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5 Ways to Choose a Song for the Father-Daughter Dance or Mother-Son Dance

So you want to pick a song for your dance with your mom or dad. Maybe you have more questions about it, like, "how long should it be?" "Does it have to be a themed song?" Or, "do I have to be a good dancer?" While this post won't give you a list of songs to choose from, with these 5 tips, all your questions will be answered and you will find that you don't need a list!

Father daughter dance

1. Pick a song that means something to both of you

"But me and my dad didn't listen to music together" or "my mom's not into music!" Really? I guess it's possible...

But what's more likely is you do have songs that mean a lot to both of you. At my wedding I danced with my mom and I wasn't sure what to choose because we listen to completely different types of music - so I let her choose. She picked a song she used to listen to when she would rock me when I was a baby. I think that was really nice.

Now if I had to dance with my father it would be easy because we bonded over music in my childhood.

What music did you bond over with your parent? Did you both love a song from "Dirty Dancing" (maybe I'm dating myself here) or another movie? Do you have a family song? Or maybe it's your mom or dad's favorite song you want to dance to.

While those are all great choices, it's very personal. It should be personal. And trust me, if you pick a song that really means something to you two, your guests will ask you about it and it will make for a great story.

Mother son dance

2. The topic doesn't matter. It doesn't have to be about parents, children etc...

A lot of people have danced to "My Girl," or "Daughters" by John Mayer and there's nothing wrong with that - but it doesn't have to be that. The song does not have to be about fathers, mothers, children or any particular topic!

As I said above, it can be much more special when you take the time to remember that one special song you and your mom or dad enjoyed, rather than just picking the song out of a list.

Mother son dance

3. Think whether you want to do a slow dance or something more lively

So yeah, most people pick a slow song and do a slow dance. This isn't only the standard, but it's totally fine.

But I have seen plenty of people do some serious dancing with their mom or dad and their guests just eat it up every time. If you and your mom or dad feel comfortable, and want to dance to an upbeat song, or even do something choreographed, go for it!

If you have fun doing it, it's the type of thing your guests will be talking about for years (in a good way) and will be the highlight of your photos and videos.

4. Some people like to cut the song short - that's up to you

Many of my couples tell me something like, "fade out at 2:23," or "watch for me to signal you, then fade the song out." This is because a lot of them don't feel 100% comfortable dancing in front of a large crowd of people, and besides, some of these songs are 5 or 6 minutes.

What I always tell them is, first off, "OK not a problem." But then I tell them what I'm about to tell you - Your wedding day goes really fast. The whole thing goes fast. And the individual moments go fast. Many times I have faded the song out when the couple asked me to and they gave me a look like they were surprised. It didn't feel like "2:23" to them because things go really fast on your wedding day.

So I suggest that you arrange with your DJ beforehand* to have a signal, like a nod or something. So if you've had enough, you can nod at your DJ and they will fade out the song then.

Father daughter dance

5. Some people pick a funny song to make their guests crack up

I guess this is a variation of #3 above. If you feel comfortable and want to pick a funny song (maybe you do improv in your spare time), please do. Everyone will love it and once again, it will be the highlight of your photos and video.

DJ Ben Boylan

Ask your DJ (me)!

From the early planning phases and working with the sound rental guys, to talking about music selection and the vibe we wanted at different parts of the night, Ben was outstanding.

Dan C., Palm Springs, CA

Ben was truly fantastic. He was very responsive and easy to get in touch with. He asked the right questions and understood exactly what feeling we were aiming to create that night, what music we loved and what we didn't love, and then he delivered it all perfectly and kept the dance floor full and happy all night. Absolutely wonderful, all around.

Emily K., Princeton, NJ

To Sum It All Up...

Pick what makes you and your mom and dad most happy. If you want to choose "My Girl" or "Daughters" then by all means, go for it. But if you have the time to sit down with your parents over a meal and brainstorm those special songs you shared with them, it might make the whole thing a little more special for you and your guests!


If you're planning a wedding or event and want help packing your dance floor, email me or text or call me at 917.586.6753. I'm a Brooklyn wedding DJ but happy to travel throughout the northeast and beyond.

* I've heard, and seen it written online, that some DJs cut the parent's dance short (or even the first dance) if they think it is going too long. For the record, I would never do that without speaking to the couple beforehand. And that's the key here: Speak to your DJ beforehand about whether they will cut down your dance songs or let them play all the way out.

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