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10 Unexpected Father-Daughter Dance Song Ideas

If the father-daughter dance is done right, there won't be a dry eye in the house when it's over. When it's time to cut a rug with dear ol' dad, the song you pick is key—and the options are seemingly endless. Should you go with a classic favorite, like Wind Beneath My Wings, by Bette Midler, or Isn't She Lovely, by Stevie Wonder…or something a little less expected? Are you looking for a tune that's soft and sweet or something that will have guests on their feet? To narrow things down, it's a good idea to focus on tunes that have lyrics you can relate to, or songs that both you and Dad have always enjoyed. Need a little inspiration? Here are 10 DJ-approved ideas that might help.

Father-Daughter Wedding Song: Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World Medley
Artist: Israel "Iz" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole
Lyrics to Look Out For:
"I hear babies cry, and I watch them grow
They'll learn much more
Than we'll know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world."
Great Pick For: A tropical or beach wedding; the ukulele medley will fit right in.

Father-Daughter Wedding Song: Father and Daughter
Artist: Paul Simon
Lyrics to Look Out For:
"I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you'll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you."
Great Pick For: The sentimental pair looking for a more contemporary tune that gets straight to the point.

Father-Daughter Wedding Song: While You Were Sleeping
Artist: Elvis Perkins
Lyrics to Look Out For:
"I'll never catch up to you
Who sleeps so sound
My arms are useless
My heart beats too loud to go to sleep
My mind's too proud to bow out
While you were sleeping
The time changed
All your things were rearranged."
Great Pick For: A barn wedding or rustic reception setting—it's a sweet folk-rock tune that slowly picks up the pace.

Father-Daughter Wedding Song: My Love Is
Artist: Holly Golightly
Lyrics to Look Out For:
"My love is longer than forever
Endless as the march of time
99 years after never
In my heart, you'll still be mine."
Great Pick For: A vintage-inspired affair; the tune boasts a bluesy jazz snap.

Father-Daughter Wedding Song: Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)
Artist: Billy Joel
Lyrics to Look Out For:
"I promised I would never leave you
And you should always know
Wherever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far away."
Great Pick For: A late evening or sunset reception—for obvious reasons.

Father-Daughter Wedding Song: Daddy
Artist: Beyonce
Lyrics to Look Out For:
"I want my unborn son
To be like my daddy
I want my husband to be like my daddy
There is no one else like my daddy
And I thank you (thank you) for lovin' me."
Great Pick For: The inseparable pair! Beyonce fills this sweet, down-home tune with touching lyrics about the monumental childhood memories a father and daughter share (think: bike rides and first dates).

Father-Daughter Wedding Song: Daughter
Artist: Loudon Wainwright III Lyrics to Look Out For:
"That's my daughter in the water
Everything she owns I bought her
Everything she owns
That's my daughter in the water
Everything she knows I taught her
Everything she knows."
Great Pick For: The lighthearted father and daughter looking to laugh their way through this dance. The song is funny, honest and filled with heart.

Father-Daughter Wedding Song: Kind and Generous
Artist: Natalie Merchant
Lyrics to Look Out For:
"You've been so kind and generous
I don't know how you keep on giving
For your kindness, I'm in debt to you
And I never could have come this far without you
So for everything you've done
You know I'm bound...
I'm bound to thank you for it."
Great Pick For: The bride looking to make this dance a total tribute to Dad -- and one possibly looking for an extra way to say "thanks" for footing the bill (wink, wink)!

Father-Daughter Wedding Song: When the Stars Go Blue
Artist: Tim McGraw
Lyrics to Look Out For:
"Dancin' when the stars go blue
Dancin' when the evening fell
Dancin' in your wooden shoes
In a wedding gown."
Great Pick For: Country fans! It's melodic yet just upbeat enough to stray away from the usual two-step.

Father-Daughter Wedding Song: Daughters
Artist: John Mayer
Lyrics to Look Out For:
"So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers be good to your daughters too."
Great Pick For: A daughter who, though honored to take the floor with Dad, wants to sneak in a little shout-out to Mom too.

Special thanks to wedding music gurus Alex Mazur of Alex Mazur Music and Michael Antonia of TheFlashDance.com.

-- Charli Penn

See More: Wedding Music