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John and I took the longest time deciding on the songs we’d use throughout our wedding. We wanted to strike just the right note at each moment, choosing songs that would help bring back those moments for years to come. We searched high and low for the perfect songs, wanting ones that were unique, and special… and that successfully navigated the fine line between sappy and sweet.

For my father daughter dance, I had initially suggested that it might be fun to dance to Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock,” as I have amazing memories of bopping around the kitchen to that song with my family. Turns out my Dad had a bit of a different feel in mind (a much more sentimental one), and we ended up going with “Lullaby” by Billy Joel, another song from my childhood.

In case y’all are still on the hunt for the perfect song for your father daughter dance, I’m tickled pink to present a new option for you: “Daddy Dance With Me” by Krystal Keith.

In addition to being a tearjerker (Lara was tearing up as we listened to it in the office!), this one has the sweetest story behind it: Krystal, a recent bride herself, wrote and recorded this song as a surprise for her father, Toby Keith, who heard it for the first time while dancing with his daughter at her wedding. Take a listen:

I think this would be an amazing pick for Daddy’s girls who grew up listening to country music, and I love that the story behind it makes it even sweeter! Not that father/daughter dances need much help getting sweeter…

Harwell Photography, Robyn Van Dyke, Tanja Lippert, and Jonathan Canlas (all via Southern Weddings – 1, 2, 3, 4)

You can purchase “Daddy Dance With Me” on iTunes here, and keep an eye out for Krystal’s full-length debut album, Whiskey & Lace, which will release later this year!

If you’ve already chosen your father/daughter dance song, I’d love to hear what it is! Chime in below.

Robyn Van Dyke and Harwell Photography are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

    We danced to Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Little Miss Magic’ :)

  2. avatar Melissa reply

    I love that you all posted about the father/daughter dance, because I need help! My father passed away in 2008. I have plans to dance with my 12 year old nephew, and we want to keep it light and fun so that we aren’t all crying! Do y’all have any song suggestions?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Melissa, that is so sweet! The best songs are definitely the most personal ones, so maybe something upbeat that you listened to as a child? Maybe “How Sweet It Is,” “Isn’t She Lovely,” “Brown-Eyed Girl,” “September,” “Sunshine on My Shoulder,” or “In My Life”? Hope that jump starts your search :)

    • avatar Melissa reply


      Thanks, Emily! I saw my nephew over the weekend. I think we are on the right track! :)

  3. avatar Lauren reply

    I let my father choose the song. He chose “I’ll Write A Song for You” by Earth Wind & Fire. I’d never heard of the song until my dad chose it, but the song is so sweet and was perfect!

  4. avatar Parker reply

    I’m crying!!! I’m crying right here in my office at work!!! So sweet!!!!! I love it!

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Reply to:

Annie: What? What’s that face?
George: It’s nothing.
Annie: Oh, this is going cost you more money.
George: No. It’s just… I know I’ll remember this moment, for the rest of my life.

Aaaaand let the Father of the Bride gushfest ensue!  Best. Movie. Ever.  I may have seen it more times than the years I’ve been on earth.  I’m 31, y’all.  I love this movie.  I know you love it, too.  Don’t try to deny it.  I know you still watch it with the same belly laughs about Franck’s hilarious dialogue as I do!

Franck Eggelhoffer: Uh-oh, I bring the wrong color thread. I assumed you’d be wearing a black “tuxado.”
George: It is a black “tuxado.”
Franck Eggelhoffer: I don’t think so, babe. This tux is “nuffy” blue. No doubt about it.
George: What’re you talking about? Armani doesn’t make a blue tuxedo.
Franck Eggelhoffer: Armani don’t also make “polyaster.”

Haha! Love the 1950’s version with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor, too!

In the South, we all know the typical story of the overbearing dad who pulls out the foreboding shotgun when the boyfriend comes to ask for your hand in marriage.  Dads can be overprotective, but deep down there is some love as wide as Texas behind that shotgun facade!  As Father’s Day draws closer, I get a little sentimental about my dear dad.  He taught me to ride a bike, how to make a three-point turn for my driving test (Well, the second time around he taught me that. I failed my driving test the first time because he forgot that part in my lessons! Ha!), how to bake muffins (Yep, Dad can bake a mean blueberry bran!), how to swim, what the word “conundrum” means as well as many other vocabulary beauties, how to pick Alabama blueberries, how to dream BIG, work hard and go after what’s true to my heart every single day, how to throw a ball better than the neighborhood boys, and – among a million other things – how important true love really is.  OK, blame the prego hormones, but I’m already getting teary writing this post!  Love this below from Amelia Lyon.  What a moment!

One of my favorite moments in a wedding is the Father-Daughter dance.  It’s dad’s (or step-dad’s, or big brother’s, or whoever is giving you away!) chance to shine and have a moment all to himself with you.  A moment of honor and love.  Like you two are the only hearts in the room.  I fell head over heels for this image below from Palos Studio.  Wow.

So, how are you honoring the special father figures in your life on the big day, or what did you do? A first dance?  A special gift?  Is he walking you down the aisle?  Do you have a special family tradition that you are incorporating for dad into the wedding?  A favorite song?  A reading he is doing?  Is he wearing a special tie or flower? One of my favorite photographs below from Katharine’s wedding shot by Bryan Johnson:

GIVEAWAY: In honor of Father’s Day, were giving away a copy of none other than Father of the Bride…  on DVD, not the VHS version I watched back in the day a million times!  Just weigh in here and tell us what you are doing to honor that special dad, step-dad, uncle, big bro or honorary gentleman that you love so dearly. Happy Father’s Day week, y’all!

P.S. Congrats to last post’s winners Brittany M, Ashley B and Cheryl EEmail us your mailing address and we’ll get your prizes right to you!

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
  1. avatar Kristi reply

    My dad is my best friend, plain and simple. We haven’t decided whether or not we’re going to do a father/daughter dance (both of us are rhythmically challenged), but I will be incorporating one of his favorite songs, “Tennessee Waltz,” into the ceremony. He loves this song so much that I learned to play it on the piano when I was younger so I could play it for him for Fathers’ Day.

  2. avatar jules reply

    unfortunately, my daddy is 8 hours away! but he is coming to mobile for the 4th of july weekend for the first time since i moved here a year ago! i haven’t seen him since thanksgiving and i am too excited! i plan on taking him for a drive to see the beautiful old homes lined with oak trees and moss. i will take him to my favorite brunch spot for a sweet, belated father’s day brunch. then, on to the river for a boat ride and dinner at the rivershack with my mom and boyfriend. i miss him so much! but, i am excited to show him the town he will be spending a lot of money in, since this is where my boyfriend and i plan to get married!

    • avatar Lara reply

      Jules, he is going to LOVE that visit… and truly never forget it! Love it!!!

  3. avatar Stephanie reply

    I LOVE this movie. My father and I had a date to watch it when I was in elementary school. It’s one of my favorite memories ever.

    My father will be walking me down the aisle and we’ll be dancing at the reception! I cannot wait for the day.

  4. avatar Kristen reply

    For Father’s Day, we’ve usually just spent the day together as a family (the same for Mother’s Day). Rather than buying something they don’t need, this is a funner alternative. We’ll probably end up BBQ-ing and relaxing by the pool (if the weather is nice!).

  5. avatar Erin reply

    My dad, like my my grandfaters (on both sides), served in the military, and my fiance does, too. To honor them all we are donating to the USO rather than giving favors at our wedding. Since we’re not having music at our teeny, tiny backyard wedding, there won’t be a dad-daughter dance, but we have ensured that my dad will be the only toast-giver at the wedding. He’s a great public speaker, and I can’t wait to hear what stories he shares with our closest family and friends.

  6. avatar KatieB reply

    After much deliberation about the location for our wedding reception – I decided to have it in my parent’s backyard at my childhood home. My dad worked so hard to get ready for the big day. He painted the house, re-did the driveway, and even built a stage for the band among many many other things. It was truely a labor of love – and it turned our more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I felt so loved and so poud to be his daughter as he walked me down the aisle, and at the reception we danced to his favorite song – “Fields of Gold” by Sting. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him!

    • avatar Lara reply

      Oh wow, that is true love. What a wonderful devoted dad! Love that song too, Katie!

  7. avatar Courtnee Christian reply

    Not many men would marry a woman with a one-year old daughter. And not many would raise a child that wasn’t his totally as his own, pay for her schooling, and then for her wedding. My Dad didn’t have to be my Dad, but chose to be, and called my mom and I his “package deal.” Never once has he used the word “step” in our relationship and to honor all that he has done, I’m choosing him to walk me down the aisle! That’s the one way I can show him how much he’s done for me and how much I love him!

    • avatar Lara reply

      OK these amazing comments are choking me up again! I love your DAD!!!! I can’t wait to see pics of you two on your wedding day!

  8. avatar Elle reply

    I’m such a daddy’s girl. My dad thinks this movie(and the sequel) are hysterical! I was married in April. One thing we did is in addition to having a “first look” with my husband, I also did a first look with my dad. He only saw the dress once before–the day I found it, I took a pic with my phone and sent it to him so it didn’t really fit and there was bad lighting–and avoided looking at it or me in it(I may have pranced around the house once or twice) before that day. I actually think I was more nervous to see him than my husband for their reaction! He also picked the song we danced to–Johnny Cash’s cover of “Forever Young”.

  9. avatar Laura reply

    I call myself the son my father never had. We girls were raised by a true DIY-er. My dad taught us to do for ourselves and fix practically anything and, if I can’t do it, my first thought is usually to call my daddy. And yet, that same fix-all man turns to mush when he watches Sleepless in Seattle or the Father of the Bride. This year, Father’s Day falls on the same day as my parents’ 29th anniversary, so we get to celebrate both of my parents and the many years they’ve spent, teaching and loving us. And it makes me proud to say that I’ve married a man just like my father.

  10. avatar Kailey-Michelle reply

    My mom left my biological father when I was weeks old. She was a business professional in a job that had little respect or flexibility for mothers. Her best friend stepped up to the plate to take care of me. He rocked me at 6pm everynight when my collic set in, he bought food for not only me, but for her. He taught me how to say his name( “kong” was the closest I got to “Tom” for many years) and he proved that being a dad was far more than the phyical act. He took me to my first ballet class at 3 and never stopped until I was 18. Every class, rehearsal and competition, he was there. At five, over icecream he asked my permission to marry my mom. My response: “of course, silly!” He has never been my moms best friend or my step father. As i told many at 5 on their wedding day, “kong” is my “real dad” not my”biological” dad. And on my wedding day, he will walk me down the aisle to “I hope you dance”.

  11. avatar Gili reply

    I just got married two 1/2 weeks ago over Memorial Day weekend. My stepdad married my mom 3 years ago and my real father, while he has been around all my life, has been very distant in the past several years and lives in Poland. We all knew he wasn’t going to be there for the wedding, nor participate by helping financially or anything. Meanwhile, my stepdad did everything from picking out fabric swatches, getting the entire backyard of my parents’ house (where we had the wedding) landscaped, was part of almost the entire decision-making process, bartered with bands, caterers and bartenders…anything you can think of!

    In Jewish tradition, both parents walk the bride down the aisle, so I had both my stepdad and mom walk me, however, I was going to have my grandfather, my mom’s dad, dance with me. As a way of showing my gratitude for my stepdad, after I danced with my grandfather, I surprised my stepdad by asking him to dance with me to Lulu’s “To Sir, With Love”. While we were dancing, he told me that he had called my father in Poland to ask him if he could pass along a message to me, because he wanted my dad to feel included in the wedding, too. What a guy! I am truly blessed, y’all!

  12. avatar Desiree reply

    Well, this past week, ive spent time in the Abacos, Bahamas…and my dad has watched my chocolate lab for me. Needless to say, I think I win this trade off. So to pay my pops back he’s getting a nice box of cubans….just don’t tell customs.

  13. avatar Brittany reply

    My dad has been wrapped around my finger for as long as I can recall. I think he dreams about my wedding day (whenever that may be) more than I do. At night, he will sit at his computer and YouTube songs he wants to play at my wedding as well as potential father/ daughter dance songs. On my wedding day, I plan on sitting with my dad and actually watching Father of the Bride (90’s version). I got the idea after looking at a Real Wedding featured on your website. I absolutely fell in love with the idea considering it is my favorite movie. For Father’s Day, my dad is receiving a hand painted coffee mug made by myself featuring both of our favorite colors.

  14. avatar Abby reply

    I’m lucky enough to have my Dad marry us, as he’s been a pastor for 40 years. To have him give the message and do our vows is so special to us. And he can tell the real truth about us when he gives the toast at the reception!

    • avatar Lara reply

      Oh that gives me chills! I’m so excited for your wedding! What a gift!

  15. avatar Ashleyhh reply

    My “Daddy Bill” passed away when I was five years old from cancer. I have a few memories of him that I cherish above all. I have always planned to have a seat with a rose/flower on it to represent where he would have sat at my wedding. Just a way I can honor him.

    My Dad married my mom when I was about 6, but I had known him my whole life. He took me and my little sister in as his own and I have never know him to be my “Step” dad. My mom looks at me with wonder sometimes, asking herself how I am not truly his… I guess he has rubbed off on me through the years… nature vs nurture anyone?? =) I don’t know exactly what will happen on my wedding day outside of the traditional father/daughter dance, I might take the idea from @Elle and do a first look with him before I see my future husband. LOVE that idea… and I know my dad would love it too!!

  16. avatar Brittany R reply

    Oh man, Lara. This post made me laugh out LOUD! I just love Franck and every interaction he has with George. Thanks for the great reminder of this classic movie!

  17. avatar Meredith reply

    I will be getting married in March 2012. My dad will not only be walking me down the aisle, but will be marrying us as well! I’ve grown up watching him perform marriage ceremonies and always dreamt of the day that it would be for me and my future husband. I talk to my dad on the phone almost every day, and I love how excited he is about the wedding. I know with him doing the ceremony it is going to be so personal and beautiful. I can’t wait!!

  18. avatar Making All Sorts of Things Happen! « Lara Casey reply

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  19. avatar Amanda reply

    My husband and I were recently married on February 26th of this year. My father played a huge role in our wedding. Not only was he our financial guru, hehe (Thank God for him!) My daddy also gave the most touching 8 page speech at our wedding! And ladies this man is more the silent type! My dad is a cancer survivor who was once told he had 3 months to live. This seems irrelevant to this post, however when my husband and I were 18 (8 years ago) I asked him if he would marry me back then just so my dad could have his chance to walk me down the aisle. That is how important it was to the both of us. Luckily my father made it through his battle with cancer and he was able to walk me down the aisle 4 months ago. He incorporated this thoughtful time in his speech. :-)

    Anywho for Fathers Day my wonderful dad wants to go on a 52 mile bike ride for his 52nd Birthday which was on June 8th. We will be in the Keys for the weekend riding from Marathon Key all the way to Key Largo! Normally I am the complainer on these excruciating bike rides but I would do anything for my dad just like he has done for our family! I will be right there next to him, biting my tongue the entire 52 miles!

    My Dad & I on my wedding day…

    • avatar Lara reply

      That is one happy daddy in that pic! And hello – Go dad GO! 52 miles!? Amazing! We’ll be rooting for him!!!

  20. avatar Brooke reply

    The past two months have been a huge challenge for my family. Having said that, after 26 years of marriage, my dad is a newly single man. He is in Florida, while I reside in Alabama. I have always been a “daddy’s girl” and growing up he and I ALWAYS watched FOB I and II together. He always tells me he is going to make me have the “chipper chicken” at my reception. He is my best friend and my rock. Although he is miles away, we talk on the phone every day. He is coming to stay with me for Father’s Day and I can’t wait to spend the weekend honoring a man who has set the standard for my future husband.

    • avatar Lara reply

      I will be thinking about you this weekend, Brooke! I know he will relish his time with you!

  21. avatar Lauren Hunt reply

    For father’s day, I ordered my dad and future father-in-law live lobsters from Maine, sent overnight to their doorsteps! They are going to be THRILLED, especially since we can’t be there to celebrate with them.

  22. avatar Amber Reeves reply

    LOOOOOVVVVVEEE Father of the Bride! My Dad and I are very close. He is always looking out for me and we get lunch at least three times a week! My mother is out of the country, so my Dad has been helping me plan the wedding. He helped me pick the dress, the wedding band, even the flowers! Without him I would be lost, and NOT just because of the wedding. Today we have another one of our “lunches” scheduled. I cannot wait!

  23. avatar Natalie reply

    Had an amazing dinner with my daddy!

  24. avatar Amanda reply

    I will be getting married next June 9th and there will be a huge void without my daddy there. My daddy passed away when I was 16 years old from complications from lung cancer, due to his exposure to Agent Orange while he served in the army in Vietnam. Without ranting and raving endlessly about what a wonderful father and person he was, I will just say that he was my absolute hero. Ever since my fiance and I got engaged at the end of February, I have struggled with the thought of my daddy not being there on my wedding day. It will be very important to me to incorporate his personality and tributes to him into the wedding day. We will be getting married in the church I grew up in, while the reception will be on the farm I was raised on. Jonathan and I both want to be married in a church, but it was very important to me that the reception be held on the farm because it will ensure that my daddy will be there in spirit. My Godfather – also my dad’s best friend since the Vietnam war – will walk me down the aisle. My Godfather is a big softy, so I am sure we will both cry all the way to the altar. I am trying to find a first dance song that is not too sappy or sad because I want to try and have a dry eye at some point in the wedding day! The song I chose to play at my daddy’s funeral was “Wind Beneath My Wings,” but I can’t even say the name without crying, so I don’t think that is good idea… I have also thought about dancing to the “Tennessee Waltz” because I went to every Tennessee football game with my daddy since I was old enough to walk and that’s also where he taught me to whistle with my fingers loud enough to be heard on the opposite end of Neyland Stadium after a Tennessee touchdown! Whatever song my Godfather and I choose, during that dance I plan on having a picture of my daddy and me projected on a wall at the reception. It is a picture of the two of us dancing at my cousin’s debutante ball when I was 8 years old and it is so doggone cute.

  25. avatar Nicole W. reply

    My father daughter dance is a little unconventional and also a surprise for my father. We’ll start out dancing to Loudin Wainwright’s “Daughter” with a transition to “Jump” by the Pointer Sisters. You see, one of the earliest memories I have with my dad is him holding me up on his shoulder dancing and bouncing around to his Pointer Sisters record before he’d put me to sleep. (That may be why I never slept.) He’d have the stereo on full blast, and I remember my mom getting angry and insisting he stop because the music was too loud and she was sure I’d throw up. I just remember giggling up a storm at the whole ordeal. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know I remember it so vividly, but when I think of my dad, I think of that song.

  26. avatar Melissa M reply

    My dad is going to walk me down the aisle, and my step father is getting ordained and he will perform the ceremony. This way the man who helped create me and the man who raised me will both be a part of our special day :)

  27. avatar Your Love Story in the Wedding Details + GIVEAWAY « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] sure to become a family heirloom that you can pass to your kids one day, too! P.S. Congrats to the last post’s Father of the Bride gushfest winner Courtney Christian.  All of your comments made my heart melt…  OK OK!…  there […]

  28. avatar Erin McLean reply

    Love this!!!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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