The Sweet Christian Bride

Father-Daughter Dance

by admin on May 23, 2011 in Family, Music, Reception Traditions with 1 Comment

A common element in traditional weddings is the father-daughter dance.  Normally it would come after the bride and groom’s first dance, showing recognition of the transition from the dad as the man in a bride’s life to her groom.

It’s a beautiful symbol of acceptance from the father that the bride is still his daughter even though the roles have changed.  And, especially if the bride’s parents are footing the wedding bill, it is a thoughtful gesture of honor from the bride to create the opportunity in the midst of her wedding to be with her dad.

My dad was excited to choose the song we would dance to.  He put a lot of thought into which lyrics would represent me and which songs he really liked.  When he finally chose it, he had wanted to keep it as a surprise (although he did finally tell me in advance so we could practice dance steps to the actual song), like a gift to me at the wedding.

I don’t know that I would have thought to give the song choice over to him if he hadn’t asked, but seeing with retrospect how special it was to be given a gift that my dad had pored over, I would recommend it to other brides.

First of all, it’s nice to take a decision off your plate, but more importantly, it gives your father a voice.  My dad took the mic before the song started and explained to the guests exactly why he chose this song for me.  And he spent a moment affirming me and my new husband before he took my hand to dance.  The song lyrics spoke for him for the remainder of the dance.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to give a daughter away in marriage and to willingly demote yourself out of first place for her sake, but I don’t think it’s very easy.  Having a “rite of passage” for this particular life transition can be helpful and powerful.  

A father gets to walk his daughter down the aisle and present her to the groom, but that moment can feel like a blip on the wedding radar.  Adding in a second “rite of passage,” towards the end of the wedding, where a father can personalize his love for his daughter and his release of her to his new son-in-law can be an indescribable blessing to all parties involved.

By Lindsay

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