Everyone’s relationship with their dad is different, so when you start looking for an appropriate father daughter dance song, it can be very hard to find something that fits! Although ‘Butterfly Kisses’ still seems to top the list of many wedding website song suggestions for this purpose, I don’t know that many people would say that it fits their relationship with their dad, or the atmosphere that they want to set at their wedding.
Luckily, you’re not restricted to songs that have lyrics written specifically for a father-daughter relationship – let’s be honest, many of us may be dancing with a stepdad, other family member or a stand-in dad of choice. Songs with themes of friendship, support, changing seasons of life, and steadfast love can be a great fit; you can even choose a song that has a special meaning for you and your dad or one that hearkens to a special memory. Those songs that you always listened to in the car on a family road trip might hold a lot more meaning to you than any that you’ll find on a wedding website (or that I’ve listed below!).
Whatever song you choose, here are a few things to remember:
– Your dad might get nervous. Lots of dads don’t seem to like to dance, especially when they’re in the spotlight… and can you blame them? If the father of the bride is really nervous – or just a shy person – you can make it easier on him by changing things up a little bit. You can choose to dance for just 30 seconds or a minute and then have the DJ fade the song out and start the applause.
Trust me, no one will mind that it’s a little shorter than usual, and thirty seconds alone on the dance floor goes by a lot slower than you’d think! Just make sure you let your photographer know if this is the plan, so that they’re ready to get a few good snaps in the short time they have – but don’t worry, 30 seconds is plenty of time for a good photographer to get a couple of great photos.
Another thing you can do is invite other people to join you on the dance floor. Whether you have the DJ invite other family members, the bridal party, or other father/daughter duos in the room, once the spotlight is off the bride and her father, a shy dad will be able to relax and joy the moment a lot more.
– It doesn’t have to be slow. Dancing to a very slow song can really drag on, and feel way more awkward than you’d like. Sometimes a medium-paced two-step can be a lot easier to enjoy, and counting the steps can give a nervous dad something to focus on other than the fact that everyone’s watching you.
Songs with a little bit of ‘bounce’ will keep you moving a lot more naturally than slow songs that leave you awkwardly swaying back-and-forth. The last thing you want the father daughter dance to look like is an awkward junior high dance!
– Keep it short and sweet. Three minutes is plenty long enough for a father daughter dance… even if your dad loves being in the spotlight! Any longer than that and your guests will start to lose interest in watching. You can either fade the song out early or have your DJ create a custom mix of the song that includes the verses that are most important to you. You can also have your bridal party (or even all of your guests) join in after a few minutes.
– Get creative! If you have your heart set on a flash mob or surprise choreographed dance but your future spouse isn’t into it, there’s no rule that says a dad can’t plan a surprise dance with you. I’ve seen an awesome family who started with a slow father-daughter waltz and had me cut into a very fast big-band swing song and they did a fantastic choreographed swing dance. If your dads up for it, do something fun!
With all of that in mind, here’s a list of songs that fit well for a father daughter dance. I’ve included both common and not-so-common songs, as well as country songs and upbeat options. Just click on the song title to visit Youtube and listen to the song.
Traditional – These songs have been used for father-daughter dances many times over… (because they fit the purpose so well!)
Forever Young – Rod Stewart
Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carslile
What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
Just The Way You Are – Billy Joel
My Girl – The Temptations
Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder
I Wish You Love – Frank Sinatra
Cinderella – Steven Curtis Chapman
Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
Classic Rock/Folk/Oldies – I don’t think I’ve ever met a dad that didn’t love classic rock…
In My Life – The Beatles
When You Need Me – Bruce Springsteen
Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
Turn! Turn! Turn! – The Byrds
God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
You’ve Got A Friend – James Taylor
Little Miss Magic – Jimmy Buffett
Ain’t That Love – Ray Charles
Nothing Can Change This Love – Sam Cooke
This post originally appeared on the PopJukebox blog. PopJukebox is an edmonton wedding DJ that would love to help make your wedding music awesome – click here to visit their website or here to connect on facebook.
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