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Stressed Out Over Parent Dances? Here’s What You Need To Know

Choosing to do a parent dance can be a challenge.  Why? Well, unlike your first dance focused on the happy, in-love couple, your parent dance(s) focuses on a relationship that can be complex, dynamic, good or bad.


We’ve all seen videos or photos of brides dancing with their dads, and groom’s dancing with their moms. We’ve even heard stories of brides dreaming their whole lives of dancing with their dad. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, it’s fantastic and great!


However, if your family dynamic is one where you know that’s not going to happen, parent dances can cause a lot of stress for the couple.


If you are in that situation, know two things:


1)    There are no rules to weddings. There is no “wrong” or “right” way to do a parent dance, so you can do whatever makes you feel comfortable, even if it means not doing one at all


2)    There is always an alternative, and that’s where hiring a professional WEDDING DJ will make all the difference and make your parent dance a pleasant, not stressful, situation.




We spoke with some of the top Hudson Valley wedding DJ’s, who’ve seen it all, to give you some pointers for when you’re stressing over your parent dances.


Who will you dance with?


“With parent dances a lot depends on the relationship,” says David Fischer, DJ and president of M. C. Fish Entertainment, Inc. in Fishkill. He says that there are many ways to work around parent relationships and gives some suggestions:

1)    Some brides want two father dances, one with their biological father and the other with their step-dad.

2)    Sometimes, the bride’s father or mother might have passed away, so the couple might choose an aunt or an uncle or a person who has been like a “mother” or “father” to dance with.


Joey Garcia (DJ Joey G.), owner of Jade DJ Entertainment in New Paltz has these suggestions based on what he’s done with couples at weddings he’s DJ’d:


1)    Both the bride and groom and their parents dance to one song (that’s what my husband and I did).

2)    A biological father might start a dance and the step-father will step in during the second half of the song

3)    Brides dancing with mothers only


You and your wedding DJ need to have a conversation about your parent dynamic and discuss an option that’s right for you. DJ Bri Swatek, owner of Spinning with Style in Wappingers Falls says knowing the family dynamic helps a DJ figure out what songs to play in situations that might be determined “awkward” for the couple. He says knowing that is essential to taking your wedding up a notch.




Finding the song


Once you figure out who you are going to dance with, if you are even going to do a parent dance, you need to choose a song. The one thing to remember with songs is that when you are listening to lyrics, keep an open mind. Don’t always assume a song is a love song for a couple. Richie Schneider (DJ Richie Styles), DJ and manager of Music Speaks Volumes in Wappingers Falls says “some people have that perception that it’s a love song for a couple, not for my dad, not for my mom.” He says if you really interpret it the right way, it means love for anyone.


For example, our parent dance was to “Through the Years” by Kenny Rogers. Here are some of the lyrics:

“I can’t remember when you weren’t there,

When I didn’t care for anyone but you

I swear we’ve been through everything there is…”

“Through the years

You’ve never let me down

You turned my life around…”

“I swear you’ve taught me everything I know

Can’t imagine needing someone so

But through the years it seems to me

I need you more and more…”

‘Through the years

Through all the good and bad

I knew how much we had

I’ve always been so glad

To be with you


Through the years

It’s better every day

You’ve kissed my tears away

As long as it’s okay

I’ll stay with you

Through the years…”

It could be taken as a “traditional” love song or a love song to your parents.


Now, if you unfortunately have a parent who has passed, Swatek says there are other ways to honor that parent if you don’t want to do a dance. You can always play their favorite song during the night, and at that point, it’ll be up to the DJ to suggest how to incorporate it. An experienced DJ will know what to do if the song is fast or slow. He says if it’s a faster song, you can play it during the night and have everyone get up and dance to it for a fun moment. If it’s on the slower side, the song can be played during dinner or during a slower point in the night, maybe a slow dance during the reception. Either way, speaking with your DJ will help you make what could be a stressful situation into one that will create memorable lasting moment.

We want to know…Are you doing a parent dance? Who are you dancing with? What song are you choosing?


Featured Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

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