Chris Pratt asked Katherine’s parents for ‘permission’ to marry


Chris Pratt spends time with his Brazilian fans while promoting 'Avengers: Infinity War'

People have strong feelings for or against the whole “asking a woman’s father for permission to marry.” It’s a throwback to a different time, when marriages were business transactions negotiated between men, and women were viewed as property of their father, and then their husband. That old tradition has evolved over the years, of course. Nowadays, most people don’t say that a man asked a woman’s father for “permission,” they say “blessing.” Which… I don’t have a problem with? Blessing is different than permission, and for close, loving families, it seems like a smart thing for a potential groom to seek out the blessing of his potential in-laws.

All that being said, we still sometimes get an engaged couple with a throwback feel, like Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger. Katherine isn’t some barely-educated naif: she’s a 29 year old woman who has been living independently for years. But she’s also very close to her family. So…People Magazine says Chris “asked for permission” from Arnold and Maria Shriver.

Before Chris Pratt could get down on one knee to propose to Katherine Schwarzenegger, he had to have a very important conversation with her parents. The actor, who announced his engagement to Schwarzenegger on Sunday, spoke to her parents, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, to ask for permission before popping the question, a source tells PEOPLE.

“He asked for Maria and Arnold ’s blessing and was very traditional about things,” says the source.

The source adds the question came as no surprise to her parents — Pratt, 39, has long been vocal about his desire to start a future with Schwarzenegger, 29.

“Chris has been very straightforward about his intentions from the beginning,” says the source. “Over the last few months, he’s been bonding with all of Katherine’s siblings and it was clear to her entire family they would get married.”

[From People]

Did he ask for permission or did he ask for their blessing? Probably a little bit of both, is my guess. When Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to be your father-in-law, I bet it sounds more like begging for permission. Then again, who knows? Even though I was expecting all of this, I’m still sort of blown away by just how “traditional” and “throwback” all of this is. You’d think we were talking about Duggar girls “courting” some “nice boy” they met at church.

Katherine also got pap’d yesterday. The black trench was an odd choice.

Newly engaged Katherine Schwarzenegger steps out for lunch on a rainy day

Newly engaged Katherine Schwarzenegger shops at Hermes after lunch in Brentwood

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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94 Responses to “Chris Pratt asked Katherine’s parents for ‘permission’ to marry”

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  1. Janey says:

    My husband asked my father, who laughed his head off and wished him luck.

    • Stefnstuff says:

      I didn’t know how much I needed this comment to this story! Thank you! Sounds like something my mom would have said if she had been asked! Great giggle for a too cold Tuesday

      • Heather says:

        My father reportedly asked my grandfather for mom’s hand in marriage. Reportedly Grandpa agreed as long as my father also agreed to take her mouth. 43 years later, still together.

    • JaneEyreApparent says:

      My brother in law tried to ask my Father’s permission to marry my Sister. My Father’s response: “She’s a grown woman, the only permission you need is hers”

  2. ariel says:

    Sometimes the raincoat looks black, and sometimes it looks like it is a clear raincoat, and she’s wearing a black top underneath. It is kind of odd looking.
    Probably not a lot of call for rain gear in Los Angeles.

    • B says:

      SoCal has been experiencing “tons” of rain, more than we’re used to. Rain gear is front and center right now ;) .

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        Looks like you will be getting a lot more rain (and snow for mountainous areas) in the coming days!

        That said, her diaphanous vinyl trench isn’t too attractive.

      • B says:

        Agree w/ you on all fronts NSSButterfly. Major weather (& fashion to distract) coast-to-coast, ahh!

    • Its Ok says:

      It’s transparent with a black tint and she is wearing a black top underneath.

  3. Faithmobile says:

    What year is this?

    • Megan says:

      Exactly. If my husband had asked for permission to marry me, I would have turned him down.

      • LNG says:

        Hopefully anyone asking you to marry them would know you well enough to not ask for permission/blessing from your parents.

        Some people think it’s a sweet gesture, some don’t. Let’s all aim to marry someone who knows (and cares) which category we fall into.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      My husband informed my parents of his intention- he didn’t ask for permission- that would have been odd. I didn’t know about it until afterward, but I wouldn’t have given a rip about what they thought of it- I was almost 30. I think he just wanted to be up front about it, hoping that they’d think well him for it.

  4. Jen says:

    I think the article is using “permission” and “blessing” interchangeably. This is pretty harmless-some women love it, some don’t, some don’t care. “People” always really reaches for content.

    • Megan says:

      A grown ass woman does not her parent’s permission or blessing to marry whomever she wants to marry.

      • Jen says:

        No, she definitely doesn’t. Some women just like the idea of their fiancé telling her parents first. Wouldn’t matter at all to me either way, but I was just at a wedding where the bride talked about how touched she was that her husband told her parents he was going to ask her before he proposed. I don’t interpret it as the guy is actually basing his decision on what the parents say.

      • Kitten says:

        This.

    • Alyse Leitao says:

      I agree, clearly just trying to show respect to the family – especially shown as he talked to BOTH parents, not just Ahnold.

  5. Nicole says:

    Just an FYI on the black trench. It was hella wet and rainy yesterday and is expected to be wet all week in LA. The vinyl trench was necessary. We don’t do getting wet well.

    • Lady D says:

      West coast of BC, (affectionately referred to as the Wet coast) has the Pacific and incessant rain.
      Oregon, also west coast, also a s*&t ton of rain, same Pacific.
      California, west coast, waves at the Pacific, sunshine and heat waves in winter, little to no rain.
      Why?

      • Wendy says:

        Well, there’s over 2000 miles of distance between Vancouver, in the very southern edge of British Columbia, and the very northern edge of Los Angeles’s border. That’s a whole lot of terrain, and a whole lot of differences in climate. I’m not sure why it should be a mystery that these regions have different weather…

  6. Lulu says:

    Am I the only person who thinks she looks incredibly like Anna Kendrick?

    • lucy2 says:

      In that photo she really does.

    • K-Peace says:

      Yes, I noticed that yesterday in reading an article about them. They look very much alike, to me at least.

    • KLO says:

      I see a similarity. But Katherine is way more voluptuous and tall. I have always thought she was a very nice girl who was smart as well as beautiful. Whoever gets to marry her is very lucky.

  7. Melania says:

    I can see a divorce in the future

  8. jessamine says:

    I don’t have strong feelings about asking permission/blessing either way … I think by the time two people get to the point where they think about marriage they should already know whether or not this asking thing is a) something the potential spouse would be into and (more importantly b) whether it is something that helps ingratiate you with the potential in-laws. Mostly the in-law thing. Let’s face it, even the most sincerely-meant “ask” these days is purely a show of deference — you already know the answer beforehand or you wouldn’t bother.

  9. teehee says:

    I absolutely AGREE with doing this.

    NOT because a woman belongs to her parents
    NOT because a woman is not in control of her own life, chices, bdy etc

    BUT

    BECAUSE some men sincerely dont deserve the woman they want and the parents should have the right to tell him to take a hike (and sometimes, at least one last time).

    • Erinn says:

      I don’t. Honestly, it has nothing to do with the parents. It’s different if it’s an abusive situation, but if that’s the case I doubt the guys asking anyway. But if the parents don’t think this person fits what THEY want for their daughter? Who cares. If they’re not who the daughter wants, the daughter will say no.

      • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

        Most of the time now, I think it is used as a way to set up the proposal beforehand…..by involving the woman’s family. I’ve seen two proposals happen in family settings (like a family dinner, etc), where they knew beforehand.

        I think it’s fairly harmless–mainly used to basically give the family a heads up? Obviously you wouldn’t ask if you didn’t think the woman would a) say yes, or b) know that her family hates you.

    • Sadezilla says:

      Agree, Erinn. I can see this argument for minors (who I don’t think should be marrying anyway, even with parental consent), but not for adults. It takes away the person’s agency.

    • Becks1 says:

      But, the parents/father can tell the guy to take a hike and he can still propose anyway. and see what she says. I cant imagine wanting to marry a guy who asks the father, the father says no, and then the guy is like “oh okay. I guess i’ll just go away now.”

      • teehee says:

        Right– its just a sign of consideration, to all who are involved/affected. Everyone is free to do as they please still (at least in some countries) but at least you bother to be open to discuss if its ok or not.
        My half sister is engaged and they didnt bother to ask anyone. My parents wanted her to continue her higher education first and she ditched that idea and wants to get married instead. So of course she finds a guy who wouldnt bother to ask what the parents think…. and now we all dont think so greatly of him. It was like a slap in the face and he joined in on it.
        And to add to it- she also thinks we will be paying for everything. They didnt even want to discuss splitting the costs!!

        So… its just a sign of respect, even if it has no bearing anymore.

      • Megan says:

        Your sister clearly doesn’t care what your parents think so why should her fiance? Let’s not infantilize women by suggesting their parents or partners are more qualified to make decisions about their lives.

      • teehee says:

        I dont think you’re really reading what I wrote, apparently.

    • Starizan says:

      Parents may have a right to hold an opinion on their child’s life, but unless they need to sign off because their kid is a minor, it is none of their business legally or emotionally.

      The parents’ opinion will only carry weight if their own child asks their opinion about their chosen partner. If your family member doesn’t ask you themselves, they don’t care what you think.

      And furthermore, I can only imagine someone asking parents’ approval and or blessing if they already have a close relationship with the parents. If the parents are known to dislike you, why would you bother?

      Not everyone needs to follow the same life path. Your expectations for their success may very well not match their own dreams and ambitions. I believe it is a sign of respect to let people make their own choices in life, educationally and romantically. Most people are not happy living their life trying to fulfill external pressures of who they should become.

  10. isabelle says:

    I had a boyfriend do this and it upset my Dad. He told him “Do you think I raised my daughter unable to make up her own mind”? It was an insult to my Dad who had raised us to be independent. He wanted me to have the capability of living without a man as an economical source. He hated the boyfriend after that, hated him. Good guy but my Dad thought it was the most disrespectful thing anyone had ever done in his home.

    • Sadezilla says:

      Aww! I love that! Hard luck on the boyfriend, but sometimes you have to know your audience.

      My dad is pretty incapable of thinking of his adult children as independent beings (including my brother), so maybe that’s why it sounds so nice.

    • LadyT says:

      This isn’t aimed at anyone in particular but it reminded me. I’ve noticed a lot of people proudly claiming to be so progressive and yet they come across as extremely intolerant of harmless opinions different than their own which to me is incongruous with being all that progressive. You do you, I’ll do me, no outrage necessary.

      • Megan says:

        Uninformed opinions aren’t always harmless. The tradition of asking a father for permission to marry his daughter is rooted in centuries of oppression of women.

        In 2019, women are still fighting for equal pay, still seen as responsible for most household and child rearing responsibilities, still struggling to get into the c-suites and boardrooms of corporations, and still aren’t protected from unwanted sexual advances in the workplace.

        Clinging to outmoded traditions that reinforce the oppression of women isn’t progressive.

  11. Mia4s says:

    Well of course, he had to. After all, we all know how much Arnold Schwarzenegger respects the sanctity of marriag….oh wait.

  12. Clare says:

    This is all so….performative.

    • sunshine gold says:

      Right. She’s 29, he’s 39. They’re grown adults. Plus, he’s divorced and has a child. I think it’s kind of weird to pretend they’re all traditional.

  13. Lightpurple says:

    The source is quoted as saying “blessing;” PEOPLE changed it to “permission.”

  14. Becks1 says:

    My husband asked my dad for permission. I have never been bothered by that, but maybe because it wasn’t really “permission?” I cant imagine that my dad would have said no. Both my brothers asked their future FILs for permission. It wasn’t like “can I marry your daughter, cool, then I don’t need to ask her, let’s discuss dowry.” I don’t know. I consider myself to be a pretty independent woman, and I’ve always considered myself a feminist, but this just isn’t on my radar screen as something to be upset about.

    I think it would bother me more if the men were “actually” asking permission and I could not have married H without my dad saying “okay.”

    • KLO says:

      Yeah, this is the way i understand it. If a guy was ever to ask my dad the permission to marry me I would think it was cute and respectful and my dad would probably think the same. Dad knows full well that he can`t make me do or not do anything I don`t agree with though :D

  15. oiuyt says:

    nope not right

  16. Originaltessa says:

    My husband didn’t ask, he told them he intended to marry me and asked for their blessing. If they didn’t give it, he would’ve asked anyway. My parents appreciated it. They’re old school. If he didn’t do it, I doubt they’d care, but they appreciated the gesture. He wanted to inform them of his intentions, and hoped they’d approve. It doesn’t have to be so controversial.

    • Mash says:

      yes …my proposal was more of intentions….like my fiance surprised me with the ring and then was like stick with me kiddo he’s 4 year older than me (LOL a silly inside joke for us) and he said I intend to marry you and want you as my wife. That was all we needed man :)

  17. lucy2 says:

    Permission? Hell no.
    But blessing…depends on the family. Hopefully if a person is going to propose, they know the other person and their family well enough to know if this is the right way or not.

  18. Ellie says:

    I get this has been a tradition passed down over the centuries, but if you really look at the tradition, it was when women were seen as property and their virginity heavily protected until their wedding day. I don’t need my mom and dad to decide whether I’m “allowed” to marry the man I love or not. I would hope that it would be a natural progression of acceptance on both sides of the family.

  19. anemy says:

    My now husband didnt ask my dad because he knew i would of said no to him if i knew he did that….i was super happy with him for not asking bc im not a piece of property ….my dad was pissseeeedddd…mostly bc he wasnt in control of the situation. Were central european and he kept blabbing about tradition this and tradition (hes an atheist so this is not a religion thing) that so eventually (months later) my husband had to sit down with him so then my father could talk down to him and tell him his expectations. it was pathetic and i still love my husband for not initally asking.. for some stupid reason it made my dad feel good. i was 24 and a grown ass adult paying my own bills etc.

  20. Gigi La Moore says:

    Women should do what works for them. If she likes it, I love it. The end.

  21. Ruyana says:

    Strangely I find Christ Pratt’s behavior increasingly creepy.

    • YesImHere says:

      I honestly don’t know how “creepy” is the appropriate adjective here. Pedophiles are creepy. Peeping Toms are creepy. Men who stand too close are creepy. This guy is just hella annoying.

    • Katie Keen says:

      I can’t explain it, there’s just something “off” about him and his approach to relationships.

      • KLO says:

        @Katie Keen at this point he reminds me a bit of Tom Cruise. like this really successful, self-made man who tries to appear perfect, always. And there is always this demonstrative “respecting women” rhetoric and public behaviour and later we find out he is a horrific emotional abuser at home.

      • Starizan says:

        @KLO @Katie Keen Totally agree this feels “off” and a little icky.

    • Kitten says:

      I just hope that his fiancée doesn’t get sick. I would hate to see her given away on Twitter.

  22. LadyT says:

    In some families it’s nothing more than a traditional celebratory bonding moment between the groom and future in-laws. It’s not actually permission or a blessing and it damn sure doesn’t reflect on the future bride’s independent thinking.

  23. VeronicaLodge says:

    I have conflicting thoughts on Permission, blessing, etc. my ex-husband took my father to lunch and told him he was planning on proposing. He specifically didn’t ask for permission. I was very independent. My father had taken my grandfather (moms dad, extremely traditional Greek) to the same restaurant when he planned on proposing to ask for permission. My ex asked my father for his and my mother’s love and told him how much he loved me and would care for me. I thought this was very sweet.

    • YesImHere says:

      Yeah, the “permission” aspect is outdated. We don’t live in villages anymore. Women don’t live under their parents’ roofs until they marry at 18 anymore. By adult age women have left the home, either for 4 years of uni or to enter the workforce. I do think it’s lovely to have a conversation about intentions, though. It’s a lovely gesture that says, “I plan to propose marriage to your daughter and I hope you will be welcoming of me into your family”, etc. That’s not asking permission — that’s stating intentions and bringing the girlfriend’s parents onboard.

  24. Winnie Cooper's Mom says:

    I don’t know who’s trying harder with all this proposal/engagement PR roll out: Pratt or Tim Tebow? Both instances seem super try-hard.

  25. A says:

    I remember him and Farris on an episode of Top Chef. The contestants prepared food for one of their parties. They were likable and cute both of them. Not so much now.

  26. YesImHere says:

    I’m finding these two insufferable. I can definitely see what they’re doing — they’re marketing themselves to a demographic that Hollywood stars not only don’t market to, but even actively ignores or mocks: Conservative Christians. And I don’t mind any demographic having a celebrity they can look up to if that’s something they need in their life. I just find the modus operandi of these two really over-done. I just find celebrities who sell themselves — whether it’s Left or Right, religious or secular — distasteful. It doesn’t make me want to run out and see their movies. It makes me want to do the opposite because before I can even get to the theatre I’m sick of them!

  27. LT says:

    My ex talked with my parents before he proposed, but he did not ask for either permission OR a blessing. My BIL did not and it still bugs my dad. Interestingly, my sister and her husband have been married for over 15 years and I’m divorced.

    My fiancé asked my teenage kids for their blessing before he proposed and I loved that he did that. Of course we don’t need their permission to get married, but it made them feel part of the process. If they had a major issue, he would have certainly taken that into account and waited.

    • Anastasia says:

      I can see asking the teenaged kids for a blessing. And it’s kind of both of you that you would have postponed if there were any sort of problem or issue.

  28. Pandy says:

    Chris, you’re a divorced father. An adult. Kind of late now to play the naif.

  29. Anastasia says:

    If it’s not sexist, if it’s “just” a blessing, then why not ask her mom, too?

    The fact is, it IS sexist. We all know it’s rooted in a time when daughters were literally the property of their fathers and wives were the property of their husbands. The man would literally ask the father, “can I have her?” It’s also rooted in a time when girls were married off at a young age. Most women these days don’t marry until they are older; there’s no need to ask for any blessing or permission. SHE can give it.

    We’ve already told our daughter to tell any prospective husband-to-be NOT to ask her father for his permission/blessing/whatever you want to call it. It’s gross.

  30. Case says:

    Maybe this is too weird and millennial of me, but I find the culture around proposing to be very strange. It can be very romantic and beautiful if both parties are already on board and it’s just a matter of formally proposing, but the idea of the boyfriend being super nervous to ask and the girlfriend being shocked that he’s proposing to be SO bizarre. You’re talking about spending the rest of your lives together! No one should be nervous or surprised, it should be a decision you come to together, right?

    As for asking permission from the parents — I think it has to do with traditions, how old-school the parents are, how much it means to the bride, etc. I personally wouldn’t want my future husband to ask my parents first, nor do I think they’d expect it, but there are plenty of people who would appreciate it.

  31. sa says:

    I don’t have a problem with seeking the blessings of both parents (which is apparently what Chris did), but if the father is singled out, even if it’s for his “blessing” and not “permission,” it’s still misogynistic.

    (this is, of course, assuming there are 2 parents in the picture, if dad’s the only one, then obviously speaking to just him is not a problem).

    Having said that, if my boyfriend spoke to my parents about our future before speaking to me, it would be a sign that he doesn’t know me well enough to marry me. But I think that’s part of it, know the person you are proposing to and, with them in mind, decide whether to speak to their parents.

  32. PhillyGal says:

    Is there a ring? I don’t see one.

  33. Alyse says:

    I have a close family, so I’d like them to talk to my parents first – not because I need permission (and my parents would never tell me who to love/marry etc).
    But because I’d feel like it’s their way of respecting my closeness to my family, and that they are marrying not just me, but my family too.

  34. Starizan says:

    Curious what Celebitchy thinks about the cult-y church, Hillsong, they attend with the likes of Justin Bieber, Hailey Baldwin, Selena Gomez, Kardashian-Jenner sisters, etc. I’ve been seeing blind items about how this conservative church pushes young marriages, provides young girls for their celebrity followers & big doners to ‘worship’ with in private rooms… Sounds a little like Scientology but more Evangelical, Prosperity Gospel with some anti-gay, anti-abortion, sex cult added in.

    • KLO says:

      this.

      It seems a bit like Scientology and Chris Pratt and Justin Bieber as the Tom Cruise of the organization

      Pandering to insecure celebs who are trying to make sense of their difficult lives (I am not being sarcastic) that have been probably marred by horrific abuse from childhood on.

      • Starizan says:

        Right? I think it’d be interesting to start absorbing this group of celeb’s kind of batty behavior in the context of this Hillsong church. And be on the look out for more of its celeb clientele following similar patterns.

        I do not doubt for a second a lot these people have been victims of abuse. I also get an icky feeling about the public way they describe their relationship. It feels ‘off.’

    • pottymouth pup says:

      Isn’t Schwarzenegger Catholic? My guess is she’d want a full Catholic Mass which means Pratt will need a papal dispensation to have his non-Catholic marriage annulled by the Catholic church.

  35. Who ARE These People says:

    My question is this: How do you modernize this patriarchal tradition when it only goes one way: IE the man approaches the woman’s family. There’s no way to get around the roots of the custom when the woman does not at the same time approach her potential groom’s family. And if it all comes down to, well, the man has to ask the woman, then that also has roots in patriarchal tradition. Why can’t both people agree to marry (though most times someone has to go first) and then both approach both families, however they are constituted, and ask for blessings or welcome or whatever it is they’re wanting?

    It may seem sweet but I can’t get over the sense that it somehow diminishes the woman with everyone talking about her behind her back as if she has to be protected before the handover.

    • Haapa says:

      Thank you.

    • jennifer says:

      THIS. Also I find it funny (for lack of a better word) that Maria Shriver set them up. Do you think she would set her 29 yr old son up with a 39 yr old divorced mother. Im gonna say NOPE

    • me says:

      It definitely does seem like a “handover” doesn’t it? You were your father’s “property” and now will be your husband”s “property”. Look at the wedding ceremony itself. I know some religions do it differently but I’m talking about Christian weddings I guess…the father walks the bride down the aisle, and then hands her off to her groom. They always say “you may now kiss the bride”. Why not say, “you many now share a kiss” or something. I don’t know but a lot of things about wedding ceremonies bother me.

  36. Booney says:

    Even asking for a ‘blessing’ (as opposed to permission) is just another sign that women are possessions. If it was truly about getting a blessing, they’d go to each set of parents together and ask, after they agreed to marry.