Everything You Need to Know About Your Father-Daughter Dance

Donna Von Breuning

*He raised you, and for that, your dad deserves the dance of his dreams! But when stepdads are involved or you want to switch up the traditional tune, father-daughter dances could get tricky. Here, our etiquette experts tell you how to handle sticky family situations, teach you how to fake the waltz, and choose a quirky song unique to you. *

My dad and I want to dance to something upbeat for our father/daughter dance. Any suggestions?

What a brilliant idea! Your guests most likely will be expecting a slow father-daughter dance, so changing it up with something upbeat and energetic will delight your guests (and make for hilarious photos and videos!). You could even take it a step further a choreograph a dance routine. It's not just a YouTube trend, it's something they won't be able to stop talking about.

So to avoid the predictable "sway and rock" dad-daughter dance, consider one of these fantastic songs instead — they are all songs your dad is guaranteed to like and will strike the right balance of peppy and poignant.

"In My Life" by the Beatles

"Daughter" by Loudon Wainwright III

"Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder

"Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison

"Wildflowers" by Tom Petty

"Father and Daughter" by Paul Simon

"My Girl" by The Temptations

"Ain't That Love" by Ray Charles

"You Are the Sunshine of My Life" by Stevie Wonder

"Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns n' Roses

"Forever Young" by Rod Stewart

Can I fake the waltz for the father-daughter dance?

Yes, and it's easy: Do the box step! What's more, there are some great popular songs to waltz to, like "Moon River," "Sunrise, Sunset," "Daddy's Little Girl," "Three Times a Lady" and "Open Arms."

I was raised by my stepfather and feel much closer to him than my biological father. They're both going to be at my wedding. When it's time for the father-daughter dance, whom should I dance with?

Since your stepfather has been a huge part of your life, it's perfectly fine for you to share the traditional father-daughter dance with him. Just make sure to be considerate of your biological father's feelings. Find a song that captures how you feel about your stepdad without snubbing your birth dad. Skip tunes like "My Girl" and "My Father's Eyes" and go for generically happy songs like Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" or Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable." You may want to have the DJ or band leader announce the father-daughter dance with something like, "And now the bride will dance with her stepfather." You should definitely ask your birth dad to dance, but you don't have to make a big production out of it. Do what makes you comfortable: Follow the stepdad dance with another generically sweet song, but invite your guests to join you on the floor; have your new husband dance with his mom while you dance with your birth dad; or spontaneously grab your birth dad for a dance as the night progresses, the party's roaring, and you're more relaxed.

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