Non-cheesy Father-daughter Dance


So, it’s time to pick a father-daughter dance song.
But, what to choose? What to choose?
Should you go with the same song that your cousin Sandra used at her wedding a few years ago? It went down pretty well. What was it called again?
Or maybe that age-old classic Butterfly Kisses? It’s a cliché for a reason, right?

So, obviously, this assumes you’re even having a father-daughter dance. It’s one of those super traditional elements in a wedding. Like the cake cutting, the garter toss or the giving of favours. And, since we’re well into the time of ‘if it doesn’t work with you chuck the tradition’, some couples are doing away with this aspect of a wedding. Maybe your dad isn’t around, maybe he is and you have an awkward or tense relationship. Heck, we’ve seen so many moms walk daughters down the aisle while fathers look on from the pew that it feels like a new normal. Different families have different dynamics. They shouldn’t be moulded to try to fit some pre-conceived cookie cutter idea of what a wedding should be.


But… if you are keen to incorporate the father-daughter dance (or the mother-daughter dance) and you’re stuck for song choices, we’ve got some suggestions for you. If, after reading them, you’re still dead set on the soulful sounds of Bob Carlisle then please, do not let us stop you.

Before jumping into Youtube videos, here are some points to consider when selecting your song.

  1. Length:
    After about a minute of shuffling on the same spot and once you have wiped those emotional tears away you might look around the room and see your guests looking a bit restless. Butterfly Kisses is a LONG song. Consider picking a couple of versus that are special to you and then have the DJ fade the song out.
  1. Tempo:
    When listening to potential songs, get up and shuffle to it. Is it too fast, too slow?
  2. Something different:
    If you are not keen dancers, and the idea of shuffling around for 3 minutes scares either of you, how about inviting all the fathers and daughters at your wedding up to join you after the first minute or so.

Alright, back to the music…

We chatted to David Yapp of Surreal Eventing and Top Jocks to get his opinion of the father-daughter dance. David has been a wedding DJ for yonks (20 years to be precise) he also runs the radio facility at Mr Price. He has seen it all. We asked him what his recommendations are to brides looking for guidance on father-daughter dance songs. His response, as DJ and as a father was, “Why dictate that to him?”

He goes on to say “When my eldest daughter was born, the song on the wireless was Emilia – Big Big World. Whilst not totally appropriate, the lyrics at the beginning of the song really summed up the birth of my first child and will always take me back to the memories of that day. So my advice, is that you talk to your Dad and see if there is any song that is meaningful to him. If he wants to dance to ACDC’s Thunderstruck or something else you consider to be inappropriate, and only then, will I intervene and make recommendations.”

Here are a list of David’s favorite father-daughter dance songs (lyrics, meaning and tempo well considered):

1. Heartland – I Loved her First

2. T Carter Music – Daddy’s Little Angel

3. Paul Simon – Father and Daughter

4. Nancy Sinatra – It’s For My Dad

5. Nat and Natalie Cole – Unforgetable

6. The Temptations – My Girl

OK OK – we know those might seem a bit cheesy to you, but just bear in mind what Dad was listening to when you were a tiny tot in nappies and what will be most meaningful to him.

If you just can’t stomach any of those, then here are a few more suggestions from us….

  1. Queen – Best Friend

2. Beatles – Blackbird (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)

3. Loudon wainwright – Daughter

4. John Mayer – Daughters

5. Miley Cyrus feat Billy Ray Cyrus – Butterfly

6. Johnny Cash – You Are My Sunshine

And if you are now totally engrossed in Youtube videos and have no interest in stopping, grab your tissues and watch this beautiful video of a bride dancing with family members after having lost her Dad.

Please share your song suggestions with brides-to-be in the comments sections. We would love to hear too, what you danced to.

You may be interested in our other related articles:
Selecting your Music Man and Fitting the Music to your Wedding

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