When it comes to Valentine’s Day, celebration expert, best-selling author and illustrator of Celebrate Everything!, as well as editor-at-large of Martha Stewart Weddings Darcy Miller knows how important music is when setting the mood. That’s why she curated a special Spotify Valentine’s Mix you’re bound to love.
Whether you’re celebrating this Valentine’s Day with a loved one, friend, family, or yourself, “It always comes down to doing what’s personal—no matter who you’re celebrating,” Darcy said to For the Record. “It comes down to doing what feels right.” Read on for Darcy’s tips to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
There’s so much variety in your Valentine’s Mix playlist for our listeners. Can you share the thinking behind the songs that you chose?
I just wanted a really fun mix of songs with a wide range of moods and tempos, so there’s something for everyone. I wanted it to be songs that I love . . . including some timeless ones from Ella Fitzgerald and some pop-y ones from ABBA and Elton John. And I included what I think is the most classic love song, because it’s the song I fell in love to, “The Way You Look Tonight,” by Steve Tyrell.
What is it about Steve Tyrell’s “The Way You Look Tonight” that you love most?
My husband and I kind of fell in love to that soundtrack. When we got engaged, he had that song playing in the background. And when my husband and I got married, I actually reached out to Steve, and we started a friendship, and he sang the song at our wedding. I also interviewed Steve for a segment on The Martha Stewart Show where we talked about his standards and of course he sang, “The Way You Look Tonight”; so it’s like all of the pieces coming together.
Speaking of your wedding, I understand that you were set up by your boss (Martha Stewart). If you had to describe that scenario with a song, what would it be?
On a very obvious level, I guess the song would be “Matchmaker,” from the show Fiddler on the Roof.
What advice do you have when it comes to making the most out of Valentine’s Day?
I have a tradition of making Valentines and giving them to our friends, which is what we did with the chocolate cassette tapes this year that featured my Spotify mix. On my Instagram and website, we’re always trying to inspire people with ideas. It could be as simple as just taking a little note, kissing it, and leaving it for someone special. I just think it always comes down to who you’re celebrating.
When planning non-Valentine’s Day-related events, what are your tips for setting the mood with music?
I would say, like any party, you first want to think about what you’re trying to accomplish. So, what’s the setting? What’s the mood? There’s obviously a difference between a small dinner party or a daytime bridal shower versus a sit-down dinner party. And I would say that once you figure out the mood and think about who is there, again, thinking about what kind of music is important. Music is such a big part of celebrating and life, and it’s music that’s connected to so many experiences; the way you hear songs, and the way it reminds you of things. For any party, I always say, music is really important to set the tone.
I always like to have a good mix of music that people recognize, along with some surprises that they might not know—and something that’s personal to you that makes it yours. I always tell this to brides who are planning weddings: Take the time to pick the right DJ or band—because the music will set the tone. A lot of times people are thinking about the visuals first, like the flowers and the food, but I always say don’t overlook the music.
Listen to Darcy Miller’s Valentine’s Day Mix here.
*Cover art provided by @DarcyMiller