Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Parent-In-Law Proposal

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When a man asks his girlfriend to marry him, he may assume it’s all about the two of you. This is your special moment, after all, and the time when you’re finally able to commit to each other. For me, this moment with Aaron was one I would never ever forget, and I still love thinking back to it.

In reality, though, as much as your wedding is about your guests, you may soon find that your engagement isn’t just for the two of you, either. Getting engaged also means (sort of) getting engaged to your future in-laws. Even if your future groom has always gotten along with the in-laws as a boyfriend, things stand to change the moment you bring a ring into things. In fact, if he goes about this wrong, you may find that those inter-parent relationships go a little pear-shaped. The role of future husband comes with a whole new load of criteria, after all, and he’ll need that parental seal of approval all over again.

The trouble is that he might not have any idea how to sweeten the engagement deal with his future in-laws. And you also may have never talked through it with him. You’ve never done this before, after all. When it comes down to it, though, most in-laws look for the same basic courtesies. To help you stay on top and achieve the husband seal of approval, talk through these steps and consider letting them be a part of the engagement process.

Always Ask the Dad

It may seem unnecessary and perhaps even outdated, but I believe that any future groom should ask a father for his daughter’s hand in marriage. I knew that I really wanted Aaron to do it this way, but I also love surprises- so I didn't want to know anything about where or when it was going down. We’re lucky in that we no longer live in an age where fathers dictate their daughter’s marriages. BUT, this is still a tradition in our culture. Of course, a future bride is free to choose who she wishes, but that’s not really what this is about. Instead, this is one of those special moments every father looks forward to. It’s a sign of respect if nothing else, and a way for you to prove you’re facing your decision head and with the responsibility any father-in-law would like to see. One thing’s sure; depriving a dad of this moment will sour relationships like you wouldn’t believe.

Include the In-Laws in Proposal Prep

By this, I don’t mean that you have to hide them behind a bush when the big moment comes. You don’t even need to let them know precisely when you’re going to pop the question. But personally, I loved that my parents were involved and that my mom was was even THERE. (Read more about our proposal here.) Still, it pays to let the in-laws take some part in the proposal prep. Their daughter’s engagement is a huge life event, after all, and leaving them out in the cold could lead to some struggling to settle into the family quite as fast. That being said, your guy should consider letting your in-laws take some small part in the engagement preparation. Have them appear on a video he's making for his future bride. Let your mom make sandwiches for your engagement picnic. Have the entire family there (along with friends) for a celebratory dinner afterwards, like Aaron did for our proposal! These measures will take some pressure off and help to show future in-laws how much this whole thing means to you. 

Be Practical, But Romantic

At this stage, the time for fun and games is over. Your guy's in-laws (and his future bride, for that matter) will want to see that he is practical. Sweeping his girlfriend away on some excessive engagement vacation may seem like a good idea, but it could be a mistake. You’ll have a wedding coming up if all goes well, and grand gestures like these can drain that marriage budget in a hurry. Instead, aim to be both practical and romantic with the proposal. When it comes down to it, a more subtle, down-to-earth, meaningful option often works best anyway. Choose somewhere that means a lot and is easy to get to rather than some expensive place you’ve never been. For example, Aaron proposed in our church sanctuary, which was incredibly meaningful because church is where we met! Don’t make the mistake, either, of blowing a fortune on your engagement ring. Instead, show off your financial savvy side with Tacori rings which are affordable yet custom-made with beautiful brides in mind. These are all steps which show that you’re in this for life, not just for Christmas. They also show that you’re going for romance rather than big gestures which simply can’t stand the test of a marriage. Because believe me, marriage isn't all grand gestures.

Of course, when it comes down to it, you should also let your love for each other shine through. No matter your proposal choices, parents will mostly just want to see that your future husband loves their daughter as much as they do. Let that be evident, and you should all be one happy family in no time.



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