Asking the parents for their blessing to marry, yay or nay?

posted 8 months ago in Engagement
Post # 121
Member
2358 posts
Buzzing bee

cherry3b :   Marriage is an  antiquated system that demanded women find a husband because they were of no use on their own. Or they were used as bargaining chips.  That’s the history of it. And yet marriage is perfectly acceptable and we don’t become outraged by its tradition.  We don’t look at the ring either. What about the white wedding dress, or the father walking the bride to the altar? All are old traditions that we have associated with weddings and marriage.  

 

Post # 122
Member
2683 posts
Sugar bee

I wouldn’t have cared if my fiance had decided to speak with my parents, but we discussed it and I told him that my parents have no hold over my life at the age of 37.  So no, he didn’t have to do it.   He chose not to and we told them together after we mutually decided to get married.

And like I said earlier, having him talk to his kids about it was much more important to me because marrying their father will affect their lives as I will be legally bound to him, as well as some of his money/possessions.  

But everyone should do what makes them happy and what is best for their situation.

This is the same as the name argument.  I’m also not changing my name, but I won’t be offended if someone calls me Mrs. Hislastname.  

Post # 123
Member
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

VictorianChick :  And in my post, I commented on which traditions I rejected. Progress doesn’t mean perfection right away. I value marriage. I don’t value sexist wedding traditions. I don’t see how rejecting sexist traditions means you need to reject the entire institution of marriage. It doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. But in regards to the OP, I find this particular tradition too sexist to condone. That doesn’t mean the entire institution needs to be scrapped. Things can change. But only if what they represent also changes. To me, asking for a blessing is just watered-down permission and therefore, it hasn’t really changed. It still holds sexist symbols and perpetuates sexist ideas. Another (less contentious?) example is the garter toss. It clearly holds tons of sexual symbols and definitely has a problematic and disturbing history. You can say it’s just fun, but those symbols still exist and are pretty prominent. On the other hand, bridesmaids were used to trick demons. Today, they are a way of including your friends. The thought of demons is nowhere near that tradition. It’s changed enough where it no longer even hints at its origin. So it seems less egregious. So a bad history isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker. But the remaining symbols and connotations certainly influence their place in modern society. Surely you can see the difference. To me, asking for permission/blessing hasn’t shifted enough away from its original meaning to have its history rendered unimportant. That’s why if more brides asked her future in-laws it would shift, to me, as a sign of families welcoming each other in. But, so far, it hasn’t shed enough of itself to remove the gross sexism. 

Post # 124
Member
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Rydges Hotel

My husband told my parents that he wants to marry me and if that was alright with them. He told me he wanted to marry me prior to asking to my parents. It wasn’t a matter of objectifying me or think I’m not indepent. It was because he knew that I wanted my parents to be happy for my marriage, and because he wasn’t sure if my parents liked him. 

 

Post # 125
Member
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

cherry3b :  I think in general, women don’t talk to the mans parents, because they aren’t the ones doing the asking… If two females were to get engaged, the one who was asking the question would be the one letting the other parents know, or asking for a blessing. If the woman so chose to ask the man to marry her (which from the sounds of your views, should happen more often. Did you ask your SO to marry you?) then yes, it would make sense for to her to ask the parents.

I think a lot of the time, the man may even talk to his own parents first before proposing, so then it would be a bit redundant. 

Post # 126
Member
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

cherry3b :  What I don’t understand is how anyone can see it as respectful. I am sincerely asking. More than just “my dad would like it” or “our families are joining” because that doesn’t land or make sense to me. How is it respectful to involve the parents of one only party in a legal contract between two adults? 

Well for me, like I had said, my husband’s mom and sisters DID know and they actually were involved in the entire thing. His little sister helped him pick out the ring, and his mom and sister were there when he proposed because he did it at Disney and they work there. It would have been more disrespectful for me if I knew his mom and sisters were included yet my parents never knew about it. 

It’s also respectful in the sense that my father would be disrespected if it did not happen since he is traditional, and I would be disrespected because I love my dad and want him to be respected. Isn’t it an old saying to respect your elders? How is it not respectful to follow someones traditions that they respect and expect you to respect? I also have a different situation since I mentioned my sister passed. They had two daughters, they’ve always envisioned a traditional wedding giving us away, and they needed that chance to have a fully traditional experience with me (asking for their blessing, walking me down the aisle, father / daughter dance, etc.) I understand obviously not everyone’s parents are in the same situation, but it is respectful to ask if the bride and/or brides parents consider it important. 

Post # 127
Member
949 posts
Busy bee

bakerbee09 :  I told my now husband once (before we were engaged),that if he was to ask my father for his permission/blessing before asking me, he would be up for a somewhat amused and slightly awkward chat with my dad:

Now hubby: “Sir, can I please marry you daughter?”

Dad: “Ummm, I’m not the person who you should be asking this from, am I?”

Dad: “You know I like you, so I’ll give you some friendly/fatherly advice… For the sake of all things holy, make sure that L never finds out that you asked me before you asked her.”

Now hubby: *thinks* “You’re right (insert my dad’s first name). If L finds out I asked you first, she’ll never let me forget it. This discussion never happened ;)”

So after I told my now husband that that was what would happen, he didn’t tell my parents beforehand. When we did get engaged and when we were having some celebratory sparkling wine with them, I told my dad of the discussion I’d imagined would have taken place. He laughed and said it was spot on and that my now husband had been wise not to ask him first, as he would have said pretty much exactly what I had said he would. Neither my dad, nor his dad, asked their future wives’ fathers for their blessing, and my dad’s parents were married over 60 years before his dad died and my parents have been married for over 46 years.

Post # 128
Member
949 posts
Busy bee

VictorianChick :  I wore white (despite not being a virgin bride), because my husband liked the traditional aspect of the bride in white and he asked (nicely) if I would be open to wearing white. I had no strong feelings either way (apart from marginally favouring a dress in light blue or silver), so I took his wishes into considertation and wore a white frock. My dad had said that he would like to walk my sister and I down the aisle and I felt that it made sense, given that he had always been supportive of my choices in life. Also, from a practical sense, I’m not used to wearing heels and floor length dresses, so having someone to walk down the aisle with made sense. And dad telling me that he felt sorry that he didn’t have a hip flask with him (to offer me a nip of something to take the edge off my raging nerves) made me giggle, helping me get a hold of myself before I walked down the aisle.

Post # 128
Member
1223 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

cherry3b :  What I don’t understand is how anyone can see it as respectful. I am sincerely asking. More than just “my dad would like it” or “our families are joining” because that doesn’t land or make sense to me. How is it respectful to involve the parents of one only party in a legal contract between two adults? 

My FH informed both my parents and his, plus all of his siblings before he proposed. I thought that was pretty standard, but maybe not.

Post # 129
Member
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

temeculabride :  I guess I just don’t get why someone expecting a tradition makes it respectful to adhere to that tradition. Especially if the tradition is problematic. I love my father, but I told him point blank that gender equality was more important than his feelings on the matter. I have values that are more important to me than making my dad happy. Plus I find it disrespectful personally and don’t disrespect myself to respect others. I think respect looks different than just doing what elders expect though. So I guess I still just don’t get it. But thank you for your thoughtful response!

Post # 130
Member
1255 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

VictorianChick :  You can’t compare marriage with wedding traditions. Marriage affords legal rights, wedding traditions do not. Also, marriage is not inherently sexist or unequal.

The traditions you listed are all problematic, equally problematic as asking for the bride’s father’s permission. 

Post # 131
Member
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

cherry3b :  There is the difference right in your post. You value gender equality more than your fathers feelings. My number one value in my life is family, always has been and always will be. I also do not find it disrespectful, and as I said it would have been disrespectful to me and my family if my husband did NOT speak to my dad first. Everyone has different values in life, and you can’t be docking others for their values being different than yours. 

 

Post # 132
Member
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

temeculabride :  I respectfully must disagree. I think equality is always worth fighting for, even if it ruffles a few feathers or bothers folks. Good of the many vs the one or the few and all that. And personally, I think it is selfish to put myself or my family above everyone else. So that’s why I can say, “sorry, Dad. I love you, but there are more important things.” But calling out practices I find to be problematic is not the same as judging or hating folks. I think in order to bring about social change, it means having conversations like this where we question deeply held traditions or values. Even if you and I don’t change our minds, other people might and hopefully we see each other’s perspectives better. Which doesn’t mean either of us has to view both perspectives as equally valid. I think we can respectfully disagree and both of us can view the other as batshit crazy. I think it is reasonable to think other people’s values aren’t properly sorted on these matters. 

Post # 133
Member
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

cherry3b :  I think it is reasonable to think other people’s values aren’t properly sorted on these matters. 

I agree with a lot of what you said, but that’s where you lost me. I can respect that you have different values than me. But you should respect our values even if they different from your own. I agree that we can agree to disagree respectfully, but my values are perfectly sorted out thank you very much. Family trumps all. For me, not for everyone. 

For the record, I have 3 college degrees, bought my first house at 25, make over 6 figures, and I fully stand for empowerment of women. But I am proud to be a woman and not the same as a man and I was damn proud to have my daddy walk me down the aisle. 

Post # 134
Member
1303 posts
Bumble bee

temeculabride :  I have read all of cherry3b’s posts and just no where did she say that she disrespected your values.  Good for you for having 3 degrees and having your dad walk you down the aisle?  You’re the one that’s being defensive.

For the record, I’m close with my parents but my husband did not talk to either his or my parents before he proposed.  Our families knew it was coming but the only ones that really discussed it were us.  He asked me if I wanted him to talk to my parents and I said it was up to him, but there was no reason to.  I also did not wear a white dress, did not have a veil, nor had my dad walk me down the aisle (I walked halfway down and had my husband join me for the rest of the walk).

To each their own.  I know some people who felt it was important but I am not one of them.

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