Father Daughter Dance Moments

September 1, 2020

It’s so exciting to share some of my favorite father daughter dance moments from weddings in years past!

In this article:

What is the Father Daughter Dance?

At a wedding, the father daughter dance traditionally happens during the reception, usually after the main meal course is served.

Where Did the Tradition Start?

The exact origins of the father daughter dance are hard to find. However, many sources trace it back to post-World War II. During this time, weddings became larger and more elaborate. In addition, there was a definite division of labor amongst middle class families, with women assuming the majority of the responsibility for raising children.

Some argue that the tradition may have organically been a way for men to feel part of the family. In an interview with The Lilly, Stephanie Coontz, a professor of marriage history at Evergreen State University, states:

“The idea was, ‘Well, men aren’t in charge anymore at home, and they’re a little bumbling in the domestic sphere, so we need to give them special rituals and opportunities.’”

Stephanie Coontz, Professor of Marriage History at Evergreen State University

Great Father Daughter Dance Moments

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite moments from weddings past!

Classic Father Daughter Dance

Amanda and Jamie ooze sophistication, and their wedding at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines was the perfect match to their personalities.

best father daughter dance moment hilton la jolla torrey pines wedding

Donning a strapless Anne Barge gown, Amanda and her father stride across the white monogrammed dance floor.

great father daughter dance vista valley country club wedding

Meanwhile at Vista Valley Country Club, Brooke and her father finish off their dance with a choreographed move!

father and daughter spin while dancing during prado balboa park wedding reception

Taylor and her father take their dance to the next level with a series of amazing spins on the dance floor!

Funny Dance Moments

Every father’s relationship with his daughter is unique! While many father daughter dance moments will evoke feelings of a huge transition, others will be downright funny!

funny father daughter laugh during private high desert estate wedding

In the photo above, Brittany and her dad–a total ham–laugh their way to one of the more memorable father daughter dances I’ve shot!

father and daughter four seasons santa barbara bacara wedding

Here, Jen and her father dance to a choreographed routine that had the crowd on its feet and singing along!

father and daughter dance at night under cafe lights during oceanview room wedding reception

Maggie and her dad chose a more uplifting father daughter dance, complete with lots of spins and twirls!

Emotional Dance Moments

As the father of a daughter, this is always the most emotional part of a wedding reception for me. I swear on nearly every father daughter dance I shoot, I’m quietly weeping behind the camera.

father crying while dancing with daughter

For Chelsea’s dad, the dance with his daughter was incredibly emotional.

father and daughter share a laugh at montage resort laguna beach wedding

Many times it’s the father who needs comforting from his daughter! For Dylan and her dad, that was exactly the case!

father and bride hug during dance at dana san diego

There’s always a lot of emotion at the end of a father daughter dance! Here, Rosanne gives her dad a big hug as he lets out a huge cheer!

Well, that about does it! I hope you enjoy this article!

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