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    REAL CHARLESTON WEDDINGS

As we enter this second weekend of May, the temperatures are finally beginning to really heat up. After a fairly cool March and April, we're expecting some of the first 90 degree temperatures in Charleston as another incredibly business wedding weekend and season continues. At this time of the year, there is ALWAYS something going on around Charleston, as we're in the peak of another busy Charleston wedding season. With Charleston being the number 2 wedding destination, couples continue to travel here to make one of the most beautiful cities in the world the place where they begin their lives together.  Music has always and will continue to be my main focus at Mike Bills Entertainment. With some recent tweaks in content, as well as imaging changes on my website over the past few weeks, it's been a while since I have blogged about what it is that I am truly passionate about. Music.  Your Charleston wedding DJ playlist should not only be the most fun you can make it, but you should also put in it a lot of songs about "love". Simply put, this is the main reason you are planning the single most important day of your life, right? :)  I am always in the mood to be blogging about "love".   While you don't generally want to totally fill your playlist with a bunch of slow songs, the following list has been updated to include some current love songs that are still heavily requested. These are some of the songs that can fill the dance floor and bring those folks to the dance floor with their partner who may not have been getting "low", just a few minutes earlier.  For a Charleston wedding that is full of love, you'll want to read on.

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Today is the first day of spring and I've got visions of the Charleston spring wedding season dancing in my head. I was recently approached to organize and create some playlists for some private events that could be making their way to the Charleston area this spring and summer. In conducting the research for what would become an amazing customized playlist for dancing, I began to reflect back to a truly golden era in dance music. From about 1988 through 1994, there was an incredible bumper crop of artists bursting onto the scene and occupying the Top 40 and Dance charts. These songs created mass hysteria in night clubs all around the Charleston area back during that time, but tend to get pushed to the side in lieu of the Top 40 artists of today.  The research for the music to be added to this post allowed me to take a trip back in time to the early 1990s (say around 1994), when I turned 21.  We had a night club here in Charleston located right on Vendue Range called The Jukebox.  It was in the most ideal location and no club that has opened since then has had such an ideal location. When it closed in the mid 90s, I sensed something missing when it came to night life in Charleston. It's location was absolutely perfect: it was right in front of the Charleston Waterfront park. You could literally dance the night away and then step outside and get some fresh air right on the water. It was perfect. And another thing that was perfect at this place was the music they were playing.  

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There is no doubt about it. Charleston remains a stronghold at the number 2 spot in the country for destination weddings. Maybe it was because a bride and groom met each other here at the College Of Charleston  and wanted to come back and experience it's rich history, beautiful beaches, and excellent menu of fine restaurants. Maybe a bride used to travel here as a young girl with her family and remembered just how beautiful the city was and wanted to get married here? Whatever the reason, brides and grooms from all over the United States continue to flock to Charleston for it's romantic scenery and history. Kara & Ian were one of those couples who chose to get married down here in Charleston. They found Mike Bills Entertainment back in the early summer of 2016 shortly after getting engaged. They were married on Sunday, October 8, 2017 at the Historic Rice Mill. They currently reside in the greater Washington DC area and had guests coming down from the DC area, New York, and all over different parts of the country. For early October (even in Charleston), the weather was really very warm and humid with a heat index of 97. It felt more like August, but after a lovely ceremony with those harbor breezes that provide refreshing breezes to wedding guests, we quickly inside for a great cocktial hour, dinner, and an amazing night of dancing, fun, and memories.

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In a recent survey of Charleston brides, (both destination and local) the value that a DJ has the potential to provide is becoming even more important. Brides and grooms should NEVER have to worry about a thing on their wedding day. Since the entertainment you choose on your wedding day is going to make or break one of the single most important days of your life, you need a professional wedding DJ who provides value. 
Value is defined as follows.  "the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something."
How much is it worth to a bride and groom to have a true, professional, polished wedding DJ at their ceremony and reception? Some of the thoughts below are just a few of the many things that run through my mind the day of YOUR wedding ceremony and reception. 

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In keeping with my promise to prospective Charleston brides to continue to keep this blog one of the freshest and most diverse in the greater Charleston area, I am here to give you yet another great playlist idea when it comes to planning the perfect mix of music for your Charleston wedding. As you get the planning underway at the Daniel Island Club or Harborside East, what about a 70s Soft Rock Cocktail Hour? Pretty groovy idea, huh?  Actually, I was not thinking you'd get your guests to pull out the platform shoes or the bell bottoms, or even the leisure suit, but for a different chill vibe, consider a playlist comprised for soft rock artists from the 70s. Truth be told, I was 6 years old when the ball dropped at midnight on December 31, 1979 so my memories of 70s music when it was released are a little foggy. I did not learn an appreciation for the decade until I heard the music being played as I got older and we had oldies radio hit the Charleston area. Soft rock artists like Elton John, Dobie Grey, Styx, and the Little River Band, just to name a few.

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Here we are at the unofficial end of the summer of 2017. I sure hope it's been an incredibly great summer for you. It's been another incredible summer season of weddings in Charleston and as I'm in the midst of another Labor Day weekend, I am beginning to get ready for the upcoming Fall wedding rush in Charleston. In previous blog posts, I've talked about the longevity of "Despacito" and it's stake on being the song of Summer 2017 (especially on the dance floors of Charleston weddings), and it remains at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 on this Labor Day weekend. "Despacito" is a Spanish word meaning "slowly", but it's rise to fame on the dance floors at Charleston weddings has been anything but slow. It's video reached 3 billion views on You Tube in just a little over 6 months after its debut. Justin Bieber had been travelling in Colombia back in the spring and he had heard the song in a club and it wasn't too long after that Erika Ender and Luis Fonsi received a call from the pop star about cutting a remix. The Labor Day weekend means just a few more beach days for brides and grooms in Charleston, and my calendar is booking up now with in-person consultations for my upcoming Fall wedding season. This means some definite playlist creation and music gathering sessions on the horizon. I love meeting with my clients to discuss music. You should always meet with your wedidng DJ for an increase in peace of mind as your big day arrives.

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Brides and grooms simply do not want the music for their Charleston wedding receptions to sound "cliche".  After my last blog post about 10 Cheesy and "Cliche" songs you may consider leaving off your playlist, I began to think about and research other music.  I began to thank about how brides and grooms tend to let their wedding receptions revolve around Top 200 Most Requested Song lists. You know what? I am guilty as well. This is why I decided to take a bit of initiative on the matter and potentially "dust off" some often overlooked, but fun songs.  It's hard to believe that with all the music that's been created, we've narrowed what is to be played at your wedding down to TWO HUNDRED songs.  This is definitely not a stab at these lists as they have provided a great reference over the years for many brides and grooms, and to honest, I find myself looking at the list every now and then.  Despite having this list on hand, many of my brides and grooms have strayed away from it and really customizing the music for their reception so it's their own and one of a kind.  How did the list of the Top 200 Most Requested songs actually get created in the first place?

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Beach music "beach pop" is a very regional genre of music that actually has it's origins back to the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina, as well as the southeastern coast of North Carolina as early as the 1940s. It developed from numerous rock, pop, R&B artists from the 1950s and 60s. The "Carolina shag" is the official state dance in North Carolina and South Carolina, and beach music closely related to this style of swing dance commonly known as the "shag". Despite it's roots  up the coast in Myrtle Beach and on the southeast coast of North Carolinba, beach music made its presence down the coast in Charleston over the years and is well known by the native of the area. The golden era of beach music was said to have occurred throughout the 1960s, but by the late 60s, beach music was in decline. Beach and shag music saw a bit of a rebirth in the late 1970s. There was no real explanation of this rebirth, but it could have been due to the young college students who were kids in the 60s during the height of beach music wanting an alternative to disco of the mid - late 1970s. Doing a little research on beach or shag music or even learning to shag might offer a bit of a local flavor to the music for your Charleston wedding.

 

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The music of the 90s has been seeing a tremendous nostalgia period in recent years, much like the 80s sort of saw about 10 years ago. When I sit down with my brides and grooms these days, I am seeing more and more 90s music put into their playlists, with some 80s tunes sprinkled throughout.  If you really analyze the music of the 90s, it spans all genres. You've got a lot of pop, some R&B, rap, hip-hop, alternative grunge, rock and more. This blog post focuses on the year 1997. Depending on your age, you might begin to feel a little old (like I did) as I began the research for this blog.  It's hard to believe that all of the songs listed on this post are turning TWENTY this year. And I might add that a lot of these songs that are going to be showcased in this post have grown into classics and floorfillers and heard at so many Charleston weddings. As a professional wedding DJ, it's a passion of mine to study music and collect it that I can feel can be used for my weddings. I find myself visiting record stores all the time trying to locate hard-to-find gems. All in all, the 90s were an awesome decade "musically", so I hope you enjoy this first instlalment. Trust me, I think you'll be adding some of these classic from 1997 to your very own wedding playlist. Crank them up as you browse and we celebrate their 20th birthday.

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Your cocktail hour has no limits to what it can be like. Today's wedding cocktail hour playlist selections go back to the mid to late 1970s up until the early-mid 80s soft rock era.  If you are really into your music, you might remember sort of a cult following that developed after a video series showed up online back about 2005.  Rolling Stone posted a great piece about the 10th anniversary of the coining of the term. Catch that article by clicking right HERE   You don't need to be at the James Island Yacht Club or Charleston Yacht Club to enjoy this playlist as it will fit at any cocktail hour at any Charleston wedding. These are just few of my personal picks, but you are free to choose any of the music from the following artists. This "Yacht Rock" offers a definite chill vibe that we experienced all over the radio in the 70s and 80s. Enjoy this.

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Highly Recommend

DJ Mike delivered well organized and orchestrated results that made for a great wedding and reception! Couldn't have picked a better DJ to cover our event and truly appreciated his availability to pick up the job and execute in such a short time period. I highly recommend his services, overall great quality.

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Made Our Wedding Perfect

Before choosing Mike Bills as our wedding DJ, we looked at several companies and DJs and looked over the reviews for all of them. We chose Mike Bills because of the overwhelmingly great reviews he got and I am so glad we did! They were all spot on! Mike was great to work with, quick to respond, came to our rehearsal to do a run through with us.

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Professional and Creative

Mike was kind, courteous, professional, and creative! We thoroughly enjoyed working with him for our destination wedding at Folly Beach. We gave Mike minimal guidance and he caught on to our "style" quickly and efficiently. Our guests are still raving about the music selections, and how they were a great balance of new tracks and standards for everyone to enjoy.

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