How to Select a Father-Daughter Wedding Song

Cherish the moment and create a beautiful memory

By Jonathan Croswell

Father and Bride Dancing
Photo by John Partridge PhotographyBookmark and Share

One of the most important songs to pick out for the reception is the one that will be played for the dance of the bride with her father. This dance creates a beautiful moment for the father and his daughter that the rest of the reception can snap photos of and enjoy. You will want to choose a song that sets the right mood for both the couple dancing and the onlookers.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Your father-daughter dance is a moment to remember, so your song should be something that connects the two of you. It could be a song you enjoyed as a child, one your father sang to you in bed at night or one that reminds you of the special bond you share.
Picking the Best Song

Step 1:

Think back to when you were a little girl. If there were any songs that remind you of your father or if there was a special song between the two of you during your childhood, they might be great candidates.

Step 2:

Decide what kind of mood you want to set with the song. A father and bride with a jovial relationship might want a light-hearted song, such as Randy Newman's "You've Got a Friend in Me."

Step 3:

Talk with your father and ask him what songs he may like for the first dance. His musical tastes may not be the same as yours, so take that into account. One way to go is with a Frank Sintra song, such as "The Way You Look Tonight" or Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are."

Step 4:

Take the length of the song into consideration. You don't want to bore guests, particularly in the middle of a long procession of ceremonial activities and dances. A good length of time for a song is three to four minutes.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Plan a time with your father to sit down and review the song possibilities.
  • If your dad is uncomfortable dancing, offer to hire a dancing coach or offer to teach him the dance.

About the Author

Jonathan Croswell is a freelance writer who has worked on regional wedding publications.

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Select reception music

Play a little something for everyone. Young and old alike enjoy dancing to the oldies. And throw in some nostalgic tunes for you and your friends, such as a top song from the year you graduated from high school. You may even want to set up a space on your website for song requests and compose a playlist from that.

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Wedding Glossary


A style of music that traditionally involves many musicians and incorporates horn instruments and vocalists. Popular in the '30s and '40s.

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