Millennials Are Reviving This Old-Timey Wedding Tradition

Millennials are supposedly killing marriage by staying single in record numbers. Reportedly, we’re also killing face-to-face interaction, homeownership, paper napkins, and scores of other things, though many of these claims are questionable at best.
But those of us who are getting married seem to be keeping the traditions surrounding matrimony very much alive. According to a 2015 report by The Knot that surveyed more than 12,000 U.S. brides and 1,200 grooms, the majority of grooms in heterosexual couples are still “taking tradition to heart” when they propose. The study found that 77% of men asked for either the bride’s father’s or both parents’ permission before proposing. This was up from 71% in 2011.
more recent survey, conducted by, an online engagement- and wedding-ring retailer, polled 2,000 married Americans and found that 63% of millennials asked a partner’s parent for permission before popping the question, compared to only 20% of people over 45. Millennials are also twice as likely to view seeking permission as an extremely important part of the proposal, the survey found.
It’s not just heterosexual couples: The Knot’s 2016 LGBTQ Weddings Study suggests that things are rapidly heading in the same direction for same-sex couples, too. Out of almost 1,000 respondents, 42% of men and 46% of women reported asking permission from their partner’s family before they asked for the ultimate commitment.
Struggles with family acceptance undoubtedly play a role in the reason this figure is still lower than that for straight couples, but it did double from 24% of women and 21% of men in 2015. (The study also found that more families approve of same-sex marriages; 43% for men and 44% for women, up from 28% for both in 2015. It should be 100%, but at least we’re seeing a marked change in attitudes.)


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