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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
If you happen to follow my blog at all last year in 2017, you not only know that I am one of the most diverse 80s DJs in Charleston, but you also know that I used 2017 as a celebration of the 30th birthday of some of the greatest songs of the 80s, which were released in 1987. While 80s music is certainly not a requirement for your DJ to play at your Charleston wedding, it sure has been proven over the years to increase the fun factor for your wedding reception over at the Historic Rice Mill, The Seabrook Island Club, or even Harborside East. We're now wrapping up the second full week of 2018 and it's time to begin my year-long celebration of the year that was 1988 from a musical standpoint. This will be the first of many posts about 1988 and I am very excited. As I briefly glimpse at how things played out in 1988, the charts were exploding with artists like Whitney Houston, U2, UB40, George Michael, Rick Astley, INXS, and so much more.
We're wrapping up the second full week of 2018 and I'll say it again: Thank goodness the snowstorm has passed us. The case of cabin fever that I had was reaching mammoth proportions. It's looking to be another great year for Mike Bills Entertainment. Weddingwire has it's Couple Choice Awards that it bestows upon the Top 5% of wedding professionals in the country. I am proud and honored to receive this award for the FIFTH year in a row. I would like to take this time to thank all my couples who put their trust in my company throughout 2017 to provide them the exception wedding DJ "experience" that my company's reputation has forged and developed for Charleston since it's inception. The generous and kind words from my past clients fuel my passion for my business and motivate me to do even better for the future brides and grooms that make the decision to hire me to be the DJ for their Charleston wedding. Truth be told, it's not really rocket science. It's really just a simple and easy formula for success. When you make the soundtrack to a couple's Charleston wedding all about them, a truly beautiful thing happens: The bride and groom have the time of their lives. Their guests have fun and are thinking about the time they had for years and years to follow. That's especially fun seeing the hundreds of dollars that will be spent on plane tickets to come to Charleston (if you are a destination couple). It's a proven formula that I cannot wait to provide to even more couples in 2018 and 2019 and beyond.
How does that Christmas song go? "Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful....." Those familiar lyrics from the oh so popular Christmas song "Let It Snow". Mother Nature did just that, only 9 days after the Christmas holiday. Here in Charleston, SC, which is one of the top wedding destinations of the country, snow is a rarity and usually happens (where it accumulates) about once every 8-10 years. Charleston might get measurable snow once every 8 - 10 years, but the stretch of very frigid temperatures that have accompanied the frozen precipitation are pretty unprecedented, and something not seen in over 28 years. The average high temperature in Charleston in January is 59 degrees, and since New Year's Eve 2017, the city has not been above 40 degrees. This is a cold streak not seen since December of 1989. Thankfully it's rare, and it'll hopefully be another 28 years until this happens.