Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Father-Daughter Dance if Father is deceased

After reading the post from the bride with a deceased mother, I plan to include a locket with my father's photo in my bridal bouquet, but does anyone have ideas as to what I could do during the father-daughter dance? My mom suggested a slideshow with photos of me and my dad throughout the years with his favorite song playing in the background. I just want to make sure that I keep the mood of the reception upbeat without turning myself into a crying fit. Any suggestions?

Re: Father-Daughter Dance if Father is deceased

  • Honestly, unless there was someone else you wanted to dance with:  a brother, uncle, grandpa, Godfather, mom.....I'd skip the dance.  The slide show idea doesn't appeal to me at all.  sorry.

    FWIW:  My DIL's dad passed away when she was young.  My son and I did the mother/son dance, and that was fine.  Everyone knew the circumstances, and no once missed the F/D dance as far as I know.

    You don't have to replace the dance, or fill it with something else if you don't want to.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • I know that a slideshow playing to my father's favorite song would really upset me.  I'm not sure whether it would bring down the mood of the reception or not.

    Are you honoring your father during the ceremony?  That might be a better time to remember him than at the reception.  A lot of couples don't even have father-daugher/mother-son dances at their weddings. 
  • I think the slideshow idea is sweet but would be really sad.

    My friend's dad passed away so at her wedding they did a combined dance.  Her H danced with his Mom while she danced with his Dad.  It worked out well for them.

    If you have another father figure in your life, like a brother or Uncle, you could dance with him.  Or you could just skip it.  It's not like they're required.
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  • Thanks for the feedback. I could dance with my brother - he is walking me down the aisle. But I want to somehow recognize my father as well. It doesn't have to be during the father-daughter dance segment, but I want to honor him somehow. Perhaps I'll light a candle in his honor. Not sure, just looking for ideas as to how I can incorporate his memory in an appropriate way.
  • My college roommate was married about 2 weeks ago. She lost her father when she was young. Her 2 brothers escorted down the aisle. At the reception, she danced with one brother for 1/2 a song while her other brother danced with her older sister and then they swtiched. So all the siblings danced together.

    It was a Catholic ceremony. They lit a candle and said a prayer for her father.
  • My father died when I was 15.  I am an only child so I'm walking down the aisle alone.  My mom wanted my step-dad to do it but I declined.  I am not doing the father/daughter dance.  I'm going to do an in memory of in the program and figure out something that I can carry with me.  The slideshow is a sweet idea but I know in my case I would completly lose it and have to hide in the bathroom.  I'm having enough I miss my daddy moments with all this planning as it is.  I love your locket idea. 

    Did you watch last night's "my fair wedding".  The FOG was deceased.  The Bride collected dimes because to her if she found a dime in an unexpected place it was a message from her dad.  David had the FGs throw dimes instead of petals at the wedding.  Is there something that to you is a sign that your dad is sending you a msg?  Maybe there is a way you could use that. 
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  • If you aren't sure about dancing with your brother, were you planning on just playing a song and having the slideshow while everyone watches and no one dances? Honestly, that would be terribly depressing and will kill the mood at your reception probably.
  • I wouldn't do it. 
    I'd skip the dance.  I would totally lose it if I had a substitute.
  • alexandra87alexandra87 member
    First Comment
    edited July 2010
    My aunt just got married on the 9th and my grandfather passed in november.  They opted to do a married couples dance and throughout the song the dj said if you've been married for one year leave the dance floor please, and then 3 years i believe then 5, 10 yrs, etc.  Hope this helps, it went well and she didn't get all emotional!
  • I think it would be nice to have something that represents your father at the ceremony or at the reception.  In a catholic ceremony I have seen people light a candle and say a prayer for a deceased family member.  You could also have a special plant or something on stage that represents your father. (A hat he always wore, a shirt, an empty seat at a table with a single flower)  Just as long as you remember its your day to be happy and your dad will be with you in your heart.  As long as you know that... you are honoring him.  He would not want you to be sad on this day.  If you do a slide show I would make the focus you and your hubbie-to-be at the end you could put in loving memory of....your father but keep the focus on your happy day :)

    Hope this helps...wishing you all the best!
  • Thanks everyone, these are great suggestions. I really love the idea about the dimes and the flower girl. There are definitely little tangible things that remind me of my dad, so I'll shoot for something like that. Thanks again!
  • JenO24JenO24 member
    500 Comments 5 Love Its
    I lost my dad when I was 16 and am an only child.  I thought about walking down the aisle alone, but my Mom couldn't bear the thought of having to watch me walk it alone.  So she is going to walk me down.
    I'm having a chair set up for my Dad w/ a sash on it so it stands out w/ a picture of him on it.  Once I get down to the end of the aisle I'm going to place a flower from my bouquet onto his chair.  The officiant is going to have a moment of silence for those family members who have passed and are with us in spirit to celebrate our wedding day (FIs grandmother just passed away last week so this ties into her too).  Our invitations even included "and the laste bridesfathersname."  We're not having a father/daughter dance nor a groom/mother dance (FIs mom walked out when he was 7 and they dont talk). 
    You should definitely honor/remember your father in your own way for your wedding day, but I agree w/ PP that a slide show in theory is nice, but no one will have a dry eye in the place.  Your Dad would want you to celebrate on your wedding day instead of crying over his death or anyone else attending your wedding for that matter.  Find ways even if they're suble that only close family knows about to honor him...he knows that even if you have fun it doesnt mean you've forgotten about him that day.
  • My father passed away about two years ago. Since my FI has been married before his mother and stepmother (both he isn't that close with) got to have their dances at his first wedding. We are doing no mother/son or father/daughter dances. My FI is so happy about this :)  I am going to play the song we would have dance to and ask that everyone dance but ours was rather untraditional and its a fast song so it wont be too emotional or out of place.

    I am going to have some of his favorite oldies songs played and have a candle in his memory burning throught out the entire night.
  • Why don't you dance with your brother to you father's favorite song?
  • @AngelaAlexis - I have to agree no on the slideshow.  My Uncle played my other Uncle (who passed away) singing when their sister passed away.  He got up on stage at the reception and it not only killed the mood, but tore all of us apart to hear it.  We all left the reception. 

    My Father passed away unexpectedly 2 1/2 years ago.  The hurt never goes away and I don't want to focus on how sad I am that he's not with me, when I am celebrating and starting a new life with my FI.  It will be the first time everyone has seen eachother since the funeral, so it's still fresh.   We want this to be about US not about mourning my Father; he wouldn't want that I know! Here's what we're doing:

    - Godfather (Dad's Bro) is dancing with me
    - Mother (so honored) is walking me down the aisle to "give me away"
    - My Dad wore salmon and sage colored socks with his tux to both of my older sister's weddings, so FI, Groomsmen, FIL, and my Godfather are all wearing funky colored socks in honor of my Father
    - On the invitation we wrote "Mrs. Anthony XXXX" incorporating my father's name on the invitation.
    - Pictures of our Parents and Grandparents on their wedding day will be on the placecard table
    - Prayers of the Faithful at mass (we're catholic) will include a mention to my Father and our Grandparents who have passed
    - In the program for the ceremony we're including a blurb, acknowledging the absence of my Father and noting the importance of this being about FI and I. 
    - A penny, similar to the dime story, will be on my bouquet

    There are so many upbeat ways you can honor your Father.  I am sure there are special ways to recognize your Dad too!  Enjoy and celebrate your day.
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