The Father Daughter Dance
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Epic Father Daughter Dance Photo
Epic Father Daughter Dance
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Parent Dances

Parent Dances

Parent dances are a common wedding tradition occurring after the bride and groom’s first dance. The father-daughter dance usually takes place first followed by the mother-son dance. It is meant to be a sweet way for the couple to honor their parents for supporting and raising them.


Like the origin of the first dance the origin of the father daughter dance has an unclear history. It may have come from a time when arranged marriages were common. It took place before the couple’s first danced together. The bride would begin the dance with her father and be passed off to her husband.

Modern Parent Dance Traditions

The mother son dance usually occurs following the father daughter dance and is a modern tradition allowing the mother of the groom to have a special moment with her son.

For whatever reason sometimes a parent is missing on a wedding day. If that is the case you can easily omit one or both of the parent dances or have someone such as a sibling, grandparent, or step parent fill in. When it comes to step parents some couples choose to include them by having an additional parent dance or splitting the song.

Who Picks the Song?

Traditionally the bride picks the song for the father-daughter dance. If you’re having a hard time choosing a song ask your dad if he has a song that reminds him of you or choose one of his favorite songs. Your can let dad pick the song, to make it extra special have him keep it a secret until it’s time for the dance. The same rules can be applied to the mother-son dance.

Father-Daughter Dance Songs
  • “Cinderlla,” Steven Curtis Chapman
  • “I Loved Her First,” Heartland
  • “Butterfly Kisses,” Bob Carlisle
  • “My Little Girl,” Tim McGraw
  • “Daughters,” John Mayer
Mother-Son Dance Songs
  • “I hope You Dance,” Lee Ann Womack
  • “My Wish,” Rascal Flatts
  • “Simple Man,” Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • “You’ll Be in My Heart,” Phil Collins
  • “Because You Loved Me,” Celine Dion
Photographing Parent Dances

We photograph the parent dances similarly to how we photograph the first dance. One of the things we do differently is including the spouse not dancing in the picture. We love to get a shot of the groom during the father-daughter dance and of the bride during the mother-son dance. It helps to tell the full story of your wedding day.