In the 1950 classic, “Father of the Bride,” Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor struggle through the comical pangs of planning a daughter’s dream wedding. Whether it’s finding the perfect cake, location or dress, each scene strikes a familiar chord with all who watch.
The most emotional struggle of all happens when Tracy’s character realizes he not only has to give away his daughter, he has to let go of his little girl and allow her to become a woman.
So what song best captures that same emotional bond for you and your daughter at her wedding?
There are a few key questions to keep in mind when choosing the perfect father-daughter song. First of all, what kind of wedding is it? Is it black tie or khakis and flip flops?
Also, what kind of relationship do you have? Do you pull pranks on each other or snuggle in each other’s arms during tv time.
Finally, does the song go with the flow of the wedding itself? Give up the hope of dancing the waltz if your daughter’s theme is Grateful Dead Reunion.
With that being said, here are a few classics that most parents and children can use as a jumping board when trying to dive into the vast pool of father-daughter dance songs.
What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong. This classic song is filled with hope, beauty and possibilities. What more could you want for your daughter on this very special day?
Unforgettable – Nat “King” Cole. There are a couple of versions of this classic. Whether you go for the 1951 original with Nat “King” Cole or the one his daughter, Natalie Cole, remade in 1991, you’ll find this song goes perfectly with this emotional day.
My Girl – The Temptations. This 60’s classic works for most casual weddings. The rhythm and lyrics put a smile on everyone’s face, allowing the father and daughter to relax a bit and just enjoy the party.
Sunrise, Sunset – “Fiddler on the Roof” soundtrack. Now, this tender duet has the parents from “Fiddler on the Roof,” Tevye and Golde, asking each other when did their little girl grow up to become the woman she is today.
This is definitely the song for daddy’s little girl. Just be prepared for the tears, especially if this is a Jewish wedding. Jump straight to the festive Hora to help wipe away tears after this one is done playing.
The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra. This song is perfect for a large evening wedding with the big-band horn section pumping out an upbeat rhythm.
The words are perfect without being too emotional and it states the obvious; your daughter is at her most gorgeous on this most spectacular day.
You Brought A New King of Love To Me – Frank Sinatra. This sultry jazz number is another perfect one for a candlelit, evening wedding because it illustrates the magical power a daughter has over her father.
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – Marvin Gaye. Whether you choose the original by Marvin Gaye or the latter by James Taylor, this upbeat song demonstrates how simple and easy a father-daughter relationship can be.
It’s a great casual wedding song as it doesn’t call for embracing each other as much as it does just having fun together.
Whichever song you choose, just remember while your daughter is walking you up the aisle as your knees buckle under, she will get you through this ceremony. That’s also when you’ll realize you’re not giving her up. You’re just letting her go.