, more than ever, couples choose the expertise of a team of professionals in organizing events. After all, having a team by your side will fulfill all your dreams about this day. And you enjoy this incredible day with your family and friends.

This significant moment in your life together and everything about celebrating your love through marriage can be overwhelming. Choose to do the traditions that align with your values, lifestyle, and personality.


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