Most young men do not miss the seriousness of the occasion when asking their girlfriend’s father for her hand in marriage. Although if she is old enough to sign her own documents, it may seem like a formality. You should realize that there is more involved than just going through the rite.
With young ladies who are getting married for the first time, their father is still the dominant male influence in their lives. His opinion matters to her, and it should to you. Depending on the exact circumstance of the upcoming nuptials, your approach may need to be modified to match the situation.
If she is under 18, she will need her parents to say yes for the marriage to legally happen.
This may not be a case of robbing the cradle. Many young people fall madly in love in high school and choose to marry right after graduation. Actually, this accounts for the large number of weddings in late May and early June. Depending on how the girl’s birthday falls, she may or may not be old enough to sign the application for a marriage license before the wedding. If the parents must sign for her, you will want to work extra hard to get their permission. It may only be a matter of weeks before she can sign her own papers, but to young couples in love, a few weeks can seem like a lifetime.
Remember that you are asking for them to spend a lot of money to pay for a wedding.
Even conservative weddings can cost thousands of dollars. Daughters expect their parents to be prepared to take care of this expense when the time comes. If you take a cavalier attitude about their daughter’s hand in marriage, it will not cause them to want to open the vault for your wedding to their baby girl. Part of asking for her hand in marriage is to give assurances to her parents that their daughter is making the right choice. For parents, and dad’s in particular, any young man who dates their daughter appears to be several steps below human on the evolutionary scale. It is time to step up your game.
For this meeting, lose “dude!” from your vocabulary.
Her father will be looking for a positive sign that you were born with a brain. If you have trouble speaking in complete sentences, you may want to write out your speech and have someone that you trust edit it for you. Reading a prepared speech may not seem very romantic, but it is miles ahead of having your future father-in-law wonder what he did wrong as a parent that his daughter would want to marry a moron.
Do not be fooled into thinking that her parents are not expecting this to happen.
Unless you had a lightning fast romance or you live in a parallel universe, her parents will probably see this coming before you do. Parents know their children and do not have too many problems picking up the signals that their little darling has fallen in love. However, you should prepare as if her father has no idea. Expect some dads to give you some light hearted grief about stealing their little girl. Some will warn you about the type of behavior that they will not tolerate toward their daughter.
Use some form of these 3 key phrases.
With this in mind, you want to enter the meeting with a couple of statements ready to go with all of the sincerity that you can muster. Her father will be listen for the words, “I love your daughter.” Next, he will want to hear, “I plan to try to make her happy for the rest of our lives.” Finally, he will expect you to say, “I will work hard to provide for her.”
Where you choose to ask for her hand in marriage is not too important unless you expect to avoid a prenuptial agreement concerning her family’s fortune.
Since most people do not marry too far out of their social class, parents do not usually expect the future groom to break the bank for a meeting like this. Having a planned informal meeting in the parent’s living room is not always a bad plan. It makes them comfortable because they are on their own territory. You really want the bride’s dad to be relaxed and comfortable. It is unlikely that you will be able to “Wow” him. So, comfort is better. Just try to make the place and time fit the people and the occasion.