Monday, June 11, 2012

Father Daughter Dance Songs

In honor of Father's Day this coming weekend, I thought I would post a list of songs that brides could dance to with their fathers. It's really difficult to find songs that express a father's love for his daughter, but here is a start to my collection that ranges in genre (predominantly country though). Some of these could be used for mother-son dances.

1. "Stealing Cinderella" by Chuck Wicks--really sweet country song sung by the guy who loves the girl and also recognizes the love her father has for her. He's also the traditional guy who actually asks the dad for his daughter's hand in marriage. 

I realized that in his eyes she would always be
playing Cinderella
riding her first bike
bouncing on the bed and 
looking for a pillow fight
running through the sprinkler
with a big popsicle grin
dancing with her dad,
looking up at him
In her eyes, I am Prince Charming,
but in his eyes, I'm just some fella
Riding in stealing Cinderella.

2. "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw--we almost picked this song, but we figured a lot of people would end up choosing it. You can't really lose with a song sung by Tim McGraw :)

I remember I thought you looked like an angel
Wrapped in pink so soft and warm
You've had me wrapped around your finger
since the day you were born.
You're beautiful, baby, from the outside in
Chase your dreams, but always know the
road that'll lead you home again.

3. "Take Good Care of My Baby" by Bobby Vee--we actually used this song because it's a bit more upbeat, and I really didn't want to make my dad cry, nor did I really want to cry. It's from the '60s, so if you want something a little older and with a quicker pace, this might work.

Take good care of my baby.
Please don't ever make her blue.
Just tell her that you love her
Make sure you're thinking of her
In everything you say and do.
Take good care of my baby.
Now don't you ever make her cry.
Just let your love surround.
Paint rainbows all around her.
Don't let her see a cloudy sky.
Once upon a time, that little girl was mine.

4. "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle--a classic but probably overplayed. It would've made me sob, so I wouldn't have picked it, haha. 

5. "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion--at this point, this song is becoming an old one! Haha.

6. "In My Daughter's Eyes" by Martina McBride (more from a mother to a daughter though, but it could work)

7. "There You'll Be" by Faith Hill--Hey, look, I had Tim McGraw and now I have Faith Hill. What a coincidence. 

8. "And Then They Do" by Trace Adkins--It's about how you want the time to pass quickly (when life is crazy), but you want it all back once it actually does pass. 

Then they're fighting in the backseat
And I'm playing referee
Now someone's gotta go, the moment that we leave
And everybody's late
I swear I can't wait 'til they grow up
Then they do
And that's how it ends
It's just quiet in the morning
Can't believe how much you miss
All they do and all they did.

9. "You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins--Older people giving advice to younger people (including a dad's advice to his daughter, who's a new bride)

Before she knows it
She's a brand new bride in her one-bedroom apartment 
and her daddy stops by. He tells her it's a nice place. 
She says it'll do for now, starts talking about babies, buying a house. 
Daddy shakes his head and says, "Baby, just slow down.
You're gonna miss this. You're gonna want this back.
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast."

10. "Cowgirls Don't Cry" by Brooks & Dunn--But the dad dies at the end. :( However, it might work for some folks, so I'll include it. Maybe you could cut the song off before that part? Unless you like to cry and mess up your make up, then more power to ya. 

Her daddy gave her her first pony
Then taught her to ride
She climbed high in that saddle
Fell I don't know how many times.
He taught her a lesson that she learned
Maybe a little too well
Cowgirls don't cry.
Ride, baby, ride.
It's gonna hurt every now and then.
If you fall, get back on again. 

11. "Daughters" by John Mayer--In case you're sick of country songs, here's one by John Mayer that's all about parents treating a girl right because they become what they know. 

I know a girl
She puts the color inside of my world
But she's just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change
And I've done all I can to stand on the steps 
with my heart in my hand
Now I'm starting to see
Maybe it's got nothing to do with me
Fathers, be good to your daughters.
Daughters will love like you do.
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers,
So mothers be good to your daughters, too. 

12. "Drive (for Daddy Gene)" by Alan Jackson--A song about a dad who's a total motor head, but it's a metaphor for daddy steering you in the right direction. 

13. "I've Been Watching You" by Rodney Atkins--Fun and funny song about a dad teaching his son without realizing it (could still work for a father-daughter song)

14. "I'm Already There" by Lonestar--Because he spent so much time providing for us, my dad couldn't be there for as much as we wished he could have been. However, we're better people for simply having a father as hardworking as ours is. He did it all for us. That's what this song makes me think of. 

A little voice came on the phone, said, 
"daddy when you coming home?"
He said the first thing that came to mind 
"I'm already there take a look around 
I'm the sunshine in your hair 
I'm the shadow on the ground 
I'm the whisper in the wind 
I'm your imaginary friend and 
I know I'm in your prayers oh, I'm already there

15. "My Front Porch Looking In" by Lonestar--this song is really upbeat, so it should be fun to swing around to on the dance floor. 

My blessings aren't in front of me
It's not about the land
I'll never beat the view from
My front porch looking in.

16. "Cleaning This Gun" by Rodney Atkins--So hysterical and works perfectly if the dad has a fun relationship with his soon-to-be father in law. 

I can't begin to count the theories
I've had pounded in my head
that I've forgot
I don't remember all that Spanish
or the Gettysburg address,
But there is one speech from high school
I'll never forget
"Come on in, boy, sit on down and tell
me 'bout yourself
So you like my daughter, do ya now?
Yeah, we think she's something else.
She's her daddy's girl, her momma's world
She deserves respect. That's what she'll get.
Ain't it, son?
Now, ya'll run along and have some fun
I'll see you when you get back, bet I'll be up
all night still cleaning this gun.

17. "Family Man" by Craig Campbell--Man, this song really pulls at my heart strings. It reminds me why my dad spent so much time working. It's sung by the dad himself, and he talks about his family being his reason for doing all that he does.  

They're the world my world revolves around
My sacred piece of solid ground
The flesh and bone that gives me strength to stand
They're the fire in my driving on
The drive behind my coming home
The living, breathing reason that I am a family man.

18. "He Didn't Have to Be" by Brad Paisley--This song is for daughters who will be dancing with a dad who isn't her biological dad. A dad doesn't have to be biological in order to hold a special place in his daughter's heart. It's from the son, but it could still work for a father-daughter dance. 

All of a sudden 
Oh it seemed so strange to me
How we went from something's missing 
to a family
Looking back, all I can say about the things
he did for me
Is I hope I'm at least half the dad he didn't have to be.

19. "Just Fishing" by Trace Adkins (man, he really is such a dad, eh?)--The singer is the dad himself who talks about how his daughter thinks they're "just fishing," but it obviously means much more.

She thinks we're just fishing.
I say "Daddy loves you, baby"
One more time
She says, "I know I think I gotta bite"
And all this laughing, crying, dying inside
Is what I call living
She thinks we're just fishing on the riverside

I like the line "I guarantee this memory is a biggun, but she thinks we're just fishing."

20. "The Best Day" by Taylor Swift--She goes through the different ages and how she sees her father. She talks about how spending time with him is the "best day." Ahhh, I love this song. 

I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home.
I don't know why all the trees change in the fall,
but I know you're not scared of anything at all.
I don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away,
But I know I had the best day with you today. 

Favorite line: 
"I have an excellent father His strength is making me stronger."

I think 20 is a pretty good number to stop at, yeah? Anyway, I hope you find this list helpful. I wish this list was around when I was picking a song! I apologize for most of the songs being country music, but country music seems to focus more on family matters than every other genre does. 

Anyway, happy early Father's Day! 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

First Dance Songs (Country Edition)

Well, I love country music. This post will probably spawn 76 more. Oh, and our first dance song was country music. I'm not talking super twangy country. I'm talking pop country, so all of you haters just put on your "listen and like it" britches. 

My favorite country group for sweet love songs is Lady Antebellum. It took awhile to narrow down our song. What did we choose?

#1: Lady Antebellum -- "When You Got a Good Thing" -- It's a duet who sings to my marriage's soul. It talks about leaning on the other person through the good and bad and how the relationship will make it forever. I know I love Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up," but I really couldn't trade our first song even if my husband does confuse it with "Just a Kiss" by the same group, haha.

Lyrics Excerpt (from
Oh I can't believe I finally found you baby 
Happy ever after, after all this time 
Oh there's gonna be some ups and downs 
but with you to wrap my arms around 
I'm fine 

So baby, hold on tight 
Don't let go 
Hold onto the love we're making 
Cause baby when the ground starts shaking 
You gotta know when you've got a good thing 

You know you keep on bringing out the best of me 
And I need you now even more than the air I breathe 
You can make me laugh when I wanna cry 
This will last forever I just know, I know 

And here it is (with lyrics) on YouTube: 

Three other Lady Antebellum songs to consider:
  • "Just a Kiss"
  • "Our Kind of Love"
  • "I Run to You"
#2: Love and Theft - "She's Amazing" -- The CD is not yet out, but this song is on YouTube. If you're in love, you'll love this song. That's what's up. 

Lyrics Excerpt: 
She walks through the door
Wrapped up in a sheet
Floating on air 
An angel in her bare feet
Leaving me speechless.
She's the light at dawn
She's the cloud I'm on
She's amazing. 

Check it out on YouTube (since it's not on iTunes at the moment): 

#3: Zac Brown Band - "Got Whatever It Is"-- A guy singing about a girl who just has "whatever it is" that makes her special. It's cute. It makes me think of sitting on the dock and dipping your feet into the water.

Check it out on YouTube:

#4: Thompson Square - "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" -- Not super slow but not one to get jiggy to, haha. We really wanted our DJ to play this as we kissed at the altar, but that didn't work out. Oh well, we still exited to "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."

Check it out on YouTube:

#5: Restless Heart - "Feel My Way to You" -- This song is a little bit older (doesn't sound older), but I've always loved its message.

Check it out on YouTube (live version was the only one I could find): 

#6: Phil Vassar - "That's When I Love You" ("Just Another Day in Paradise" is another great one by him)--I have to tell you that I'm really glad Phil Vassar started singing his own songs. Initially, he was just a song writer for big names like Tim McGraw, but he eventually started singing his own. He has a great voice; he should've been singing all along!

Check it out on YouTube: 

#7: Blake Shelton - "God Gave Me You" -- If you're religious at all, this might be up your alley. Sometimes, it really feels like God just plucked someone from nowhere at all and sat them on your doorstep.

Check it out on YouTube:

#8: Big and Rich - "Lost in the Moment" -- Jeff and I first danced to "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy," so Big and Rich has a special place in my heart. Though they are well known for their line dance inspiring "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy," this song is a pleasant, sweet, slow surprise.

Check it out on YouTube:

#9: Lee Brice - "Woman Like You"-- Jeff texted me one day to tell me that I needed to listen to this song because it made him think of me. Need I say more?

Check it out on YouTube:

#10: Josh Turner - "Soulmate"-- If you've never listened to Josh Turner, please be warned: he has a voice deeper than the Grand Canyon. (Apparently, Natasha Bedingfield sings a "Soulmate" song. I didn't give it a listen, but I bet it's good. However, she's not country, so she does not get a video on this post. Sorry, Natasha.)

Check it out on YouTube:

#11: Gary Allan - "The One"-- A classic country love song. Who doesn't love Gary Allan?

Check it out on YouTube:

#12: Brantley Gilbert - "Fall Into Me"-- slow start but good song

Check it out on YouTube:

#13: Emerson Drive - "Fall into Me" -- Brantley Gilbert's song made me think of this one, which I've loved for a long time. It's a faster paced song, but not one you'll be booty popping to. Well, unless you like to booty pop, then you're free to booty pop all you wish.

Check it out on YouTube:

#14: Rascal Flatts - "God Bless the Broken Road"-- Another classic. I considered removing it from the list, but I just can't do it.

Check it out on YouTube: 

Many other country songs deserve a spot on the list, but I'm stopping at 14 because 14 is a lot, dagnabit. I'll write another post with more country songs, but I'll feature some other genres first. Feel free to comment with a country song that you'd like to see shine in another post. Also, please forgive me for ceasing my lyrics excerpts. Like I said, 14 songs is a lot. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

First Dance Songs (Pop/Alternative)

So, when I searched for good "first dance" songs, I had to scour the internet. I continually came up with the same 10 songs. For MONTHS, I've been compiling a pretty comprehensive list of songs that span several genres. I will split this post into multiple posts, each focusing on different genres. 

If you're planning a wedding, I hope you find my lists helpful!

Daniel Powter - "Cupid"-- If you're looking for something with sweet lyrics from guy to girl, this song is cute, upbeat, and reminiscent of Jack Johnson.
(Note: there is one part about make-up sex, so be warned.)

Lyrics excerpt:
You're a yes in a world of no's
You're the Beatles to my Stones
It's a sweet romance 
A spotlight dance
Girl you shake me to my bones

Check it out on YouTube:

Jason Mraz - "I Won't Give Up" -- Had this song existed before my wedding, it would've been our first dance song.  I love Jason Mraz and his music, and this song might be my favorite. This song is slower than "Cupid," and it makes you want to sway. The lyrics are a beautiful testament to how love can know no bounds and how love is about helping the other person grow into the best person he/she can be. Powerful.

Lyrics excerpt:
When I look into your eyes
It's like watching the night sky or
a beautiful sunrise
There's so much they hold.
And just like them old stars,
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are.
How old is your soul?
Well, I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough.
I'm giving you all my love.

Check out the lyrics video on YouTube (which would be great to show on a screen as you dance, especially if you really don't want people staring at you):

Paramore - "The Only Exception" - This song speaks to those who come from a childhood that might not have offered the best models for love, but they still found it in someone else. It speaks to those who did not believe in love until they met that one person who proved them wrong about the impossibility of love. (P.S. I love Paramore. When I saw them in concert, the bassist did a backflip while playing his stellar instrument on the stage. Epic.) 

Lyrics Excerpt:
Maybe I know somewhere
Deep in my soul
That love never lasts
And we've got to find other ways
To make it alone
Or keep a straight face
And I've always lived like this
Keeping a comfortable distance
And up until now I've sworn to myself
That I'm content with loneliness

Because none of it was ever worth the risk

Well you are the only exception

Check it out on YouTube:

The next song comes from the band Parachute. It's called "She is Love." -- A guy sings about a girl who saves him from his darkest days. I alluded to these lyrics in my wedding vows. :)

Lyrics Excerpt (from 
I've been beaten down, I've been kicked around, 
But she takes it all for me. 
And I lost my faith, in my darkest days, 
But she makes me want to believe. 

They call her love, love, love, love, love. 

Check out "She is Love" on YouTube:

Parachute also wrote a song with my FAVORITE band, Lady Antebellum, called "Kiss Me Slowly." Since it talks about "not running away" from a relationship, it's not really appropriate for a first dance, but you should check it out. 

The next three songs come from our girl Colbie Caillat - 

1. "Falling For You" -- I'm thinking that, since you're getting married, you've already fallen (completely) for the other person, but this song is sweet. She says, "I've been waiting all my life for you."

Lyrics Excerpt (from
I've been spending all my..time
Just thinking about ya
I don't know what to do
I think I'm fallin' for you

Check it out on YouTube (lyrics video): 
2. "You Got Me"

Lyrics Excerpt:
I think I felt my heart skip a beat
I'm standing here and I can hardly breathe
You got me.
The way you take my hand is just so sweet.
And that crooked smile of yours. It knocks me off my feet.
Oh, I just can't get enough.

Check it out on YouTube (lyrics video): 

3. "The Little Things"-- not the best of the three, but it's a sentiment that strikes home for many women. It's all about the little things, right, ladies?

Lyrics Excerpt (from
The little things, you do to me are
Taking me over, I wanna show ya
Everything inside of me
Like a nervous heart that, is crazy beating

Check it out on YouTube (not a skeezy video though it looks like it based on the screen shot):

Boys Like Girls featuring Taylor Swift - "Two Is Better Than One" - pretty duet, and it's always nice when a girl and guy sing so that it's not all about one or the other. Both people get their egos stroked on the big day, haha. 

Lyrics Excerpt (from 
I remember what you wore on the first day
You came into my life and I thought hey
You know, this could be something

'Cause everything you do and words you say
You know that it all takes my breath away
And now I'm left with nothing

So maybe it's true that I can't live without you
And maybe two is better than one
But there's so much time to figure out the rest of my life
And you've already got me coming undone
And I'm thinking two is better than one

Check them out on YouTube:

Michael Buble - "Everything" - It might be on the verge of being played out, but I don't know if that's in real life or just on my iTunes playlist? I know "Home" has seen its fair share of radio playlists, but "Everything" might still be in a less well known corner of the world. Maybe. I'm not telling you about it because you need to hear it. 

Check out the greatness on YouTube: 

Some others that can join this list, but might be too overplayed to deserve video credit:
  • Uncle Kracker - "Smile"
  • Train - "Marry Me"
  • Bruno Mars - "Just the Way You Are"
  • Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat - "Lucky"
  • Michael Buble - "Home" 

Want to know my favorite pick from this list? No contest: "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz. 

Don't worry. I will be posting more lists (the classics, country, rock, and etc.) 

Feel free to post your POP suggestions in the comments. (Please don't post about other genres until I write posts about those!) 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Venue

I know many brides visit a plethora of venues. I did not have the time, nor did I even want to make the time. Schlepping to twenty places and eventually becoming confused because all venues begin to look the same did not sound appealing.

So, I began my research online. I looked on weddingwire, general Google searches, and many other websites for places that suited my "vision." I wanted
  • a romantic, whimsical setting that reminded me of an Italian piazza at night (with strings of lights and that "glow"). 
  • an outdoor setting, but I am ever practical, so the venue needed an inclement weather back-up plan. 
  • a place that did NOT hold more than one wedding in a day. Who wants to feel rushed on their big day? Not this girl.
  • a venue that did not require guests to use their caterer. I have specific dietary needs, and I'm not about to get locked into a contract with a vendor who makes terrible food that I cannot taste until three months before the wedding. 
Somehow, at the end of some cyber maze, I found Ostertag Vistas, a charming farm settled on 164 acres. Perfection. The ceremony was held beneath a breathtakingly beautiful willow tree, and the reception was held in a unique four-story barn (how cool?). The delightful owners are descendants of the original settlers of the property, which was founded in the 1700s. I hit the jackpot.

Gorgeous ceremony site (photo taken by Eric Stocklin)

The inside of the barn (taken from one of the upper levels). See what I mean about the strings of lights? Love it.

If you're near the Western Maryland area and want a picturesque wedding venue, do check out Ostertag's site: Our Wedding Venue, Ostertag

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Rings

After Jeff proposed he asked me, "Did you know it was coming?" I responded, "Well, until the day of, no. But, when you asked me to go on a picnic, which we never do, at the end of October when I have to cover myself in all but the sheets on our bed, I was a little wise to the idea." So, he asked me on a picnic at Piney Run Park, where we've gone on many a bike ride. It was sweet, and I could tell that even though he had bought the ring two months earlier, he hadn't concocted a grand plan. He was just so nervous. Plus, had he tried to devise an elaborate scheme, I would've figured him out much sooner.

Anyway, he bought my ring at Littman Jewelers in Westminster. They are incredibly nice at that location, so we decided to buy his band and my bandS there. Yes, I said my bands. That's plural. I'm not a jewelry monger (the engagement ring was the first jewelry that he bought for me in our seven years together), but my engagement ring needed two bands to accompany it. Yes, needed. Though I teach English, I appreciate symmetry. See how nice they look? BAM!
His ring is tungsten carbide. Apparently, he'd rather have his finger removed in a wood chipper accident than lose his band. So, he picked the strongest he could find.

FYI: if you plan to engrave a tungsten ring, it's best to choose a laser engraving. It's more expensive, but the engraving is deeper. I did not know this bit of information, so his engraving was "etched" onto the ring. Had I known earlier, I could have ordered the laser engraving, but I brought it in too late. (I was afraid to bring it sooner; otherwise, I might have spoiled the surprise of what I had engraved on his ring.) His ring now says "I love you more 8-20-2011." I thought it was pretty clever. His first response was, "You suck," which means it really was quite clever. Wife-1, Husband-0.

Though people have discouraged me from having my rings soldered, I cannot handle their moving around all willy nilly. These people told me the ring will "never be clean enough." Regardless, lack of movement may win over "not being clean enough."

*Note: Last two pictures courtesy of Erick Stocklin Photography

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Dress

     At our wedding, one of my friends from college, Christine, said to me, "I wondered 'what kind of dress is Danielle going to be wearing?' When I saw you, I said to myself, 'the perfect dress, that's what kind of dress.'" Thanks, Christine, I did my best :)

   When I was in high school, I must vainly admit that I wore some of the coolest dresses and rocked some of the most awesome hair styles every time I attended a school dance. As superficial as it might be, I do believe the dress is a reflection of the person who's wearing it. Luckily, it didn't take me very long to find "the" dress. I honestly thought it'd take me much longer than it did. Thank you, planets, for aligning in my favor.

    In street clothes, I wear a size 0. Spare me the "you're so skinny" comments. I have some of the most ridiculous dietary concerns (allergic to chocolate, gluten intolerant, and fried foods are the devil); couple those restrictions with heredity and you've got little ol' me. Being small, I had a heck of a time finding a dress shop that offered dresses near my size. (Again, shut your sarcastic mouth about how "sorrrrry" you feel for me.) I felt a little like a small child playing dress up every time I tried on dresses. Note: it makes perfect sense why boutiques would stock larger sizes (a small girl can try on a larger dress, but it doesn't really work the other way around.). So, I did my homework like the good teacher that I am, and I found a smaller shop in Hanover, PA to try on dresses. 

      Meet Simone's Bridal (click on the link to visit their site). The shop is owned by this lovely French woman named Simone,

who turned this adorable Victorian home into a bridal boutique and spa. (I'd attach a picture, but I have none.)

I worked with the lovely Stepfanie

So, I told Stepfanie that I did not want to break the bank. I explained that I did NOT want a strapless gown (the thought of tugging at a strapless down all night was unappealing at best). I did not want pure white because I'm pretty pasty. I pointed at pictures, and she pulled out the perfect dress. For about $1,000, I had a veil, flower piece, and dress. Yay. So, how did it look? See for yourself.

The front of the dress

The back with the veil. 

And a closer look at the back.  

Okay, one teeny tiny problem with the dress: I couldn't dance with it, especially not with the bustle they called a bustle. Dancing was vital for me. There was no way I could settle for what they called a bustle.
So, take a look at what my Aunt Linda did for the reception!

 Honestly, it's not really a French OR an American bustle (had to research these). It's a bustle all its own. My aunt created this impressive "snap" system so that my dress sort of folded under. If I receive more pictures of it, I'll post them. Either way, I could dance without a problem at all because my Aunt Linda is so talented. It's amazing how many talents you find out (when you're planning a wedding) that your friends and family members have.

Either way, I loved my dress, and I wouldn't mind finding another occasion to wear it. Haha. Right.