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17 Father-Daughter Dance Song Ideas for Your Wedding

Wedding entertainment advice

Wedding entertainment advice

Get on the dancefloor with your dad! From slower ballads to fun, upbeat songs, there's a father-daughter dance for everyone.

17 Father-Daughter Dance Song Ideas for Your Wedding

The Father-Daughter dance is an American tradition that has gained in popularity in the UK in recent years.

It's a sweet moment of the wedding, and an opportunity to acknowledge the bond between a girl and her dad.

Although ballads are typically more popular for the father-daughter dance, we've included some upbeat suggestions too. You can listen to the full playlist on Spotify too!

1 My Girl – The Temptations

Written as a response to 'My Guy' by Mary Wells with "all the women of the world in mind" and featuring Motown house band The Funk Brothers, it's a classic.

Written as a response to 'My Guy' by Mary Wells with "all the women of the world in mind" and featuring Motown house band The Funk Brothers, it's a classic.

2 You've Got a Friend – Carole King

Carol King's and James Taylor's version of this song reached number one in the same year, so we know it's a good one!

Carol King's and James Taylor's version of this song reached number one in the same year, so we know it's a good one!

3 Your Song – Elton John

Elton John's first single to chart, this was one of the first written by John and Bernie Taupin, who was 17 at the time, with loving and innocent lyrics.

Elton John's first single to chart, this was one of the first written by John and Bernie Taupin, who was 17 at the time, with loving and innocent lyrics.

4 Isn't She Lovely – Stevie Wonder

A song written by Stevie Wonder to celebrate the birth of his daughter Aisha Morris in 2005, what could be better for a father-daughter dance?

A song written by Stevie Wonder to celebrate the birth of his daughter Aisha Morris in 2005, what could be better for a father-daughter dance?

5 Daddy's Little Girl – The Shires

Crissie Rhodes from British country band The Shires wrote this heartfelt ballad in Nashville about her father, who passed away when she was a child.

Crissie Rhodes from British country band The Shires wrote this heartfelt ballad in Nashville about her father, who passed away when she was a child.

6 When My Little Girl Is Smiling – The Drifters

Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, this father-daughter classic was recorded by The Drifters in 1961 and has been heavily covered ever since.

Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, this father-daughter classic was recorded by The Drifters in 1961 and has been heavily covered ever since.

7 My Little Girl – Tim McGraw

American country music star Tim McGraw wrote this sweet song to convey his love to his daughter in 2006, and it was featured in the movie 'Flicka'.

American country music star Tim McGraw wrote this sweet song to convey his love to his daughter in 2006, and it was featured in the movie 'Flicka'.

8 Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion

A critically acclaimed worldwide hit, this is a heartfelt ballad chosen time and again for the father-daughter wedding dance.

A critically acclaimed worldwide hit, this is a heartfelt ballad chosen time and again for the father-daughter wedding dance.

9 God Only Knows – The Beach Boys

This hit is often said to be the band's greatest hit and one of the greatest songs ever written. It's also reportedly Paul McCartney's favourite song!

This hit is often said to be the band's greatest hit and one of the greatest songs ever written. It's also reportedly Paul McCartney's favourite song!

10 Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart

Originally by Van Morrison, Rod Stewart covered it for his 1991 album 'Vagabond Heart' and his version has been popular with fathers and daughters ever since.

Originally by Van Morrison, Rod Stewart covered it for his 1991 album 'Vagabond Heart' and his version has been popular with fathers and daughters ever since.

11 Sweet Child O' Mine – Guns N' Roses

The band's first ever number one single, this is a euphoric classic rock hit that will bring some energy to your father-daughter dance moment!

The band's first ever number one single, this is a euphoric classic rock hit that will bring some energy to your father-daughter dance moment!

12 What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

When it was released in 1968, this track was the biggest selling single of the year in Britain, which means it's loved by generations young and old.

When it was released in 1968, this track was the biggest selling single of the year in Britain, which means it's loved by generations young and old.

13 Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carlisle

Randy Thomas and Bob Carlisle wrote this song for Carlisle's daughter's 16th birthday, and it was a major hit in the US charts and won a Grammy for Best Country Song.

Randy Thomas and Bob Carlisle wrote this song for Carlisle's daughter's 16th birthday, and it was a major hit in the US charts and won a Grammy for Best Country Song.

14 Forever Young – Rod Stewart

After writing this, Rod Stewart approached Bob Dylan who agreed to share ownership and royalties of the track, as his song of the same title was similar!

After writing this, Rod Stewart approached Bob Dylan who agreed to share ownership and royalties of the track, as his song of the same title was similar!

15 Father and Daughter – Paul Simon

Originally written for 'The Wild Thornberrys Movie', this tune was released as a single in 2002, and is a lovely song to share with your dad.

Originally written for 'The Wild Thornberrys Movie', this tune was released as a single in 2002, and is a lovely song to share with your dad.

16 How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – James Taylor

Originally recorded by Marvin Gaye in 1964, this was a hit for James Taylor in 1975 with Carly Simon on backing vocals.

Originally recorded by Marvin Gaye in 1964, this was a hit for James Taylor in 1975 with Carly Simon on backing vocals.

17 Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross

Vandross wrote this poignant song with Richard Marx after he suffered a stroke that eventually killed him two years later, so it was one of the last songs he ever wrote.

Vandross wrote this poignant song with Richard Marx after he suffered a stroke that eventually killed him two years later, so it was one of the last songs he ever wrote.


When should I have the father-daughter dance?

The father-daughter dance is often scheduled after the first dance, but this can feel a little disjointed and disrupt the flow of the evening if all your guests have joined the dancefloor during the first dance of the newlyweds.

We'd advise not putting two slow songs back to back too, so you could consider choosing an uptempo number for either your first dance or your father-daughter dance.

Another option is to share your father-daughter dance after the speeches and before the cake-cutting, or alternatively you could schedule it for later in the evening, for example at the start of the band's second set.

What about my mother?

There's a traditional place for your mum to be involved, which is during the first dance. After a moment with your new husband or wife, the groom traditionally invites the bride's mother to dance, while the bride dances with the groom's father.

After that, the groom dances with his mother and the bride with her father while the others pair off. This is a great place to involve any step-parents or other significant family members too.

To give another nod to the mother of the bride, you could request her favourite song for the band or DJ to play, and dedicate it to her with your thanks.

How long should my father-daughter dance be?

We recommend keeping the father-daughter dance short and sweet! By this point in the evening, all your guests will be keen to get on the dancefloor themselves and celebrate with you, so don't keep them waiting too long.

You can either choose a short song or ask the band to shorten it for you, which they can do by skipping a verse and/or a chorus. If you've hired a DJ, he may be able to create a shorter version for you as well.

If you've hired a live band, they'll be raring to go and will fill the dancefloor for you after the father-daughter dance, so be prepared to go straight into the party after a quiet moment with your dad.

Should the father-daughter dance be choreographed?

This is completely up to you! If you're nervous about it, some simple steps might be helpful to put your nerves at ease. Some light-hearted choreography with a fun-loving dad could be a real crowd pleaser!

If you're not nervous or you don't have time to spare, a simple slow dance or some silly, uptempo dance moves will still delight your dad and your guests.

It's not about the dance, it's about the relationship between the two of you and sharing this special moment on your wedding day.


Listen on Spotify


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