I saw a question on a wedding forum today where a Bride-to-be asked what song she should select for her Father & Daughter Dance at her Kansas City wedding reception. Some responses rightfully suggested that she ask her dad if he has a preference. “Maybe he remembers a special song from the day you were born or from another memorable time while you were growing up.” That’s very sound advice.
Additional responses to the question simply included Father & Daughter Dance songs that other Brides had chosen. Most of those titles would be recognizable to just about anyone because they’re played at a large number of Kansas City wedding receptions every week.
One response that really caught my eye, though, came from a Bride who offered the following. very personal Father & Daughter Dance song choice that breaks from tradition:
“My Father & Daughter Dance song has nothing to actually do with a Father & Daughter relationship. Our song is “I’m In A Hurry (And Don’t Know Why)” by Alabama. When I was about 5 (?), we were attending a wedding & my dad got on his knees, burned holes in his dress pants dancing with me to that song. Every time it comes on, it reminds me of that moment & it has become our song.”
This Bride is right. The song itself, “I’m In A Hurry (And Don’t Know Why)” by Alabama, has nothing to do with a father’s love for his daughter. Or does it? Go back and re-read the heart of why she chose this song as her Father & Daughter Dance in the first place.
She chose it because it brings back a very happy memory from her childhood. The act of what her father did speaks volumes as to how much he loved her then and now. With that in mind, and as much as I hate to disagree with a Bride, that song now has everything to do with “a Father & Daughter relationship.”
If introduced properly to the wedding guests, this very special Father & Daughter Dance could very well become the most unforgettable and poignant moment of her wedding reception!
Are you considering a similar idea? If so, good for you! As a Kansas City wedding DJ, I live for these types of unique, wedding reception inclusions, the kind that break from tradition. And, your guests will love seeing something that they have not seen before. Plus, because it is such a personal touch, they’ll never see anything exactly like it, again.
However, for the story of your Father & Daughter Dance song selection to enjoy the impact it deserves as a memorable personal touch, it must first be understood and appreciated by your wedding reception guests. In other words, to insure that your family and friends are fully engaged in that amazing moment, the “why” of your selection must somehow be conveyed while introducing the Father & Daughter Dance.
Here are 3 ways to fully engage your guests in that special moment:
1. Write a short paragraph that explains the “why” of your song selection. What vivid memory of your dad or mom does a particular song bring about? The response from the Bride above is a good example of how to answer the question of “why.” But, writing it as a message or letter to your mom or dad would be even better.
“Daddy, when I was a little girl, just five years old, I remember us going to a wedding reception. I’ll never forget how excited I was when you asked me to dance. And, as it has been my entire life, you didn’t look down at me. Instead you knelt down to my level and we danced so hard that you ruined the knees of your slacks. That dance was to a song by Alabama called “I’m In A Hurry (And I Don’t Know Why). Every time I hear that song, I think of you and that special moment. Although I’m older now and another man has come along, I’ll always be your little girl, the one that shared in the most memorable dance of my life and with the first man in my life. It’s a memory I will never be in a hurry to forget and one that I’m excited to share in, again, with you.” (Cue music!)
OK. So, I took some poetic license, but you get the idea. Imagine how closely the guests will be watching.
Give that paragraph to your wedding DJ to read as you are escorting your parent to the dance floor. But, make sure your wedding DJ also understands the emotional impact of what they are reading so they recite it in a manner that creates the desired effect. Actually, send it to your DJ a couple of days prior to your wedding reception so they will have time to rehearse.
2. Better yet, instead of asking your wedding DJ to read what you’ve written, use this opportunity to expand on the personal touch your guests are about to experience. After your Father or Mother has reached the dance floor, take the microphone and personally share the story of why you chose a specific song. But, if possible, do it without a script and speak straight from your heart.
3. Or, if you really want to share the meaning of your song selection in your own voice but are afraid you might become too emotional performing it “live,” ask your wedding DJ if they can record you in advance of your Kansas City wedding reception. A talented wedding DJ can also create a “loop” at the beginning of the song that can play as a background to your personalized recording after you and your Father or Mother have taken center stage on the dance floor.
Always remember that the personal touches you wish to include in your Kansas City wedding reception need not fall under the category of “traditional.” Don’t be afraid to break free and start a tradition or two of your own, especially if the end result is an unforgettably fun wedding celebration!
So, what additional advice would you offer for breaking from tradition? Feel free to leave a comment or add to the suggestions I’ve given.