Non-Cheesy Father-Daughter Dance Wedding Reception Songs

father daughter dance song ideas

Because our reception entrance song ideas post has fared so well, I decided another wedding song post was in order, but this time focusing on songs for the father-daughter dance.

To start, I took to the internet to do a little research. Here’s what I found: Everybody lists the same songs. You’ll find a lot of “Butterfly Kisses” and “Unforgettable” as father-daughter dance options all over the place. But does anyone need the internet to remind us of those songs? Seems like a helpful list would suggest something other than the obvious.

So I decided to compile a list of less common father-daughter dance songs with ideas submitted by Ashley of Hi-Fi Weddings (check out her extended list on father-daughter songs) and friends, coupled with some suggestions of my own after a great deal of head-racking.

I have to admit: This was hard! Apparently, so many sites list the same songs because there aren’t many songs that are father-daughter dance-appropriate. Occasionally, I listened to a song and thought, This is perfect! and then there would be one line that would make the whole thing really creepy and not perfect at all for a father-daughter dance.

What you’ll find below is an interesting mix of 20 songs — slow, fast, sentimental and fun. Most weren’t written with fathers and daughters in mind, but why box yourself in?

  1. “I Only See Sunshine” by the Box Tops
  2. “My Girl” by the Temptations
  3. “In My Life” by the Beatles
  4. “You Understand Me” by Sam Cooke
  5. “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker
  6. “You are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder
  7. “Days Like This” by Van Morrison
  8. “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan
  9. “Que Sera Sera” by Sly and the Family Stone
  10. “To Sir with Love” by Lulu
  11. “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder
  12. “Father & Daughter” by Paul Simon
  13. “Gracie” by Ben Folds
  14. “Moon River,” instrumental version by Harry Mancini
  15. “These Are the Days” by 10,000 Maniacs
  16. “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night
  17. “Having a Party” by Sam Cooke
  18. “Twisting the Night Away” by Sam Cooke
  19. “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King
  20. “Kind and Generous” by Natalie Merchant

If you’re looking for an uncommon father-daughter dance song and none of these appeal to you, consider a song from your childhood that would have special meaning to you and your father. Regional songs are also a good choice. And if you’re uncertain about the appropriateness of the lyrics, just use the instrumental version.

If you have other father-daughter song suggestions, we’d love to hear about them in the comments! And check out “5 Unique Wedding Songs to Consider,” “10 Unique First Dance Song Ideas” and  “More Unusual First Dance Song Ideas” if you’re on the hunt for unusual wedding songs for the bride-groom dance as well!

Photo by John Partridge Photography

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42 Comments

  1. “I Hope You Dance” is a good one, Jordan! Thanks for the addition. And strangely enough, Amy, I happened to listen to “Put Down the Ducky” kind of recently. I think it’s really sweet your dad chose I song you liked when you were little. My Dad and my song when I was little was “Hit the Road, Jack,” and I keep thinking how that would be fun but totally inappropriate as a first dance.

  2. After I danced to “In My Life” by the Beatles with my daughter I had the DJ play “I’m Going to Miss Her” by Brad Paisley and danced with my son-in-law, I don’t think my daughter thought it was as funny as I did.

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