• Real Weddings

    REAL CHARLESTON WEDDINGS

They say "hate" is a strong word, so when it comes to the Charleston wedding DJ business, we'll make it a little less dramatic and refer to those songs that we "dislike greatly" as Do Not Play songs. Wedding DJs all around Charleston and the rest of the country have made their reports and the votes have been tabulated, as to which songs were placed on Do Not Play Lists all over Charleston and in the rest of the major wedding markets across the country for all of 2017. If you just landed on my blog for the first time, welcome to my website and blog that was professionally designed for the modern bride in mind.  You probably are hitting a lot of DJ sites out right now if you just got engaged over the holidays or will be in the next few weeks. The Do Not Play List is one of the most important discussions that you should be having with your prospective wedding DJ as you plan your 2018 or 2019 wedding.  It's YOUR wedding, so the music that you choose for your wedding playlist should reflect your musical tastes. If you are thinking about designing a special theme for your cocktail hour, check back over my blog for many playlist ideas. One of the biggest parts about making your wedding music about YOU is making sure the DJ you hire does not play the songs you don't like.

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She'll be here next Saturday night. She has one of the beautiful female jazz voices in modern jazz music history. Her name is Diana Krall. She has a very smooth and sexy voice and I cannot wait to hear it live and in person downtown at the Gaillard Center. In preparation for Diana Krall, I decided to throw together another cocktail hour playlist alternative when planning the music for your upcoming Charleston wedding. Today's iteration of the cocktail hour has to do with the smooth and sexy like silk sounds of smooth jazz.   The sounds of smooth jazz are perfect for a cocktail hour that's located right next to the water.  I am picturing this smooth jazz cocktail hour to go very well as a way to relax after your wedding ceremony and soak up a few rays of sun, especially if your wedding reception is held downtown at the Historic Rice Mill or Harborside East. Imagine, if you will, you and your guests socializing during your cocktail hour right on the water as the sun sets. It's the perfect soundtrack for your guests to socialize and sip cocktails down by the water in Charleston.

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Wow! Today is February 1, and we are kicking off that month of love, but don't worry, we'll have plenty of time to talk about love. It was a beautiful day today here in Charleston. Did you get outside to enjoy it?  When spring does come back to Charleston (in time for another wedding season), I am certainly going to do a happy dance. In the meantime, perhaps this next edition of the cocktail hour playlist series will warm you up.  I was doing a little maintenance on my music database the other day and started to play a little bit of infectious James Brown. One James Brown track led to another and the next thing I knew was I was putting together a "Feel Funky" cocktail hour playlist to give brides and grooms another great idea for their playlist for their Charleston wedding. This "Feel Funky" Cocktail Hour Playlist is the perfect way to loosen up after your wedding ceremony and socialize for a little bit before dinner.  So, since it's now February, let's get funky.

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You know it used to be that Charleston's busiest wedding season would encompass the month's of April, May, and part of June, and then pick back up in the second half of September, go through October, and most of November. Maybe it's all the accolades that our beautiful city has received over the past several years from the likes of Conde Nast and other travel magazines that have allowed Charleston to grow into the Number 2 wedding destination in the country. I think it's our reasonably good weather all year round (except for the Great Snowstorm Of 2018 to start the year) that makes Charleston a place where you can plan a wedding all 12 months of the year. For my first wedding on the schedule for 2018, I travel outside of Charleston up off Exit 194 off I-26 west of Summerville. Medicine Wind Farm is a rather large (nearly 50 acre) farm and event center that provides the perfect setting and backdrop for a farm-styled wedding. This was actually my first time doing a wedding out at Medicine Wind Farm, and I must say it was a great departure from the hustle and bustle of weddings that are closer to the city of Charleston. For those brides and grooms looking for more of a rustic, country styled wedding, Medicine Wind Farm offered a real laid-back feel that was very relaxing. 

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The untimely tragic death of lead singer of the Cranberries Dolores O'Riordan back on January 15, 2018 had me thinking immediately about taking things into a totally different direction for my next installment of the Charleston Wedding DJ playlist cocktail hour series. This next installment digs deeper into an early - mid 1990s alternative vibe that began to take over MTV as early as the late 80s, but was more prominent in the early 90s. Back in 1986, MTV began to air a show called 120 Minutes that featured more of an 80s alternative musical genre with the likes of New Order, Kate Bush, and XTC. By the early 90s, the show began to feature artists like Sarah McLachlan, the 10,000 Maniacs, and The Cranberries, as well as The Sundays.  I noticed back when these songs were released that it was a rather strong sub-genre that gained significant airplay, while grunge was doing it's thing over on the alternative radio stations. The songs included in this cocktail hour playlist possess a chill vibe, and are perfect for a cocktail hour over at the Historic Rice Mill while looking at the water, or even out on Kiawah right after your wedding ceremony out on the beach. For me personally, they conjure up thoughts of a burgeoning music scene here in Charleston that featured the likes of Hootie & The Blowfish, Edwin McCain, and Jump Little Children.  If you grew up and graduated from high school in the 90s and are planning a Charleston wedding in 2018 or 2019, this iteration of my cocktail hour playlist will take you back.

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It's that time of the year again, you just got engaged and have begun to plan your upcoming 2018 or even 2019 wedding here in Charleston. You've begun doing some of the preliminary research about your wedding vendors. If right now as you read this blog post, you all of a sudden feel overwhelmed and need help executing the vision for your wedding day, I strongly recommend you look into hiring a wedding planner or coordinator before you get too far along in your planning. If you are interested, click HERE to visit a post I made last year on reasons to hire a wedding planner.  As you may have read on my website and blog, Mike Bills Entertainment is an "owner-operated" professional wedding DJ company in Charleston. My company is not large at all, as it is just "me", so this means there is no confusing staff with an army of DJs. You'll work with one DJ throughout the entire process (the actual owner of the company) from the time you book, until your wedding reception is over. YOUR wedding day becomes MY wedding day because since there is no DJ staff, there is NO chance of confusion developing as to who your DJ is going to be. There is only going to be ONE wedding booked per day, that being YOUR wedding. You'd be surprised how many of these multiple operator companies toss your wedding date around like it's a football. This is because YOUR date becomes someone else's date as it's double, triple, or even quadruple-booked. And as a result, YOUR date might get lost in the shuffle and the DJ you thought was going to be there might not actually be there on your wedding day. The sad thing is some of these companies are not going to tell you this.

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Whether you are downtown on the water at the Historic Rice Mill, over on the other side of the river in Mt Pleasant at Harborside East, or right on the ocean having your ceremony on Seabrook Island, the soundtrack to your amazing day will make whichever beautiful wedding venue you choose and its scenery even better. Your wedding day should be one of the happiest days for you, your family, and your guests. There are numerous ways to ensure this is the case, but one of the top ways you can make this happen and have fun and happiness on your wedding day is great music, but not just great "tunes", but music that has an overall "happy-go-lucky" vibe to it.  They do say laughter is contagious, so why not create a playlist for your cocktail hour that breaks the ice for your guests after your wedding ceremony. Music that picks you up and makes you feel good and smile. When you sit down with your Charleston wedding DJ, let them know you want a cocktail hour playlist that gets people happy and primed for a night of dancing later in the evening.

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If I could narrow things down to one thing that is needed between brides and grooms and DJ in regards to the hiring and execution of their Charleston wedding it would be "communication". It is absolutely imperative that the bride and groom communicate what it is that they want when it comes to the creation of their soundtrack for what their wedding DJ will provide to them. Brides and grooms need to feel comfortable about who it is they are hiring too. As I've discussed previously and actually did some podcasting about, meeting your DJ is essential to the success of your upcoming wedding. When you meet your DJ (either in person or online via Skype-Facetime), you can begin to get a good idea of their personality, and it's important that you are on the same page. Brides and grooms need to remember that they are the boss of their wedding when it comes to the music, as they are the ones doing the hiring and writing the checks. When it comes to creating the perfect soundtrack for your wedding, when the bride and groom say "Jump", the DJ should pretty much say "how high".

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This is definitely a bit of an impromptu post for January 16, 2018. As I get deeper and deeper into this post, it's really too bad that it's not February 14, because the romantic music of Valentine's Day goes hand in hand with this lovely singer. I had logged into my Twitter account this afternoon @djmikebills and a friend of mine had posted that today is Sade's 59th birthday. It's really crazy how these things play out because I had begun planning a smooth jazz cocktail hour playlist that included a few Sade tracks, but I felt that since it was her birthday today that I should try to get a post up and online spotlighting her incredible work over the past 30 + years. Look for that smooth jazz playlist for your cocktail hour in the next week or so, but in the meantime I felt I would celebrate Sade's birthday because her music shows up very often on Charleston wedding playlists. Sade released her debut album back in 1984. "Diamond Life" sold over a million copies in the UK, and her music began to get airplay here in the United States.

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We've reached the middle of January now, and perhaps it's because the temperature only made it to 45 degrees today that I have caught myself numerous times today daydreaming about much warmer days. Reggae is definitely a genre of music that has me thinking of those carefree Charleston days of spring and summer. Reggae has it's origins dating back to the late 1960s coming from Kingston, Jamaica. Maybe it's the fact that the music came from that lovely tropical island that allows me to think about gentle summer breezes downtown at the Historic Rice Mill while at a wedding ceremony or maybe out at the Seabrook Island Club watching the sunset, and doing the same while out at the Creek Club at Ion, which might have the best sunset views in the entire Charleston area. Reggae seems to pop up quite frequently on many Charleston wedding playlists, but how about doing it for the entire duration of your cocktail hour? I love to mix things up for my clients and doing an all-reggae cocktail hour playlist would make for an amazing start to the music at your wedding.

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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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