Author’s Note: before I begin, I’d like to point out that this is the second in The Spotlight Dance Songs Series that will focus on the music that can be chosen for special events at a wedding celebration.

I know that most brides dance with their fathers during their wedding receptions but I’d REALLY like to dance with my Mom.  Is that allowed?

I’ll be honest, this isn’t a question that I’ve been asked very often; that said, when it has been asked, there’s only one response that I believe is appropriate: This is YOUR wedding; YOU get to make the rules.  If you want to honor your Mom by dancing with her, let’s put our heads together so that we can give that moment the attention and the care that it deserves.

Generally, the tradition is that the bride dances with her father at her wedding.  We all know that traditions are shifting, as are family dynamics.  Relationships can be strained or even nonexistent.  The bride’s father may no longer be with us.  Many brides-to-be have far stronger relationships with their mothers than they do with their fathers.  In some instances, there was never a father figure present; instead, there were two mothers.  Regardless of circumstances, every wedding is unique.

As a wedding entertainer, I’ve occasionally received feedback that the mothers of the brides and fathers of the grooms are essentially left out in the cold when it comes to sharing specific moments with their children during weddings.  Again, as alluded to in past blogs, I’m a Momma’s Boy, so any time I can be a part of acknowledging EITHER Mom is one that I am proud to facilitate.

Okay, Steve.  So you say that I can dance with Mom.  Got any songs up your sleeve that would work well for that?

Considering that you’re reading this, I can definitely point you in a direction that will lead you where you’d like to go.  As with the songs for the Mother & Son Dance, I will give you some food for thought.

  • If you already have a specific song in mind that will basically tell Mom how you feel about her, that’s usually the best way to go.  My only suggestion in this case is to be mindful of the lyrics.  Often, people will choose a song based off its title but won’t really listen to the song’s message.  Be careful that it doesn’t express a sentiment that you don’t intend.
  • If there is a song that Mom sang to you as a kid that you’d like to honor her with, it’s probably a GREAT choice to use on your wedding night.  I can guarantee that it’ll have the impact that you’re hoping for; not just for Mom, but for you, too.
  • Is there a song that you’ve heard that basically says everything that you’d LOVE to say in the moment, but you feel you’ll be too emotional to say the words yourself?  Then this may be the route to go.  Make sure to explain the song’s significance to your MC or DJ; they may be able to accentuate the sentiment in the way that they handle introducing and dedicating the song to Mom immediately before you dance with her.

Once you’ve chosen the song, it will save you a lot of stress to adhere to the K.I.S.S. rule: Keep It Simple…  I can’t think of anything witty for the other “S”, so you’ll just have to adjust.  Getting back on point; it won’t do you or your entertainer any good to keep changing your mind about the song once you’ve submitted it.  You have plenty of other pieces of your reception puzzle that will deserve your attention; once this decision is made, allow your focus to shift with confidence.

Without further ado, here is the current Top 5 Mother & Daughter Dance songs (subject to change as new songs are released and ranked based on my personal preference rather than on popularity).

5) Mother Like Mine by The Band Perry
It’s no secret that most people tend to place their mothers in pretty high esteem.  After all, it’s Mom’s example that allows for us to learn how to love unconditionally in the first place.  The power of a mother’s love and how it’s shaped who the speaker is can’t be ignored in this song.  I can almost guarantee that it’s going to mean a LOT to your mom if you choose this one to honor her at your wedding.

4) In My Daughter’s Eyes by Martina McBride
This one is one of those where a Mom talks about what it means to be THE mom for her daughter.  It’s the sort of song that will resonate with a lot of moms in the crowd.  It’s not uncommon for this song to be chosen by moms instead of daughters for this moment; if you’re including Mom in the decision for the song choice, don’t hesitate to let her give this one a listen.

3) Mama’s Song by Carrie Underwood
This one is specifically a dedication from a bride-to-be to her mother as she prepares for her wedding day.  To say that the lyrics are appropriate for the occasion is a HUGE understatement.  Reassuring Mom about what the future looks like with her husband-to-be then looking ahead to when she may get to repeat the cycle with her own daughter(s) is a BIG thing.  After all, one of the hallmarks of the role of Parent is being hopeful for your child(ren)’s future.  This song more than covers that.

2) Mama by The Spice Girls
Mama I love you…  Mama, I care.  I ain’t gonna lie; this song messed me up as I was listening to the lyrics for this blog post.  It could be used for a Mother & Son dance, as it speaks more about how Mama took care of the “speaker” leading to where they are in life right now.  It could easily inspire flashbacks if you listen to the lyrics and I’d guess that you wouldn’t be the only one experiencing sweaty eyes as that moment with your mom plays out.

1) Mom by Meghan Trainor featuring Kelli Trainor
This one has a throwback sound to it that reminds me of the Rock N’ Roll era.  Because it’s upbeat, any tears that may initially flow in the crowd will probably QUICKLY turn into big old grins.  The message can’t be ignored and the cameo by Ms. Trainor’s real-life mom gives it a little more impact.

For a more comprehensive list of songs that can be used for a Mother & Daughter Dance, check out THIS LIST from My Wedding Songs.