Monday, February 1, 2010

Dancing With Dad

During the wedding reception, we’ll be asking our guests to give us their attention during our first dance, a slideshow, the anniversary dance, the bouquet toss, the garter toss, the cake cutting, and the toasts.

One thing they won’t be watching attentively? The father-daughter or mother-son dances. While I know these traditions are important parts of the reception for many couples, they just don’t feel especially poignant or necessary to us.

Why? Well, first, we want our guests to spend the majority of the reception dancing and having fun, rather than simply watching us dance and have fun. For this reason, we’ll also be doing our first dance immediately after entering the ballroom, before the meal begins, so that if guests wish to dance immediately after they’ve finished eating, they’ll feel welcome to.

And besides, the image of my motorcycle-riding, pickup-truck-driving dad waltzing around a dance floor really doesn’t make much sense. When my father wishes to dance with me, and Stephen’s mother with him, I see no reason why all of our guests shouldn’t also be out on the floor enjoying the party, rather than sitting in their chairs watching the four of us sway to and fro.

Will you be doing a father-daughter and/or mother-son dance at your wedding? Which songs will you choose?


  1. I love that image of your dad! Nope, no father-daughter or mother-son for us. In my case, it's not possible, and for the fiance, it's not something that's really done in his culture. This was one decision that was easy to make.

    We will also be doing our first dance right when the reception begins. Then we will cut the cake later. Aside from that, we won't ask our guests to pay any more attention to us, since they will have already had to sit through two ceremonies by that time!

  2. We didn't have a first dance with the parents. His parents both passed away and it didn't feel right to only represent 1 side of the family (though he could have danced with his aunt).

    I say do whatever makes you and your family comfortable.

    I always loved "Brown eyed girl"!

  3. The father/daughter dance is one of the most important things to me at our wedding (besides marrying my husband-to-be.) The song we're dancing to is "What a wonderful world" by Louis Armstrong, a song my dad has always loved that reminds me of him. On the flip side, my fiance is not going to do a mother/son dance - their relationship just does not call for it. I think you should do what feels right! :)

  4. This is one of those things that is truly such a matter of personal desire. I know some ladies who absolutely think is one of the most important parts of their day...and then there are other brides (like me) who just don't feel/see the need...for whatever reason. For me (and my sister who married 3 years ago), we haven't had a super close relationship with our father over the past 15 even though it was super important for us to have Dad walk us down the aisle, the father/daughter dance is not anything we feel a huge attachment to. We won't be doing it either. And since I am not doing it, Mr Fix It didn't feel the need they're both out :)

  5. We are in for the father/daughter dance as this is important to me. I think Mr. Milk is also going for the mother/son dance but it is less important to him.

  6. Great post! My hubby and I did away with this tradition for our wedding since my dad and his mom had passed away...

    It worked out fine just having our first dance..., then everyone could joing in. Then the food!!!

  7. That's funny you wrote this, because I just filled stuff out for the DJ about all the dances and whatnot.

    *First dance: The Blower's Daughter by Damien Rice
    *Father/daughter: Slow Dance by John Legend
    *Mother/son: I Say A Little Prayer for You: Aretha Franklin
    A*nniversary: Let's Stay Together by Al Green
    *Last Dance: Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton

    My dad passed away right after I met The Mister, so I'll be dancing with my brother. We're not dancing the full length of any of these songs, just enough to acknowledge the important folks.

  8. I like that you're doing your dance at the start. Hope it encourages everyone to get up and boogie. I did the father daughter dance to Frank Sinatra - the way you look tonight. I loved it.