Top Songs for a Father-Daughter Dance
The father-daughter dance is a long-standing tradition that is still part of most wedding receptions today. For a bride who enjoys a close relationship with her father, a sweet and even sappy father and daughter dance song is a great choice. The wedding planner should be sure to instruct the photographer to get some close-ups of the emotion that's sure to come.
Here are 15 special songs for fathers and daughters who want to make the most of this tradition. For brides who aren't especially close to their father, or are sharing a dance with another family member, some suggestions on this list fit those situations as well.
Steven Curtis Chapman: "Cinderella"
Written about a father dancing with his daughter, first when she is a little girl and later when she's a bride, this emotional song is as tender as Bob Carlisle's "Butterfly Kisses," but much less overplayed. (Warning: Many people, including Chapman himself, associate this song with his daughter Maria Sue, who died tragically in 2008.)
Harry Belafonte: "Turn Around"
Telling the chronological story of a toddler growing into a young woman getting married herself, this 1959 Belafonte song was later covered by a variety of artists, from the Kingston Trio to Sonny and Cher to Kenny Loggins. Paul Arnold's version was also part of an iconic Kodak commercial in the 1960s.
Van Morrison: "Have I Told You Lately"
The famous Irish songwriter's song was released in 1989 and became a hit, but was quickly eclipsed by Rod Stewart's cover, which is the more widely known version today. Both performances evoke a sentimental love that isn't necessarily romantic, so the song works well for a father/daughter dance.
Nat King Cole: "Unforgettable"
This truly timeless tune is perfect for a bride who wishes to share a special dance with her grandfather. (Nat's post-mortem "duet" version with his daughter Natalie Cole is also worth considering.)
Other classics that Grandpa might enjoy include Frank Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight" (or the cover versions by Tony Bennett or Steve Tyrell) or Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."
Celine Dion: "Because You Loved Me"
Some brides choose to do a mother/daughter dance, either in place of the father/daughter dance or in addition to it. This song sends a sweet message of thanks for a lifetime of love and support.
Other songs to consider are Jamie O'Neal's "Somebody's Hero," Carrie Underwood's "Mama's Song" or Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings."
The Beatles: "In My Life"
The slightly nostalgic, but not overly sappy lyrics of this song makes it appropriate for a father-daughter dance (or a mother-son dance) when the relationship isn't so close. It's also a good choice when a couple decides to combine the father and daughter dance and the mother and son dance.
Other, less lyrically emotional choices for father/daughter dances include Tom Petty's "Wildflowers" and Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."
Randy Newman: "You've Got a Friend in Me"
Newman's huge hit from all three "Toy Story" films is perfect for a bride who wants to share a fun, upbeat but still very sweet dance with her son or new stepson.
Other kid-friendly, but not too childish, tunes include Lifehouse's version of "You Belong to Me" (featured in "Shrek") or Elizabeth Mitchell's and Daniel Littleton's "You are My Sunshine."