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5 Things You Should Know About the Father-Daughter Dance

The father-daughter dance is a staple at many weddings. It’s the moment when the bride honors their father, and represents the love and gratitude they have for the father or father figure in their life. If you decide to include the father-daughter dance in your own wedding, you might not know where to begin. Read on for 5 things you should know about the dance.

A brief history of the father-daughter dance

Like many wedding traditions, the father-daughter dance comes from our patriarchal history and used to serve as a final demand by the bride’s father before the husband became the most important man in the bride’s life. Now the dance doesn’t hold the same meaning, and instead is more of a symbol of the father’s and daughter’s love for each other.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When do you have the father-daughter dance?

Many brides decide to have the father-daughter dance directly after their first dance with their new spouse. But if you don’t want to have the dance after that moment, there are other good times to squeeze it in like after the toasts and before cutting the cake.

What song should you pick?

While some brides choose a heartfelt, loving song, other brides opt for a song that’s more upbeat and brings a little laughter to the guests. Ultimately it’s up to you. So whether you choose something fast or slow, it should reflect your relationship.

Should the dance be choreographed?

If you want to dance to a faster, upbeat song, choreographing a routine could be a fun and unexpected idea. But if you’d rather stay with a slower, traditional dance, it might not be necessary. Instead, you can take a couple of dance lessons instead to practice before the real thing.

Can you include your step-parents?

Tradition is one thing, but this dance is ultimately up to you! You have the freedom to choose whomever you want to dance with, and you can always switch partners (or songs) halfway through. If there are a couple of people you’d like to honor with the dance, they can all take turns cutting in to share the moment.

How long does the dance last?

A good rule of thumb is that the dance lasts for around 3-4 minutes, or as long as the song actually lasts. However there are some people who recommend playing a shortened version of the song rather than the full one to keep your guests’ attention.


At Fred Astaire Dance Studios, we can provide you and other people in your wedding party dance lessons to make your big day even more special. Whether you’re interested in a choreographed routine or just want a little practice before showtime, we’re here to help. Contact us today and find out more!