One day you will have children of your own, perhaps even a daughter. You’re going to love and provide for her during her formative years. But you know that the day will come, when a strapping young man whisks her away from you. That’s definitely a big deal, and you wouldn’t want to mess it up for any father in the world. So without further ado, Greenvelope gives you 5 tips to asking the father for his daughters hand in marriage. (And yes, you definitely have to ask.)

1. Be On The Same Page: Chances are, if your girlfriend is ready to marry you, her father will know as well. So before you even consider talking to her father, make sure that you and your partner are on the same page in terms of marriage. The last thing you would want is to get the fathers permission, and not go through with it.

2. Set up the Moment: You’re not going to want to catch the father off-guard, make sure that he, to a certain extent, knows that this conversation is coming. If you plan on talking to him, let him know before hand. Perhaps a phone call saying “Hey, I know we have a family dinner planned next weekend, if it’s not too much trouble, I would like to pull you aside for a couple minutes to talk about something.” Set your intention! If you’re going for the bonus point’s, bring your future in-laws a gift as well.

3. Rehearse: While you don’t need to have a script per se, it would definitely be helpful if you had an idea of what to say. Make sure to let the father know that you love his daughter, and of your intentions for this marriage.

4. Reassure Him: Of course he is going to have his concerns, it would be strange if he didn’t. It’s your job to let him know that everything is going to be okay. Let him know that his daughter will have the final word, tell him your future plans for not only her, but yourself as well. You have to establish the fact that he is leaving his daughter in good, capable hands.

5. Prepare for either scenario: If you perform the beforementioned 4 steps well, chances are, the father will say yes. However, sadly, that is not always the case. Be prepared in case he says no, don’t overreact. Find out what his reasoning behind his decision was, and whether there is anything you can do to change it. Remember, the reality is, you could go behind their blessings and propose anyways, just understand that he is coming from a place of love for his daughter.

P.S Bonus points if you ask the mother as well!