Photo Credit: Damian Bakarcic

From exchanging vows with your significant other to sharing smiles with your friends and family, weddings are a celebration of love in so many of its forms. Families gather to greet new members and catch up with old relatives. For many women, there is one family member they plan to spend a special moment with: dad.

Choosing the right song for your father-daughter dance can seem tricky. While there are several factors to consider, three stand out among the rest.

1.Your wedding theme

Weddings come in all shapes and sizes. Your theme is the foundation of the wedding and often decides the location, decorations and even your dress style, so it’s not surprising that this has an impact on what song you choose. Although your song does not have to match your theme to a T, it can help create a smooth transition through the stages of a wedding if the music and theme are coherent.


Photo Credit: Marco Verch

For many of us in Athens, rustic and vintage weddings have a place in our hearts. The beautiful downtown Athens and some of the antique buildings that surround the Athens area make great venues. For these weddings, an acoustic rendition of your favorite country song is a good option. Here are some examples of country songs that fit the father-daughter dance:

  • “God Gave Me You,” by Blake Shelton.
  • “Bless the Broken Road,” by Rascal Flatts.
  • “Making Memories of Us,” by Keith Urban.
  • “Butterfly Kisses,” by Bob Carlisle

But even in the South, not everyone enjoys country music or wants Keith Urban crooning their father-daughter dance. Sometimes a bride finds a song that speaks to her or embodies her favorite memories of times with dad that do not fit the typical wedding-day sound, but that does not mean that song is down for the count. Piano and string quartet renditions of many songs can be easy to find or have arranged. For example, here is a video of “Cinderella,” by Steven Curtis Chapman performed on the piano:

The Vitamin String Quartet is a popular and prolific group on Spotify that arranges string renditions of songs ranging from rock hits such as “Victorious,” by Panic! at the Disco to geek anthems such as the Doctor Who theme. These renditions are easily recognizable but less jarring for guests because of their acoustic nature.

Leon String Quartet Kent by Wedding- Leon String Quartet Kent CC BY 2.0

Photo Credit: Leon String Quartet Kent

Local Athens groups such as Athens Wedding Music and Classic City Strings can provide a similar selection for those who prefer live music or want to support their Athens community. Athens Wedding Music provides sound bites of some of their most popular selections on their website to help you decide if they are the right group for you. Church choirs can often be asked to perform songs for your wedding. If your venue is a church, ask them about what choir options they have.

2. The dance: keep it simple or make it a performance?

When choosing a father-daughter dance song, it is important to remember the dance aspect. Some songs may sound wonderful — until you start trying to move to them. Slow dances are popular for a reason: they are easier! Especially in a long or heavy dress, keeping a dance slow and simple can help ensure it goes smoothly. These are also easier for guests and the photographer to capture.

For those who want to kick it up a notch, consider taking father-daughter dance lessons. Dancefx in downtown Athens offers intro and advanced level ballroom courses. You can find their schedule here. If you want to support the UGA community, consider taking the UGA Ballroom Performance group or the UGA Ballroom Club lesson series. These are a series of classes about a month long, once a week that focus on a specific style of ballroom dance such as waltz, tango, salsa or swing. These groups are also useful for finding an instructor for private dance lessons if that interests you and your father.

3. Make it special


Photo Credit: Susan Jane Goulding

The father-daughter dance is a tender moment set aside for the bride and her father. Your song should capture those feelings, so pick a song that makes the dance yours. Are your first memories family vacations at Disney? Do you want to make your guests tear up? Use “You’ll Be in My Heart,” by Celtic Woman. Don’t be afraid to make a choice that may seem unusual to others; this is your moment with your dad. Have fun!

Our purpose at Weddings in Athens is to show the outstanding selection of Athens, Georgia wedding vendors such as wedding photographers, videographers, florists, wedding planners and venues. We hope that our information will be helpful to you as your plan your Athens, Georgia wedding.  Please contact Weddings in Athens if you would like to have your listing added. Please follow us on Facebook at

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