When my industry friend and event planner Brenna Taylor of An Elegant Affair posted this article to her Facebook page I was immediately intrigued.

In centuries past, entire families, but more specifically the fathers of brides, have taken active roles in determining whom their daughters would marry. These days society has progressed to the extent that many women marry for love and personal commitment. However in some cultures, the family still plays a pivotal role in deciding who their young ladies can and should merge their lives with. After all, marriage is about the joining of two lives, emotionally, physically, even financially, and all that entails.

I was born in the United States, but am the child of an Italian immigrant and an extended immigrant family. Although they wanted our generation to be as “Americanized” as possible, not teaching us their small-town dialect on purpose and making sure we got a good American education, my father was just a tad old-school (sarcasm slightly intended) about my social and dating life. When I told my dad that I was going out with Stephen back in 2002 and invited him over for a family dinner for the first time, I thought that since my new boyfriend was an immigrant as well, he and my dad might find some common ground…wishful thinking. Nothing was further from the truth. What I saw was a cultured, educated British chap with a lot of traveling and worldly experience under his belt (all of which was true, and the endearing accent helped). My father, on the other hand, saw a young man who despite his best efforts, would have to start over in a new land, go through immigration policies for years in order to get his green card, make contacts, and would struggle to provide for me and any dependents that came along, at least at first. I shrugged off my dear old dad’s warnings, knowing that in his eyes no guy would be “good enough.” Of course I ultimately married Stephen, and my family loves him, but the hardship my dad feared was very real.

What do you think…should families weigh in on who their daughters (or sons, for that matter) marry, and to what extent? Was your own family pivotal in deciding who you were joined to in matrimony? Do you believe that opinions can be voiced, but in the end nothing can stop true love? (What a romantic you are. 😉

Leave your thoughts!

– Melissa