At the end of the (big) day, all of your hard work culminates in one final moment: the last dance of the wedding reception. Since you want to end the night on a high note, you might be wondering how you can ensure that your guests leave the party feeling happy and fulfilled following the final track. To help you plan a party that's a total blast from start to finish, we asked four musicians and DJs to weigh in on how to choose the right last song for your reception.
Pick something epic.
Going out with a bang doesn't have to include fireworks, but the last song of the night should reflect your excitement to be leaving the reception as a newlywed couple. "If you have a great band, I'm a fan of an epic, lighters-in-the-air vibe for the last song," says Danny Chaimson, founder of Gold Coast Events Ltd. "Ideally, it's been a long, amazingly fun, sweaty night of dancing, and its nice to wrap everything up with a triumphant finish."
Bring everybody together.
Weddings are all about the merging of two families, after all. What better way to signify this than to get your guests on their feet one final time? "Look for a track that allows you, your friends, and your family to share one last moment together," offers RedShoe cofounder Ian Gotler. "A unifier. An exclamation point. Something that gives you one last chance to sing at the top of your lungs, sweat through your clothes, or hold on tight to the love of your life."
Make it mean something.
Maybe you and your partner share a favorite band, or perhaps your friend group has a go-to on the jukebox at your neighborhood dive bar. "We always ask our brides and grooms to think about a song that has some significance within their group of friends, family, or between them as the couple," says Brian Lee, founder of Elevated Pulse Productions. "This could be a song that brings everyone together at the end of the night singing at the top of their lungs or dancing like maniacs one more time before the lights come on." Just don't make it an "inside" song that only you and your groom—or attendees of a certain age—know. It's no fun if only a few people can sing along while the rest are left out.
Avoid sad, slow songs.
"I try to steer my clients away from anything too obscure or overtly sad," Gotler advises. "I also like to have a couple different options. It can be hard to predict what the end of the night will look and feel like, so some flexibility is nice." Lee agrees, adding, "We tend to have high-energy dance parties at our weddings, and if we pull out a slow song to finish the night off it will really change the energy of the event."
Get it stuck in their heads—in a good way.
Music is a memory-trigger for many. "The last song of the night should be the proverbial cherry on top of the party—it can be anything from a song that everyone can dance to, sway to, sing along to, or a guilty pleasure," adds Brian Pincus a musician with Bob Gail Music & Entertainment. "It's a good practice to picture your guests having that song stuck in their head when they think back on dancing at your wedding."
Try one of these expert-approved picks.
Still stuck on how you want to end the night? Our pros offered suggestions to get you started.
- "Anything Could Happen" – Ellie Goulding
- "Somebody To Love" – Queen
- "All My Friends" – LCD Soundsystem
- "Proud Mary" – Ike & Tina Turner
- "Born to Run" – Bruce Springsteen
- "Hey Jude" – The Beatles
- "Rockin' in the Free World" – Neil Young
- "Say It Ain't So" – Weezer
- "Home" – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
- "I Will Wait" – Mumford & Sons