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Songs tailor-made for father-daughter dances

Metro Creative

Weddings can be as novel or traditional as couples prefer. Couples who go the traditional route will undoubtedly include certain spotlight dances in the reception.

The father-daughter dance is a staple of a wedding reception. According to the experts at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, the history of father-daughter dances can be traced back decades. The dance once was one last nod to Dad before the bride’s husband became the most important man in her life. Now it's more symbolic of general love and affection.

Times have certainly changed from the first father-daughter dances and this tradition no longer carries the same meaning. In fact, despite what the name may imply, father-daughter dances needn't take place with a father at all, especially if he passed away or is not in the bride's life. She can choose any special person, whether a father figure, uncle, brother, mentor, etc. to honor during the dance.

Traditionally the father-daughter dance (and mother-son dance) takes place immediately following the newlyweds' first dance together. However, some opt to have it after the toasts or before the cake cutting. Couples can make their preferences known prior to the reception and schedule these dances any time they desire, especially since they are frequently preceded by a special announcement.

While many brides prefer to dance to a slow-paced, heartfelt song, this needn't always be the case. In recent years, some daddy-daughter duos have opted to put on shows with humorous dances or even entertaining showcases of fancy footwork to songs of all types. The song should match the vibe of the wedding. That said, certain songs seem tailor-made for the times during the reception when love and gratitude are expressed during these bittersweet dances.


“The Man Who Loves You the Most,” Zac Brown Band

“My Little Girl,” Tim McGraw

“Just Fishin',” Trace Adkins

Big band

“Unforgettable,” Nat King Cole

“The Way You Look Tonight,” Frank Sinatra

“Swinging on a Star,” Bing Crosby


“You've Got a Friend,” James Taylor

“Let it Be Me,” Ray LaMontagne

“Father and Daughter,” Paul Simon

“Wildflowers,” Tom Petty

“Constellations,” Jack Johnson


“Sweet Child O' Mine,” Guns N' Roses

“When You Need Me,” Bruce Springsteen

“Scarlet Begonias,” Grateful Dead


“Ain't that Love,” Ray Charles

“Daddy,” Beyoncé

“Dance with My Father,” Luther Vandross

“Love of My Life,” Brian McKnight

Tried and true

“Butterfly Kisses,” Bob Carlisle

“Wonderful World,” Louis Armstrong

“Hero,” Mariah Carey

“You Are So Beautiful,” Joe Cocker

“Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel),” Billy Joel

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