We’ve all been there, at that point in a reception where the bride sways with her father on the dance floor to a song that just…well…makes you want to cringe a little. It’s not that we’re cold-hearted. Or that we don't like Bob Carlisle. It's just that the father-daughter dance is special moment, and it deserves a song that strikes the ideal balance between sincere and fun. In honor of Father's Day impending arrival, we've rounded up a gallery of brides and their dads and the songs they chose.
If you're still stumped, we've also put together our favorite “Butterfly Kisses” alternatives:
“Next To Me” - Emeli Sande
Sande is a vocal powerhouse, and her recently-released upbeat anthem will have your guests clapping and singing along to its gospel-y chorus.
“Father and Daughter” - Paul Simon
This one’s a daddy/daughter classic, but the lyrics (“I believe a light that shines on you will shine on you forever”) are “awww,” not “awwwful.”
“Twist and Shout” - The Beatles
Unconventional? Sure. A total blast? Most definitely. One of our editor Julie's friends took to the floor with this number, and it was not only adorable moment for her and her pops, but memorable for the rest of the crowd.
"Everlasting Light" - The Black Keys
This fuzzy, bluesy jam from the Grammy-winning Akron, Ohio, duo works great for a Southern ceremony, but we could see it rocking at a city celebration, too.
“Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher” - Jackie Wilson
It's nearly impossible to resist this jazz-inflected soul ditty. (Don't be surprised if your guests saunter onto the dance floor in a good-vibe trance.) Feeling ambitious? It pairs perfectly with a quickstep.
"Baby" - She & Him
This track of the duo's latest album has that old-school sound they're known for. It's sweet, simple, and short—at just about three minutes, you won't feel like everyone's staring at you for too long.
“You’re The First, My Last, My Everything” - Barry White
Barry White may be the sultry voice behind some of the sexiest tunes out there, but this one’s up-tempo and totally PG enough for a dance with dad.
“As” - Stevie Wonder
It starts out smooth, and ends in a cacophony of noise—the good kind. But it’s the lyrics that are the most sweet: “Just as kindness knows no shame, know through all your joy and pain that I'll be loving you always.”
"Your Smiling Face" - James Taylor
Only the original JT (sorry, Justin Timberlake) could write a song so sweet, heartfelt—and totally fun on the dance floor. And it's probably one of dad's favorites.
"Bright Side Of the Road"- Van Morrison
The harmonica opening. The backup brass. The harmonica solo. Van Morrison's signature gravely-voice, singing lyrics such as, "Time seems to go by so fast, in the twinkling of an eye, let's enjoy it while we can." Did we mention the harmonica?
"Dance With Me" - Orleans
This throwback slow jam has the right amount of sentiment without being one of those songs that you maybe shouldn't be dancing to with you dad.
"Gracie" - Ben Folds
If you're lucky enough to have the name Grace or Gracie then this song is 100% for you. If you happen to have any other name, it's still worth considering. Ben wrote this song for his daughter and it doesn't get more authentic or adorable than this.
So... what tune are you thinking of?