Did you ask your wife's dad for his daughter's hand?

How’s that for a title?

Straight Dope men, before you asked your SO to marry you, did you clear it with her father beforehand? My girlfriend dropped the bomb on me that her father absolutely expects me to ask him, and will never forgive me if I don’t. The thought of asking him scares the piss out of me, more than asking her does.

Did you ask the father? Did you not ask, and wish you had? How did the talk go? How did you do it? At a dinner? Or just pull him aside at a family gathering? Give me the deets.

I am a girl, and have no real dog in this, but I do have an interesting anecdote.

My friend, at the young age of 20, got his 19 YO girlfriend pregnant and had to ask her dad for permission to marry her. They were devout Catholics.

He went over their house, and disappeared around the back, where he found the dad chopping wood. The daughter could no longer see him.

A few minutes went by. Cue the young man, running at full tilt around the house, with the father chasing him with the axe! :eek: He chased him right off his property, and the girl had to drive his car to go pick him up.

Six years later, the father and SIL are best of friends and go hunting every year. Two years ago, FIL gave SIL an axe for Christmas.

I’m an old-fashioned type of guy and absolutely would have done this. However, my wife’s father is about 7,000 miles away and does not speak English. :frowning:

My wife was able to pass along the message that I was a nice guy and very respectful of family, so I was able to earn points that way. By the time I actually met her parents (last year), they were very very happy to meet me and thought I was the “right one” for their daughter.

In Korean society, respect for ones parents/grandparents trumps everything. It’s amazing how far just a little respect of family can take you. I will be in their good graces forever.


I don’t think my wife would have liked the idea either.

Yes I did.

I was still learning the basics of the Portuguese language. I boldly dialed a long series of numbers that eventually connected me with a telephone in Rio de Janeiro, and I asked my wife’s father for permission ot marry her, in Portuguese. He said yes :cool:.

It is one of my fondest memories.

Not permission, no.

We did inform my father-in-law that we were getting married and I asked him personally for his blessing.

This seems like a nice way to go about it, myself. Modern yet respectful of family ties.

Before I proposed to my wife, she let me know that she wanted me to ask her father’s permission first. It was no big deal for me, as her father has known my parents since before I was born and he likes me. I took him out to dinner a couple of days before I popped the question and we had a nice conversation.

I mentioned the idea to Lady Chance before we got married.

Quotha: “Are you going to marry him or me?”

So I didn’t. And he didn’t come to the wedding.

No. I was marrying an adult, so she was perfectly capable of accepting or rejecting my proposal all by herself. I like her dad just fine, but I think the custom is a bit outdated.

My dad can be kind of old fashioned about some things, so I asked him if he wanted to be asked when my fiance and I started to get really serious.

He got all red-faced and said “absolutely not”.

I was relieved, because it always struck me as a “can I take the car out tonight” kind of thing.

I’m not going to be “given away” at my wedding either. I find that so disrespectful of my identity as a human being.

Same in our case - my parents respect me as an adult capable of making my own decisions, and they would have rolled over laughing at the idea of anyone asking ‘permission’ from anyone but me.

Whoops, there was supposed to be a quote from Zebra and or BobLibDem in there!

When I proposed, I never really thought of it. I figured I’d be marrying her, not her father. Of course, about 5 minutes after I proposed and she accepted, she asked me if I’d talked to her father.

“Huh? No.”
“Oh god! Call him now! Why didn’t you ask him!?”

So I did, he picked up and I asked. He told me to go right ahead. And that was that.

**Ponster **rarely ventures in here so I hope he won’t mind if I answer for him. Pretty much like Mr Moto said - he asked for their blessing (looooong story but despite original plans for it to be man to man in one room and woman to woman in another he ended up facing them both) rather than their permission - marrying or not was not up for debate, he’d asked & I’d accepted.

Bit of ‘back story’ - my parents are in their seventies and v. traditional, there had been a sticky period when he moved in and this was only the 2nd time I think they’d met.

My parents mean a lot to me, he means a lot to me. I’m proud he spoke to them. It was what they would have expected and I’m sure they respect him for doing so - IMO it made things easier and it got a special mention in the Father of the Bride speech. I love him for realising that it was necessary (or at least it important) and admire him for the way he handled it; especially the deafening silence that followed …

I was informed by the fianceè that it would be a good idea to do so. Fictional character my FIL most closely resembles in demeanor and appearance: Tony Soprano.

Once, I was alone with her father and I said, “I’m planning on asking <name> to marry me and I just wanted you to know before I did it.”

He goes, “congratulations” and shook my hand.

Anyway, we get back to house. I’m manning the grill, and the whole family was sitting around inside the house. FIL: “Hey did you all know Trunk and <name> are getting married?”

I hadn’t even asked her.

By the way, I think the way I did it is still respectful of the old man, but isn’t really asking permission per se which is, IMO, a bit outdated.

My would-be FIL had already passed away, but I did ask my MIL. Basically, we’d already decided we’d get married and her mom was happy about it, so I did it just for the sake of tradition. She thought it was cute.

I did. I also asked her two boys for permission as well.

No, and I didn’t ask him for her hymen, either. He was a disagreeable prick, and he never liked me either. We eloped – for a year. Told them we were married on our first anniversary.

No. I’m in the “she’s an adult and she’s not property” camp, myself. She didn’t recommend it, and my father-in-law probably would’ve thought it was weird. (Although, come to think of it, I think my sister-in-law’s husband did ask for his consent or blessing – I should ask.)

However, if it had been important to my wife’s father, I’d have asked for his blessing without telling him that the proposal was a done deal. I don’t mind nodding to tradition if it keeps everyone happier.