When planning a wedding, there are so many decisions both big and small that need to be made. Many of the details that are arranged in the planning process will never truly be seen or known by your guests. There are a few moments though where all eyes will be on you, like your first dance as a married couple or your grand entrance into the ballroom. Another big moment that is sure to captivate your guests is the father daughter dance. Choosing the perfect song (like any of the tracks on a perfect party playlist) can be a daunting task. This dance will be one of the most memorable moments of your wedding and there are lots of amazing options.
After hundreds of weddings at our Boston-area wedding venues, we have made notes on our top father and daughter wedding songs that are truly heartfelt and perfect for your special moment.
Choosing the Perfect Father Daughter Dance Song
One of the most important things to consider is the relationship and style of the bride and her father. Are you more traditional? You might want to choose a classic tune complimented by a more formal dance, like a waltz. Enjoy rocking out together? Consider something more fun and upbeat.
Any genre goes, as long as you’re both comfortable getting down to it in front of all your guests! So lace up your dancing shoes, and check out our suggestions for some father daughter wedding dance songs that could be perfect for your big moment with your dad!
“Sweet Child O’Mine” – Sheryl Crow
Sure, the 1987 Guns N’ Roses version still remains probably one of the best songs of all time (and if your pop has more of a rock n’roll edge, it may be a perfect choice for your spin around the dance floor together!) but the cover by Sheryl Crow might be more appropriate for a wedding reception. Guests will still recognize the classic tune, but this slightly softer acoustic rendition won’t offend any older guests who may not be ready to rock out just yet 🙂
“I Loved Her First” – Heartland
Looking for something a little more slow and southern? This “tug at your heartstrings” tune by Heartland is literally a father telling his daughter’s future husband husband to take care of his little girl. The lyrics to this one will definitely have your guests says “awww” as you glide across the floor with the first number one guy in your life.
“What a Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong
Looking for something a little more classic? You can’t go wrong with “What a Wonderful World.”
First of all, it’s short and sweet – at under two minutes, even the most attention-averse dads will be able to muster through it. The lyrics are uplifting, but not syrupy sweet the way some other songs that are specifically written for a moment like this can be. In short, this timeless hit works for all sorts of occasions, from a formal wedding to a more casual celebration. (Bonus – it’s also a great choice for a mother son dance!)
“Isn’t She Lovely” – Stevie Wonder
Does your dad have a little pep in his step? You might want to consider an upbeat number like this classic by Stevie Wonder. Who can hear this song without wanting to clap and bob along with the beat? The lyrics of are literally about the miracle of life, so chances are, your dad has been bopping along to this one since you were just a wee little baby. We dare you to try and not break out into a smile when you hear this one!
“Father & Daughter” – Paul Simon
This dreamy little tune has all the classic elements of a Paul Simon song, from a plucky acoustic melody to emotional lyrics like “I believe the light that shines on you will shine on you forever” 😭
You can’t go wrong with a crowd-pleasing artist like Paul who has been literally entertaining your parents since the 60s (although ironically, this song was written for a Nickelodeon animated film in the 90s).
“Daughters” – John Mayer
This song is interesting because while it’s a well-loved song for a father daughter dance, the actual lyrics have a slight negative connotation. Mayer admitted that he wrote the song about an ex-girlfriend who had trust issues because of her absent father, which led to the decline and eventual split of their relationship. So not exactly the joyous moment you might have pictured celebrating with your dad on your big day, but hey… still a beautiful song!
“My Girl – The Temptations”
You can never go wrong with a little R&B jam at a party, right? So why not kick things off with a classic that will have all your guests singing (and swaying) along with the beat.
“My Girl” is another great option for a father and daughter that don’t want to make the room break out in tears. Smokey Robinson, who originally penned the song, once said the song is not about a specific girl, but “written with all the women in the world in mind.” Which is great, because like some other songs with a more romantic connotation, this one’s totally appropriate for a dad just celebrating his love for his daughter.
Like most parts of your wedding reception, good music can quickly elevate (or kill) the mood. The most important thing is to select a song that makes you and your dad feel totally comfortable in a room full of people so that you can truly let your awesome moves shine!
Featured Image: Angelina Rose Photography