The Mother of All Dance-Offs: Classic Mother Son Wedding Songs

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 11/20/23
The Mother of All Dance-Offs: Classic Mother Son Wedding Songs

The Mother of All Dance-Offs: Classic Mother Son Wedding Songs

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 11/20/23

Part of the Wedding

The Mother of All Dance-Offs: Classic Mother Son Wedding Songs

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 11/20/23

There are so many traditions you need to keep track of and honor during a wedding, so you can be forgiven for omitting a few here and there. After all, it’s your day so you can do it however you want, right?

Well, yes. And no. 

While hosting a wedding your way is perfectly acceptable, some things shouldn’t be forgotten. Like taking a moment to appreciate your parents and how much they’ve done to raise you into the fine, upstanding human, you are today.

Trust us. If you were anything like us when we were teenagers, your parents deserve a whole box of medals. However, for now, a mother son wedding dance is a great substitute.

Of course, the father and the bride have their special moment, but mother son wedding dances have become just as popular today.

The dilemma comes in choosing which of the many mother son dance songs out there you’ll dance to. But fear not; we’re here to make things simple (and we even have dance tips)! 
Classic Mother Son Wedding Songs

What is the Mother Son Dance at a Wedding?

The mother son dance was popularized after World War II as a way for mothers to play more of a role in a wedding. Much of a wedding focuses on the father of the bride. He gets to give the bride away, perform the toast, and dance the father-daughter dance, while moms don’t really get a look in. So, the mother son wedding dance was born and provides a sweet moment where a son can take a few minutes out of the hectic day and dedicate them to his mom.

When Should the Mother Son Dance Happen?

Classic Mother Son Wedding Songs
The bride and groom always dance first. Then, the father-daughter dance follows, with the mother son dance coming third.

However, while this lineup is traditional, it’s really up to you to plan when each dance takes place.

Many couples prefer to combine the father-daughter and mother son dances, so they occur simultaneously. The disadvantage to this? You’ll need to find a song that works for all four of you, and it forces multiple parents to share the spotlight (which some might not be cool with).

If you want Mom to have her moment, discuss the order of the dances together with your mom, your partner, and your partner’s parents. Come up with something that works for all of you and, most importantly, keeps everyone happy.

The 12 Best Mother Son Wedding Dance Songs

Traditionally, it’s down to the groom to pick the mother son dance song. Struggling to find something suitable? Fear not. We’ve got you covered. 

Try these 12 songs on for size.

1. Mother Like Mine – The Band Perry

This beautiful country ballad describes how a mother’s love and guidance influence a person’s life. If you aim to express gratitude and appreciation for your mom, this is a great pick.

2. Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

Classic Mother Son Wedding Songs

“Wonderful World” is a beautiful classic. The gentle melodies tell listeners to appreciate life’s simple pleasures and embrace the surrounding beauty. A slow and easy song, all ages can dance to this number.

3. My Mother’s Eyes – Tom Jones

In this fitting tribute to a mother, the swinging orchestral melody is as nostalgic as it is sentimental. If you want a song that sits on the more traditional side, this is definitely suitable.

This song will work well with “proper” dance styles, like ballroom.

4. Take Your Momma – Scissor Sisters

A more modern dance song, this number is super-catchy and danceable, and tells listeners to take their moms out for a good time. This is certainly a great choice for fun-loving, more extroverted moms.

Dance freestyle to this or go all out and choreograph a dance routine to wow your audience!

5. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban

Power ballads don’t get more powerful than this. The lyrics express gratitude and love for those who lift us up during tough times. If your mom raised you against the odds, this is a fitting tribute.

The song is slow and serious, so it’s a definite floor shuffler and ideal for those less confident on the dance floor.

6. Letter to my Mother – Edwin McCain

This slow rock number is a very deep and meaningful tribute from a son to a mother and details the regrets and sorrow felt for past mistakes. It’s about making amends and seeking forgiveness. This is a good pick if you’ve had a rocky past with your mom.

7. I’ll Always Love My Momma – The Intruders

This upbeat funk and soul song’s lyrics are direct and heartfelt, detailing the bond a son has with his mother and the sacrifices she makes for him. If you want a straight-up tune about appreciation, this is the one.

8. Mother – Sugarland

Classic Mother Son Wedding Songs

This is a sweet and gentle country song with lyrics that address how a mother faces struggles and challenges head-on and makes sacrifices for her children. The message is heartfelt, but the melody is upbeat and easy to dance to.

9. You’re Gonna Be (Always Loved By Me) – Reba McEntire

Another country ballad, this song explains a mother’s love for her child and offers wisdom and encouragement. This is classic country through and through, with a lilting melody. Most people will be able to shuffle along to this.

10. Forever Young – Rod Stewart

This is an uplifting song about staying young at heart and cherishing your memories. The overall message of the song is to live life to the fullest, a great message for both mother and son.

The classic rock melody is not too soppy. Perfect for making full use of the dance floor.

11. God Only Knows – Beach Boys

“God Only Knows” is a much-loved, classic tribute to love and devotion. Full of intricate harmonies and instrumental solos, you’ll have all the guests humming and singing along to this iconic song.

This may not be the easiest mother son song to dance to, so make sure you throw in a few practice sessions before the big day.

12. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life – Stevie Wonder

Classic Mother Son Wedding Songs

Upbeat, catchy, and joyful, you can’t beat a bit of Stevie Wonder. If you want something playful and less serious, this is the perfect choice.

Frequently Asked Questions: Mother Son Wedding Song

Is a Mother Son Dance at Weddings Traditional?

Mother-and-son dances didn’t become popular until after World War II. Since then, they have become commonplace and are a firm tradition for many Western wedding celebrations.

What is a Good Mother Son Song for a Wedding?

A good mother son wedding song should be sentimental for both individuals. The lyrics don’t necessarily have to be about a mother and a son. Still, whether you go for a slow country ballad or a modern pop tune, the song’s message should express love or joy and be meaningful. 

Who Picks the Mother Son Wedding Song?

Since the event symbolizes a tribute to a son’s love and respect for his mother, traditionally, the groom (son) picks the song for the mother son dance. However, it’s also a good idea to check that Mom feels comfortable and happy dancing to the chosen song

What Country Song is About a Mother and Son?

“You’re Gonna Be (Always Loved By Me)” by Reba McEntire is a heartfelt country song that expresses a mother’s love for her child. The sweet and sentimental lyrics have cemented the song as a firm favorite for mother son dances at weddings.

What is the Purpose of the Mother Son Wedding Dance?

The purpose of the mother son wedding dance is a tribute to the love, respect, and gratitude a son has for his mom. It is a memorable moment for the mother and son to enjoy together before the son leaves the nest to start the next phase of his life.

Mother Son Songs for Wedding Dance: Final Thoughts

While plenty of suitable mother son wedding songs are out there, the important thing is to pick something that resonates with you both. If you’re not the slushy, sentimental type, pick something upbeat and vice versa. A well-chosen song will be all the more special.

Need more wedding help? TheGroomClub is dedicated to making all things wedding-related much less stressful, giving you tips on everything from picking the perfect playlist to staying within your set wedding budget.


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