For the bride who will be sharing in a spotlight dance with her father, choosing the right song and appropriate time can cause a lot of stress. Let’s tackle the latter decision even though each consideration is relative to the other. As mentioned in a previous post, the NJ style wedding gives the slot immediately following a couple’s first dance, to the bride and her father.
The truth is, dancing with Dad then will likely hold the attention of your guests more than at any other time. If this dance is special for your both, knowing that your guests are engaged and seeing them watch you will invoke a feeling of importance to the moment. There are other times you can dance with Dad and still have the attention of your guests, but none quite as powerful as immediately following your first dance.
You could dance with Dad before or after cutting your cake, first thing after dinner, last dance before dinner, or the first dance to open a set of music. Know this… having a dance with you Father at any point other than immediately following your first dance may have less of a spotlight shown on you both.
Choosing the right song is not always the simplest task. For many, your Dad might make it very easy by picking a song that he has been thinking of. I can almost hear the words of some fathers, “Sweetheart, you’re sugar… you’re spice… you’re everything nice, and your Daddy’s little girl.” I find more often the father has no idea what song he wants to have played for a dance with his daughter. What do you do now?
First, research! Google, WeddingAces.com, WeddingWire.com, DJ sites, iTunes, Amazon… due diligence! What I suggest is that you collect a list of songs that you may like based on the initial feeling you get when you hear it. Once you have come up with a list of possible songs, listen to the lyrics or look up the lyrics to better understand what the songs express. Narrow the list by eliminating the ones that you don’t like. Now you will be left with a number of songs that you think would be fitting for the dance. I suggest burning a CD with these songs (typically 3-7 songs), and give it to Dad (or mom). Allow them a chance to listen to the songs that you think are appropriate. Ask them to choose one or at least narrow your selection to two or three choices. The end result should be a song that is meaningful to you and familiar to Dad, which is a win win and the perfect choice in my book.
TIP: Don’t try to surprise Dad with the song selection on the day of the wedding. Chances are, the last concern he has on the day of the wedding is what song he will be dancing with his daughter to. The dance may be very important to him, but the lyrics of a song are not what he’s thinking about. If you want the song to be a special element of the dance, let him know and listen to it leading up the wedding… then at the sound of the first note, the emotions he has felt listening on his own will be felt in front of all of your guests.