The Soundtrack of Love and Last Dances

DJ Darla Bea Explains the Importance of the Wedding Soundtrack and the Last Dance

The Soundtrack of Love and Last Dances

DJ Darla Bea Explains the Importance of the Wedding Soundtrack and the Last Dance

By DJ Darla Bea | February 17, 2022

DJ Darla Bea | Credit: James & Jess

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.” That sentence is partly words recited in a wedding ceremony and also the lyrics sung by Prince in his epic rock song “Let’s Go Crazy.” The Purple Rain film score has become a mainstay at the weddings I deejay. I was inspired by the Minneapolis multi-instrumentalist and singer Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes when I began curating this four-hour Spotify playlist, “BEA MY BABY! Love Songs + Last Dances.”

Every wedding is as unique as every couple’s style, and that should be reflected in their set list of songs. I have found, after deejaying weddings for 15 years, that the last songs played are some of the most important of the celebration. The songs that end a wedding reception not only close the event, but they are also the final send-off for newlyweds as they begin a new adventure. Songs such as Kygo’s Whitney Houston remix “Higher Love,” Leon Bridges’s “Beyond,” and Talking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place.” When I curate wedding soundtracks, my philosophy is that every song counts and will have the ability to evoke happy memories long after the day. I have couples that have been married for 15 years that still come up to me to reminisce about songs played on their big day.

Credit: James & Jess

Last-dance songs such as “Tiny Dancer,” “Sweet Caroline,” and the late, great Vicente Fernández’s “Volver Volver” can connect different generations and cultures as friends and family sing and hug in unison. I have noticed one wedding staple, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” has been replaced with more modern rock songs such as The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” Semisonic’s apropos “Closing Time,” anything by Blink-182, and songs by artists such as Lizzo, Dua Lipa, Big Wild, and LCD Soundsystem. Seventies glam and disco made a big comeback this past year with ABBA and Queen ruling the dance floor.

One of the greatest feelings for me is when after the music stops and guests are still humming and singing the last song, and I say to myself, “My work here is done!”

Check out my curated Spotify playlist “BEA MY BABY! Love Songs + Last Dances” to inspire you and your fiancé to end the night on the right note:

Read all of the stories in this year’s Wedding Guide here.


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