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Trending: The Private Last Dance For Your Wedding Playlist

24 December 2023

Over the years, modern brides and grooms who have made the decision who to hire as their wedding DJ have sought to make their wedding unlike any they have been to previously.  Some traditions like the bouquet toss and garter toss have been kicked to the curb, mostly because younger millenials and Gen Z think they are cheesy. And let me tell you, they are not wrong at all. I have never been so burned out of hearing "Single Ladies" by Beyonce in my whole life. Sorry Bey. In keeping with the the desire to make their weddings different, I am always happy to see new trends develop. In recent years, a lot of my clients have requested a "private last dance" be placed into their wedding playlist. In this post, I'll not go into why this should be a part of your wedding playlist, but I will also provide an amazing playlist of song selections that would be perfect for this moment.

Think of your private last dance as a "first" dance without anyone in the venue.  While your first dance song might be one of the powerful songs on your wedding playlist, your private last dance song should be equally as moving.  If you are like most modern brides and grooms, you've probably been planning your wedding for 12-18 months. YOUR wedding, as beautiful it is going to be for you is going to occupy a lot of space in your mind. When this most special day finally arrives, YOU both are going to want to take in every detail of it. Unfortunately, most couples tell me that their wedding day goes by so fast.  While your wedding DJ cannot stop time, we can certainly assist in making sure you have some of the most special moments possible.  Your first dance can be an emotional song and is a crucial moment of your reception. This dance usually takes place at the beginning of the reception, perhaps after your bridal party introduction.  At the time of your first dance, your mind is in a bit of a different place. For one, the most important business of the day is behind you. YOUR wedding ceremony is over and you are officially married. All of the heavy lifting over the past 12-18 months has come to fruition and you are officially husband and wife. So, when the first dance happens all eyes are on you and you know that the biggest dance party of your life (up until that point) is not too far off from the future. 

Fast forward to the end of your wedding reception. You've consumed some of the most delicious food ever. <---CLICK HERE for a top caterer. You've consumed your share of your signature cocktail and are feeling pretty good.  You hired a top notch wedding videographer so we've got all of your funny dance moves with your besties on tape. But now we've reached the end of your wedding reception and you might have a bit of a sinking feeling developing because all the fun will soon be over. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. However you decide to end your wedding reception (whether it's an upbeat song or slow dance song), you should let your DJ know that you would like something more; the private last dance.

The private last dance will occur after your wedding DJ makes an announcement after the "last song" for your guests. Once that song has over, your wedding DJ will make an announcement that there will be a send-off of some type; usually sparklers, bubbles, or confetti. Your wedding DJ will ask that all guests leave the main venue area and begin to congregate outside to prepare for the send-off. Once all guests have left the venue and are outside, your wedding DJ will cue up your private last dance song. At this time, you'll be given the opportunity to have a special moment at the end of your reception to allow you to reflect on all of the memories that were created on your amazing wedding day. If you should decide to have a private last dance at your wedding, make sure your wedding DJ and photographer are on the same page. A private last dance is also an excellent way for couples to get more exceptional photos of their day.

Download This Playlist Of Private Last Dance Songs From Spotify

Music streaming services like spotfy make it much easier for modern brides and grooms to put together their playlist. Because I've observed this over the past few years, I've built a Spotify profile designed to provide inspiration as couples look to put together their playlist. All you need to do is head over to Spotify and search for DJ Mike Bills. Over on my Spotify profile, you'll be greeted with over 150 playlists designed to inspire the modern bride and groom on how to create their wedding playlist.



"Until I Found You" | Stephen Sanchez
Stephen Sanchez is one of the most wonderful discoveries in new music over the past few years. Special thanks to Bryan Schock, veteran programmer of 105.5 The Bridge in Charleston, SC for allowing me to discover this artist. Stephen Sanchez was 19 when he recorded this song. If you've not heard this song, you will think you are timewarping back to the 60s when you hear it.  I've added this song into my dinner music catalog and are deeming it a great selection for a private last dance. "Until I Found You" reached #1 on the U.S Hot Rock & Alternative chart in 2022, and #5 on the Adult Top 40 chart.

"How Will I Know" | Sam Smith
At the time of publishing of this post, it's hard to believe we're approaching 12 years since the untimely loss of Whitney Houston.  In case you missed my archived post on the Best Whitney Houston Songs For Your Wedding <---CLICK HERE - Sam Smith turns an 80s dance songs into a slow ballad and a song that is absolutely perfect for a private last dance with the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with.

"Beyond" | Leon Bridges
It seems like it was just yesterday that I discovered Leon Bridges. The vintage, classic Motown R&B sound of "Coming Home" was so refreshing.  When you analyze the lyrics of "Beyond". Leon speaks of unconditional love, which would be the perfect song for a private last dance. "Beyond" can be found on the album Good Thing, which peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart.

"In Your Love" | Tyler Childers
Sometimes country songs shows up on AAA (Adult Album Alternative) radio stations.  This is how I discovered this beautiful song by Tyler Childers. "In Your Love" is the first single that was released from his album Rustin' In The Rain during the summer of 2023.

"Lover" | Taylor Swift
The most powerful woman in music has a perfect song for a private last dance.  "Lover" was the title track of her 2019 album and would become a Top 10 hit for her on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary chart. "Lover" has also been used for modern brides and grooms who are seeking a Contemporary Recessional Song For Their Wedding Ceremony

"Always & Forever" | Heatwave
Ah yes, an R&B track for a private last dance. This classic by Heatwave is not the only R&B song on this selection of songs. "Always & Forever" appeared on Heatwave's first record Too Hot To Handle. The song was released as a single in December 1977 and would make it all the way to #2 on the Hot Soul Singles chart.

"My Love Mine All Mine" | Mitski
I don't want to sound like a broken record but Mitski is another artist I discovered as part of the New Music Discovery category on 105.5 The Bridge in Charleston, SC.  "My Love Mine All Mine" was a hit on Tiktok, and can be found on Mitski's album The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We. "My Love Mine All Mine" has a perfect vibe for the modern bride and groom who want that private last dance and to savor the very last moments of their wedding reception.

"Love On The Brain" | Rihanna
In 2016, Rihanna released her album Anti. "Love On The Brain" was the last single to be released from the record and would make it all the way to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"Come Away With Me" | Norah Jones
If we ever get to sit down for a consultation about your wedding, I'll tell you my recurring dream of walking into a jazz club in New York City and seeing Norah Jones perform. "Come Away With Me" is the perfect song to hold each one more time before the night ends and reflect on the memories of a lifetime that were created just hours before. "Come Away With Me" is the title track of Norah's 2002 album. The song would peak at #12 on the Adult Alternative chart.

"Here And Now" | Luther Vandross
"Here And Now" is an example of the greatness that R&B and adult contemporary music saw in the 80s. The song was released at the end of 1989 on a compilation album of love songs. The song would peak at #3 on the adult contemporary chart, and #1 on the Hot R&B chart.

"From The Start" | Laufey
Laufey was another one of the many New Music Discoveries that I got to experience thanks to 105.5 The Bridge (radio station in Charleston, SC). Laufey is a singer-songwriter from Iceland, and at the time of publishing of this post, she just hit 200 million streams on Spotify. 

"At The Beginning" | Richard Marx & Donna Lewis
I got to see Richard Marx back in the summer of 2019 (my last concert before COVID). His duet with Donna Lewis appeared on the soundtrack to Anatasia in 1997.  The song made it all the way to Number 1 on the Adult contemporary chart.

"At Last" | Etta James
Originally written for a musical in 1942, Etta James recorded the song in 1960 and it would become her signature song. Celine Dion would record a cover of the song in 2002, but her version would only peak at #16 on the Adult contemporary chart. The Etta James version would peak at #2 on the R&B chart in 1961.

"We've Only Just Begun" | The Carpenters
Some people may call this a "Cliche" wedding song. If that's the case, why doesn't it show up on more wedding playlists? Perhaps youner millenials and Gen Z don't know about the song, which is why professional wedding DJs need to educate and dust off some of the classics. :) Released back in August of 1970, "We've Only Just Begun" peaked at #1 on the Easy Listening chart.

"Save The Best For Last" | Vanessa Williams
This song became Vanessa's signature song and encomapsses everything I absolutely loved about Soft Rock Songs Of The 90s.  The song still connects with me today as it was in heavy rotation on the radio in the months before I graduated from high school. For more of The Best Songs From 1992 For Your Wedding Playlist <---CLICK HERE. "Save The Best For Last" would peak at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary chart in the spring of 1992.

"You Send Me" | Sam Cooke
If you are a collector of classic records, you know that Sam Cooke originally wrote and recorded this song in 1957, on the Keen label. "You Send Me" would peak at #1 on the Black Singles and Pop Singles chart in 1957, and would later be covered by the Manhattans in 1985.

"Dance With Me" | Phillip Phillips
If you are an American Idol fan, you probably remember Phillip Phillips. "Dance With Me" is the perfect song for the modern bride and groom to savor those final minutes of the best day of their lives. "Dance With Me" can be found the album Collateral, released in 2018.

"Time After Time" | Cyndi Lauper
This iconic song from the 80s by Cyndi Lauper is on my goto song list for dinner at modern weddings. I'll never forget a father of the bride approaching me at a wedding during dinner and he had tears of joy in his eyes because of this song. You never know how music is going to affect people, but I've always curated the best mix of music (especially for dinner) with common sense and songs that feel right for the occasion. "Time After Time" also feels right for a private last dance at the end of your wedding day.  Released in the winter of 1984, "Time After Time" peaked at #1 on the Hot 100 and AC chart later that year. 

"I Won't Give Up" | Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz has a way of writing some truly beautiful wedding songs. "I Won't Give Up" can be found on the 2012 album Love Is A Four Letter Word. The song was the first single to be released from the album and would peak at #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

"Right Here Waiting" | Richard Marx
I believe Richard Marx wrote this song for his wife who he could not see for many months because he was on tour a lot back in the 80s. "Right Here Waiting" was released back in the summer of 1989 and would become a signature song in Richard Marx's career. The song would make it all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and AC chart later in the year. For more of The Best Soft Rock Songs From The 80s For Your Wedding Playlist <---CLICK HERE

"And I Love Her" | Diana Krall
Diana Krall transforms this classic Beatles track, which appears on the 1964 album A Hard Days Night.  This song appears on a Beatle Song Jazz Compilation album released ion 1995. Diana changes the lyrics slightly to "And I Love Him".

"Tiny Dancer" | Elton John
Wow. I just realized that "Tiny Dancer" is now 52 years old. It's a song that still gets a lot of requests for weddings. The song was originally released on the album Madman Across The Water in 1971. The lyrics "Lying here, with no one near, only you and you can hear me....." as you are on the dance floor one last time for a private dance. 

"The Best Is Yet To Come" | Tony Bennett
If you prefer a member of the Rat Pack to perform this song, you can also choose the Frank Sinatra version, which is equally as wonderful. Tony Bennett recorded and released his version of the song on his album I Left My Heart In San Francisco in 1962.

"Your Love Is King" | Sade
I can't think of a better way to wrap up your wedding day than to throw on a very slow and sexy Sade track.  "Your Love Is King" can be found on Sade's debut album Diamond Life. The song was originally released in ther UK in 1984, but not until the summer of 1985 in the U.S. "Your Love Is King" would peak at #6 on the Hot 100 in 1985. For more Sensual Sade Songs For Your Wedding Playlist <---CLICK HERE

 "Maybe I'm Amazed" | Wings
Paul McCartney released this song in 1970 as one of his first releases after the Beatles broke up.  It wasn't until Wings released their live album in 1976 titled Wings Over America that I really took a liking to the song. Despite it being "live" recording, I believe it could easily be played during a wedding, while sound "live" recordings of songs are sinply not of good sound quality. You can hear so much more emotion in Paul's voice in this live version. 

"Wonderful Tonight" | Eric Clapton
And we wrap up this rare listing of song selections for the Private Last Dance for your wedding playlist with a classic song from Eric Clapton. This lovely ballad appears on his 1977 album Slowhand. The song would be released as a single in 1978 and would peak at #16 on the Hot 100 chart.

Bride And Groom Private Last Dance

Ready To Speak To DJ Mike Bills About Being Your Wedding DJ?

And there you have it. If you were to go Googling around about Private Last Dance Songs, you would not find too many posts as this has become a relatively new tradition at weddings in the past 3 -4 years. But really, beauty is in the ears of the beholder as it pertains to any song that is to be chosen for any special moment during your wedding day.  When modern brides and grooms think long and hard about which songs they want played during these moments, their wedding days become even more memorable.  Thank you for finding me online as you search for the best wedding DJ for your wedding day. A private last dance song is just one of the many aspects of your wedding day when it comes to the music for your big day. Please, if you are on the fence about who you should hire for your wedding DJ, please check out the other parts of my blog,  for inspiration and let's set up a time to speak soon.