non sappy father daughter dance songs offbeat wed offbeat bride alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
What father-daughter dance song do you think they're dancing to? Photo by Nima Salimi

I've spent the last two days scouring the ‘net for a father/daughter dance for our wedding reception, and frankly, virtually every suggestion I've come across has a title that makes me throw up in my mouth a little like “Daddy's Little Girl” or “Butterfly Kisses.”I'm not opposed to sentimental songs but perhaps none with the bride=angel/child/doll theme I can't seem to get away from.

My dad's a '60s/'70s Classic/Southern rock kinda guy. There's gotta be something out there about years going by, getting older, moving on… I just can't seem to find it.

This is one of the few traditions we're actually keeping, so I'd like to find something right for us. —Sharon

Yeah, nothing like the creepy incest themes that seem to come up with father-daughter dance song lyrics, hmm? That's part of why many of us skip the tradition, but I do agree that with the right father-daughter song, it can be a nice moment on the dance floor.

There are some very time-honored classics, so if you want to give your guests something predictable, go for:

  • Frank Sinatra “The Way You Look Tonight”
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Nat King Cole / Natalie Cole “Unfogettable”

But here you are on Offbeat Wed… and we're betting you might like a few non-cheesy, non-icky song ideas for your alternative father-daughter wedding dance song ideas. Let's start with a genre lots of dads love…

Father-daughter dance songs for those rockin' dads: Classic rock ballads and harder rock songs:

  • Led Zepplin's “Thank You” (hear it)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd's “Simple Man” (hear it)
  • Rolling Stones' “She's a Rainbow” (hear it)
  • The Cars' “Just What I Needed” (hear it)
  • Warrant's “Heaven” (hear it)
  • Neil Young's “Here for You” (hear it)
  • Bruce Springsteen's “When You Need Me” (hear it)
  • Queen's “You're My Best Friend” (hear it)
  • Guns and Roses' “Sweet Child O' Mine” (hear it)
  • Staind's “Zoe Jane” (hear it)
  • Tom Petty's “American Girl” (hear it)

father escorting daughter alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Contemporary sentimental, but not overdone (yet!) … for when you want to make the father of the bride cry:

loudon wainwright 070211 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
  • Loudon Wainwright's “Daughter” (hear it)
  • Five for Fighting's “100 Years” (hear it)
  • World Party's “She's the One” (hear it)
  • 10,000 Maniacs' “How You've Grown” (hear it)
  • Natalie Merchant's “Kind And Generous” (hear it)
  • The Cary Brothers' “Blue Eyes” (hear it)
  • Wilco's “My Darling” (hear it)
  • Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo'ole's “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” (hear it)
  • Amos Lee's “Sweet Pea” (hear it)
  • Eva Cassidy's “True Colors” (hear it)
  • “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (hear it)
  • “Daughters” by John Mayer (hear it)
YouTube Father Daughter Dance alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Pull off awesome Father-Daughter dances. Photo by Brad Howe Photography.

Softer rock classics (when you want to rock, but also keep it purty):

  • Tom Petty's “Wildflowers” (hear it)
  • Bad English's “When I See You Smile” (hear it)
  • Journey's “Lights” (hear it)
  • Billy Joel's “Just the Way You Are” (hear it)
  • Beach Boys' “God Only Knows” (hear it)
  • Carol King's “Child of Mine” (hear it)
  • The Byrds' “Turn, Turn, Turn” (hear it)
  • Paul Simon's “Father and Daughter” (hear it) or “You Can Call Me Al” (hear it)
  • Stevie Wonder's “Isn't She Lovely” (hear it)
  • James Taylor's “You've Got A Friend” (hear it)
  • Joe Cocker's “Darling Be Home Soon” (hear it)
  • Fleetwood Mac's “Songbird” (hear it) or “Landslide” (hear it)
  • The Beatles' “Across the Universe” (hear it) or Rufus Wainwright's version
    (hear it)
  • Another Beatles selection, “In My Life” (hear it)
  • Lulu's “To Sir With Love” (hear it)
  • Gram Parsons' “A Song for You” (hear it)
  • Bread's “Daughter” (hear it)
  • Jimmy Buffett's “Little Miss Magic” (hear it)
  • Spiral Staircase's “I Love You More Today Than Yesterday” (hear it)
  • Cyndi Lauper's “Time After Time” (hear it)
New England wedding photographers as seen on @offbeatbride

Upbeat classics from the '40s and '50s

  • Ray Charles' “Ain't That Love” (hear it)
  • The Rays' “Silhouettes” (hear it)
  • Frankie Avalon's “Bobby Sox to Stockings” (hear it)
  • Elvis' “The Wonder of You” (hear it)
  • Sam Cooke's “Nothing Can Change This Love” (hear it)

Crazy and funky first dance songs for fathers & daughters:

  • Steppenwolf's “Born to be Wild” (hear it)
  • Voltaire's “Goodnight Demonslayer” (hear it)
  • Any version of “You Are My Sunshine,” particularly the Johnny Cash version (hear it)
  • “Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show (hear it)
  • LOTS from The Vitamin String Quartet. Try Sweet Child O' Mine (hear it) or “Don't Stop Believing” (hear it)
  • Kermit's “The Rainbow Connection” (hear it)

father daughter dance alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

For those who want a country fried daddy dance:

  • The Bellamy Brothers' “Let Your Love Flow” (hear it)
  • Kenny Chesney's “There Goes My Life” (hear it)
  • John Fogerty's “I Will Walk With You” (hear it)
  • The Judds' “Love is Alive” (hear it)
  • Rascal Flatts' “My Wish” (hear it)
  • Dixie Chicks' “Lullaby” (hear it)

Prepare to squeal at the ARMORED corset dress at a medieval wedding

Far out stuff for alterna-dads:

  • Yo La Tengo's “You Can Have It All” (hear it)
  • David Bowie's “Let's Dance” (hear it)
  • “Standing” from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical, sung by Tony Head
    (hear it)
  • The Dropkick Murphy's “Forever” (hear it)
Dancing Dad alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Have you ever seen a happier dancing dad?

And the strangest (but coolest) suggestions from readers:

  • Randy Newman's “Short People” (hear it)
  • Jonathan Coulton's “Re: Your Brains” (hear it)
  • Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five's “Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens”
    (hear it)

10 amazing wedding trends for 2017


Meet our fave wedding vendors

New in our curated shop

Comments on Non-sappy father-daughter dance songs

  1. We decided to forgo all those sappy sort of dances. Right after my husband and I danced we welcomed everyone to the floor and played “Footloose”. It got the party started!

  2. I so do not want a sappy song or a country song as my father/daughter song. I had no clue what would be a good father/daughter song that wasn’t country. I finally came across the perfect song that a “Top Ten Father/Daughter Song” website had on it. The song is “Lullabye” by Billy Joel. This is the perfect song for anyone father/daughter to dance to and it isn’t used that much. Check it out

  3. my dad & i listened to the beatles alot, too, and the song i was thinking of for our dance is “when i’m sixty-four”. it’s happy-sappy.

  4. hey i might dance to Everclear’s “Sunflowers” its a cute song about the lead singers kid

  5. I just made a cd for my dad for Christmas… here are a few I found you might not have heard:

    “I learned from you” by Miley Cyrus from the Bridge to Terebithia Soundtrack. It’s a great song, I suggest listening to it since it’s not a normal Miley song.

    “My Hero Is You” Hayden Panettiere (from Tiger Cruise) Another disney song, but still great!

    “You’re the Only Little Girl In My Heart.” By Steve and Annie Chapman. I can’t seem to find this song easily because it’s very old.

    “Always be your baby” Natalie Grant

    I also put “Somewhere out there” on there… but that’s because it’s a song we used to dance to, good song… might not be what you’re looking for.

    “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton… okay so that’s not really a father daughter song… but I love it so I put it on the CD… it could work!

    Most of these are Daughter to Father rather than father to daughter like most of the songs out there…

  6. I think I am going to use a simple, happy song and combine the mother-son, father-daughter dance…
    I was thinking of “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.
    Who DOESN’T smile when that song is playing?

  7. My niece danced to “Wind Beneath My Wings” with her dad at her wedding. It was perfect.

    Another good song might be “O Very Young” by Cat Stevens.

  8. I’m going to use “I will walk with you” by John Fogerty…it’s a song he wrote for his daughter. It’s nice and bouncy, kind of unexpected, but very sweet.

  9. I agree with everyone who pointed out that “Daughters” and “Brown Eyed Girl” are probably not the best songs to choose. The same goes for a lot of other’s mentioned in this thread but the one that actually bothers me the most is “Thank Heave For Little Girls” from Gigi. Has anyone bothered to actually watch the movie? Gigi was a young teen being trained to be a courtesan. Maurice Chavalier wasn’t singing about little girls in a innocent “oh are they cute do not touch them” way. It’s a great movie, one of my favs BUT that song is too creepy for a Father/Daughter dance!

  10. I am trying to decide between
    My Wish by Rascall Flatts
    There Goes My Life by Kenny Chesney
    and Stealing Cinderella by Chuck Wicks…might be kind of sappy, any suggestions?

  11. I am at the very early stages of planning but just thinking about picking wedding dance songs makes me nervous. My dad is pretty sappy, so I’m not as concerned about that, I just really want a good song and not a totally played out, run-of-the mill pick. We are both fans of Dar Williams and I am considering “The One Who Knows”. I believe she wrote it for her son and it is a beautiful song, not incestuous AT ALL.

  12. I’m making it sentimental and NOT neauseating. My Dad bought a copy of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun’ when I was born (came out the same year :D) and used to dance around with me to it when I was a baby, so that’s what I’m using for our father-daughter dance.
    Cute and decidedly not creepy. 🙂

  13. I saw some Led Zeppelin mentions on here…I am planning on dancing to “All of My Love” with my stepdad. We are big LZ fans…as for my dad..I think Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” could be fun but my dad is a hulking former marine. Not eaxatly light on his toes 😉

    As for the first dance with my husband- I like the idea of James Taylors’ “How Sweet it is( To Be Loved By You)” – Especially for our barefoot, casual, fun beach wedding!

  14. I saw some Led Zeppelin mentions on here…I am planning on dancing to “All of My Love” with my stepdad. We are big LZ fans…as for my dad..I think Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” could be fun but my dad is a hulking former marine. Not exactly light on his toes 😉

    As for the first dance with my husband- I like the idea of James Taylors’ “How Sweet it is( To Be Loved By You)” – Especially for our barefoot, casual, fun beach wedding!

  15. Wow – I can’t believe I read through the entire string of messages….this has got to be the most difficult part of planning my wedding so far….

    Well, my favorite 3 at this point are:
    1- Over The Rainbow/What a Wonderful World (IZ)
    2- Here For You (Neil Young)
    3- 100 Years (Five for Fighting)

    I guess I will ask my dad which one he likes best….I know we both don’t want to cry, but I don’t think there is any way around it….

    Good luck to everyone!!

  16. I say go with something classic… youcan never go wrong there. For example “just the way you look tonight” by Frank sinatra or as the previous person suggested, “What a wonderful World”. Or and oldie but goodie like “My girl” or “Brown-eyed girl”

  17. My dad and I are having our dance to “Big Balls in Cowtown”. He always teased that he’d dance at my wedding to that, so I’m making him put his money where his mouth is

  18. I don’t have any idea what to use, but this will be really important, because my FH hates dancing so I’ll be dancing my first dance with my dad instead.
    My dad said he’d be honored to dance with me, so I’ll have to ask him what song he might like to dance to.
    I bet we’ll both cry-we’re sappy like that:-)

  19. Thanks for all of the great ideas!
    Here are a few ambient songs that you might want to consider:
    “Hannah (A Child is Born)” – Jason Upton, its a fantastic song, a long beginning but the words are all encompassing.

    No Rain – Blind Melon, its a super fun song that everyone would remember and might be fun to just jive too.

    Grace’s Amazing Hands – David Barnes, would be a fantastic first dance song if you want to be all smiles and an good upbeat

    THREE LITTLE BIRDS – Bob Marley, “Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little things gonna be alright.”

    Moondance – Van Morrison

    PROOF – Coldplay (good bride/groom love dance song)

    Now and Always – David Gray

    I Found a Reason – Cat Power (SUPERB bride/groom dance song)

    Fire and Ice – Ben Harper

  20. wow, yeah i just spent about 2 hours reading everyones posts, and listening to the songs everyone suggested.

    and now i am a mess!

    lauren, i just listend to i found a reason by cat power. so beautiful.,

    if you havent heard of Rosie Thomas, you should check her out. she has a beautiful and powerful voice, and her lyrics and songs are breathtaking.

    She has one song called “Wedding Day” and another called “You and Me”

  21. My bride and her father danced to Faith of the Heart not the Rod Stewart version but the one from Star Trek Voyager.

  22. At my wedding, I hope to dance with my fauther to “Learning to Fly” by Pink Floyd.

  23. My mother and father divorced when i was 6 yrs old. my father had visitaion and kept in contact with me until i was nine.Unfortunatley we lost contact after that,for whatever reason.We finally reunited in 2007 and have kept in contact since. I need a song that fits my situation. I am gettig married in May and I need a song for me and him to dance to. please help!

  24. Jeannie (#172)…I SOOOO hope that you use/used the recording of your mother singing Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are”. I think that is the most amazing tribute for your mom. I got chills and teary. My mom died almost 11 years ago and I’m trying so hard to include her memory some how. That was just an amazing idea to hear.
    With that said…my dad’s remarried…so Jimmy Buffett’s “Little Miss Magic” is out. He’s a huge Eagles and Chicago fan and I’d love to surprise him with one of their songs…but I just can’t find anything I feel would work. I would LOVE to use The Beatles “Come Together” (when I was 5 I wouldn’t let him take to school until I heard that song on the record player)…but I’m thinking that might be a bit odd for a F/D dance 🙂 I love Loudon Wainwright’s “Daughter”. There is a beautiful song called “Daddy” by Kendall Payne…it’s beautiful and emotional but too long for my dad to dance to. But I love it. I love the idea of using Vitamin String Quartet’s stuff for the ceremony itself…one of my b’maids is a HUGE Coldplay fan and she’d just lose her s**t if I had her walk down the aisle to their arrangement of “Clocks”. So keep the ideas coming ’cause I sure need ’em.

  25. “She’s the One” by World Party is a beautiful, slow piano song, which evokes a wistful, yet hopeful, mood.

  26. So I’ve read everyone’s suggestions on the father/daughter dance songs and it’s all great advice, but I’m still undecided. I’m the youngest of 10 kids and this is my second marriage-but I would really want to do the father daughter dance one again cause my father is 77 years old and ill and we don’t know how much longer he has. I need a very short but meaningful song seeing as he’s elderly he doesn’t move quickly and I’m half hispanic and would like to find a spanish father/daughter dance song with good lyrics that he’ll always remember. Can anyone help?

  27. This is a great list !!! I am getting married in september and my dad and I are dancing to Happy Trails by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans ( my dads a bit of a cowboy ) great song and not at all sappy 🙂

  28. Time by Leigh Nash from the Uptown Girls Soundtrack. (yes i watched that movie it made me laugh!)

  29. I didnt have my dad around growing up, and my grandfather who raised me passed away when I was 7. So my uncle will be walking me down the isle. I dont want a sappy traditional song, I’m sure I will be crying enough that day. =) Can anyone help?

  30. Wow there are a lot of great ideas. i am still undecided! i have always thought i would use “Daddy let me Drive” by alan jackson but it is more about a father/son relationship, but my dad did ALWAYS let me drive. growing up i would beg my dad to let me hold the steering wheel up the dirt road to our house. that is one of my most favorite memories. is it appropriate for a father daughter dance though? Please help!!!

    • I THINK Taylor Swift covered this song for Alan Jackson's tribute and she changed the lyrics to fit a girl…but I'm not positive about it. You could probably find a version online.

  31. I’ve read through alot of these.. a nice song for dads.. Amy Grant – Fathers eyes. sorta sappy.. but talks a lot of both sides..

  32. I like “working class man” because it reminds me so vividly of my dad and its a fun Aussie rock song.

  33. there’s a great song for a father daughter dance by a NY band called “who are those guys” – I heard it at a friends daughter’s sweet 16, not a dry eye in the house. I think it’s called “my heart” or “my everthing” – you can probably find “who are those guys” on google and download it or email them and ask for it…..

  34. my dad and i are using “the rainbow connection”… we haven’t had a steady relationship but mom insists we do “the right thing”… so that’s actually the first movie us watching together… kinda sentimental i guess…

  35. my b/f and her dad danced to “take good care of my baby” it was adorable! another friend and her dad danced to the Nat king cole and natalie cole duet of “Unforgettable”

  36. great work,
    My son is getting married in August and his bride had lost her Dad a few years ago, she had asked her future father-in -law to step in and dance with her, she is being given away by her 2 young boys and we do not know what to use for the dance , dad in law is ROCK AND ROLL

  37. I just decided today after a month of looking that my dad are going to dance to
    “Daughter” by Loudon Wainwright III

    It works for us, since it was only me and my dad.

  38. I need a song to dance with my future father-in-law. I am dancing with my dad to “I loved her first” by Heartland and my future husbands step-dad to Free Bird bc I have a couple of friends that are going to play and sing it. But I am having trouble with this Please help me.

  39. Maybe you should do what my daughter did…delegate the song choice to her Dad. I would have never realized how difficult this is. Song choices are really limited.

  40. Me and my dad are going to dance to “Bobby Sox To Stockings” by Frankie Avalon. Its about a girl growing up and starting to date boys, written presumably from the perspective of a suitor, but it doesn’t come off as creepy at all.
    “When a girl changes from bobby sox to stockings, then she’s old enough to give her heart away”
    Its really short and upbeat. Me and my dad used to listen to old songs when I was growing up, and that was one of our favorites. I couldn’t imagine choosing something new.

    I thought about doing “Take Good Care of My Baby”, but it has a few lines that make it a little inappropriate.

    A good song to dance to if you aren’t that close to your dad I think is “Dance, Dance, Dance” by the Steve Miller Band. Its just about dancing and being happy. It has a few lines that make it a little more personal.

    My first dance with my husband is going to be “Pledging My Love” by Johnny Ace, which will segue into “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. Yes, I am going to rick-roll my own wedding.

  41. I’m trying to find a non-traditional unsappy father/daughter dance for my wedding. When I think of my dad I think of Devo, Talking Heads, David Byrne, David Bowie….late 70’s new wave bands. I would love it if I could find something like that, that is appropriate but it seems like a lost cause…..any suggestions out there!?!?

  42. As a wedding photographer- I have noticed that almost every father daughter song I have heard has been SO SAD!! It seems like the father has to be sad that his daughter got married. I got married, and I still love my dad- it’s not the end or anything. People need to play a happy song for god’s sake!

  43. Email me if you have any suggestions…im getting married in July 2009…im not really close with my dad. As in im NOT a daddys little girl. He’s been in my life but not like a father is supposed to be. He hasnt been physically in my life. And i havent really let go of what he did to me as a child (if you catch my drift) and NO ONE IN MY FAMILY KNOWS what he did – i dont even think he remembers but he’d shit a brick if he knew I REMEMBERED…and so i’ve always felt Uncomfortable around him – ALWAYS – and im only close with him in the way that i can email him and when i talk to him on the phone…i can tell him anything. So what does a father & daughter dance to in a situation like this???

    Please help…thanks.

  44. I always remembered when I was little and my dad spent forever trying to figure out the name of this song that he got a big kick out of. It was “Silhouettes on the Shade” by The Rays which is not a typical father/daughter dance, but it was a funny memory that stuck, and so I chose it as a nice surprise for my dad.

    And for the dance with my step-dad, I chose “I cross my heart” by George Strait because it also held special memories.

    Think back to your childhood and I’m sure there is a song in there somewhere that played on a fun day or you used to rock in the car to with just your dad. Some kind of memory, who cares if it’s “Highway to hell” by ACDC…its about you and your dad!

  45. There are some great ideas on here.

    Ali (#80) and Melissa (#226)–
    I wonder if “When You Wish Upon a Star” might work for you? My dad and stepsister danced to it at her wedding, and it fit their unique situation really well. (Her “real” dad had not been a part of her life since she was very little, and when my dad and stepmom got together when she was in her late teens, he became an unexpected father figure for her.)

    Good luck!

  46. “Yeah, nothing like the creepy incest themes that seem to come up with father/daughter dances, hmm?” – I totally agree!!!

    My dad and I danced to James Taylor’s “You’ve got a friend”. He really likes James Taylor and I have fond memories of listening to the record with him as a child and singing along. It’s possibly a little sappy, but that’s ok, my dad enjoyed it.

  47. So I ended up and left complete control for the F/D song to my dad. We have never had a close relationship, but we still love each other. He wants to dance with me to Eric Clapton’s “You Look Wonderful Tonight”. I was unsure at first, but I listened to all the lyrics and they are beautiful…not too leading. On May 23rd we will dance to that song. less thing to worry about!

  48. Harvest Moon by Neil Young! It was the soundtrack of my chilhood. The song that reminds me the most of time spent with my father is Hotel California by the Eagles – however, not the best father daughter lyrics! Though I think people put too much emphasis on that! Me and my husband to be are dancing to the Blowers Daughter by Damien Rice or Lucky by Jason Mraz

  49. Trying to pick one for my daughter’s wedding and I think I have it narrowed down to two: Forever Young by Bob Dylan or Bridge Over Troubled Water by Johnny Cash from his American IV- The Man Comes Around CD. Thanks for all the ideas!

  50. What about “Isn’t She Lovely?” by Stevie Wonder? I’m going through the same thing, not wanting a super sappy song, so I’ve been thinking about this song.

  51. [email protected], I’m pretty lucky, Mr. Cash wrote a song on his children’s album called “Miss Tara.” That’s my name, so it works REALLY well. It may for you too! Also, He and Fiona Apple did a version of “Father & Son.”

    Other options:
    “Can’t Smile Without You” Barry Manilow (I know you said not cheesy, but if you’re going to do it, go all the way!)
    For the shotgun wedding, “Drivin’ on Nine” The Breeders
    “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” Cyndi Lauper
    For the Mother Son Dance, perhaps some Danzig. It’s always good for a sing along.
    “Reach Out (I’ll be There)” The Four Tops
    “I Knew the Bride (When SHe Used to Rock & Roll)” The Knack
    “It’s Not Unusual” Tom Jones
    “Handle With Care” The Traveling Wilburys or Jenny Lewis
    “You Got It” Roy Orbison

  52. I totally hear you guys on the daughters one… that’s on my don’t listen to cuz it just hurts list! Is weezer “say it ain’t so” appropriate? 😛
    LOVE the Tom Petty “square 1” suggestion though!!!!

  53. My daughter danced with her dad to “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder. They had a lot of fun with it and it was a wonderful choice. One word of caution, though. It is a very LONG song. You probably want to have the DJ fade out at an appropriate time.

  54. In case any of you are still looking after having read thru this whole thing: “Blue Skies” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street” are 2 good Sinatra songs just about life bein’ good, la-de-dah. If you don’t like Sinatra, both songs have been covered by various artists over the years.

  55. *Should have said we’ll probably do the Willy Nelson version of “On the Sunny Side of the Street” from his album Stardust. It’s the most pared-down and his voice actually sounds great!

  56. I’m dancing with my dad to Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl. He used to sing it to me when I was a girl (which makes it sorta sappy) but the song itself is not.

  57. I’m dancing to “Easy to Love”. James Congdon sings it. It’s on iTunes.

  58. My dad and I danced to “In My Life” by the Beatles. It’s nice and short and sweet, but not too syrupy…
    “Though I know I’ll never lose affection for people and things that came before, I know I’ll often stop and think about them -in my life I love you more”. It seems just right.
    I couldn’t bear reading the whole list (with so many repeats) to make sure this one wasn’t already listed, but I thought it was worth mentioning just in case.

  59. My dad and I are going to dance to “Somewhere out there” from An American Tail. Its a special song for me and my family. When i was about 6, I took ballet and performed a solo dance to that song for my recital :). Of course…my dad doesnt know that is our song yet…and neither does my mom…im keeping it a secret. Mainly to see their reactions, hehehehehe

  60. Well, the song that always makes me think of my dad is Chantilly Lace by the Big Bopper. My sisters and I always had long hair in ponytails, and he used to sing it to us!!
    Hilarious and very upbeat and goofy. Just makes you want to dance! Just try playing it and NOT hop around your living room!

  61. I’m not even sure if I’ll have a traditional wedding ceremony (the more I learn about them, the more tempted I am to just sign papers at city hall!) but if I have a father-daughter dance, it will have to be to “Just What I Needed” by The Cars, because my dad would bop around the room with infant me in his arms to it, and it always makes me think of him. We’d probably both cry no matter what!

  62. We’re dancing to “Darlin be Home Soon.” by Joe Cocker. Soulful, sweet, and badass beat. My dad introduced me to Joe Cocker and all his glory, so it’s only right 🙂

  63. Holly- Alan Jackson actually wrote “Drive” for his daughters so it is completley appropriate!!

    I just found my Dad last year and am getting married in 3 weeks. We have spents MANY hours trying to find a song that is “right” for our situations and doesn’t step on any toes.

    I am walking down the aisle with my Papa to “I loved her first” by Heartland
    and our “first dance” is “Then” by Brad Paisley
    and the song that I am dancing to with my Papa is “Who left the door to heaven open” by Hank Thompson and our “parent dance” is “Thanks again” by Ricky Skaggs.
    An amazing song for F/D (if he’s been in your life all along) is “Tough little boys” by Gary Alan.
    They are all incredibly sappy though (Sorry ladies!)

  64. When my dad brought me and my sisters home from the hospital as newborns he would hold us and dance around the house to “Isn’t she lovely” by Stevie Wonder so this is what we are dancing too. I love the song, it totally upbeat and only sappy if you have a history with it like us.

  65. My best friends father was an alcoholic when she was growing up, and in our teen years walked away from the liquor, to become an amazing parents and mentor.

    She chose “Have a little Faith in Me” by John Hiatt for her father/daughter dance. It was so beautiful.

  66. I know I’m super late…but just incase someone else looking for a son like me reads this post..I’d go with

    “Beautiful” by Smashing Pumpkins!!

  67. My dad and I picked the song that we use to blare while cruising with the top down in the MG and singing at the top of our lungs – “Coming up Close” by ‘Til Tuesday. He was concerned that is was faster but I told him to follow me. We also faded it out after 3 minutes since it’s a 5 minute song. It worked great (we even sang the chorus outloud while we danced). My sister used “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music – one of my dad’s favorite songs and she was daddy’s little girl. That worked well too!

  68. For you Rolling Stones fans, try ‘She’s a Rainbow.’ Other classic rock songs/artists my dad and I considered (that are NOT sappy — you know, the whole point of this thread) were ‘Blue Sky’ (Allman Brothers), ‘Here Comes the Sun’ (Beatles), ‘Just You and Me, Darling’ (The Who), ‘Here for You’ (Neil Young), ‘Teach Your Children Well’ (CSN&Y), or ‘Blackbird’ (Beatles).

    In the end, he picked ‘Rainbow Connection’ and it brought the house down.

  69. Hi -New here and geating a lot of great ideas, and strongly recommend not using John Mayer’s Daughters in any part of your wedding. . .or any ceremony really. . .ever. Sorry, got off point! I am getting married in less than 2 weeks and need a song that is sung from a daughters perspective to her mother/father. This is my one chance to tell him how much he means to me. . .it is my choice so most of the wonderful suggestions here don’t really work;they are all sort of sung by the parent to the child. So, from me to Dad because he is the strongest best man I have ever known and not sappy as I am a crier! Thanks in advance for your help!

  70. I was having such a hard time deciding, so I actually left it up to my dad. He is pretty excited about it and it is going to be a surprise on the wedding day.

    Just a thought – its always good to invlove as many people as possible especially considering how much the bride has to do!

    Good Luck!

  71. I’m using Wildflowers – Tom Petty because it really fits me. I joined the Navy out of college because I felt claustrophobic trying to decide what to do with my life. My dad has been my number one supporter since day one (even if he did think I was completely insane for joining). I think everyone will chuckle at the “You belong in a boat out at sea” part.

  72. My intentions are to use songs that are relevant to our lives. When I was little by dad you to play “I Get Around” by the Beach Boys off a vinyl and pick me up and dance around the living room… but is that song appropriate at all? And how on earth would you dance to it?

  73. My father and I chose Taylor Swift’s “best day with you today” song…its awesome and totally fitting 🙂 Good luck with your searches

  74. I left it up to my dad, and he chose Rod Stewart’s cover of “What a Wonderful World.” He loves Rod Stewart, and it’s actually quite a nice cover.

  75. I would just like to say that this site is fantastic…and thank you to all of you for all your great suggestions. We still haven’t picked our song, but thanks to all of you, I have so many new ideas.

    I also offer one:
    “Children will Listen”, Into the Woods

    Thanks again for all of the help!

  76. Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” is, in my opinion, the perfect father-daughter dance. It’s not ridiculously sappy, there’s not mention of “my little girl is leaving me” or anything schlocky like that – it’s just a simple reassurance from a dad to his daughter that “if you’re lost, you can look; and you will find me – time after time.” Beautiful. If you don’t like Lauper’s sound there are about 100 remixes of it.

  77. time after time… awesome idea. we’ve eliminated most of the standard traditions from our wedding – but when my dad called and said he wanted to practice dancing with me again before the wedding – I got a little teary & put the father/daughter dance right back in! some thoughts on lyrics though… don’t sweat it! no song is ever going to say exactly the sentiment in your heart – it’s like the pre-written verse in a greeting card instead of your own thoughts. dance to whatever makes you happy, and take the chance to tell your dad how you feel.

  78. The Beatles have a song “in my life” that is short sweet and not too sappy. My fiance is dancing with his mom to that song. Dave Mathews does a great version of it as does Bette Middler. Good Luck! and Congratulations
    ~The Future Mrs. Morneau

  79. Since my father is deceased, I’m going to dance with my mom at the same time that my fiance dances with his mom. I think we’re going to ask our mothers to give us some song suggestions, but does anyone have thoughts about good songs for this situation?

  80. the father daughter dance song at my wedding will be junior senior’s “can’t stop the beat.” my father is planning on doing the robot while i do the running man through the entire song. its going to be sweet.

  81. There are lots of good suggestions here. I loved the last one with the robot and running man. I doubt my dad and I could pull off anything but slow dancing, so I think we are going with “Daughter” by Loudon Wainwright. It is kind of a funny father daughter song, that was actually in the movie “knocked up”.

  82. Wow – My grandfather raised me and has refused to do a father/daughter dance with me – mostly because his mobility is really limited.

    I’m not too sad about this, but my first dance will be with my husband to a rahter unconventional song we’ve chosen.

    All of these suggestions are brilliant and if I can convince my grandfather to ‘dance’ with me a bit, it’ll likely be to Roy Orbison’s ‘You Got It’

  83. There are some really great suggestions on here – and it’s true when people point out the fact that some of the songs suggested, well, they meet that creepy factor all too well … or when you really listen to the song or know the history, well, you might realize it’s no so good for a wedding afterall. I saw people addressed the Brown Eyed Girl and Daughters as well as Thank Heaven for Little Girls.
    But another song I STRONGLY suggest wouldn’t be wedding appropriate (though I’ve been to tons of weddings that play it, ad it’s a great song so I understand) is Good Riddance/Time of Your Life by Green Day. He wrote it as a breakup song. ‘Nuff said.

  84. My dad and I have had a rocky relationship so my dance was split with him and my step dad. I had to find the right song to fit both relationships which was SO hard!!
    After months my brother suggested we use a simple one.
    What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
    Not to slow, or fast and a great meaning with non of the mush!

  85. We are dancing to “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder and the band is saying “Theresa” instead of Aisha 🙂

  86. Does anyone think “Short People” by Randy Newman is as funny as I do?? My dad and I are both tall….

    Thanks to this site, I might do You Can Call Me Al or “Teach your children.” I don’t think really there will be a way to avoid the awkwardness. Neither of us dance….

    He wanted “Don’t go breakin my heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee – after he tried dragging me out of the bathroom at my sisters wedding when it played, I think he finally gets INCEST SONGS ARE WRONG! 🙂

  87. Hello all, I'm new here and looking for a song for my dad and I to dance to. We both don't like sappy songs, and he's very much into punk/alternative/metal music can anyone think of a good song?

  88. I can tell you right now, my father/daughter dance will be to Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder. My dad used to dance with me around the room when I was a little girl to this song all the time, so I think he will like it.

  89. i think depending on who you are, each song could be considered appropriate or total cheese.

  90. I really want "Box of Rain" by the Grateful Dead but it's too long, so I'm gonna try to figure something out.

    • I wouldn't cut it out just because it's long, although it is a song with a sad history…Box of Rain was written from the son to the father who was passing away, it's about life and death and the afterlife "believe it if you need it, or leave it if you dare." Sad to think of the song being about death, but a beautiful Dead song, my #1 favorite.

  91. I haven't read all the way through these 13 pages of suggestions, but I doubt this one is listed already.

    A few years ago I was in a wedding in which the bride's father–who is very much a music lover–chose the song, and kept it a secret until the time came to dance. He chose "Three Times a Lady" by Lionel Ritchie, and it was surprisingly appropriate. Not a dry eye in the house!

  92. My Dad and I are dancing to "Papa Was a Rodeo" by Magnetic Fields. It may or may not be a gay love song but I cry everytime I hear it. :O)

  93. My dad passed away in 2007 but we plan on doing a photo montage and I'm using The Dropkick Murphys "Forever"

  94. I can't believe how many other people are having the same problem as me!! I thought I was going nuts because I can't pick a song to dance to with my dad. He loves Grateful Dead (which we grew up on) and Bob Dylan. Any suggestions????

    • The Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion – not sappy AT ALL, just about being happy and having a good time…so Dead!
      "See that girl, barefootin' along,
      Whistlin' and singin', she's a carryin' on.
      Got laughing in her eyes, dancing in her feet,
      She's a neon-light diamond and she can live on the street.
      Hey hey, hey, come right away
      Come and join the party every day.
      Hey hey, hey, come right away
      Come and join the party every day.
      Well everybody's dancin' in a ring around the sun
      Nobody's finished, we ain't even begun.
      So take off your shoes, child, and take off your hat.
      Try on your wings and find our where it's at.
      Hey, hey, hey, come right away
      Come and join the party every day.
      Hey hey, hey, come right away
      Come and join the party every day.
      Take a vacation, fall out for a while,
      Summer's comin' in, and it's goin' outa style
      Well, lie down smokin', honey, have yourself a ball,
      Cause your mother's down in Memphis, won't be back 'till the fall.
      Hey, hey, hey, come right away
      Come and join the party every day."

    • Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion? A song just about having fun and being happy…
      See that girl, barefootin' along,
      Whistlin' and singin', she's a carryin' on.
      Got laughing in her eyes, dancing in her feet,
      She's a neon-light diamond and she can live on the street.
      Hey hey, hey, come right away
      Come and join the party every day.
      Hey hey, hey, come right away
      Come and join the party every day.
      Well everybody's dancin' in a ring around the sun
      Nobody's finished, we ain't even begun.
      So take off your shoes, child, and take off your hat.
      Try on your wings and find out where it's at."

    • Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion – The Grateful Dead…awesome! I tried to post the lyrics but I guess it was too long or something…

  95. My daughter is letting me pick our dance song at her wedding. Since we're having a band, we can play around with a song & wanted one that we could slow dance to at the beginning but that could crank up to get everyone to join in as the song progresses. I'm leaning toward "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby". There are many versions from slow/melodic (Joni James or Nancy Lamott) to the upbeat jazzy, swinging version by Bobby Darrin, so the band can morph the song's tempo. I think this song would also work for those fathers & daughters who have had estranged relationships.

  96. Does anyone know of a good
    Waylon Jennings
    Willy Nelson
    John Cash
    or Kris Kristoferson song
    My dad's a big fan of the "classics"

  97. My dad is a fan of classic country
    does anyone know a waylon jennings / kris kristofferson / johnny cash or willie nelson song that might work for a first dance

  98. I'm not getting married for another 4 years or so, but I really think we're gonna dance to either "Friday I'm in Love" or "Just Like Heaven" by the Cure. My dad and I are into those songs…and they're just our 'happy' songs.

  99. My dad and I danced to "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys. He's a big fan of theirs.

Read more comments

Comments are closed.