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If you were to ask any father of the bride, you would find that while they are very excited and happy for their daughter, the wedding is also a time of reflection and sometimes, stress. After all, fathers are very protective over their little girl, wanting the very best in life for her. Now, having to give her over to another man who will step up and be responsible for her happiness is a tough thing to do.

Many years ago, the acceptable method for a woman to become engaged was for the groom to approach the father, asking for his daughters hand in marriage. While there were generations when this tradition seemed to fade, more and more, couples are going back to the traditional basics and going this route. For the groom to take this step shows honor, respect, and maturity, all things a father wants for his daughter.

When thistradition first began, it was more a position of status and class, meaning the father needed to ensure the man was good enough for his daughter. While that is not the case today, the tradition continues, keeping the romance alive. The intention is for a father to welcome his future son-in-law. In most cases, this is what happens. Even if the father does not approve of his daughters choice, the couple will likely marry. Regardless, this shows respect to the father and for imperfect situations, this can be the beginning to a good relationship.

When the groom approaches the father, he also shows his sincerity in marrying the daughter and taking the responsibility associated with marriage. Knowing what to say can be tricky and a bit overwhelming, especially if there is a natural and stepfather involved. In this situation, if there is a good relationship between the bride and her natural father, the groom should approach him first and the stepfather second. If the bride is not close to her natural father, then the stepfather should be approached first. Now, if the bride is close with both fathers, the groom should still show respect to the natural father over the stepfather or he could invite both fathers to dinner and approach them at the same time.

The decision as to ask the father of the bride for permission to marry depends on the current relationship between the groom and brides father or the relationship he hopes to build. Considering the bond of marriage will blend two families, showing this respect, even if it makes the groom feel uncomfortable, will create a much better situation for everyone.

Additionally, the bride will have a newfound respect for her future husband. Most women are very close to their fathers and want to please them and make them proud. This simple but traditional act is the first of many stepping-stones to a healthy and happy marriage.

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