The Best Last Dance Songs to Play At Your Wedding Reception

Looking for the perfect tune to cap off your wedding reception? We've got you covered.
Lauren Dana Ellman - The Knot Contributor.
Lauren Dana Ellman
Lauren Dana Ellman - The Knot Contributor.
Lauren Dana Ellman
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 Oct 21, 2021

After an action-packed wedding day, you'll definitely want to lose on the dance floor with your friends and family. Close out your wedding reception with a bang by selecting a smashing last dance song.

The key is to select songs that both you and your guests will enjoy. Opt for high-energy, catchy tunes to lure guests out onto the dance floor one last time before the festivities conclude.

Being said, selecting the perfect last dance song for your crowd can be tricky, and, of course, it all depends on your own music and artist preferences. However, that's not to say it can't seem like an overwhelming choice: To help you narrow down your choices, we've rounded up a few of our favorite last dance wedding songs—including a mix of contemporary pop picks and old-school staples, to iconic slow jams and romantic ballads—below.

Oh, and here's one more nugget of advice: Once you narrow down your last dance song choices, send over your selection(s) to your wedding band or DJ so that they can ensure your request(s) are carried out.

"All You Need Is Love," The Beatles

Lyrics you'll love: "Nothing you can know that isn't known/Nothing you can see that isn't shown/Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be/It's easy/All you need is love"

End the night on a cheerful note by having your band or DJ play "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles. The British band's 1967 hit is a beloved wedding reception staple, best saved for the last dance, of course.

"(I've Had) The Time of My Life," Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley

Lyrics you'll love: "Now I've had the time of my life/No, I never felt this way before (never felt this way)/Yes I swear it's the truth/And I owe it all to you"

"(I've Had) The Time of My Life" is another great last dance option. The Dirty Dancing theme song features a beautiful duet between Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley—although we don't recommend trying the now-iconic dance move performed on-screen by Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey without hours of practice.

"Livin' On A Prayer," Bon Jovi

Lyrics you'll love: "We've got to hold on to what we've got/It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not/We've got each other and that's a lot for love/We'll give it a shot"

If you're a rock music aficionado, then there's no better way to cap off your wedding night than by playing Bon Jovi's' "Livin' On A Prayer." Plus, the 1986-era jam truly tells the tale of unconditional love.

"Sweet Caroline," Neil Diamond

Lyrics you'll love: "Look at the night and it don't seem so lonely/We filled it up with only two/And when I hurt/Hurting runs off my shoulders/How can I hurt when holding you/One, touching one/Reaching out, touching me, touching you"

Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" will have everyone united out on the dance floor—hand, touching hand and, well, you get the point—before the end of the night. The celebratory song will also have guests singing along before bidding adieu.

"The Way You Look Tonight," Frank Sinatra

Lyrics you'll love: "Yes, you're lovely, with your smile so warm/And your cheeks so soft/There is nothing for me, but to love you/And the way you look tonight"

Frank Sinatra croons romantically about his partner in his 1964 number, "The Way You Look Tonight." The jazzy number features swoon-worthy lyrics that are sure to make you—and everyone else—gush with excitement before you decide to call it a night.

"What A Wonderful World," Louis Armstrong

Lyrics you'll love: "I see trees of green/Red roses too/I see them bloom/For me and you/And I think to myself/What a wonderful world"

Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" boasts a soothing melody, soft vocals and, of course, a beautiful message. The song serves as a poignant reminder to live in the moment, and appreciate the little moments in life.

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"At Last," Etta James

Lyrics you'll love: "At last/The skies above are blue/My heart was wrapped up in clover/The night I looked at you"

"At Last" is a sultry love song that has truly withstood the test of time thanks to singer Etta James' powerful pipes, which pair perfectly with the string instrumentals. What's more, the slow yet striking ballad is an ideal song choice for your last dance. (It also works as a phenomenal first dance song, too.)

"All Of Me," John Legend

Lyrics you'll love: "'Cause all of me/Loves all of you/Love your curves and all your edges/All your perfect imperfections/Give your all to me/I'll give my all to you/You're my end and my beginnin'/Even when I lose, I'm winnin'"

John Legend wrote "All Of Me" for his now-wife, Chrissy Teigen. The intimate lyrics—plus Legend's passionate singing and tranquil instrumentals—make it a stand-out.

"Stand By Me," Ben E. King

Lyrics you'll love: "If the sky that we look upon/Should tumble and fall/Or the mountains should crumble to the sea/I won't cry, I won't cry/No, I won't shed a tear/Just as long as you stand, stand by me"

Singer-songwriter Ben E. King first released "Stand By Me" in 1961. In the 50-plus years since its debut, the song has been covered more than 400 times. However, the original version is definitely the most famous. Its emotional lyrics will surely pull at your heart strings.

"I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," Aerosmith

Lyrics you'll love: "I could spend my life in this sweet surrender/I could stay lost in this moment forever/Every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure"

This 1998 tune showcases the lead singer Steven Tyler's signature pipes. Meanwhile, the super-sweet song lyrics are just the icing on the cake.

"Closing Time," Semisonic

Lyrics you'll love: "So, gather up your jackets, move it to the exits/I hope you have found a friend"

Give your guests one last chance to let loose by having your band or DJ play "Closing Time" by Semisonic as your last dance song. The jam is especially apropos for your last dance song at your wedding reception to its fitting song title and lyrics.

"Don't Stop Me Now," Queen

Lyrics you'll love: "Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time/I feel alive/And the world I'll turn it inside out, yeah/I'm floating around in ecstasy/So, (don't stop me now/Don't stop me/'Cause I'm having a good time, having a good time"

"Don't Stop Me Now" is the ultimate feel-good tune from British rock band Queen. Its cheery rhythm, coupled with Freddie Mercury's striking vocals and high-pitched croons, makes it a fan-favorite for wedding receptions.

"Wonderful Tonight," Eric Clapton

Lyrics you'll love: "I feel wonderful because I see the love light in your eyes/Then the wonder of it all is that you just don't realize/How much I love you"

"Wonderful Tonight" is a romantic ballad by Eric Clapton. The guitar solos are just as stunning as the lyrics themselves.

"Don't Stop Believin'," Journey

Lyrics you'll love: "Don't stop believin'/Hold on to that feelin'"

It may be cliche, but you truly can't go wrong when you play "Don't Stop Believin' as your last dance song. The wedding reception staple has become a classic, luring folks of all ages out onto the dance floor.

"Uptown Funk," Mark Ronson (Feat. Bruno Mars)

Lyrics you'll love: "Come on, dance, jump on it/If you sexy than flaunt it/Well, it's Saturday night, and we in the spot/Don't believe me, just watch, come on!"

Go out with a bang by playing "Uptown Funk" as your final song of the night. The 2014, '80s-inspired, chart-topping smash features Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. It fuses flavors of funk, pop, soul, disco, pop and boogie.

"Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)," Green Day

Lyrics you'll love: "Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road/Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go/So make the best of this test, and don't ask why/It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time/It's something unpredictable/But in the end is right/I hope you had the time of your life"

Cap off your wedding reception on a memorable note by playing Green Day's "Good Riddance." Also known as "Time Of Your Life", the single is a popular last dance pick. The 1997-era slow-jam features a soft, mellow beat and poetic lyrics.

"Ho Hey," The Lumineers

Lyrics you'll love: "I belong with you, you belong with me/You're my sweetheart"

If you're a fan of folk music, consider The Lumineers' "Ho Hey" as your last dance song pick. The tune's breezy chords and cheerful lyrics will surely melt the hearts of your wedding guests.

"Mr. Brightside," The Killers

Lyrics you'll love: "Coming out of my cage and I've been doing just fine/Gotta, gotta be down because I want it all/It started out with a kiss; how did it end up like this?/It was only a kiss; it was only a kiss"

"Mr. Brightside" by The Killers is a favorite amongst wedding guests of all ages. The song features a pulsing beat, catchy chorus and dance-friendly rhythm. Blast it right before your wedding guests say their goodbyes—ensuring the festivities conclude on a fun, feel-good note.

"Last Dance," Donna Summer

Lyrics you'll love: "Yes, it's my last chance/For romance tonight/I need you, by me,/Beside me, to guide me/To hold me, to scold me"

What last dance song list would be complete without "Last Dance" by Donna Summer? The song, which was released in 1978, has a distinctively slow tempo, which critics have raved about for decades. What's more, it (arguably) makes the song sound more like a ballad than a classic disco number.

"Shut Up And Dance," Walk The Moon

Lyrics you'll love: "We were victims of the night/The chemical, physical, kryptonite/Helpless to the bass and the fading light/Oh we were bound to get together/Bound to get together/She took my arm/I don't know how it happened/We took the floor and she said/Oh don't you dare look back/Just keep your eyes on me"

"Shut Up And Dance" by pop-rock band Walk The Moon was released in 2014. The fast-paced track that'll have you singing and dancing away in almost no time. Fans love its catchy chorus, while critics rave about the song's '80s-inspired influences.

"Save The Last Dance For Me," Michael Bublé

Lyrics you'll love: "Oh, I know that the music's fine/Like sparklin' wine, go and have your fun/Laugh and sing, but while we're apart/Don't give your heart to anyone/And don't forget who's takin' you home/And in whose arms you're gonna be/So darling, save the last dance for me"

Michael Bublé is most famous for his slew of love songs, and his cover of the 1960 tune, "Save The Last Dance For Me" is one of his best. Throughout the track, the crooner sings passionately—affectionately pleading with his "darling" to save the last dance for him.

"Thinking Out Loud," Ed Sheeran

Lyrics you'll love: "So honey now/Take me into your loving arms/Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars/Place your head on my beating heart/I'm thinking out loud"

This lovely Ed Sheeran ballad was practically written for wedding receptions, with its sweet lyrics and serene melody. While Sheeran described "Thinking Out Loud" as a "walking down the aisle" song," it also serves as the perfect first dance or last dance song.

"Never Forget," Take That

Lyrics you'll love: "Finding a paradise wasn't easy but still/There's a road going down the other side of this hill"

Ensure your guests never forget your last dance song by playing "Never Forget." (See what we did there?) The track, which comes from English boy band, Take That, was released in 1995. Your guests will love singing along to this beloved pop song.

"After The Dance," Marvin Gaye

Lyrics you'll love: "You was dancing good, spinning everywhere/Baby, I fall over myself, she was so fine/The way she moves, so fine/She was moving so freaky/Need her, what she needs is me/I want you and you want me/So why don't we get together after the dance?"

This Marvin Gaye ballad is considered one of the star's best slow jams. The sentimental tune is accompanied by beautiful piano instrumentals. It combines elements of soul and pop.

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