The father-daughter dance at a wedding is a very special moment and it’s up to you to make it fun, sentimental and a combination of your personalities. Unless you woke up knowing the perfect song, there are a couple of brilliant ways to get started narrowing down the vast selection of musical possibilities.
Ask your dad
Maybe he’ll surprise you with something from the year you were born, a retro number, or a modern ballad with a meaningful sentiment
Pick a genre
This will help you dismiss 90% of options and concentrate on your favorite music
Consider classic choices
Many father-daughter songs become popular for good reason: the lyricist perfect captures your relationship and happiness.
The list below contains 15 of our favorite father-daughter dance tunes. Some you’ll know, some will surprise you -- but each will get you thinking about how to celebrate your father-daughter bond
What type of dance are you planning? We love to see a tightly choreographed number that amazes guests, but this dance is your opportunity to enjoy a moment with your dad so a slow number that lets you share memories during the dance is a great choice too. Or maybe you want something that spans the decades from when he was young through to the present day?
The good news is that there are only right choices, and this is all about you and your dad. You can choose a heartfelt song that leaves the crowd in tears or select a father-daughter song that elicits warm laughter as you both gets down with the tune. Here are 15 father-daughter songs that you should consider because the lyrics are meaningful, the melodies are joyful, and there are a range of tempos, so you'll feel at home on the dancefloor.
by Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder wrote this for his daughter, the lyrics are beautiful, and your guests will find themselves joining in with the emotion. Little known fact, on his Songs in the Key of Life album, you can hear Stevie Wonder bathing little Aisha mixed into the harmonica solo, but if a six-minute song seems like too much then the 3.26 radio edit is the version everyone knows!
Isn't she lovely
Isn't she wonderful
Isn't she precious
BY MARVIN GAYE OR JAMES TAYLOR
Described as "radiant pop confection," this is a soulful upbeat song that’s all about love - pure and simple. This song can be choreographed for an unassuming slow dance with the James Taylor version or a faster-paced bop if you choose the Marvin Gaye original.
And I, I've got a song to sing (oh, darling)
Tellin' the world about the joy you bring (oh, sweet heart)
And you gave me a reason for livin' (oh, honey)
And ooh, you taught me, you taught me the meaning of givin'
by Led Zeppelin
A delicate but powerful song that embodies the joy of classic rock. Tori Amos provides a beautiful cover version if you want a lighter acoustic version. This song can be interpreted as the bride singing the verses to their father and dad responding with the chorus.
If the sun refused to shine
I would still be loving you
When mountains crumble to the sea
There will still be you and me
by The Temptations, or Otis Redding, or the Mamas and the Papas
A classic for good reason, it has a strong beat, everyone knows it and the music is easy to dance along to regardless of your dancing ability.
I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May.
I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way? My girl (my girl, my girl)
by Tom Petty
If you like rock music with emotional lyrics, this song is perfect for you. It sends the message of every father. Tom Petty said: 'I just took a deep breath and it came out. I mean, I just played it into a tape recorder and I never played it again. I actually only spent three and a half minutes on that whole song. So I’d come back for days playing that tape, thinking there must be something wrong here because this just came too easy. And then I realized that there’s probably nothing wrong at all.'
It turns out that the most beautiful things sometimes are the very easiest.
You belong among the wildflowers
You belong somewhere close to me
Far away from your trouble and worry
You belong somewhere you feel free
by Rascall Flatts
This is one of the most popular father and daughter songs, speaking about fathers preparing their daughters for their next step in life. The song came about because Jeffrey Steele's young daughter asked her dad for a song, and this was the beautiful result.
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too
by Van Morrison
‘Days when everything falls into place…’ This song is perfect for a classic rock fan as they concentrate on all the good times. On the album version, Van Morrison’s daughter Shana sings a gorgeous duet with her pa.
When you don't need an answer there'll be days like this
When you don't meet a chancer there'll be days like this
When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit it
Then I must remember there'll be days like this
by Louis Armstrong
These happy lyrics can be applied to many father and daughter relationships, from connecting with your father as an adult to being daddy's little girl.
I hear babies cry
I watch them grow
They'll learn much more
Than I'll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
As a change of pace, Beyoncé's ode to her father expresses her deep and abiding love throughout every element of her life from bike rides along the bayou to her first boyfriend. Beyoncé says "that loyalty and that strength that he has, those certain qualities I just want in all the people around me."
My unborn son
To be like my daddy
I want my husband to be like my daddy
There is no one else like my daddy
BY GUNS N’ ROSES
This one might be a surprise in a standard list of father-daughter dance songs but it’s heartfelt. Of course, the title says it all, but the opening stanza will tell everyone what your dad is thinking:
She's got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stare too long, I'd probably break down and cry
by Billy Joel
Billy Joel's daughter, Alexa Ray inspired this song and it’s become a classic for evening receptions, as he promises to always be there no matter where she is. Billy Joel later released a children's book titled Goodnight, My Angel (A Lullabye). If you have fond memories of hearing this as a child, it's a natural choice for your father-daughter dance.
I promised I would never leave you
And you should always know
Wherever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far away
BY KELLY & OZZY OSBOURNE
Perfect slow dance rhythm with meaningful lyrics about a daughter growing up. Ozzy Osbourne first wrote this in 1972 but released an updated version with his daughter in 2003. Black Sabbath isn’t always appreciated for their love songs but this one gives the feels mentioning that life isn’t always easy and part of growing up is finding your own path.
We've shared the years
We've shared each day
I love you daddy
But I found my way
by Bon Jovi
Written when his daughter Stephanie was small, Jon Bon Jovi is the ultimate proud papa describing his daughter as a work of art. This starts slow making it perfect for anyone building confidence with their dance steps.
But the truth is someday
Somebody is gonna take her (you see)
But the queen of hearts will always be
A five-year-old princess to me (to me)
This is a little-heard two-minute song with an amazing melody that’s simple and fast (132 bpm) but will leave all your guests exclaiming that your song choice and dance were superb.
Gonna write a song so she can see
Give her all the love she gives to me
Talk of better days that have yet to come
Never felt this love from anyone
The meaning of this song is right there in the title: it's an expression of love and friendship at every age. The song tempo makes it ideal for an easy dance step with flourishes like a dip or a spin as Freddie Mercury sings. While we love the original, there is an adorable lullaby cover version that might remind you of childhood.
Ooh, I've been wandering 'round
Still come back to you (still come back to you)
In rain or shine, you've stood by me girl
I'm happy at home (happy at home)
You're my best friend
There are thousands of beautiful love songs that are relevant for fathers and daughters - you'll make the right choice for you. We must also share a few of the classics like "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, "My little Girl" by Tim Mcgraw, "Daughters" by John Mayer, "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle, A Song For My Daughter by Ray Allaire, “Hero“ by Mariah Carey, and "Father and Daughter" by Paul Simon which are all almost guaranteed to pull the heartstrings.
Then there are modern-feeling songs you could consider like:
The father and daughter dance is a wonderful way to show your appreciation to your dad and celebrate your special day with him in a personal and memorable way. Many still think of the father-daughter dance as a symbolic gesture of the bride celebrating her younger life with her family, as she now begins life with her new spouse.
Make this significant moment fit your life by inviting stepparents to cut in, switching to other significant family members, sharing the dancefloor with your brand new spouse and their VIP family member, or asking your guests to join you on the dance floor.
Whatever music you choose for your father-daughter dance, we're sure it will be exactly right for your wedding.