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.
"Lean on Me"
This bride and her father danced to "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers a cappella.
"Your Joy" by Chrisette Michele played during the pair's father-daughter dance.
"What a Wonderful World"
Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" rang through the speakers as this father-daughter duo danced.
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.
"Just the Way You Are"
The bride and her stepfather danced to "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel.
"Aint No Sunshine" and "You're the First, the Last, My Everything"
The bride and her father chose two songs to dance to for their time on the dance floor together, and neither disappointed.
This bride and her father chose Billy Joel's "Lullabye," a heartwarming and meaningful tune, for their special dance.
"I'll Always Be Your Baby"
Natalie Grant's "I'll Always Be Your Baby" perfectly summed up the bond between the bride and her father.
"You're Nobody Til Somebody Loves You"
The bride 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"
This duo made sure to dance to all of the bride's 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"
The pair 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 the bride 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"
The bride 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 the bride 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," the bride 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, dad held his daughter close as they swayed to "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" by Maurice Chevalier.
"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 the bride of her father's swift moves as they swayed to the Ray Charles tune.
The bride and groom 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, the bride and her father "both got a bit teary, and he tried to show off his dance moves," she 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"
The bride and her dad twirled to "In My Life" by The Beatles. "My mom cried the whole time we were dancing," she said.
"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.
"Come Fly With Me"
When the bride 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."
This bride's father took his daughter's hand for a dance set to The Temptations classic.
"Isn't She Lovely"
For their big number, the bride and her dad chose Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely."
"Stairway to the Stars"
For the bride 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"
The bride 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.
The bride'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," she 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"
The bride 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.
"When You're Smiling"
The bride and her dad swayed to "When You're Smiling," by Louis Armstrong.
- A Slice of Princess Diana and Prince Charles' Wedding Cake Is Up for Auction 40 Years Later—It Might Sell for $700
- Five Reasons Why You Should Talk to Your Friends About Wedding-Related Stress
- Soft Summer Tones and Beautiful Florals Abounded at This Family-Centric Celebration in Texas Hill Country
- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Daughter, Lilibet Diana, Has Been Added to the Royal Line of Succession