A beautiful wedding tradition to honour your parents

One of the nicest pieces of wedding etiquette is the father/daughter dance, that special moment that a bride shares with her father. Likewise, the groom shares the mother/son dance with his mother. It’s a beautiful and emotional moment, where you’ll have the chance to honour your parents, and to say ‘thank you’ for bringing you up, being there for you, setting you on life’s path, and guiding you.

The father and daughter dance

Following the bride and groom’s first dance as a married couple, the traditional next step is normally the dance with the parents. This magical and very special wedding tradition is an emotional moment between father and daughter. Perhaps your dad is a big fan of thirties or fifties music, a few moments of jitterbug or jive is a nice touch. If you’d like a professional lesson to add a unique touch, we’ll be delighted to help finding the best one. Keep it short though, as the music should then fade into the song that your parents have chosen, and you are joined on the dance floor by the groom and his mother.

The mother/son dance

The groom will dance with his mother at the same time as his new wife is dancing with her father. It’s a delightful way to thank the lady who brought him into the world, and to show your guests how much she means. If the groom isn’t a skilled dancer, he may like to enjoy a dance lesson with his mother beforehand. A lovely way to spend a little time together just before the wedding, it’s also the perfect way to ensure that the mother/son dance is the beautiful piece that the groom desires in honour of his mother.

How do I include this dance in my wedding celebration?

The father-daughter and mother-son dance traditionally comes right after that all-important first dance according to wedding etiquette. Really it’s up to you. Towards the end, the parents will exchange partners, as the groom’s father cuts in to dance with the bride, and the bride’s mother dances with the groom. This signifies your newly joined families, and is a gesture of welcome from your in-laws. It can be followed by the groomsmen inviting the bridesmaids to dance, before you invite the rest of your guests to join everyone on the dance floor.

Are there any special points I might want to think about?

Yes, indeed there are. For some brides and grooms, sadly their mother or father may be unable to attend. In this case you can ask your mother to dance with you if you’re the bride, or choose a grandfather, uncle, brother or friend. Most grooms won’t feel comfortable dancing with their father, so another close female relative or friend is appropriate. Many couples have extended families these days, so it is also thoughtful to invite stepparents to dance with you towards the end of the dance.

Choosing music

Perhaps let your parents choose the music for the father/daughter, mother/son dance. It’s a sweet way for them to feel involved, and it will also be a lovely surprise for you on your luxury-wedding day. Your parents’ input will be so helpful here, unlike the first dance music where that important choice is left to you as a couple.