DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was wondering the proper order of events, pertaining an engagement. Does the groom ask her father for hand in marriage, then ask her and give her the diamond? Or does he ask her to marry him and then her father?
GENTLE READER: He should not ask her father to marry him. Proposing to two members of the same family can only end in strife or bigamy.
If, however, you wish to ask the father's permission to ask the lady to marry you, you must do so first. However, Miss Manners warns you not to attempt this before being reasonably sure of a favorable reply from the lady. "Your father is OK with your marrying me" is not a persuasive argument these days.