Though the ceremony and first dance are arguably the most special moments of a wedding between the bride and groom, there's nothing quite like the sweet and sentimental moments between father and daughter – including the father-daughter dance. As the bride and her father take the dance floor, loved ones often don't know if they should prepare to smile, laugh, or cry – and there's one reason why: it all depends on the music selections.
Some brides and their fathers choose to dance to a classic song by Frank Sinatra or The Temptations and switch to a rap song in order to engage younger guests in the revelry, while other duos dance like no one's watching to a special tune with true meaning that signifies the duo's unconditional love.
From Motown hits to country classics, there are a wide range of father-daughter dance songs to choose from. Browse some of our favorite tunes below – selected by real brides from around the country. To see more from the brides who chose these special father-daughter wedding song ideas for their father-daughter dances on the big day, click on the links that mention their real weddings!
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From slow song ideas to more upbeat tunes, we love these selections from real brides and their dads. Get ideas for your dad and daughter dance songs!
While "My Girl" by The Temptations could easily be a first-dance song instead of a tune for the father-daughter dance, we love it for father-daughter moments! Many Inside Weddings couples select this song – see Jaime and Bryan's Chicago wedding for example – as it's a classic and has a great soulful feel that guests of all ages will love.
Brides who love country music – including entertainment host Adrianna Costa who chose this for her father-daughter dance – will want to dance with their fathers to "I Loved Her First" by Heartland. The lyrics "I knew the love of a father runs deep, and I prayed that she'd find you someday, but it's still hard to give her away, I loved her first" likely echo how dad feels.
While "Father and Daughter" was originally written for the The Wild Thornberries Movie, this Paul Simon song written as an ode to his daughter would make a wonderful father-daughter dance song. Illana's Puerto Vallarta wedding included the number for the father-daughter dance, and we're sure it'll be a popular choice for years to come!
Couples having a classic wedding will gravitate towards more classic songs, such as Elizabeth's Beverly Hills wedding. If you're looking for a father-daughter dance song that has a timeless feel, look no further than "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. It's such a beautiful choice for a father-daughter wedding dance.
Another great classic option for a father-daughter song is "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra. It's a perfect song for a sweet moment that won't be overly sentimental and make you cry. Briana's Santa Barbara wedding featured this elegant tune in the parent dances, and it was loved by all in attendance!
Stevie Wonder wrote "Isn't She Lovely" to celebrate the birth of his daughter, making this father-daughter dance song even more special. Mario Lopez's wife Courtney danced to this song with her dad for the father-daughter dance at their Mexico wedding celebration. It's another timeless option that everyone can sway along to as they watch the special moment.
Especially if your parents are fans of Rod Stewart, "Forever Young" is a great tune that makes the list of many wedding songs. Stephanie's Beverly Hills wedding showcased the tune for the father-daughter dance at the wedding reception, and it will likely be played at countless weddings in the future.
Another great option for fans of country music, "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw is about a father's love – making it a perfect song for the father-daughter dance. Hannah's country club wedding incorporated this tune for the memorable moment, and it's one of our favorites since the song is actually written about a father and daughter relationship.
If you have childhood memories of your dad singing "Butterfly Kisses" to you as you fell asleep, consider the Bob Carlisle song for your father-daughter dance. Allyson's Ojai wedding included the tune, which starts with the sentimental lyrics "There's two things I know for sure: She was sent here from heaven and she's daddy's little girl."
The Hawaiian feel of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel "IZ" Kamakawio'ole makes it a great choice for a destination wedding, but it's also a welcome choice at any celebration – such as April's Northern California wedding. It's been featured in a number of films and we feel that it will always be a favorite for father-daughter dance and first-dance songs.
Another great option for your father-daughter dance is "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" by Stevie Wonder. Since this song was written for Stevie Wonder's wife, it also makes the list for top first dance songs; however, we also love it for a daughter's dance with her dad. It's also a bit of an upbeat choice that still has a slow feel to easily sway.
It's been shared that "Just the Way You Are" almost didn't make it on the album since Billy Joel thought it was a bit too sappy, but thankfully it did so it could be the father-daughter dance song choice for dads and daughters around the world. Another love song, it also works beautifully for the relationship between a father and his little girl.
While this song has also been covered by Adele, many dads will prefer the original "Make You Feel My Love" by Bob Dylan for the father-daughter dance. The meaning of the song has been debated, but no matter why Bob Dylan wrote the song, the lyrics are fitting for a love between a father and daughter on the wedding day.
Written for his own daughters' weddings – including Ali Jackson's wedding at the Jackson family home, "You'll Always Be My Baby" by Alan Jackson will be a favorite for those who are looking for country song ideas. While originally a one-of-a-kind song for his personal life, fans can now share it with their own families on the big day.
Opening photo by Callaway Gable; Event Production & Design by Alyson Fox, Levine Fox Events, Inc.; Registry: Gearys; From Real Wedding: Luxury Desert Wedding at Groom's Family Vacation Home in La Quinta, California