Believe it or not, I sometimes do not know how special a client's wedding day is going to be until the days leading up to it. While the music for a couple's wedding day is one of the most important aspects of their day, I never really know what my couple's are envisioning and expecting as their wedding day approaches. However, it's been my experience that when a bride and groom choose Middleton Place, an instant love story and fairy tale are created. Middleton Place is in my opinion one of the most beautiful wedding venues in the South. In order to appreciate Middleton Place, you've got to visit there to see the beauty of its lush gardens. Middleton Place weddings tend to be classy, black-tie affairs with the backdrop of an old South plantation and exquisite gardens located on the Ashley River. Shelby + Greg were from the Atlanta, Georgia area and actually found me by way of a very fine wedding planner, Nia Thompson, of Thompson & Tuile. I'll put a link to her website toward the end of this post, but she is one of the many wedding planners NOT in Charleston, who over the years have hired me to provide the music for their destination brides and grooms. I'll talk more about Nia soon, but let's get to the love story that is Shelby & Greg, who were married at Middleton Place on a spectacular Sunday afternoon in October.
When planning a wedding in the late summer or fall in Charleston, modern brides and grooms need to have it in the back of their mind that their most special day could be threatened by a tropical storm or hurricane. While the chances of having to reschedule because of weather are generally fairly low, the past 8-9 years in Charleston have seen an increase in sleepless nights come September. In 2016, we had Matthew. In 2017, we had Irma. In 2018, we had Florence and Michael. In 2019, we had Dorian. Thankfully, as COVID raged during 2020 and 2021, we weren't threatened at all. You can say that 2022 was the year that brides and grooms didn't have COVID on their mind, which was a welcome relief from the previous two years. Josh's mother, Abby found me back in February of 2022. Since Katie + Josh have demanding jobs up in Washington DC, I didn't get to speak with Josh until April. Josh set up a call with me at that time and asked me a lot of the questions that brides and grooms should be asking their prospective wedding DJs. I'll attach a link to some of those important questions at the end of this post, but thankfully I passed the test and was hired to be Katie + Josh's wedding DJ for their Veteran's Day wedding on 11-11-22.
Now that I've got some time on my hands since my fall wedding rush has subsided a tad, it's time to stop neglecting my beloved wedding DJ blog. I'm still glowing about my fall wedding clients; such an amazing and eclectic group of modern brides and grooms coming to the Holy City for their most special and important day. It's very nice to know that recently engaged brides and grooms are deciding to move past COVID and are ready to get married in one of the top wedding destinations in the country. Sarah + Anthony actually found me back in the spring by way of a referral on Facebook. Apparently, my name was mentioned at some point inside a wedding group. Special thanks to whoever made this mention of me because most all of my clients find me by way of Google search. I will include a link to archive post about Google searches later in this post. I am so glad I got mentioned and that Sarah + Anthony decided to click over to my website and learn more about me. For more on Sarah + Anthony's destination wedding, click below.
You better believe that if a bride approaches me with an extreme level of enthusiasm about wanting me to be her wedding DJ, I will bend over backwards for her. Word-of-mouth referrals from fellow wedding vendors tend to spark that enthusiasm, but I'm tickled when they take things even further before we even have a chance to talk. How does a future client become so much more enthusiastic before we talk after they were referred to me? They head over to my website and get buried in all the content I've created on my blog I've created over the years, and even listen to one of more episodes of The Mike Bills Podcast. When I first spoke with Melissa about her upcoming wedding on Folly Beach in November, her enthusiasm was something so very refreshing. We talked for quite some time on the phone in early August and her excitement about my style as a wedding DJ definitely was apparent. While I wish this would happen more frequently, I am non-traditional wedding DJ who is more concerned about "Quality" over "Quantity" as it pertains to my performances at weddings. You'll want to continue to read on to see how I put together their wedding playlist based on several different types of ethnic music selections. Melissa and Matthew's wedding on Saturday, November 27, 2021 (Thanksgiving weekend) on Folly Beach would be something very special.
While in the midst of the lockdown at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I received an inquiry from a luxury wedding planner based in the Seattle area. I'm always tickled to get these types of requests because the competition is so fierce in Charleston. Back then, the uncertainty with the pandemic practically put a halt in weddings across the entire country. It's so strange to look back now (pre-vaccine) at where our minds were back in the spring of 2020 versus where they are now. In the spring of 2020, we were all thinking that COVID might be over by the end of the summer of 2020, but little did we know that we'd endure at least another 2-3 more surges, thus putting even more uncertainty into the minds of modern brides and grooms trying to plan their weddings. Erin Lindeman and I spoke about her client's destination wedding that was planned for May 8, 2021. Her company, Erin Lindeman Weddings, has forged a stellar reputation over the years as a luxury and destination wedding planner. As a matter of fact, you can find Erin spending the bulk of her time in Greece and Italy planning the most elaborate wedding celebrations. Not too long after touching base with Erin, I would be on a Teams call with Rachel + Dan. Within minutes of speaking with Rachel + Dan, I could tell they were a couple who were very much into their music, and that we would work very well together.
If you speak with a lot of seasoned wedding vendors, they'll tell you the likelihood the way that modern brides and grooms are going to celebrate weddings might just be changing forever. Even as wedding bookings begin to slightly increase as we edge toward 2022, I find myself asking the following questions: "How are weddings going to look in the future?" "Will there ever be a sense of normalcy in the industry again?" One thing is for sure, the guest lists have shrunk quite a bit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps it's because modern brides and grooms want to invest more in a honeymoon to get away because they feel as though they have been locked down for so long? Maybe the modern bride and groom wants to spend less on their wedding because they want to buy a new home? Maybe recently engaged brides and grooms can take some advice from Alisha & Matt. Alisha found me back in March of 2021 by way of one of the wedding websites. We set up a call and discussed exactly what her and her fiance Matt were looking for. Their wedding would be small, and in today's day and age, that's completely OK. For those couples thinking about a small wedding, you'll want to read on.
Here we are in the summer of 2021 and I am grossly behind in putting together some blogs! I've been working hard on some other personal things these past few months, and that has unfortunately taken my focus off the blog, but I am taking a break from that for this weekend to get some much needed "blog therapy" up online. There will be more content uploaded in the coming weeks, I can promise you that. You know part of the allure of hiring me to be your wedding DJ is the stellar reputation that I have forged over the years in giving my clients a truly personal approach. That personal approach begins when we start talking about me being your wedding DJ after you've visited my website and filled out a contact form. Generally speaking, when a contact form is filled out on a website, the bride and groom have narrowed their choice and that particular wedding vendor is in the running to be hired. If you are looking to see the love story of one of the most adorable bride and grooms I've gotten to work with, you're going to want to read on!
Lauren had reached out to me back in January about hiring me to be the wedding DJ for her and John's Bowens Island wedding reception, originally scheduled for May. Little did we know that not too long after she signed the contract and paid her retainer that COVID 19 would take over and forever change the wedding landscape in Charleston, SC and beyond. Originally scheduled to get married on May 16, 2020, Lauren + John would need to postpone their spring wedding into the fall due to lockdowns for weddings and events mandated by the state of South Carolina. Truth be told, having to postpone a wedding due to a global pandemic is not something I've ever had to before, but my track record is nearly perfect thus far. I've experienced one cancellation thus far, but all the rest have been successfully postponed and moved to other dates. In Charleston, there is a first time for everything. I had never been to Bowens Island before for a wedding. Looking for a place that is right on the ocean and offers pleasant breezes while you get married, socialize with your guests and dance the night away? Consider checking out Bowens Island.
March 6, 2020. You are probably asking me why I begin this look back at Kate & Ben's special day out at The Stables At Boals Farm with that date. It was the date I would meet Kate & Ben to begin discussing the music for their wedding. We met over at Low Tide Brewing near the fire pit, which was actually the night before the last wedding I would do before COVID 19 would shut down the spring wedding season in Charleston. If we fast forward a few weeks, COVID 19 would begin to shut down pretty much the entire spring wedding season. Since no one had ever been in a pandemic, we had no idea how much longer we would be affected. When I was contracted by Kate + Ben, they were planning on getting married back on May 30. As the weddings of the spring continued to be postponed, Kate contacted me to let me know that her and Ben were going to move their date to September 12. On September 12, Kate + Ben would be married
The drought is finally over. 174 days. That's how long it had been since I DJ'ed my last wedding. I still remember that crisp and cold early March evening at Upstairs At Midtown. <---Click HERE For a Pre-COVID flashback to Courtney & Logan's wedding. During this new normal over the past 6 months, that night had been the only memory I was able to remember of how things used to be in the wedding DJ world. For the first time since I have owned my company, I experienced my first cancellation back on August 7. This had been a wedding that had been rescheduled from May 2020. However in mid - late July, cases were still exploding in South Carolina and like a lot of brides and grooms, they made the decision to cancel their wedding. As the calendar flipped over to August, there was a glimmer of hope that COVID-19 was beginning to slow down just a tad. So, my next wedding would be Friday, August 28 at the truly lovely and fabulous Cannon Green. Back in January of 2019, I was given a tour of this truly fabulous venue in the heart of the city, but it was not until this summer evening in August that I would perform for the first time here. If you are looking for an amazing wedding venue that gives you all the Charleston feels, be sure to take a tour of Cannon Green. <---Click HERE for my January 2019 tour of Cannon Green.