The Father Daughter wedding dance is a beautiful, often sentimental moment, that typically reduces everyone to happy tears. However, we do need to talk about the Dad dancing! Let’s learn more about it….
Should I do a Father Daughter Wedding Dance?
A father and daughter wedding dance celebrates the importance of the relationship, whilst making wonderful memories and fabulous photos! For the bride, it is a chance to show her love and appreciation to the man who raised her. Every Father/Daughter relationship is unique and this personal dance will reflect what that means. It’s the perfect way to show your love, whilst adding personality to your big day. If you want to do a really great dance (and avoid the dreaded ‘dad dancing’) you’ll need to book some father dance wedding dance lessons. This is also a great idea if you are nervous, as your dance teacher will boost your confidence, making your feel comfortable and confident on the dance floor.
What are the benefits of a Dad and Daughter wedding dance?
This dance is optional, so if a Dad and his daughter want to do one, it’s because it’s important to them. It could be because it’s a chance to spend a few special moments in front of everyone, to show their love and respect for one another. Some Dads struggle with the idea of ‘giving away’ their daughter, so for them, this dance is significant and can help ease any worries. This dance can put a Dad’s mind at rest, make him feel special and realise that he hasn’t lost his little girl, she still loves him and needs him. Although, it could be because they have a fun loving relationship and enjoying partying together – just like these two!
What should our Father Daughter wedding dance be like?
A Father Daughter wedding dance doesn’t have to be serious, it can be any style you choose. However, it must be appropriate for both dancers from a fitness and safety point of view. Some Dads are super fit and could easily learn and practice an energetic routine. But if a Dad isn’t as healthy as he used to be, it’s best to go for a calmer, slower dance, to a ballad. The most important thing is that you both enjoy it, so if an upbeat number is going to make Dad tired, stressed and potentially injured, don’t chose that style.
Your dance should make you both feel comfortable. If you feel awkward or silly, then it isn’t right for you. We love the simple, calm and classy dance in this film, which is totally achievable after taking with some father daughter dance lessons.
What are Father Daughter wedding dance lessons like?
Our private lessons are available nationwide and no dance experience is required, so it’s fine if you are beginners. We will schedule your dance lessons in advance for dates and times that suit you. We’ll also arrange the location, which is typically at home, but it could be in a studio. Lessons are 90 minutes long. On the first lesson your dance teacher will arrive and starting with the basics, will teach you a bespoke dance to the song you have chosen. As your lessons progress, you will continue to learn and improve the dance. Once you have finished, you will be feeling confident, prepared and hopefully excited to do your dance together on the big day. Click here to book your Father Daughter Wedding Dance Lessons
What song is best for the Father Daughter wedding dance?
The most popular Father Daughter wedding dance songs are sweet and sentimental, but if that doesn’t suit your relationship, choose a song that captures you and what you are both about. We once taught a Dad and his daughter to a song by Jefferson Starship called Sara, because that was the name he’s given her.
Like Sara and her Dad, there might be an obvious choice of song, but if you need inspiration, think back to days gone by to see if anything personal with a special meaning springs to mind. Just like the first dance between the bride and groom, the options for Father Daughter wedding dance songs are endless! There are no rules, so you could choose a slow ballad, an upbeat tune or even a rock song. Here are some of our favourites:
Isn’t She Lovely, Stevie Wonder
Not All Heroes Wear Capes, Owl City
My Girl, The Tempations
Dance Like Yo Daddy, Meghan Trainor
Three Little Birds, Bob Marley
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), James Taylor
Aren’t Father and Daughter Wedding Dances for Americans?
In the past, this dance was often considered an American tradition, but those days are gone. Whatever nationality a family is, if a daughter and her father want to dance together, then they absolutely can. Each year, we take more Father Daughter wedding dance lesson bookings than the previous year. Interestingly, Wikipedia says that Father Daughter wedding dances have grown in popularity since Covid. This totally makes sense, as during Covid many people hated being seperated from family and it made us appreciate those who are special to us. We love that the trend is growing, as it’s a dance full of love and that is what the best weddings are about.
5 Ways to add WOW factor to your Father Daughter Wedding Dance
1. Use a mirror ball to make everything sparkle, a starlit dance floor also works brilliantly with this.
2. Make this sentimental dance even more emotional by dancing in front of a big screen slide show, showing heartwarming photos of Dad and daughter through the years. You can do this with a tablet or laptop, using a projector on a big screen or white wall.
3. A confetti explosion or balloon drop creates a ‘happiness raining down on us’ effect
4. For ballads, a blast of dry ice makes a dream like vibe, like you are dancing on a cloud. This is also handy if you are worried about footwork, as it hides your feet.
5. Make a father daughter dance music mash up, choosing short sections from several tracks. This makes it super personal and entertaining for your guests.
Do I have to dance with my Dad at my wedding?
The simple answer is no. This dance is totally optional. You are still married if you don’t do a Father Daughter dance and even it’s traditional, you aren’t obliged if it doesn’t feel right for you. If you are worried about it or concerned about dancing in front of everyone, the simple solution is to book father daughter wedding dance lessons. They will boost your confidence and make you feel comfortable on the dance floor. This year a bride came to us and explained that her Dad had passed away, but her brother would like to take his place. We were really happy to create a wonderful Brother and Sister Wedding Dance for them, it was such a special idea.
Father Daughter Wedding Dance etiquette in blended families
There is no rule that says you have to dance with your biological father or daughter on a wedding day. This dance is about love and appreciation and if that comes in the form or a step-parent, foster parent, parents partner or another family member or friend, then go for it! Being a parent is about raising a child, so the bride should dance with the man who loved her like a dad, who did the things a dad should do. Only the bride can decide who she wants to dance with, because only she can truly know who was ‘like a dad’ to her.
How to do a Father Daughter Wedding Dance when you have more than one Dad
Communication is key. It’s essential to acknowledge that this could be a very sensitive situation and so everyone feelings need to be considered. In a blended family, a bride could have more than one father figure. Perhaps her parents split up and although her Daddy did a great job, her Step-Dad was great. And maybe Grandad was amazing too. What a lucky girl. Why not dance with all three, one after the other?
The key to making this scenario work is communication and planning the order of who dances when. For example, if a biological father had always tried his best, it could be painful for him if his daughter danced with her step-dad first. Keep it short and sweet, around one minute per partner, otherwise your guests attention will wander and the sentiment will have less impact. Doing a father daughter wedding dance when you aren’t biologically linked is incredibly special.
Typically, a non-biological father figure comes into a young person’s life because the other parent chose for that to happen. However, when a bride asks a non-biological father to dance, that is her choice entirely and it can be very emotional for a man, as it’s likely to be unexpected.
The most important thing about Daughter Dad dancing…
The Father Daughter wedding dance is a magical part of the day that celebrates the relationship between a Daddy and his girl. The dance delivers sentiment in tonnes, reduces the guests to happy tears and creates wonderful memories (and photographs!) Make sure you enjoy every second of it and cherish the time spent together learning your dance, making memories that will last your lifetimes.