It seems there are billions of love songs in existence, but there are definitely not as many compositions that capture the incredibly nuanced, specific love between a father and daughter. And while your wedding day can certainly be stressful all on its own, factoring in the song choice for your father-daughter dance can definitely add some extra anxiety. So, we went ahead and sifted through to find some of the best options for one of the most special dances on one of life's biggest days.
1. It Won't Be Like This for Long - Darius Rucker
In this 2008 single from Darius Rucker, he sings from the perspective of a new father to a baby. He mentions the long nights one has with a new baby and then notes, "It won't be like this for long." That sentiment continues through the song and applies to all the cycles in a child's life. The tune is really about enjoying every moment of being a father.
2. Butterfly Kisses - Bob Carlisle
We've all probably heard it at some point. "Butterfly Kisses" by the contemporary Christian singer and songwriter Bob Carlisle. An extremely popular song for father-daughter dances at weddings, not to mention just a popular song for any sentimental dads out there who love their little girls.
3. My Girl - The Temptations
"I've got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it's cold outside I've got the month of May. I guess you'd say, what can make me feel this way? My girl" This Temptations classic is a huge hit at Weddings, as both First Dances but also Father and Daughter dances.
4. Loved Her First - Heartland
It's been a number of years since Heartland wrecked every father of a bride to be's world with "I Loved Her First" back in 2006. The tearjerker about a father giving away his daughter to her fiancé on her wedding day was written by Elliott Park and Walt Aldridge but recorded and made famous by the country group. Needless to say, it's been a mainstay song at weddings for father-daughter dances across the nation.
5. Stealing Cinderella - Chuck Wicks
This ballad finds Chuck Wicks asking a father's permission to marry his daughter, with allusions to the fairy tale Cinderella. The song was inspired by Wick' girlfriend who worked at Disney World in Florida; her job was to dress up as the princess and greet visitors.
6. I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womack
A life-affirming song with an uplifting, timeless message, it's based on the narration of a mother expressing the wish that her children will step out and embrace life and take a chance on love and faith.
7. Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
This song is an expression of the joy Stevie Wonder felt at the birth of his first child, a daughter by the name of "Aisha". Indeed, we can see that in the first verse that the titular "she" is "less than one minute old". However, he has already proclaimed her "precious", "wonderful" and of course "lovely" More to the point, the level of happiness he is experiencing due to her coming into the world has exceeded his expectations. .
8. The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra
When it comes to classic father-daughter dance songs, you can't go wrong with Frank Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight". Thinking about putting together a routine? This song is definitely a popular choice for brides and dads who have a knack for ballroom dancing. Not into the choreographed foxtrot idea? Even if you choose to simply dance freestyle, you're sure to have a moment with dad you'll never forget.
9. What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
Decades after its original release, Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" continues to inspire through its timeless message of love, peace and harmony.
10. Unforgettable - Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole
Nat King Cole had many signature tunes, but this is one of our favorites. The lyrics are actually appropriate for all of the standard dances at a wedding - first dance, father-daughter and mother-son dance- so the only challenge is deciding who gets to dance to it!
11. You're My Best Friend - Queen
A fun alternative to something overtly romantic, this song describes best friends rather than lovers but still feels right to kick off your night on the dance floor.
12. Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
First released in 1990 by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" is one of Fifty First Dates most memorable songs. This gorgeous tune is perfect for a father-daughter dance or even just to walk down the aisle to.
13. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) - James Taylor
"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You" is probably one of the most recognizable and beloved songs of all time, performed by the legendary James Taylor. The song's melody is upbeat and infectious, while the lyrics express a joyful celebration of love. James Taylor's rendition is incredibly upbeat, with a groovy bassline and catchy rhythm that infuse the song with an infectious energy that is hard not to dance to.
14. Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
Another classic that is on pretty much every wedding song list, but it's too pretty not to include. Stevie Nicks has the perfect song for a father-daughter dance song.
15. You've Got a Friend - Carole King or James Taylor
Although this song was written by Carole King, both she and James Taylor released their versions in 1971, and they are both classics. It was actually inspired by one of James Taylor's lyrics from "Fire and Rain" - "I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend."
16. Just the Way You Are - Billy Joel
This 1970s hit reiterates what every father thinks, which that he loves his daughter just the way she is, unconditionally.
17. Wildflowers - Tom Petty
If you like rock music with emotional words, this song is perfect for you. It sends the message of every father, "You belong among the wildflowers, Far away from your trouble and worry."
18. Father's Eyes - Amy Grant
Amy Grant's mellow '70s ballad "Father's Eyes" is a classic option for a father-daughter dance. Grant sings of her father's love and hopes to see the world as he does while pointing out how he shaped her life.
19. Forever Young - Rod Stewart
Fans of the '80s or upbeat dances will appreciate the light rock touch of Rod Stewart's classic single "Forever Young". Stewart's ode to his children's youth is a beautiful expression of unconditional love and the transcendent feeling of youth.
20. You are the Sunshine of My Life - Stevie Wonder
The soulful, easy-listening sound of Stevie Wonder's keyboard is the perfect complement to the loving affirmations of "You are the Sunshine of My Life". The song is upbeat while still warranting a slow dance and cheerfully underlines the faither-daughter bond.
21. Cinderella - Steven Curtis Chapman
At face value, "Cinderella" appears to be a clear homage to the Disney classic tale. However, there's a lot more genuine and personal emotion attached to it than simply a famous story. To Steven Curtis Chapman, "Cinderella" is a way of reflecting on and appreciating each moment that he had with his three adopted daughters.
22. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns and Roses
This may very well be the ultimate classic rock father-daughter dance song if you're looking for a more upbeat song. You probably won't be able to get away with a simple sway with this tune, so make sure Dad is prepared to bust a move!
23. Lean on Me - Bill Withers
One of the oldest father-daughter wedding songs, "Lean On Me" expresses the emotional bond many daughters feel for their fathers. This simple song perfectly captures a father and daughter's roots, love and connection and makes it a very popular song for weddings.
24. Have I Told You Lately - Rod Stewart
Originally written and recorded by Van Morrison, Rod Stewart's cover version of "Have I Told You Lately" is slow and smooth. Rod's vocal range really hits all the notes on this epic love ballad.
25. There Goes My Life - Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney's 2003 ballad "There Goes My Life" tells on an unplanned pregnancy and how the father turns his selfish feelings of woe into love and generosity until he ultimately sends his baby girl away to college. That message- that your kids are everything- will resonate at any wedding, but if your story matches his in the first verse, then this is the song you need to dance to on wedding day.
26. When You Need Me - Bruce Springsteen
"When You Need Me" is a lovely pop rock ballad by Bruce Springsteen with the underlying theme being that he'll always be with you. Simple as that.
27. I Got You Babe - Sonny and Cher
Though Sonny and Cher were married in real life, their '60s anthem to young love, "I Got You Babe", can still be a fun father-daughter dance for retro-themed weddings. It's a swinging homage to youth and the power of love.
28. You Are So Beautiful - Joe Cocker
Joe Cockers' "You Are So Beautiful" could be used as either your First Dance or Father-daughter dance. Either way, it's a lovely song!
29. The Best Day - Taylor Swift
True, most of the lyrics seem to be about Taylor's mom. But she does mention her dad in there a couples of times, and most of the lines in this country-pop charmer evoke the joys of childhood and the wonders of parenthood. A gentle midtempo number that will allow for lots of father-daughter hugging and won't tempt her dad to break-out his old break-dancing moves.
30. Count on Me - Bruno Mars
This sweet song reflects the relationship between a parent and child through the years, from singing you a song when you can't fall asleep to just being there as a friend when you're in need.