Asking the Bride's Parents for her Hand in Marriage
of Asking for the Parents' Permission for the Bride's Hand in
This formality has its
origin, in the consent from their parents that the future bride and groom required in olden
days to be able to marry. It would be traditional for the fiancee's parents somehow to
“negotiate” or “arrange” the marriage of the daughter. At present,
although we often go through this formality, it is normally only an act
of respect with no real pretence of a request for actual permission to
of the Families
The meeting of the
families pror to the marriage is used for each family to gain
an ampler and deeper knowledge of each other (although, nowadays, the
two families may indeed know each other generally, far better than
olden times when often the fiance could not even step inside his future
bride's home before the wedding). The future bride and groom are in
charge of presenting their two families to each other, using the normal
norms of Protocol for the introductions.
should the request for the Bride's Hand in marriage be made? Whilst out
or at home?
The meeting may be
around a meal table, at a snack or simply whilst enjoying a cup of tea
or coffee. It is equally acceptable for the encounter to be at home
or in a restaurant (particularly if the number of
members in the family is high). Generally, the discussion will deal
with aspects the actual wedding itself - whether it will be a church
wedding, the size and scope of the wedding. Although many of these
things have already been considered, usually discussions about the
married future, prospects, hopes and aims of the couple are discussed.
It is prudent to ensure that the meeting does not get out of hand with
too many people talking over each other. This is a particular
risk if relations other than the direct family attend the meeting,
although this should not happen. Only the parents and possibly brothers
and sisters should normally attend the meeting .
the Brides Hand in Marriage around a Table
If the hand request is
around a table, the parents of the bride are those that preside over
the act, and those of the future groom are placed to their respective
right. The mother of the groom should be seated to the right
of the father of the bride, and the father of the groom should sit to
the right of the mother of the bride. If any of the parents are widowed
or a single parent for any reason, the positioning only varies based on
the spouse who is missing being replaced by the person who follows to
him or her in the seating order. Speaking of widows and widowers, if
either the intended bride or groom have previously been widowed, it is
a polite detail to write a letter to the parents of the previous spouse
announcing the news to them.
in Requesting the Hand of Marriage
Although the main
reason, at present, of requesting the bride's hand in marriage from her
father and family is the mutual understanding and harmony of the
families, there is also a tradition of echanging of gifts between the
bride and groom. However, only the bride and groom exchange gifts. Any
type of gift on the part of parents or siblings should not be given.
The traditional gift for the bride usually consists of small (or large
if one can) brightly shining ring, or any other type of ring. The usual
gift for the groom is a good watch or clock, although there are other
less traditional possibilities like binoculars or an elegant
necktie-pin, although necktie pins are continuing to be less
used as time goes by these days.
the Gifts are Given
The exchange of gifts
between the bride and groom is made in the presence of the rest of
their families and never just between the two of them. When the gift is
bought is necessary to think about the partner's purchasing abilities
in respect of the gift they will give, not to make it less or,
conversely not to try to give a gift of at a certain level at which the
partner cannot similarly give. It is not the cost of the gift that
matters but the thought, efort and consideration of giving that counts.
Although are no particular norms on the matter, the gifts are usually
exhanged prior to the meal or celebration, although they can also be
exchanged at dessert time or when the coffee is served.
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