The Most Beautiful Songs For Your Mother-Daughter Dance

Honor your mom with a memorable mother-daughter dance during your wedding reception.
Lauren Dana Ellman - The Knot Contributor.
by
Lauren Dana
Lauren Dana Ellman - The Knot Contributor.
Lauren Dana
The Knot Contributor
  • Lauren is a contributor for The Knot covering topics such as music, cakes, venues and speeches.
  • She has been published in a wide array of lifetsyle-oriented publications including SELF and Allure.
  • Lauren is a proud graduate of Syracuse University's SI Newhouse School of Public Communication.
Updated Sep 16, 2021

Your wedding day will be just as beautiful and emotional for you as it will be for your mother, who is watching her little girl grow up and get married before her eyes.

If you're just especially close with your mom—you may want to consider dedicating a song to her at your wedding reception. What's more, dancing with your mom at your wedding—whether it's for a first dance or an entirely separate number—is a fun and memorable way to capture your unbreakable bond. Mother-daughter dances also make a sweet alternative to the more traditional father-daughter dances if your father is deceased or removed from the picture entirely.

First, you'll need to pick a mother-daughter dance song that is special, sentimental and meaningful for both of you. To help get your creative juices flowing, we've rounded up 20 perfect songs for your mother-daughter dance. From an emotional Celine Dion ballad to a few '90s classics from Boyz II Men and the Spice Girls, there are many options to choose from, all with lyrics appropriate for moms and daughters.

That's not all, though: Once you've narrowed down your favorite(s) mother-daughter dance songs, contact your wedding band or DJ so that they can incorporate your song requests into their lineup in time for the big day. Just remember to bring an extra pack of tissues and wear waterproof mascara!

"I Hope You Dance," Lee Ann Womack

Lyrics you'll love: "I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance/Never settle for the path of least resistance/Livin' might mean takin' chances, but they're worth takin'"

This Lee Ann Womack song—which has since become an iconic country-pop smash hit—has remained a wedding playlist staple since its 2000 release. The song perfectly conveys a mother's wishes for her child by encouraging them to take risks, embrace love and live life to the fullest.

"In My Daughter's Eyes," Martina McBride

Lyrics you'll love: "'I've seen the light/It's in my daughter's eyes

Martina McBride's "In My Daughter's Eyes" is a country music song from 2003. Throughout the track, McBride sings sweetly about the strong, everlasting bond between a mother and a daughter.

"Forever Young," Rod Stewart

Lyrics you'll love: "And when you fin'lly fly away, I'll be hoping that I served you well/For all the wisdom of a lifetime, no one can ever tell/But whatever road you choose, I'm right behind you win or lose"

Rod Stewart's "Forever Young" is actually a rewrite of Bob Dylan's famous hit of the same name. The latter's version contains emotional lyrics and heart-warming wishes from a parent to their child. In an interview with Mojo Magazine, the singer-songwriter revealed that "Forever Young" is one of the songs he's most proud of, describing it as "a real heartfelt song about my kids."

"I'll Be There," Jackson Five

Lyrics you'll love: "I'll reach out my hand to you/I'll have faith in all you do/Just call my name, and I'll be there"

This 1970 number combines pop, Motown and soul flavors. Meanwhile, its lyrics convey unconditional love and support, which makes it the perfect pick for your mother-daughter dance.

"Like My Mother Does," Lauren Alaina

Lyrics you'll love: "When I'm weak and unpretty/I know I'm beautiful and strong/Because I see myself like my mother does"

"Like My Mother Does" was released in 2011 by country singer Lauren Alaina. The tune is a tear-jerker thanks to its uplifting lyrics, in which Alaina sings about how much her mother inspires her (i.e., "She's a rock/She is grace/She's an angel/She's my heart and soul").

"Mom," Meghan Trainor (feat. Kelli Trainor)

Lyrics you'll love: "Her love's 'til the end, she's my best friend/Ain't nobody got a mom like mine"

This cheery number features a phone call between Meghan Trainor and her mother, Kelli— hence why she is listed as a featured artist in the song. According to Trainor, her producer advised her to call her mom and record the conversation. The end result? A cheerful tune complete with sentimental lyrics to match.

"Slipping Through My Fingers," ABBA

Lyrics you'll love: "Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture/And save it from the funny tricks of time/Slipping through my fingers"

"Slipping Through My Fingers" by ABBA is sure to incite emotion with its heart-tugging lyrics, in which a mother reminisces about her daughter's earlier years while also acknowledging how fast time is flying. Additionally, the song was performed by Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried in Mamma Mia! (2008).

"Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion

Lyrics you'll love: "You were my strength when I was weak/You were my voice when I couldn't speak/You were my eyes when I couldn't see/You saw the best there was in me/Lifted me up when I couldn't reach/You gave me faith 'cause you believed/I'm everything I am/Because you loved me"

This song beautifully describes a mom who supports her daughter through good times and bad (and your wedding-planning journey!). If these lyrics ring true to your relationship with Mom, this Celine Dion classic is an ideal choice as a mother-daughter wedding song.

"The Best Day," Taylor Swift

Lyrics you'll love: "And now I know why the all the trees change in the fall/I know you were on my side/Even when I was wrong/And I love you for giving me your eyes/Staying back and watching me shine and I didn't know if you knew/So I'm taking this chance to say/That I had the best day with you today"

This nostalgia-inducing Taylor Swift track is sure to make your mother smile. In the song, Swift recounts multiple moments throughout her early childhood and adolescent years in which her mother has loved, helped and supported her. The starlet told CMT Radio that she wrote and recorded the song as a Christmas surprise for her mom. The Boston Globe wrote at the time: "If the melody doesn't stick in your mind, the message at least speaks to the heart."

"Wind Beneath My Wings," Bette Midler

Lyrics you'll love: "Did you ever know that you're my hero/And everything I would like to be?/I can fly higher than an eagle/For you are the wind beneath my wings"

"Wind Beneath My Wings" was first written and recorded in 1982, but it wasn't until 1989— when Bette Midler's version came out—that the song truly skyrocketed in popularity. Midler's heartfelt rendition offers a distinct pop flavor and a sweet-sounding melody. The lyrics work perfectly for a mother-daughter dance thanks to its lovely message.

"Where You Lead, I Will Follow," Carole King

Lyrics you'll love: "If you need, you need me to be with you/I will follow where you lead/If you're out on the road/Feeling lonely, and so cold/All you have to do is call my name/And I'll be there on the next train"

Carole King wrote "Where You Lead, I Will Follow" back in 1970. The song was featured on her 1971 album, Tapestry. Fittingly enough, it also serves as the theme song for Gilmore Girls. (For the TV show, King re-recorded the song with her own daughter, and it makes a beautiful duet.)

"A Song For Mama," Boyz II Men

Lyrics you'll love: "You were there for me to love and care for me/When skies were gray/Whenever I was down/You were always there to comfort me"

Released in 1997, "A Song For Mama" is one of Boyz II Men's most popular songs. The R&B single boasts poetic lyrics, such as "Mama, you're the queen of my heart"—making it a great song choice for your mother-daughter dance. It's also a popular mother-son dance song pick.

"You're My Best Friend," Queen

Lyrics you'll love: "Ooh, you make me live/Whenever this world is cruel to me/I got you to help me forgive"

If you think of your mom as your best friend, this Queen song serves as fitting tribute. Its catchy melody and enduring lyrics make it a timeless song choice for your mother-daughter dance.

"Mother Like Mine," The Band Perry

Lyrics you'll love: "We'd walk on grass that's greener/And the dishes would all be cleaner/If the world had a mother like mine"

"Mother Like Mine" is an endearing emotional ballad by The Band Perry, which is comprised of siblings Kimberly, Reid and Neil. Kimberly told Billboard it was "the most honest song" that the trio wrote for their 2013 album, Pioneer. She continued, "Our mother is our personal hero. We are her labor of love. It's our honor to our mother on Pioneer."

"Somebody's Hero," Jamie O'Neal

Lyrics you'll love: "For twenty years there at home/Until the day her girl was grown/Giving all her love to her was her life's ambition/But now her baby's movin' on and she'll soon be missin' her/But not today/Those are tears of joy runnin' down her face"

Jamie O'Neal wrote and recorded "Somebody's Hero" after being inspired by her own little girl. The song is a moving and emotional ode to all mothers and maternal figures, who—as we already know—are superheroes in their own right.

"Mama's Song," Carrie Underwood

Lyrics you'll love: "You've given me everything that I will need/To make it through this crazy thing called life"

This 2010 song stems from Carrie Underwood's third studio album, Play On. In the ballad, Underwood thanks her mother for all she has done for her. It's also pretty perfect for your wedding playlist as Underwood reassures her mother that she will be okay as she continues to plan for her future and (eventually) gets married. "Giving me away is not goodbye," she sings, before continuing: "As you watch me walk down to my future/I hope tears of joy are in your eyes."

"Mama," Spice Girls

Lyrics you'll love: "Back then, I didn't know why/Why you were misunderstood/So now, I see through your eyes/All that you did was love"

Who doesn't love the Spice Girls? The girl group's empowering "Mama"—a pop ballad with keyboards, guitars and string instrumentals—chronicles the emotional albeit beautiful bond between mothers and daughters.

"Isn't She Lovely?," Stevie Wonder

Lyrics you'll love: "Isn't she lovely?/Isn't she wonderful?/Isn't she precious?"

You may think of this Stevie Wonder hit as your classic romantic love song, but the singer actually wrote and recorded it in celebration of the birth of his daughter, Aisha Morris. Throughout the song, Wonder gushes over his then-baby daughter, declaring "I never thought through love we'd be/Making one as lovely as she/But isn't she lovely made from love?" This is also a popular choice for a father-daughter dance song.

"I Turn To You," Christina Aguilera

Lyrics you'll love: "When I'm scared, losing ground, when my world is going crazy/You can turn it all around yes/And when I'm down you're there pushing me to the top/You're always there givin' me all you've got."

Christina Aguilera boosted "I Turn To You" to fame following her 2002 rendition of the emotional ballad. Its stunning lyrics, which depict mothers as a loving and rock-solid support system, make it a must-play at your wedding.

"Sweetest Devotion" by Adele

Lyrics you'll love: "I'll forever be whatever you want me to be/I'll go under and all over for your clarity/When you wonder if I'm gonna lose my way home/Just remember, that come whatever, I'll be yours all alone"

Adele co-wrote this song about her son, so it's a perfect choice for a mother-daughter dance, as well. The loving lyrics exemplify the bond between parents and children.

"There You'll Be," Faith Hill

Lyrics you'll love: "When I look back on these days/I look and see your face/You were right there for me"

Faith Hill's 2001 hit is very appropriate for a mother-daughter dance thanks to its poignant lyrics. Consider playing this tender tune in celebration of the love and support shared between you and your mother.

"A Mother's Prayer," Celine Dion

Lyrics you'll love: "Every mother's prayer/Every child knows/Lead her to a place/Guide her with your grace/To a place where she'll be safe/I pray she finds your light/And holds it in her heart/As darkness falls each night/Remind her where you are"

Celine Dion reworked her famous song, "The Prayer"—a stunning duet with Andrea Bocelli— to "A Mother's Prayer" on her 2004 album, Miracle. The song was made into a solo featuring Dion's killer vocals. Throughout the tune, Dion sings of her hopes for her children—eternal love and peace.

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