Sometimes it can be easier to identify what not to do when asking her father for her hand in marriage. But what about all the things you should do? Here are a few "dos" that may help ensure that you get the approval you're looking for.
Do find out what she thinks, and find out if this is something she really wants you to do. If you don't want to ask her directly (for the sake of a surprise proposal, for example) try asking her friends or siblings. One woman may be offended by the gesture of asking for her father's permission, while another may be insulted if you don't take the time to do it, so do a little homework first.
Do choose the right moment to ask the question. Timing is everything. Try to talk to her father or parents when they're at ease and in a good mood, not when they're upset or stressed out. While this may be out of your control, try to think of a time when they're the least busy. Talking to them right after they get home from a grueling day at work, for example, might not be the best approach. A weekend lunch meeting could be a better time.
Do think things through beforehand. Remember, it's very important to plan what you're going to say, since this will help you stay focused, on track and calm. You may want to share how much you love her, what you love about her, why you want to spend the rest of your life with her and what you have planned for your future together.
Do have a plan B. In the off-chance that her father says no, or he discloses some reservations about your marriage to his daughter, know how you'll respond so you're not caught off guard or left feeling foolish. Also, be prepared to answer potentially uncomfortable questions about your financial situation.
Next, we'll look at a few things not to do when asking for her hand. Click to the next page for some "don'ts" to keep in mind.