Pro Tip: Father-Daughter and Mother-Son Dance Song Selection

Wedding History dance

Dubsdread Catering Event Specialist Peighton Ballant shares some of her pro tips for selecting songs for the Father-Daughter and Mother-Son dances.

Peighton Ballant headshot

The first dance together as a couple is the most important dance of the reception, and second to that is the Father-Daughter and the Mom-Son dances. These two dances are steeped in history and often are the ones that bring people to tears or to laughter depending on how you choose to go about it, and the music you select plays a big part of that.

Are you keeping it traditional and sweet, or doing some fun, upbeat choreography? Either way, you will need to pick the perfect song for that special occasion. Here are some pro tips to help you find that perfect tune:

What mood are you trying to set with the dance?

Whatever song you select, you are going to want to ensure that the tune has the right pace for the type of dance you are doing. Are you and your mom or dad more sentimental? Then maybe a slow and sweet song will do the trick. Are you major jokesters? If so, go for something more cheerful and unexpected.

Do you have any songs that are meaningful to your relationship?

Think back on your relationship with your mom or dad and try to see if there is a song that means something between the two of you. It can be a song you always turned the radio up for in the car, or simply a song that makes you think of them. Also, if you have found a song that feels more upbeat than you would prefer, many songs have an acoustic version available that may be slowed down to fit your style.

Are you wanting all of the songs to blend together?

Typically speaking, the dances go in the following order: first dance, Father-Daughter, then Mother-Son. Think about if you are wanting a pause between all these songs, if you want one to blend into the next seamlessly, or if you want all of the songs to be different so that there is an obvious contrast. This is also an excellent opportunity to discuss with your DJ or band how the flow of what you are considering will work in actual use. Some songs may be shortened to limit amount of time, or they may not sound good back-to-back. Your professional DJ or band will have the experience to walk you through it.

Ask for their input.

Though some people like to keep the song a secret until the actual dance, if you’re really struggling, don’t be scared to ask for your mom or dad’s opinion. They may have some input and suggestions that can help you narrow down your winner.

Make sure you read the lyrics

There are a lot of songs that may have an appealing title, but the lyrics won’t match. Be sure to avoid any songs that talk abouts breakups, jealousy, forbidden love, etc. Some songs about love and devotion includes lines like “I wanna marry you, girl” or “your lips taste like wine”… which you definitely don’t want to include in either dance.

When it comes to these first dances, don’t be afraid to go the untraditional route and dance with someone other than your mother or father. Pick a motherly or fatherly figure, whether it be an aunt, uncle, grandma, or grandpa, and have that special moment with them. In the end, it’s your big day and you do whatever works best for you and your partner and captures the moment the way you want to remember it.

Photos courtesy of: Steven Miller Photography; Amy Slogar Photography, Live Happy Studios; Rachel Doyle Photography.

Peighton Ballant is an Event Specialist with the Dubsdread Catering Team and is currently working on her Event Management degree at UCF. Peighton enjoys working with prospective couples to discover what they are most interested in bringing to their special day, and how to make those ideas come to life. Contact her today at

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