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wedding dance

To Have or Not To Have a Father Daughter Dance

No two weddings are the same, and never will they be for the simple fact that we are all individuals and we all like different things. Planning your perfect day is all about you as a couple and about what you would like. It’s a time for you to celebrate one of the momentous occasions with those you love in a way that suits you.

There are many things to think about when planning a wedding. The dress, the rings, the venue, the guests, the reception. But these are all given. One thing that you may not have yet given thought to is whether or not to have a father daughter dance.

Stickler for Tradition?

Traditionally, the way it worked is that the father is the one who would have the first dance with his daughter. He would then ‘give her away’ to her husband for the bride and groom to share their first dance.

However, as time goes by, traditions get altered, and now often couples choose to have the very first dance as theirs. Either way is fine and leaves plenty of time for others to join in after.

Deciding on the Song

Once you’ve made the decision to have a father daughter dance, it’s time to determine what song to have. For some brides this is as stressful as choosing their own wedding ceremony music. But it doesn’t have to be if you follow these tips:

  • Choose a song that means something to you both. This could be a song that reminds you of happy times spent together. Whether it’s fast or slow isn’t as important as the meaning behind it. So if “Rollover Beethoven” is where your fondest memories lie, by all means, rock it out!
  • Share the limelight. If the very thought of having all eyes on you while you glide across the dancefloor with your father for an entire song is making you feel sick to your stomach with nerves, then why not invite others to join you after a minute or so. That way you still get to enjoy a dance with your father but not so on display.
  • Practice makes perfect. Once you’ve decided on the song, to avoid any big disasters it’s always best to practice dancing with your father a couple of times before the big day. Hopefully this will help to eliminate any nerves and will make it look more smoothly on the actual day.

Father Daughter Dance Song Suggestions

  1. Father and Daughter by Paul Simon. This song was released in 2002 and is sung from the perspective of a father about how much he loves his daughter. Includes the lyric, “There could never be a father love his daughter more than I love you.”
  2. Count on Me by Bruno Mars. One of the newer songs on this list, but a very popular choice since it was first released. Focusing on being there to support no matter what, this is the perfect song to share with dad on your wedding day. Lyrics include, “You can count on me like 1,2,3, I’ll be there.”
  3. You are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder. Another classic that’s bound to bring a few tears to your guest’s eyes. With great lyrics such as “You are the apple of my eye, forever you’ll stay in my heart”, what better song is there for someone who’s effectively being given away?
  4. Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion. Another popular choice of father daughter dance songs about the powers of dad making a successful woman out of a girl. Includes lyrics like “I’m everything I am because you loved me.”
  5. Unforgettable by Natalie Cole. It’s hard not to get all mushy to this one, making it the perfect song to dance with your father on your wedding day. Lyrics include, “Unforgettable in every way. And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay.” A great song to reflect on how much a father loves his daughter.

Commonly Asked Father Daughter Dance Questions

Hopefully the above information should give you some idea as to when to have your father daughter dance and what song to dance to. However, you may still have a few questions that we haven’t covered. In which case, take a look at the following most commonly asked father daughter dance questions:

  • Should we hire a choreographer in preparation for the father daughter dance? A choreographer will of course help you feel more comfortable on your feet as you will have set moves to glide to. On the downside, it will add to the cost, and can even add to the pressure if you don’t think either of you are learning it quick enough.
  • Do I include the stepparents? Why not? Some couples choose to switch it up a little and rather than just have a father daughter dance, they also invite the mother and son to dance also. You can always switch partners part way through too in order to be able to honour more than one special person.
  • How long should the dance last? Again, this is down to how you feel personally. If you and your father love dancing and are happy to embrace the limelight for a few minutes then by all means, dance your heart out through the whole song. But if you were both blessed with two left feet, you may want to consider a shortened version of your song instead.

Not everyone chooses to have a father daughter dance. It all comes down to personal preference really. And whether you choose to have it or not, is not the be all and end all. You will still have a fantastic day surrounded by those you love most.

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