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The Most Nerve-Racking Holiday Chore: Asking Her Parents for Permission to Propose

Follow a few simple, no-sweat steps.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Pekic

You're ready to pop the question. Congrats! But before you officially propose, you may want to ask her parents for their blessing. The next time you'll both be seeing her folks is over the holidays, though, and since that's an especially likely a hectic time for everyone, having a game plan to ensure the talk goes smoothly is key. Future grooms, take note: Here's everything you need to know about talking to her parents about marriage when you're visiting for the holidays.

 

Must-Know Tips for Pulling Off a Holiday Proposal

 

Arrange the meeting before you arrive.

This isn't a time for spontaneity. Call, text, or email one of them that you'd like to speak to both in private during your holiday visit. By nailing down a day and, hopefully, a tim—such as "after dinner on Wednesday,"—you get to prepare for the big moment rather then worrying about when and if you can catch them in the same room at the same time with no one else around.

 

Avoid high-traffic times like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Everyone's going to be preoccupied with attending religious services, making family meals, or dealing with presents and visitors, so try to speak during a calm, quiet time. Of course, if you're planning to propose to your girlfriend during the holidays or your visit is short, you may have limited one-on-one choice. Let them know how important meeting with you is so they don't blow you off (they'll probably suspect what's up).

 

Speak from the heart.

What that means is talk like you, and avoid clichés such as, "I love her more than life." Tell them why you want to marry their daughter, mentioning specific qualities of hers you admire most, but don't make it only about you—get in there something about how you make her happy too and will always take care of her.

 

Ask for their approval.

To close out that chat on a high note, ask for what you want—their blessing. Sure, she's an adult and you don't really need her mom or dad's permission, but it's a nice way to include them in the exciting event.

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About the Author

Nancy Mattia

Though Nancy has been writing about weddings for years, she admits that watching a bride walk down the aisle—even on TV—still makes her tear up. The New York-area writer's other favorite wedding moments are when the groom sees the bride for the first time, hearing the toasts, and when she sees a waiter with a tray full of hors d'oeuvres walking towards her. 

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