Father Daughter Dance

The planning period leading up to the wedding is often a great joy for the Mother of the bride. Fathers, however, are often more comfortable on the sidelines. Tradition does provide for a three-minute spotlight for the bride and her father, the Father Daughter Dance. Many tears are shed when friends and family witness the end of a girl’s time with dad, as she progresses to the next phase of her life as a woman and wife.

For this special dance brides frequently seek something touching and meaningful that reflects their unique relationship. Often, there’s a song that’s almost perfect, save for a verse that makes it awkward for a dance with dad. Here are some tips for finding that perfect song to capture this once in a lifetime moment.

  1. Reflect on cherished moments. Never mind if it has been done a thousand times. If there’s a song that reminds the bride of dad, then it should make the short list. Maybe it’s a song dear old dad sang before putting her to bed or a favorite childhood memory that is special between the two. One of my friends had seen “Les Miserables” with her dad countless times so “Master of the House” was just perfect for them.

  2. Make it about dad. Choose something dad would like, perhaps a song from his favorite artist or album. Involve parents in the decision, so dad can express his opinions. He'll be touched by the thought and it will make the moment even sweeter.

  3. Internet inspiration. If a bride is completely stumped, she can use the Internet as a starting point. Websites like Wedding Wire, provide lists of songs other brides have used in their weddings. These lists may have a song that fits the bill or reminds brides of that favorite artist they had forgotten about.

  4. Involve the DJ. My dad couldn’t carry a tune to save his life nor did we see many movies together unless Clint Eastwood was starring … needless to say, very few of Eastwood’s movies are known as musicals! I shared my feelings for my dad with the DJ and he came up with just the right song for that special moment we joined hands and waltzed across the floor. The DJ’s role is in part to capture the tone of the wedding and play music that reflects that mood. They may surprise you with a great suggestion even if they have only just met you.

  5. Ask the man himself. Fathers get used to not being asked what they want, but if you approach him one-on-one with your short list and ask if he likes any of them – giving him permission to suggest alternatives – he will appreciate it whether he chooses one of your songs or you come up with something else.  Do not have this discussion with others in earshot as any chiming in may cause Dad to feel like you really don’t value his input.

These three minutes are also a time when the bride can thank her dad for everything, advice and memories can be shared or simply move together in sync. Brides can be as corny and sentimental as they want on their big day. Remember dear old dad; be smart and sensitive to this moment in your history together. No matter what he says or how he downplays it, the Father Daughter Dance will remain sealed safely in his heart for all time.


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Aisle Dish is written by Meredith Thomas, Stoneleigh's in-house Event Consultant. If you would like assistance planning your special day, Meredith offers a complimentary one-hour consultation to all brides hosting their wedding at the Club and is available for further planning services at an additional fee. Contact Meredith at [email protected] or 540.338.4653 ext. 303.