Fathers and daughters have a special relationship, building memories all throughout childhood and adolescence. Now the time’s finally come to be given away by the person sworn to protect you, into the arms of the start of a new life. The father-daughter dance at a wedding symbolizes this lifelong milestone, giving the two a chance to share one “final” bonding moment before fully growing into a married woman. It can be tough picking a song, especially since most songs focus on romantic love. The following list is made of tried and true songs along with a few unique picks for the close family.
Photo Credit: Significant Events of Texas
1. Beyoncé – Daddy
An inseparable father-daughter pair will love this ode to fatherhood. With a sweet, comfortable tune of the memories of milestones shared throughout life. Watch out for the best lyrics during your dance: “I want 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 / And I thank you (thank you) / for lovin’ me.”
2. Billy Joel – Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)
As the song title suggests, this is a good choice for a reception that takes place during sunset or the late evening. In this video, Billy Joel takes his emotions to the piano and plays a soothing melody with these lyrics: “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.”
3. Paul Simon – Father and Daughter
The title alone helps point in the right direction. It’s the perfect choice for a close father-daughter duo who shamelessly support one another in life. Watch out for these lyrics: “As long as one and one is two / there could never be a father / who loved his daughter more than I love you.”
4. Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus – Ready, Set, Don’t Go
In 2007, the well known father-daughter country duo recorded “Ready, Set, Don’t Go” to capture the familial love they had for one another. It’s less versatile than some of the other songs on this list, so it won’t work well for a mother-son dance, but it’s excellent for any close family.
5. Heartland – I Loved Her First
One-hit wonder Heartland enjoyed great success on the country charts with “I Loved Her First.” While the band hasn’t gone on to do much else, it’s a popular request for father-daughter songs at weddings thanks to its beautiful lyrics any father-daughter pair can relate to.
6. John Mayer – Daughters
A daughter who loves the idea of dancing with her father but also wants to tip her proverbial hat to her mom would do well to pick this song. Check out the lyrics: “So fathers / be good to your daughters / Daughters will love you like you do / Girls become lovers who turn into mothers / So mothers / be good to your daughters too.”
7. Tim McGraw – My Little Girl
The father of three daughters himself, Tim McGraw reached right into his heart to help write this song. It’s a very fitting song for the list of father-daughter songs for your wedding. Here are some lyrics: “Someday some body will come and ask me for your hand / But I won’t say yes to him unless I know / he’s the half that makes you whole / he has a poet’s soul / and the heart of a man’s man.”
8. Elvis Perkins – While You Were Sleeping
As a great folk-rock tune, this makes a good selection for rustic weddings or those in country settings. Check out some of the lyrics of this heartfelt ode to daughters: “I’ll never catch up to you / who sleeps so sound / My arms are useless / My heart beats too loud to go to sleep / My mind’s too proud to bow out / While you were sleeping / the time changed / all your things were rearranged.”
9. Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole – Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World Medley
For beach weddings, the ukulele sound of this medley is a warm choice of a father-daughter dance. Although it’s not explicitly about family love, it’s an upbeat song that works for any kind of family. Check out the lyrics: “I hear babies cry and I watch them grow / They’ll learn much more / than we know / and I think to myself / what a wonderful world.”
10. Holly Golightly – My Love Is
For the vintage family, give this song a consideration. These lyrics speak to the parent that will always be in your heart: “My love is longer than forever / Endless as the march of time / 99 years after never / in my heart you’ll still be mine.”
Whether you’re looking for traditional or more unique choices for father-daughter wedding dance, this list has you covered to help enhance the last dance between a father and his loved one. Picking the right song should come with all the right elements; not only should it be sweet, but it should honor the relationship between a daughter and her father. Traditional families might prefer traditional songs, for instance. Pick a song that best embodies your relationship with your father for one of the most special moments at your wedding.