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Before I get into the central theme of this post, I wanted to extend my well-wishes to all of my 2020 clients who have reached out to "reschedule" or "postpone" their spring wedding and move it into a much safer time later this summer or into the fall. Weddings in Charleston, SC continue to be on hiatus as the calendar has switched from March into April, and after the president extended social distancing guidelines through April 30th, the entire spring season is in jeopardy of simply not happening. The longer this ordeal goes on, the more anxious people are getting. You can see the anxiety building out there in a simple trip to the grocery store. Time is going by so slow right now. I had two early weddings back during the first seven days of March and those two events seems like they happened a 100 years ago.  I am taking the advice of the local officials and staying put and I advise all my clients to do the same. Please be safe and continue to exercise caution and if you should need to speak with me, I am available by Skype & Facetime, as well as by phone for anything you'd like to discuss. I look forward to being your wedding DJ when this pandemic finally blows over and when things finally return to normal.

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In one of my last published posts, I mentioned how much the Charleston wedding industry (and the entire economy for that matter) is being shaken to the core by the onslaught of what really has become an "invisible hurricane" known as the Coronavirus. Since that post was published, it's been tweeted and retweeted numerous times and shared among wedding vendors, as well as the citizens of Charleston.  Since Charleston has been told to halt all large gatherings, there have been some rumblings about "cancelling" weddings. Brides and grooms have even taken to leading wedding listing websites and forums asking whether or not they should "cancel" their wedding.  Truth be told, we simply do not know when the Coronavirus will no longer be a threat and when we'll be able to assemble large crowds again. At the time of the publishing of this post, annual large events like Spoleto have been "cancelled" upwards of 2 months out.  For most modern brides and grooms, the planning of their wedding here in the Holy City has consumed them mentally, as well as financially.  Being one of the best Charleston Wedding DJs who has been a part of hundreds of weddings over the years, I am here to tell you to NOT cancel your wedding due to COVID 19.

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Being one of the top wedding DJs in charleston, I can assure you that my entire focus is always on the music.  Music is all that I specialize in and if you follow me on Twitter, you'll see me writing and tweeting about all things music. It's what true professional wedding DJs do. Music is one of the most powerful forces that we have in our lives that not only evokes a wide range of emotions, but also brings us together. After driving down East Bay Street in Charleston late on a Friday, it began to finally set in what exactly was happening to us as a city with the Coronavirus crisis that is gripping the country. Truth be told, no one knows how this is going to end for us. While we are stuck inside in quarantine we might as well try to make the most of the situation. For me personally, I am trying to heed the advice from our governing officials to maintain that social distancing, but you know what? This is going to get old really fast.  The inspiration for this post came at the expense of a quarantine playlist published by Rolling Stone on their website.  Their playlist centered around being by yourself, so I figured I would make mine a little more interesting by allowing a couple to ride out the quarantine together.

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You might recall from history class back in high school that Charleston, SC was the place where the first shots were fired to kick off the Civil War back in 1861. It's those types of historical events that have peaked the interests of tourists for years and years. The rich history of Charleston is one of the many reasons that people from all over the country have put this truly beautiful city on the map and love coming to visit.  Part of putting Charleston on the map involved making it one of the most sought after wedding destinations in America in a relatively short amount of time. Unfortunately,  the beautiful city of Charleston is under siege right now and is beginning to embark on a different kind of war that no generation in modern times has ever seen.  Unlike the more predictable war that was started in the Holy City way back when with shots fired from cannons and muskets, this war is almost invisible, but stands to temporarily cripple the wedding industry here in Charleston. As one of the top Charleston Wedding DJs, COVID-19 is something no one in the Charleston wedding industry has ever seen, but like all other disasters that have hit this great city, we will come through this and on the other side will be back to hosting some of the most beautiful and elegant weddings in the country.  In the meantime, the state of the wedding season here in Charleston  is in a constant state of flux due to COVID-19.

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Today's post has been percolating in my mind over the past several weeks, and actually if want me to be honest, months.  The opinions that will be expressed in this post are not in any way, shape, or form meant to be negative, but instead provide a perspective from one of the top wedding DJs in Charleston, and to raise awareness on this issue.  In raising awareness on this issue (or perception of this issue) to prospective clients, they will be able to make more educated decisions on how to hire to their wedding vendors for their big day in Charleston, SC.  It seems like yesterday that we were battling through the Great Recession in 2008 or 2009. It was a forgettable time as travel, tourism, business investment, and employment were all affected by this very deep recession. According to a November 2017 Post & Courier article, the Charleston Visitor's Bureau invested in advertising in other markets to paint a picture of Charleston being the beautiful city that it is and that it would be a an excellent place to have a wedding.  It was money well spent. Since those dollars were spent on the marketing of Charleston, the city has seen the accolades pile up from the likes of Conde Nast Traveler, as well as Travel & Leisure awarding Charleston the Number 1 U.S city for the 7th straight year in 2019. 

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Fresh off of my first wedding of the new 2020 season here in Charleston, I felt the inspiration to put together (while it was still fresh in my mind) a new playlist that was comprised of my choices for First Dance Songs Of The 80s. My first real wedding of the year was held on March 1 at the lovely Alhambra Hall in Mt Pleasant. There will most certainly be a blog post for Ripley & Alaina in the coming days for their 80s and 90s infused wedding playlist that included a lot of songs that I've never played at a wedding before. As one of the top Charleston Wedding DJs,  I can tell you that no two weddings are ever the same when it comes to the music, and that's one of the things that I love about this passion of mine .  When I initially saw some of the selections for this past weekend, I had a huge grin on my face because a lot of the songs I played during my radio career for many years. But, it was the selection of first dance song  this past weekend that was one of the most special moments I had seen in quite some time. 

I'll wait for the dedicated blog post that will be coming soon from Ripley & Alaina's very special dayand to go into a little more detail about their wedding playlist, but the choice for their first dance song was not a song you tend to think about in terms of first dance songs, but when you hear it, and read the lyrics, it's the perfect choice for two lovers who love the 80s.  Seeing it all play out inspired me to think of some other beautiful songs that could be used for the first dance from the 80s.

Download These 25 Best 80s First Dance Songs From Spotify Right NOW
If you just got engaged and are seeking some inspiration when it comes to picking the right music for your wedding day, I've made it a lot easier for modern brides and grooms to get inside my mind as a wedding DJ. Feel free to head over to Spotify right now and do a search for DJ Mike Bills to access all of my playlists that are continuously being updated. Let me know what you think. 

"The Promise" | When In Rome
The first selection of my choices for best 80s first dance song is the choice that Ripley & Alaina made for their wedding at Alhambra Hall.  I'll go into more detail about their wedding in my next post, but "The Promise" was initially released in the UK in 1987, and would hit the radio in America in 1988. The song would make it all the way to #11 on the Hot 100, and #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club play chart.

"Eternal Flame" | The Bangles
What better way to describe your love for one another than a song called "Eternal Flame". After all, your love is beautiful and should be red hot and burning like a flame. This song was released in early 1989 and would become Number 1 in eight countries, including the United States. You can find the song on the Bangles album, Everything.

"Take My Breath Away" | Berlin
Before Top Gun was released in 1986, Berlin had been one of the most popular new wave bands out of Los Angeles. Then came "Take My Breath Away",  which was a song written by Giorgio Moroder. This make out song of the summer of 1986 would make it all the way to Number 1 on the Hot 100, and is a perfect first dance song from the 80s for your big day.

"Endless Love" | Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
Later covered by Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey in the 90s, Diana Ross & Lionel Richie would score a Number 1 song on the Hot 100 for 9 weeks extending from the late summer into the fall of 1981.  Then in 2012, Lionel Richie and Shania Twain would also do their version of this classic 80s love song.

"Time After Time" | Cyndi Lauper
After the fun and exciting break out single in "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", Cyndi Lauper would release this softer ballad that still is in heavy rotation at a lot of Charleston weddings. The song would be her 1st Number 1 song on the Hot 100 in the early summer of 1984.

80s First Dance Graphic

"Right Here Waiting" | Richard Marx
Back in August of 2019, Richard Marx visited Charleston and I got to see him at the Charleston Music Hall. "Right Here Waiting" would become his signature song and it would be his last song of the night, but still a strong request favorite by a lot of my clients. "Right Here Waiting" would become one of the biggest songs of the summer of 1989 and would top the Adult Contemporary and Hot 100 chart.

"In Your Eyes" | Peter Gabriel
But of course you know that I had to include this song from one of the most romantic movies of the 80s in Say Anything  . Originally released in 1986 from the album So, the song gained even more life when Say Anything was released in 1989. I think every engaged couples should watch Say Anything.

"Faithfully" | Journey
Even though this song from their album Frontiers only peaked at Number 12 on the Hot 100, "Faithfully" would become one of Journey's signature songs, and is also featured on one of my most popular 80s Soft Rock Hits For Dinner at your wedding post. 

"You're The Inspiration" | Chicago
For the first half of the 80s, Chicago was releasing some very enduring soft rock songs. Even when Peter Cetera left, the band would continue to have Top 10 songs through the end of the 80s, "You're The Inspiration" was released in October 1984, and would peak in the Top 3 on the Hot 100 in January 1985.

"Crazy For You" | Madonna
After all, you are both crazy for each other, so this is the perfect 80s First Dance Song for you and one that you might consider. The song was released in March of 1985 and can be found on the movie soundtrack to Vision Quest. "Crazy For You" would peak at #1 on the Hot 100.

Charlsey Zack Dance

"The Search Is Over" | Survivor
Survivor was one of the biggest bands of the 80s and would release this song in the spring of 1985, which would peak in the Top 5 in the summer of 1985, and would peak at #1 for several weeks on the adult contemporary chart.

"The Lady In Red" | Chris Deburgh
While the odds that you'll wear a red dress to your wedding is highly unlikely, it's the texture and tempo of this song that makes me put it on this list of 80s First Dance Songs. It's slow and sexy and was one of the most popular songs of the summer of 1986 as it reached Number 3 on the Hot 100 chart.

"You & I" | Eddie Rabbit & Crystal Gayle
Back in the early 80s, there were country artists like Eddie Rabbit crossing over to the pop charts with songs like "I Love A Rainy Night".  In 1982, he would team up with Crystal Gayle for one of the great love songs of the 80s.  'You & I" would top the country charts, as well as #2 on the adult contemporary chart.

"Angel Eyes" | Jeff Healey Band
Released in June of 1989, this song always been a favorite of mine and would eventually break into the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 after over 5 months on the charts. Come on man, look at your bride's eye. You know you are mesmorized. :)

First Dance Charleston Wedding

"If You Were Here" | Thompson Twins
If you are wondering why I put this Thompson Twins song on this playlist, instead of say, "Hold Me Now", just find the popular 80s movie Sixteen Candles on Netflix or Hulu and you'll see why.

"I Just Called To Say I Love You" | Stevie Wonder
For those of you who thought that "Signed Sealed Delivered (I'm Yours)" is Stevie Wonder's most popular song, you'd be wrong. This lovely song that was released in the summer fo 1984 would go all the way to Number 1 in 19 countries.

"True" | Spandau Ballet
One of the biggest worldwide hits of the 80s by Spandau Ballet. Released in the spring of 1983, the song would break into the Top 5 on the Hot 100, and peak at #1 on the adult contemporary charts.

"Baby Come To Me" | Patti Austin & James Ingram
Originally released in 1982, the song was sort of a flop, but then came one of the greatest stories in the 80s in the world of soap operas. "Baby Come To Me" would  be used for the scenes that included the iconic 80s soap couple Luke & Laura on General Hospital and would become a #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100.
Modern Bride and Groom First Dance

"Up Where We Belong" | Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes
Another romantic movie to watch as an engaged couple might be "An Officer And A Gentleman", and you would find this song. Released in the summer of 1982, the song would make it to #1 on the Hot 100, and sell well over a million copies in America.

"Head Over Heels" | Tears For Fears
With lyrics like "I wanted to be with you alone and talk about the weather.....", how could you not consider this as an 80s First Dance Song.  "Head Over Heels" was the follow-up to "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" would make it all the way to Number 3 on the Hot 100 in 1985.

"For Your Eyes Only" | Sheena Easton
Sheena Easton recorded and released this song back in the summer of 1981 for the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.  "For Your Eyes Only" would reach Number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Lost In Your Eyes" | Debbie Gibson
This lovely ballad would be released in January 1989, where it would quickly become a #1 song and stay at the top of the charts for a month. "Lost In Your Eyes" would become the most successful song for Debbie Gibson's career. One of my personal favorites indeed!

"Heaven" | Bryan Adams
With the release of his album Reckless, Bryan Adams would have one of the biggest years of his early career in 1985. "Heaven" would become his first song to hit the top of the charts.

"Waiting For A Girl Like You" | Foreigner
Foreigner's hard core fans resented their decent into soft rock in the 80s, but when I heard this song for the first time, it just wreaked of romance, crushes, and long kisses. 

"Tonight I Celebrate My Love" | Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson
Back during the summer of 1983, Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack released an album of duets. "Tonight I Celebrate My Love For You" would peak at #4 on the Adult conteporary charts.

BONUS
"Romance" | Terri Nunn & Paul Carrack
Back in the spring of 1989, there was a movie released called SING. It was more or less Footloose, but set in Brooklyn.  The movie flopped at the box office, but Terri Nunn and Paul Carrack released this beautiful ballad. It's not available on Spotify. If you go to Amazon, copies of the soundtrack (on CD) are being sold for $60.00 because there were not a lot of copies.  It was worth putting on this list and I invite you to take a listen by clicking the link in the song title. Maybe I can send a message to see if we can get it added into Spotify so I can add it to the list on there too. I'll keep you posted.

Interested in Securing Mike Bills As Your Wedding DJ?
Thank you for making it to the end of this very inspirational blog post. I could have waited a week or two to write this, but I had such an amazing time at this wedding over the weekend that I wanted to get my thoughts down on this post.  The 80s had so many great soft rock and love songs that would be perfect for the first dance song at your wedding.  One of my mantras as a wedding DJ is making sure that my clients are taken care of as it pertains to their music. This means giving them the latitude to create their own soundtrack for the most memorable wedding day. If this sounds like something you are interested, please click the link up above to tell me a little more about your big day.





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In most cases you've spent a lot of time over the course of several months, and in some cases years planning the single most biggest of your life. Your wedding day. It's almost here. You've been dreaming about this for years. You want it to be the best and the most fun day ever for you and your guests. As the day gets closer and closer, you've probably found yourself losing a few hours of sleep as you toss and turn some nights. Even if you have employed the services of one of the best wedding planners or coordinators in Charleston, this single day has occupied a lot of space in your mind for quite some time. As one of the best Charleston Wedding DJs, I will see to it that you do not lose any sleep in the music and entertainment department of your day.  You deserve nothing less than perfection when it comes to this day. But, before the party begins, there is a little bit of business to take care of. The wedding ceremony. You've got to get married first.  The end of your wedding ceremony marks the end of the serious stuff, and the start to the fun.  Modern brides and grooms should celebrate this moment with a fun recessional song to cap off their I Do's.

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In recent years, my blog has become one of the most popular wedding DJ blogs on the web.  Ever since this iteration of my website went live in the middle of 2016, it's been my goal to produce valuable and compelling content for the modern bride and groom who are seeking the best wedding DJ for them on their most special day. Those same brides and grooms also are searching for information on how to get started in not only creating a playlist with songs about them, but also including songs that will get all their guests out on the dance floor.  As streaming continues to grow in popularity, more modern brides and grooms have approached me in recent years with a lot of their music playlists created on Spotify.  As one of the top wedding DJs in Charleston, it's always been my goal to stay up to date with how my clients acquire their music and listen to their music. I am proud to announce that Charleston Wedding DJ Mike Bills is now on Spotify.

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We've made to Lucky #13. That's Episode 13 of The Mike Bills Podcast. In case you are wondering, it appears as though the upper respiratory infection that hijacked my voice earlier has passed. Thank goodness! It's nice to get back behind the microphone and talk about Charleston Wedding DJ stuff.  If the Number 13 is your lucky day, this podcast is for you, especially if you were lucky enough to get engaged over the holidays.  Engagement season is in full swing.  Website traffic has been through the roof over these past few weeks, as lots and lots of modern brides and grooms are checking me out. Thank you for your interest. Let us talk about the music for your wedding.  The wedding entertainment is what you and your guests will remember about your most special day for the rest of your life.  In 2020, there are so many wedding DJs popping up in Charleston claiming they are the best. They will also claim they are the most popular. Let me quote from the late Neil Peart, drummer of the band Rush. "I never wanted to be famous, I wanted to be good."  I agree wholeheartedly with Neil's quote, and I'll take it one step further: I want to make sure I am presenting myself as a professional wedding DJ. You as a modern bride and groom also need to make sure you hire a professional wedding DJ.

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It's still a bit surreal we are now in 2020. A new decade means a new era of nostalgia and a different historical perspective on music as we move further away from previous decades.  One of my passions as a wedding DJ is looking back and researching the best music of certain decades of music. For example, on social media when sharing my thoughts on music, I would use the hashtag #The80sAt30 when celebrating the 30th anniversary of a popular 80s record. Now, that 2020 is here, I've started to use the hashtag #The90sAt30 as we're now 30 years past 1990. It's hard to believe we'll celebrate 30 years from the debut of Wilson Phillips, and their single "Hold On".  Now that the 2010s are behind us, what were some of the greatest musical moments of the past 10 years? Which songs that were released over the past decade made an impact at weddings all over the country?  Which songs connected with brides and grooms in Charleston and look to stay on wedding playlists in the years to above? You'll want to read on as DJ Mike Bills, one of the top Charleston Wedding DJs explores some of the hottest and requested music at wedding receptions of the 2010s.

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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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