Downbeat LA Wedding Tips

Wedding Playlist: Parent Dance Song Favorites

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An important moment for any traditional wedding reception is when the parents of the couple are honored and celebrated during the parent dances. Whether these are both done during one song or two separate songs, it's important to choose music with meaningful lyrics and melodies. 

The most requested parent dance song from Downbeat LA’s 2018 wedding season was “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. Here are some other popular picks:

Top 3 Mother Son Dance Songs from 2018 Downbeat LA weddings:

  1. In My Life by The Beatles

  2. Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler

  3. Forever Young by Rod Stewart

Top 3 Father Daughter Dance Songs from 2018 Downbeat LA weddings:

  1. Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder

  2. My Girl by The Temptations

  3. My Wish by Rascal Flatts

Listen to Downbeat LA's "Parent Dance Favorites" playlist on Spotify for more parent dance song favorites and inspiration for your big day! The most important thing to remember when making music selections is finding songs that are meaningful to you and yours!


  1. Sweet Pea - Amos Lee

  2. Mama's Song - Carrie Underwood

  3. I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womack

  4. A Song For Mama - Boyz II Men

  5. Mother Like Mine - The Band Perry

  6. Mother - Sugarland

  7. Don’t Blink - Kenny Chesney

  8. Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynard

  9. Humble and Kind - Tim McGraw

  10. Do I Make You Proud - Taylor Hicks

  11. God Only Knows - John Legend


  1. Dance With My Daughter - Jason Blaine

  2. Daughters - John Mayer

  3. Dancing Queen - ABBA

  4. Daddy's Little Girl - Michael Bolton

  5. Cinderella - Steven Curtis Chapman

  6. My Darling - Wilco

  7. My Father's Eyes - Eric Clapton

  8. Surfer Girl - The Beach Boys

  9. I Loved Her First - Heartland

  10. I Learned From You - Miley Cyrus, Billy Rae Cyrus

  11. Father and Daughter - Paul Simon

  12. Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison

  13. Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton


  1. Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion

  2. Can You Feel The Love Tonight - Elton John

  3. Summer Wind - Frank Sinatra

  4. Days Like This - Van Morrison

  5. You’re The Inspiration - Chicago

  6. You’ve Got A Friend - James Taylor

  7. Child of Mine - Carole King

  8. Hero - Mariah Carey

  9. There You'll Be - Faith Hill

  10. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler

  11. Count On Me - Bruno Mars

  12. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) - James Taylor

  13. Just The Two of Us - Will Smith

  14. That's How Strong My Love Is - Otis Redding

  15. Ain't That Love - Ray Charles

  16. You Are My Sunshine - Johnny Cash

  17. What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

  18. Hold My Hand - Hootie & The Blowfish

  19. The Best Day - Taylor Swift

  20. I Lived - OneRepublic

  21. You Are The Best Thing - Ray LaMontagne

  22. Only One - Kanye West

  23. Stand By Me - Ben E. King

  24. Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

  25. Have I Told You Lately - Van Morrison

  26. I’ll Be There - The Jackson 5

  27. Landslide - Fleetwood Mac

  28. Never Grow Up - Taylor Swift

  29. You Raise Me Up - Josh Groban

  30. Forever Young - Rod Steward

  31. Over The Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

  32. In My Life - The Beatles

  33. 93 Million Miles - Jason Mraz

  34. Wild Flowers - Tom Petty

  35. You'll Be In My Heart - Phil Collins

  36. My Wish - Rascal Flatts

  37. The House That Built Me - Miranda Lambert

  38. Have I Told You Lately - Van Morrison

  39. If I Should Fall Behind - Bruce Springsteen

  40. Still Fighting It - Ben Folds

  41. Someone To Watch Over Me - Ella Fitzgerald

  42. Through The Years - Kenny Rogers

Must-Capture Wedding Moments

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Experts agree you should secure your wedding day photographer at least nine months in advance, or more if they are an in-demand vendor. Finding a trusted team will ensure your special wedding moments will be captured and preserved for you and your family to cherish forever. 

Any professional photographer/videographer team should have a checklist of important events and moments that occur over the course of your wedding day timeline, but we recommend the following must-capture moments be included in the final shot list:

  1. BRIDE AND GROOM GETTING READY BEFORE THE CEREMONY: Plan on having time for the photographer to be with both sides of the bridal party. Solo portraits of the bride and groom once they are ready are just as important and candid moments between the bride and her bridesmaids as well as the groom and his groomsman. 
  2. EXCITEMENT OF YOUNGER BRIDAL PARTY MEMBERS: There's nothing more precious than capturing moments of excitement among the younger guests, especially the flower girl and ring bearer. 
  3. FIRST LOOK: Ideally this happens before the ceremony in a private location away from guests and other bridal party members.
  4. INVITATION SUITE AND DETAIL SHOTS: A lot of money goes into the finer details when it comes to planning a wedding, so make sure these are packed up and brought along for the big day and have your photographer design a shot to include invitations, wedding rings, bouquets and other mementos you want to remember.
  5. BRIDE WALKING DOWN THE AISLE: Whoever walks the bride down the aisle is an important person, so capturing this moment is a must. 
  6. GROOM WAITING AT THE ALTAR: His expression will say it all!
  7. VOW AND RING EXCHANGE: These separate moments deserve separate shots.
  8. FIRST KISS: One of the most romantic must-capture moments on this list! 
  9. RECESSIONAL: After the pronouncement of marriage, capturing the facial expressions walking down the aisle is priceless. 
  10. BRIDAL PARTY PORTRAITS: These can be taken before or after the ceremony, depending on what your timeline allows. Group shots are important, but make sure you take the time to get one-on-one shots with the members in your bridal party as well. 
  11. FORMAL FAMILY PORTRAITS: Make sure you communicate the important groupings of family members in advance, and don't leave out extended family. 
  12. GUEST GROUP PHOTO: A great time for this is during cocktail hour before or after formal family portraits OR during the reception when the dance floor opens after dinner. Have your photographer find a vantage point where they can get everyone in one shot. 
  13. OVERALL CEREMONY AND RECEPTION SITE SHOTS: One before guests arrive, and one when everyone is seated. 
  14. THE FIRST DANCE: This is usually a very emotional and beautiful moment that deserves both close-up and wide shots. 
  15. PARTY PICTURES: On your wedding day, it's impossible to be everywhere at once. Make sure your first and second photographers are covering all the bases at the reception, including the dance floor, photo booth, bar, outdoor areas, etc. You will love looking back and seeing all the experiences your guests had and how much fun your wedding was!