Father-Daughter Dance 101

Father-Daughter Dance 101

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Traditionally, special dances, such as the first dance between the bride and groom, are signalled throughout the reception. Today, we take a closer look at the father-daughter dance, what’s involved, the etiquette surrounding it and a few tips.

It’s not compulsory

The father daughter dance isn’t a necessary element of your wedding, so rest assured that if you don’t want to take up this tradition you don’t have to. Some brides may not feel that they’d like to dance with their father (or that he’ll have two left feet!), and for other brides their fathers may no longer be around or in their lives. So long as the bride and groom do the first dance together, you’ll have the dance traditions covered.

What about a stepfather dance?

If you feel close to your step-father, it is common to have a special step-father dance in place of a father-daughter dance. If your biological dad is in attendance at the wedding you might like to ask him to dance later. Make sure to pick a song that is appropriate in a step-family way to ensure no one’s feelings get hurt for this one.

It generally comes after the first dance

In terms of order of dancing, the first dance of the evening is generally reserved for the bride and the groom. If you are adding a father-daughter dance, then it will typically come directly after the first dance. This can also be combined with a mother-of-the-bride and groom dance for a bit of a modern twist that still gives a wonderful nod to family.

Yes you should practice

Often, the bride and groom will practice the first dance during the lead up to the wedding. It is reccommended that you practice the father daughter dance, as well, particularly if dad hasn’t had very much experience in the dancing department. This can help both to feel more comfortable with the dance on the day. If practice isn’t possible, then a soft sway, side to side, will make a passable effort for dancing!

Choose the song wisely

For the father daughter dance, it’s a great idea to pick a song that your dad loves from his era that both of you both enjoy. This way you can both really get into the song. It doesn’t have to be a slow one either – you might like to test out something upbeat and fun. Check in with dad to see what selections he’d like and then make a decision based on the few that he’s suggested.

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