Dancing with your father on your wedding day is a special and intimate moment. However, not knowing the right duration for this dance can make the dance unnecessarily clunky and awkward. That said, among other questions about the dance, you may be asking: “How long should the father-daughter dance be?”
The answer is simple: It should be long enough to be short and sweet. However, that’s not all that goes into a father-daughter dance. There’s certainly a lot more to consider for the dance. Moreover, it’s important to understand why this dance should not last too long for you to have an exact idea of its pacing.
Like other wedding practices, the father-daughter dance follows certain customs and traditions. As it also usually follows the newlywed dance, it’s a wonderful demonstration of your father’s approval of your marriage to all your family, friends, and guests. Hence, it’s important to fully comprehend the meaning of this dance and why it shouldn’t last too long.
How Long Should the Father-Daughter Dance Be?
Usually, the father-daughter dance should last for about two to three minutes. In essence, it must be short and sweet. This is because it shouldn’t outshine the newlywed dance (after all, the day is all about you and your partner’s union). Furthermore, this allows ample time for the rest of the dances.
With that in mind, consider informing your father about the length of the dance first. Be sure to make the duration of the dance clear to him. Additionally, it may be a good idea to provide him with cues that he’ll need to know when the time for the dance is up.
When Should You Do the Father-Daughter Dance?
As with most ceremonies for the wedding day, all wedding dances follow a definite order according to custom and tradition. That said, the father-daughter dance usually comes after the newlywed dance with your spouse. Then, the mother-son dance follows suit.
The newlywed dance should come first, as it’s the defining dance of your wedding day. The father-daughter dance traditionally comes right after, owing to the history of marriages as a means for the father to “give” their bride to the groom.
However, you don’t have to strictly follow tradition. After all, at the end of the day, it’s your and your partner’s wedding, and tradition doesn’t have to define how it goes. It’s acceptable to switch up the order to suit your needs and concerns.
What Kind of Song Should You Play for the Dance?
It’s always important to have the right song for the right occasion. The song for your father-daughter dance will largely depend on the relationship you have with your father. It can also depend on your and your father’s expectations for this dance. It’s thus incredibly important that you and he are on the same page for this dance.
For instance, you may choose a very emotional and sentimental song that evokes heartfelt memories of your time with your father up until your wedding. On the other hand, you and your father may like a more lighthearted and upbeat song that drives him to do a funny jig.
Moreover, no matter the mood of the song, it should be appropriate to the length of the dance itself. Be sure to speak to your wedding DJ about the right song for your dance. Funnily enough, you may expect your DJ to ask you the same question: “How long should the father-daughter dance be?”
What Kind of Dance Should You Do?
As with choosing the right song, the kind of dance you’d want to do with your father will depend on your relationship with him and your expectations for the dance. Like with most aspects of the dance, discuss this concern well with your father.
In addition, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to do the father-daughter dance completely impromptu. He needs to know exactly the kind of dance that you and he will do. This is to avoid any unnecessary awkwardness or physical hiccups.
That said, don’t be afraid to take lessons to do your desired dance correctly, especially if you and your father have decided to make this dance more complex than usual. It also doesn’t hurt to choreograph this dance in preparation for your wedding day.
History of the Father-Daughter Dance
The tradition of the father-daughter dance has roots in the old nature of weddings as unions for political or economic ties. Such a dance was meant to signify the father’s “sending-off” of the bride to the groom. Indeed, it used to come before the bride-groom dance, signifying the importance of the father in the marriage.
In the present time, the meaning of this dance has come to be more sentimental and personal. Over time, the hard economic and political logic of old marriages was broken down. Now, this dance traditionally comes right after the newlywed dance and follows a meaning more intimately tied to the relationship between father and daughter.
Importance of the Father-Daughter Dance
Like the mother-son dance, the father-daughter dance is a way to honor your parents and demonstrate the unity of the family in accepting your marriage. It’s a way for everyone to truly come together and prove that the parents have no issues with the union.
Moreover, such a dance is a memorable milestone for your relationship with your father. It’s a wonderful way of honoring and thanking him for raising you, as you allot a special dance for him on your big day. Hence, it’s best to thoroughly prepare for this dance for it to go smoothly and without any issues.
As you prepare for your wedding day, you may be stressing over lots of questions not too different from how long should the father-daughter dance be? After all, the father-daughter dance is a defining moment for your wedding day and your relationship with your father. There’s the kind of dance to consider, as well as the right song and the right order.
However, when all’s said and done, it’s your and your partner’s wedding. Traditional rules don’t have to be followed in the letter. While the father-daughter dance has had an interesting history, times have changed, and most marriage partners would opt to arrange the dance according to their tastes and family circumstances.
Truly, there are a lot of things to consider for this dance. However, plenty of your worries and concerns about this dance can be solved by discussing the details with your father beforehand. By doing this, you and your father can be much more prepared to share this special moment for your most special day.