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Father-Daughter Dance

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

You've asked and we've answered! Welcome to your weekly column 'Planning Your Happily Ever After' with wedding consultant Shikima Hinds.

The father-daughter dance is an important moment during the wedding when the bride honours her father, with whom she shares a special bond from the moment of birth.

The dance is an excellent opportunity to capture beautiful and sentimental moments between the bride and her father.

Why the father-daughter dance?

This dance is regarded as a beautiful moment between a bride and her father and symbolises her gratitude for the love and guidance received throughout her life as she enters her new chapter.

How did this tradition start?

Initially, the father-daughter dance was the first dance at a wedding reception, which was followed by the first dance between the bride and groom. This was another way to symbolise a father “giving away” his daughter to another man. However, times have changed and couples now have their first dance together, followed by the father-daughter dance.

When does the father-daughter dance take place?

Most brides have the father-daughter dance right after their first dance with their new spouse. This is the second dance of the wedding, immediately following the first dance between the newly-weds and the father will take the groom's place and lead the father-daughter dance.

Another good time to squeeze it in is following the toasts or before the cake-cutting.


What song should we choose?

Whether fast or slow, the song should be something that speaks to your relationship and your emotions.

Many brides will choose a heartfelt song that leaves some guests in tears, while others opt for a song that brings laughter as Dad shows off his best moves.

If you don't know where to start, pick a genre you both enjoy, and I'm sure you will find a song that fits the occasion and your personalities.

Here are some of my father-daughter song choices:

1. Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder is about a man praising his daughter for the person she's become.

2. My Girl is a short but upbeat song by The Temptations, and the perfect song for fathers and daughters who aren't into slow dancing and prefer a song that is shorter, faster, and simple.

3. Always Be My Baby, the David Cook version is the one I prefer because he sings about a girl (the bride) leaving.

Here a few other faves:

How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You by James Taylor

Unforgettable by Natalie Cole (duet with Nat 'King' Cole)

The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra

Hero by Mariah Carey

The best song choice for the father-daughter dance at a wedding is the song that has the most meaning to you and your dad. Ask him if he has a song that reminds him of you or you can simply choose one of his favourite songs.