Emotional Father-Daughter Dance Songs for Your Wedding
Marriage doesn't change the fact that you'll always be Dad's little girl. That's probably why father-daughter dances are so emotional—they're a tribute to the man who raised you into the married woman you are today, but who still sees you exactly as you were when you were small. It's no surprise, then, that the song you and your father decide to dance to is beyond special. Whether it's a tune he used to sing you sleep or simply a melody that reminds you of your bond, the music should hold weight and meaning for the both of you.
We've seen a lot of emotional father-daughter dances in our day, which is why we've rounded up the very best to inspire your own. Selected from beautiful real weddings, these songs (and stunning photos) captivated not only the bride and her father, but every single guest in the room. From slow songs to upbeat jams, the following tunes convey the amazing relationship between fathers and daughters—some were even sung by father-daughter pairs!
Whether you and your dad plan on hitting the dance with a fully choreographed number or prefer to sway in tune with the music, there's an option here that will work for you. At the very least, they'll jog a memory—a childhood favorite, an artist you both enjoyed—that'll help you decide on your own. Ready for the ultimate father-daughter dance playlist? Scroll through to check out all the options for yourself. It'll be even more fun, though, if you have Dad next to you so you can settle on a song together.
At her Palm Beach, Florida wedding, Cat and her father swayed to Rod Stewart's "Forever Young." The words, "But whatever road you choose, I'm right behind you win or lose," make this song particularly salient for the close-knit duo.
"I'll Always Be Your Baby"
Natalie Grant's "I'll Always Be Your Baby" perfectly summed up the bond between Valerie and her father.
"You're Nobody Til Somebody Loves You"
Kate and her father shared a sweet moment while swaying to Dean Martin's version of "You're Nobody Til Somebody Loves You."
"Brown Eyed Girl" and "You Can Call Me Al"
Emily and her dad made sure to dance to all of her childhood favorites, including Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" and Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al," before her mom and sister joined in for a family favorite—"The Twist" by Chubby Checker and the Fat Boys.
"You Are My Sunshine"
Cameron and her father swayed to "You Are My Sunshine," something he used to sing to her when she was small.
"Father and Daughter"
This father-daughter duo had a blast on the dance floor to the tune of this Paul Simon classic.
"My First, My Last, My Everything"
As a dancer, it was only fitting that Micaela choreographed her and her dad's dance. They wowed guests with an upbeat routine to Barry White's "My First, My Last, My Everything."
"The Time of My Life"
Madelyn and her dad danced to "The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes—an homage to one of the bride's oldest memories. "One of my first childhood memories was watching Dirty Dancing with my dad the night my younger sister was born," she said. "It has always been one of our favorite family songs. My sister also used it for her first dance, and we both ended our receptions with it as well."
"It Won't Be Like This for Long"
Darius Rucker's "It Won't Be Like This for Long," a song all about enjoying a moment while it lasts, played while Jessie and her father shared a special moment on the dance floor.
"I Hope You Dance"
"My Dad surprised me with the song and made a little speech before it played, saying to listen to the lyrics because it really embodied his hopes for me—what any dad hopes for their daughter," bride Kimberly said. She and her father took a spin to "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womak.
"What a Wonderful Life"
This couple opted to do their parent-child dances together. The group took to the dance floor to the tune of Elvis Presley's "What a Wonderful Life."
"Wind Beneath My Wings"
Dancing with her father to Gladys Knight's "Wind Beaneath My Wings" was an emotional moment for this bride.
"Thank Heaven for Little Girls"
Grinning from ear to ear, Michelle's dad held her close as they swayed to "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" by Maurice Chevalier.
"What a Wonderful World"
Photographer Chaz Cruz said Tiffany and her father's dance to Michael Bublé's rendition of "What a Wonderful World" was one of the more emotional parts of the wedding. "They both couldn't stop crying throughout the whole dance. They had the crowd in the happiest of tears," he said.
"Make You Feel My Love"
Adele's remake of Bob Marley's "Make You Feel My Love" brought an emotional touch to the bride and her father's dance.
"Ain't That Love"
"During the father-daughter dance, I almost tripped on my dress, but my dad made it look like a dip," recalls Summer of her father's swift moves as they swayed to the Ray Charles tune.
Ali and Jess made it a combination father-daughter and mother-son dance, when they joined their father and mother, respectively, for this song by Bill Withers.
While dancing to this Rascal Flats melody, bride Jamie and her father "both got a bit teary, and he tried to show off his dance moves," Jamie recalls.
Sharing the dance floor with the groom and his mother, this bride and her father opted for the tune by The Toys.
"In My Life"
CaCee and her dad twirled to "In My Life" by The Beatles. "My mom cried the whole time we were dancing," says the bride.
"It's All in the Game"
For their father–daughter dance, this bride and father of the bride chose "It's All in the Game," by Tommy Edwards.
"The Way You Look Tonight"
Annie and her dad danced to Steve Tyrell's version of "The Way You Look Tonight," a song featured in the 1991 remake of Father of the Bride, which the bride's dad cowrote with Annie's mom and directed.
"Come Fly With Me"
When Candice was younger, her father gave her a shirt that read "Daddy's Little Co-Pilot." As a nod to that memory, the two danced to Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me."
Heather's father took his daughter's hand for a dance set to The Temptations classic.
Jamie and her father danced to this tune by Tierra.
"Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree"
Theresa and her father, Richard, danced to "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree," a song he used to sing to his daughters when they were little.
"Good Golly Miss Molly"
Molly danced with her dad to this fitting title by Little Richard.
"Dirty Old Town"
A version by The Pogues was the father-daughter (and mother-son!) song of choice for these newlyweds, who shared an impromptu spin with t heir parents following their first dance.
"Isn't She Lovely"
For their big number, Cameron and her dad chose Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely."
Alison and her father danced to "Unforgettable," sung by another father-daughter duo—Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole. The dance was one of the most special and poignant parts of the day for the bride and her dad.
"Stairway to the Stars"
For Ellie and her dad's dance, this song was a natural choice—he'd taught her to dance to the tune when she was six. "Anytime we hear the Ella Fitzgerald version, we dance to it. We've had a lot of practice over the years," she says.
"The Way You Look Tonight"
A 12-piece band played Frank Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight" to accompany this father-daughter dance.
"God Only Knows"
Kelly Marie and her father danced to this classic by The Beach Boys.
"Fish on the Sand"
"Their dance was an incredible display of unfiltered joy," said the groom of his wife's spin to George Harrison's "Fish on the Sand" with her father.
Irby's grandfather, whom she calls Papa, danced with her to "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle during the reception. The song choice was easy and obvious; he would often play the track in his truck's tape player when he picked her up from the bus stop after school. "I remember him telling me we'd dance to it at my wedding one day, and we did," Irby says.
"Try a Little Tenderness"
After the first dance, this couple enjoyed a sweet father-daughter, mother-son spin to "Try a Little Tenderness," sung by the groom's good friend Jimmy Delgadillo.
"You Bring Me Joy"
Cassandra grew up dancing on her dad's feet to Anita Baker, so they chose her song "You Bring Me Joy" for their spin on the dance floor.