Searching for the perfect song for your father-daughter dance? As part of many of our wedding dance lessons, we asked to help with father-daughter dances. These are always fun and special dances to add to any wedding, but sometimes it can be hard to think of a fitting song. In order to jump start your selection process to find THE song for your special day, here are my top 5 song suggestions from current and past clients, plus one bonus song just from me. As an added benefit, I have included the dance style that seems to best fit each song.
Wildflowers – Tom Petty
Listening to Tom Petty’s Wildflowers from the perspective of a parent to a child, the song extends all the well-wishes a father could hope for their daughter. The song itself is best used for a Texas Two-Step, however if floor-space is limited, or the bride’s dress is less than mobile, a single time swing can easily be adapted. Its an upbeat song that still has a wonderful emotional and sentimental quality to it, putting the parent-child relationship in a hopeful and positive light.
He Didn’t Have to Be – Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley’s song makes for a easy going nightclub two-step. Even though the song is about the relationship between a son and his stepfather, I have had a few brides use the first 1:45 of the song as a way to thank their stepfathers for being “the man he didn’t have to be”. Be sure to have plenty of handkerchiefs on hand though, there won’t be a dry eye in the house if you use this song.
You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Michael Buble
Before I have a hundred comments about not using the original Randy Newman version, let me say that I am a child of the 90s, so the Toy Story track will always have a special place in my heart. However, from a choreography perspective, the Michael Buble cover has so many interesting and varied highlights and low-lights to play off of that its hard to not chose it over the original. Use a combination of four count and six count Foxtrot, and you have one wonderfully whimsical parent dance.
Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder
Classic. What else can be said about this Stevie Wonder song? I featured this song last year in a blog post about current student projects, and still love how easy and simple the swing song works for that sweet father-daughter dance.
My Girl – The Temptations
In my opinion its impossible not to want to dance when that first bass line starts. Whether its a sweet American rumba or a more upbeat swing, you cannot go wrong by picking The Temptations.
Bonus: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Monty Python (Life of Brian)
Is it a traditional song? No. Would anyone listening to this song think – wedding dance? Definitely not. Was it perfect for my dance with my dad? Absolutely! I have clients all the time that ask for suggestions when it comes to picking a song, whether its for their first dance or for a parent dance (I am writing this list after all), but my response every time is to pick a song that is meaningful for the two people dancing. The song that you chose will forever be a memory that you and that person share that is special to the moment, and in my mind, its more important that the song reflects you than it lives up to traditional expectations.
So here’s why my dad and I danced to “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. Reason 1- we are not outwardly “emotional” people, so the idea that we would pick a song that was sappy was straight out of the question. Reason 2- we LOVE Monty Python. I don’t know how many times our family watched The Holy Grail as my brother and I were growing up, but I’m sure that it was far too often. And the big one, reason 3 – I had just moved 2,000 miles away to a completely new state with no friends, no family other than my husband, and a TON of trepidation. In all fairness, I had the song cut so that the bit about death and dying was not part of the dance. At the end of the day, we both wanted something fun, that we could laugh through, that would mean something to both of us, and that would defy everyone else’s expectations. I think that’s the important thing to remember, at the end of the day, the dance is about you and your father/daughter, and if the song means something to you, that’s all that matters.