The father-daughter dance is one of the most special moments of a wedding reception. As a wedding DJ, it’s your job to create an atmosphere that is both celebratory and sentimental for this special dance between a father and his daughter. One of the key factors in creating this mood is choosing the right song. From classic hits to contemporary ballads, there are countless father-daughter dance songs to choose from.
In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of 15 of the best father-daughter songs that are sure to create a memorable moment between the bride and her father. Whether you’re looking for a sentimental slow dance or an upbeat number to get the party started, these songs will provide the perfect soundtrack for this special moment on your wedding day. So, without further ado, let’s take a look:
Top 15 father-daughter dance songs
“Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle
Released in 1997, this touching ballad is one of the most popular father-daughter songs of all time. It won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song and topped the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart for seven weeks. Lyrics include: “Oh, with all that I’ve done wrong / I must have done something right / To deserve a hug every morning / And butterfly kisses at night.”
Originally released in 1965, this Motown classic has become a timeless father-daughter dance song. It reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and is still a beloved hit today. Lyrics include: “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).”
“Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder
Released in 1976, this upbeat tune is a joyful celebration of a father’s love for his daughter. It has become a popular choice for father-daughter dances and is a timeless classic. Lyrics include: “Isn’t she lovely / Isn’t she wonderful / Isn’t she precious / Less than one minute old / I never thought through love we’d be / Making one as lovely as she.”
“Daddy’s Little Girl” by Al Martino
Originally released in 1949, this sweet song has stood the test of time as a popular father-daughter dance song. It reached #2 on the Billboard chart and has been covered by numerous artists over the years. Lyrics include: “You’re the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold / You’re daddy’s little girl to have and hold / A precious gem is what you are / You’re mommy’s bright and shining star.”
“I Loved Her First” by Heartland
Released in 2006, this country ballad has become a popular choice for father-daughter dances at weddings. It reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and has remained a popular choice for fathers and daughters to dance to. Lyrics include: “I loved her first, I held her first / And a place in my heart will always be hers / From the first breath she breathed / When she first smiled at me / I knew the love of a father runs deep.”
“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
Originally released in 1967, this classic song has become a beloved choice for father-daughter dances. It has been covered by numerous artists over the years and has a timeless message of hope and love. Lyrics include: “I see trees of green, red roses too / I see them bloom for me and you / And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”
“Father and Daughter” by Paul Simon
Released in 2002, this sweet song was written by Paul Simon for the movie “The Wild Thornberrys Movie.” It has become a popular choice for father-daughter dances and has a charming, upbeat sound. Lyrics include: “I’m gonna watch you shine / Gonna watch you grow / Gonna paint a sign / So you’ll always know / As long as one and one is two / There could never be a father / Who loved his daughter more than I love you.”
“The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra
Originally released in 1964, this classic song has become a popular choice for father-daughter dances. It won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and has been covered by countless artists over the years. Its timeless melody and lyrics make it a perfect choice for a sentimental and romantic father-daughter dance. Lyrics include: “Some day, when I’m awfully low / When the world is cold / I will feel a glow just thinking of you / And the way you look tonight.”
“My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw
Released in 2006, this country ballad was written by Tim McGraw for his daughter. It has become a popular choice for father-daughter dances and has a heartfelt message of a father’s love. Lyrics include: “Gonna hold her tight as I can / Anything you need, son, that’s my job / Well this might not mean much now / But someday it will / My little girl.”
“Daughters” by John Mayer
Released in 2003, this emotional ballad has become a popular father-daughter dance song. It won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and has a message of the importance of a father’s love and support for his daughter. Lyrics include: “Fathers, be good to your daughters / Daughters will love like you do / Girls become lovers who turn into mothers / So mothers, be good to your daughters too.”
“Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole
Originally released in 1951 by Nat King Cole, this timeless classic was later re-recorded as a duet with his daughter Natalie Cole in 1991. It has become a beloved father-daughter dance song and won three Grammy Awards. Lyrics include: “Unforgettable, that’s what you are / Unforgettable, though near or far / Like a song of love that clings to me / How the thought of you does things to me.”
Originally released in 1988, this song has become a popular choice for father-daughter dances. It has a message of hope and a wish for a child to stay young and carefree. Lyrics include: “May the good Lord be with you / Down every road you roam / And may sunshine and happiness / Surround you when you’re far from home / May you grow up to be righteous / May you grow up to be true / May you always know the truth / And see the lights surrounding you.”
“Wildflowers” by Tom Petty
Released in 1994, this sweet and nostalgic song has become a popular choice for father-daughter dances. It has a message of encouragement for a child to follow their dreams and live a full life. Lyrics include: “You belong among the wildflowers / You belong in a boat out at sea / Sail away, kill off the hours / You belong somewhere you feel free.”
My Wish” by Rascal Flatts
Released in 2006, this country ballad has become a popular choice for father-daughter dances. It has a message of hope and encouragement for a child to follow their dreams and live a happy life. Lyrics include: “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.”
“A Song for My Daughter” by Ray Allaire
Released in 1983, this sentimental ballad has become a popular choice for father-daughter dances. It has a message of a father’s love and a wish for his daughter to live a happy life. Lyrics include: “And so I’ll sing to you this song for the rest of your life / And I’ll love you forever, for always, till the end of time.”
When to play the father-daughter song
Typically, the father-daughter dance takes place after the bride and groom’s first dance and often follows the mother-son dance. It’s a special moment between a father and daughter and sets the tone for the rest of the evening’s festivities.
The timing of the father-daughter dance can vary depending on the wedding schedule and preferences of the bride and groom. Some couples opt to have the father-daughter dance immediately following the first dance, while others choose to wait until later in the evening after dinner has been served. It’s important to discuss the timing of the father-daughter dance with the bride and groom ahead of time to ensure a smooth transition and that the DJ has the proper cues and timing for the music.
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In addition to the timing, it’s also important to consider the atmosphere of the reception. The father-daughter dance is often a sentimental and emotional moment, and it’s important to choose a song that fits the mood and tone of the evening. The DJ should pay attention to the energy of the room and choose a song that will keep guests engaged and set the tone for a memorable evening of dancing and celebration.
Let the bride choose the song
When it comes to choosing the father-daughter song, it’s important to let the bride have a say in the decision. This is a special moment between the bride and her father, and it’s only fitting that she gets to choose a song that holds significance and meaning for them.
As a wedding DJ, it’s important to work closely with the bride to ensure that the chosen song is appropriate for the occasion and fits with the overall mood and tone of the reception. While it’s ultimately the bride’s decision, the DJ can provide guidance and recommendations based on their experience and knowledge of popular father-daughter songs.
It’s important to have a conversation with the bride about what she wants from the father-daughter dance. Does she want a sentimental ballad that will tug at heartstrings or something more upbeat and fun that will get everyone on the dance floor? Understanding the bride’s preferences and expectations will help the DJ choose a song that will make the moment truly special and memorable.
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The history of the father-daughter dance at weddings
The father-daughter dance is a long-standing tradition at weddings, but where did this tradition come from? The history of the father-daughter dance can be traced back to medieval Europe, where it was common for fathers to dance with their daughters during social events and celebrations. As time passed, this tradition evolved into a symbolic gesture of the father giving away his daughter to her new husband.
In the 19th century, the father-daughter dance became more formalized and was often included as part of debutante balls. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that the father-daughter dance became a staple of modern weddings.
Today, the father-daughter dance is seen as a way for the bride to honor her father and thank him for his love and support throughout her life. It’s also a moment for the father to express his love and pride for his daughter as she embarks on a new chapter of her life.
While the tradition of the father-daughter dance has evolved over time, its significance has remained the same. It’s a special moment that highlights the bond between a father and daughter and adds an emotional and memorable touch to any wedding celebration.