(Closed) Did your SO/FI/DH ask permission for your hand?

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Did your SO/FI/DH ask permission for your hand in marraige?



  • Post # 108
    2159 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: February 2011

    @Snowy414: I think they’re similar in idea as well, and that’s why Fiance and I are meeting at the aisle/walking together. We are also not having the line, “Who gives/presents this bride?” for the same reason.

    We love our parents, and they will be walking in the processional in their respective pairs to take their places of honour, but Fiance and I both feel that it’s important for us to have the symbolism of us making the free and confident decision to join together in marriage. In my view, being walked, escorted, accompanied or “supported” as some bees have said, by anyone other than my Fiance completely undermines that and just doesn’t make any sense.

    It’s also about equality. Except in Jewish weddings and other weddings where the bride and groom are both walked down the aisle by their parents, it’s usually just expected that the groom goes and stands at the front at his leisure, and then the bride gets escorted in. Why? Am I about to get the vapors and collapse onto my fainting couch for a brief respite before the vows? Why is it that it’s perfectly acceptable for Fiance to escort himself into the ceremony but I can’t without incurring a horrible breach of tradition?

    I’m 27, haven’t lived at home for years, and moved overseas on my own to get a graduate degree. Someone telling me that I need to have my daddy holding my arm as I make my grand entrance makes me feel about five years old and very patronized.

    I know there are a lot of people out there who will disagree, but that’s just how I personally feel about it.

    Post # 109
    1012 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    @Oribel013690: You’re definitely not alone…I don’t want to start a shitstorm here either but I also find it incredibly disturbing that so many women are okay, or even happy with/desirous of this.

    Post # 110
    606 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2009

    @Dollygold: It’s not technically a symbol of anything.  The beauty of symbolism is that you get to decide what something symbolizes.  Your father walking you down the aisle can mean whatever you want it to mean.  As opposed to the very literal question: “Can I have your permission to marry your daughter?”  There’s nothing symbolic about that.  Asking for someone’s blessing is completely different: “I’m going to ask your daughter to marry me and I’d like your blessing.”  I also didn’t say asking permission was out of date–obviously it isn’t.  I said I wasn’t a fan, and I explained why.

    Post # 111
    2863 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    No, DH didn’t even meet my parents until 2 days before the wedding (well a week for my mother, as she had come up early to stay with us, but dad and stepmom didn’t come up until 2 days before). He did ask for my surrogate mother’s blessing, though, which made me very happy.

    Post # 112
    42 posts
    • Wedding: June 2012

    @luckyprincess:I’m pretty sure you were referencing my post when you said, “I’m also not religious, so I don’t believe that my husband is going to be my new Dad and don’t want the torch passed in that manner.” I didn’t say that my SO would become my new Dad. But rather, how I view marriage is that the husband is a provider of support, safety and security among other things to me. (I’m not saying that I do not provide those things to him as well) Growing up those were provided by my father. Once I get married my husband will be the main male figure in my life not my father and asking permission, walking down the aisle and giving the bride away are all symbols of that to me. I felt like I could clarify what I meant because I feel like it might have been misunderstood. But, as always I understand you can have a totally different view of these traditions, and that is ok too.


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    @sarahberah:I totally agree!

    Post # 114
    502 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I always knew he would ask my father – he’s a very traditional person about some things. In fact, I had mentioned a year or two earlier that there was another person who he might want to ask permission from – an old friend and surogate father figure.

    So he asked my parents, and his parents, and this other couple. Luckily, everyone was thrilled. Then he finally asked me 🙂

    In view of some of the other posts on this thread – I am not my parents’ property, but it shows respect that my OH wanted to ask their permission. Call it what you will, it wasn’t necessary for him to do it, but it was a gesture that was appreciated by all. My sister’s husband didn’t ask our parents and they don’t hold it against him.

    RainStorm. xx

    Post # 115
    2159 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: February 2011

    @Dollygold: I don’t judge anyone who does want their Fiance to ask their father’s permission/blessing or to have their father walk them down the aisle. It’s a very personal thing. What offends me is the continuing expectation that those things are normal and ‘just what is done’ and that any bride who thinks otherwise is being disrespectful of her father.

    Tradition for the sake of tradition doesn’t cut it with me.  There is no good reason why my father should walk me down the aisle or have a say, symbolic or otherwise, in who I marry, just because that’s how things always used to be.

    When I hear the phrase, “being supported down the aisle”, I wonder, why is it always still the father doing the supporting? Why is it not your mother or your grandmother or your best friend or your sibling or your Fiance himself that you choose as this support? I almost never see these options being considered unless the father is out of the picture somehow.

    I am honestly not trying to attack anyone whose father has been involved in the proposal and the walk down the aisle, I just think so many options that might be better suited to some people can get overlooked or dismissed because of what is expected.

    Post # 116
    318 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    @LuckyPrincess and @gabrielleelise1981 doesn’t the argument that even if you alter the traditional slightly its still call back to the time of when women were property hold true for having someone walk you down the aisle too. I guess thats why I asked the question so i could hear others thoughts.  However. FTR I’m not sure about actually asking “who gives this women away” at my wedding.  I think we will do something like “who blesses this union” and have my dad and his parents respond. 

    @mrsmdphd  I thought your responses was so interesting.  All the reasons you listed for waiting your dad to walk you down the aisle is how I felt about asking for a blessing (and walking down the aisle too).  That my dad raised me and deserved the honor to know when his daughter was going to have a major moment in her life like engagement.  He was there and supportive for all my other big life events, and I appreciated the fact that Fiance made the effort to involve my dad in this one.  I think it was also an important bonding moment for Fiance and my dad.  My dad then got to be part of picking out the ring and hearing the plans which was nice.   So interesting different people thoughts on it.

    Post # 117
    383 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2021

    ME and my Fiance both sat down with my parents and talked about it. But he had to break it down to his  parents step by step.

    Post # 118
    3338 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I hate that tradition gets so dissected and a sweet gesture can turn into something so vulgar in a someone’s eyes.  I certainly don’t think the men that ask or talk to dad’s before they propose are like, “I would like to make your daughter my property.”

    I know in my case, my husband didn’t really ask so much as he did profess to my dad how he felt about me and let him know he had every intention of marrying me.  A dad’s relationship with his little girl can sometimes be fragile.  I know we idolize our fathers and see them as big and strong, but they are also from a different generation than us, and I think it’s more about a man-respect thing than it is claiming property.  Times changing.  The meanings behind actions change.  We don’t live in the 1700’s.

    There are so many things in a wedding that get misconstrued as sexist… the meaning of a veil..dad walking a bride down the aisle… etc.  But then we have no qualms about sticking our legs up and having a garter taken off in front of everyone?  I don’t get it.

    Post # 120
    3338 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Via PsychologyToday:

    Through most of Western civilization, marriage has been more a matter of money, power and survival than of delicate sentiments. In medieval Europe, everyone from the lord of the manor to the village locals had a say in deciding who should wed. Love was considered an absurdly flimsy reason for a match. Even during the Enlightenment and Victorian eras, adultery and friendship were often more passionate than marriage. These days, we marry for love—and are rewarded with a blistering divorce rate.


    What’s love got to do with it? In early history, politics and money trumped emotions.

    • Ancient Greece: Love is a many-splendored (manly) thing. Love is honored—especially between men. In marriage, inheritance is more important than feelings: A woman whose father dies without male heirs can be forced to marry her nearest male relative—even if she has to divorce her husband first.
    • Rome: Wife-swapping as a career move—Statesman Marcus Porcius Cato divorces his wife and marries her off to his ally Hortensius in order to strengthen family bonds; after Hortensius dies, Cato remarries her.
    • 6th-century Europe: Political polygamy—The Germanic warlord Clothar, despite being a baptized Christian, eventually acquires four wives for strategic reasons, including his dead brother’s wife, her sister and the daughter of a captured foreign king.
    • 12th-century Europe: Marriage is good for loving…someone else—Upper-class marriages are often arranged before the couple has met. Aristocrats believe love is incompatible with marriage and can flourish only in adultery.
    • 14th-century Europe: It takes a village—Ordinary people can’t choose whom to marry either. The lord of one Black Forest manor decrees in 1344 that all his unmarried tenants—including widows and widowers—marry spouses of his choosing. Elsewhere, peasants wishing to pick a partner must pay a fee.
    • 16th-century Europe: Love’s a bore—Any man in love with his wife must be so dull that no one else could love him, writes the French essayist Montaigne.

    1600s-Victorian Era

    It’s a family affair: Married love gains currency, but for intimacy and passion, people still turn to family, lovers and friends. 

    • 1690s U.S.: Virginia wasn’t always for lovers—Passionate love between husband and wife is considered unseemly: One Virginia colonist describes a woman he knows as “more fond of her husband perhaps than the politeness of the day allows.” Protestant ministers warn spouses against loving each other too much, or using endearing nicknames that will undermine husbandly authority.
    • 18th-century Europe: Love gains ground—In England and in the salons of Enlightenment thinkers, married love is gaining credibility. Ladies’ debating societies declare that while loveless marriages are regrettable, women must consider money when choosing a partner.
    • 1840, England: Virgin lace—Queen Victoria starts a trend by wearing virginal white, instead of the traditional jeweled wedding gown. Historically thought of as the lustier sex, women are now considered chaste and pure. As a result, many men find it easier to have sex with prostitutes than with their virtuous wives.
    • Mid 19th-century U.S.: Honeymoon suite for three—Honeymoons replace the older custom of “bridal tours,” in which the newly married couple travel after the wedding to visit family who could not attend the ceremony. Even so, many brides bring girlfriends with them on their honeymoons.

    20th Century-Today

    We worship the couple. Intimacy shrinks to encompass just two, and love becomes the only reason for marriage.

    • 1920s U.S.: How Saturday night began—Dating is the new craze—in restaurants and cars, away from the oversight of family. Popular culture embraces sex, but critics fear that marriage is on the rocks.
    • 1950s U.S.: Marriage is mandatory—Marriage becomes almost universal, and the nuclear family is triumphant: Four out of five people surveyed in 1957 believe that preferring to remain single is “sick,” “neurotic” or “immoral.”
    • 1970s U.S.: All you need is love?—Self-sufficient women and changing social rules mean marriage is no longer obligatory. Quarreling couples split up rather than make do, and the divorce rate skyrockets.
    • Today: Bride pride—Marriage is the ultimate expression of love, leading gays and lesbians to seek the right to marry, but also encouraging couples to cohabit until they’re sure about their “soul mate.” Marriage rates fall—but the fantasy of the perfect wedding is ubiquitous.


    So, considering everyone’s argument’s against just asking a Dad for permission, can we not consider that marriage in itself WAS sexist?  I’m surprised some like the idea of marriage at all considering its history.

    Or can we accept that things change?  Just a thought.

    Post # 121
    7038 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    No no no no no, he knew how insulted I would be if he would have asked!

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