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Traditions – Father and Daughter Dance

Traditions – Father and Daughter Dance | CHWV

Embrace tradition and celebrate your wedding with your dad by having a special father and daughter dance on your big day.

The father and daughter dance is a familiar part of American weddings and is becoming more and more popular in British weddings too. It's a great way to show your appreciation to your dad and celebrate your special day with him in a personal and memorable way.

Traditions – Father and Daughter Dance | CHWV

Image Courtesy of Three Nails Photography


Traditionally, the father and daughter dance would take place before your dance with your new partner so that you and your dad can share a special moment before the more typical first dance takes place. It is seen as a symbolic gesture of the bride celebrating her old life under the care of her father before being presented to her new partner to begin their new life together. While this idea might feel a little outdated, the father and daughter dance still provides a great way to say thank you to your dad and have a bit of fun in the process.

Traditions – Father and Daughter Dance | CHWV

Image Courtesy of Matt Bigelow Photography


With weddings being much less rigid and structured these days, you are free to hold your father-daughter dance at a time that suits you. Some brides prefer to dance with their new partner first, while others will prefer to make less of a spectacle of the event and dance with their father at some point throughout the night's celebrations. This is also a great option for those dads who aren't too comfortable cutting shapes on the dancefloor and being the centre of attention.

Traditions – Father and Daughter Dance | CHWV

Image Courtesy of Kristina Lynn Photography


When it comes to choosing a song to dance to with your father, many brides will opt for something full of sentiment and meaning. Some of the most popular are:

I Loved Her First – Heartland
Daddy's Girl – Katey Sagal
Isn't She Lovely – Stevie Wonder
My Girl – The Temptations
You Raise Me Up – Westlife/Josh Groban

With heartfelt lyrics and a slow tempo, these all provide a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate to each other how much you care and create a moment that will stay with both of you forever. If you're looking for something a bit more upbeat and lively, why not try one of these for that special dance?

Sweet Child O' Mine – Guns ‘n' Roses
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
There She Goes – The Las
Bob Marley – Three Little Birds
Ray Charles – Ain't That Love

Traditions – Father and Daughter Dance | CHWV

Image Courtesy of Teresa C Photography

A wedding can be an emotional time for all involved, especially if a family member could not be there to celebrate with. The thought of a father and daughter dance could be upsetting to any bride whose dad won’t be present on the big day. Take example from this brave bride and her amazing family though, who came together so that she could still have her special dance on her wedding day.

Whatever song you choose to dance with your father to, it's sure to be an unforgettable part of your day for you, your dad and your guests.


Just look at how well these father and daughter dances went down!

Okay maybe we don’t all have the super slick moves like that father and daughter combo but the next pair get full marks for song choice and the comedy value. Their guests love it!

Another example of surprise song choices really entertaining the crowd, everyone loves a good medley! We have to applaud the dad in this one for his dedication to learning all those moves.

Looking for something different to the usual first dance? Why not take a look at our 8 Great First Dance Alternatives and get some quirky inspiration for your wedding day!