10 Questions with John Nicholson

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most popular and highly sought-after wedding DJs in Washington, John Nicholson. Vancouver based John is the owner of Melvin's DJ Service.

Melvin's DJ Service

DJs - John Nicholson

10 Questions with John Nicholson

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hi! My name is Melvin. I am the owner, and sole DJ, at Melvin's DJ Service. I have spent the overwhelming majority of my life, on stage. From singing, to playing drums, to being on the radio, I have always been in front of people.

I started Melvin's DJ service, in 2013. I have long considered it, and then decided to make it a reality, after being asked to DJ a family member's wedding. I discovered that I absolutely loved it! I spent a year or two studying, figuring out what I needed, figuring out what I needed to do, and then decided to finally take the leap in 2013.

I quit my full-time job in 2019, to become a full-time DJ. My business has consistently grow 25% year after year. 2019 was the first year where it replaced at the income at my day job. Of course 2020 came along... In 2021 however, everything's coming up roses again!

2. What's your experience as a wedding DJ? How many weddings have you done?

At this point it's hard to pinpoint the exact number of weddings, and events that I have DJ'd at. It's likely somewhere in the neighborhood of 300, to 400. Weddings aren't the only things that I do. I also do birthday parties, bat Mitzvahs, quinceaneras, school dances, road races, any place they need live sound, and an MC.

3. How far in advance do couples need to book your services?

Most couples book me several months in advance. I would prefer at least two weeks in advance. However, I've gotten a call the day before, and was still ready the next day! So I'm able to think on my feet, for sure!

4. What's your rate? What does that include?

My current rates range from $749, to $1,495. Most of my weddings cost $995. That would get you two sound locations, music for both your ceremony and reception, MC services, custom playlists, unlimited consultation... The $995 package is our most common. The only way, our prices are any higher than $1,495, is if we travel more than a hundred miles from our base. At that point, we have a per mileage charge.

5. Are you available to travel if needed?

Absolutely! If you have us go further than a hundred miles, we have a per mileage charge. The per mileage charge, is based on the distance you need us to drive.

6. How would you describe your style?

Most of my events, are multi-generational events. So the music that I play, tends to cover as many decades as possible. I want everybody to hear a song that they enjoy, I want as many family members to get up and dance as possible, and I want to make everybody is comfortable. My MC style, is straightforward and informational what it needs to be. Also, comedic when it needs to be.

7. What's your backup plan if there's an equipment malfunction? Do you bring backup equipment?

I always bring backup equipment! I always have way more than I need. I always over prepare for these events. I don't want to be the reason, that somebody's day wasn't absolutely perfect.

8. What's your sick day policy?

In all the years I've done this, I have never been sick. I have never missed an event. I do have a network of DJs that I work with, and have decided if I was sick on the day of the event, that I would do my best to help the couple find somebody else. If I'm only kind of sick, I would simply let the couple know, and still perform at the event. But let them know to keep folks away from me. If I was too sick to get up and do it, my wife and my daughters are all proficient at DJing. That's the last thingbthat I would go to, however. First I would reach out to that network of DJs that I know.

9. How do you motivate a shy crowd to dance? What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?

Group dance songs, are a great idea. The Cha Cha Slide, the Cupid Shuffle, the Electric Slide, the YMCA... Once folks are on the floor, I would just keep working in whatever Direction, will keep them moving. For the most part though, I just play a string of a really fun songs in a row, and somebody is bound to begin dancing. Nothing attracts a crowd, like a crowd. I definitely prefer weddings that have children. Children are almost always the first people to dance, and they are awesome at getting people on the floor!

10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?

If I cancel on you, you get your deposit back. The deposit is the only thing that I collect prior to your event. The balance of your event, isn't due until the day of the event. If the couple cancels on me, I only keep the deposit, even if they've paid in full.

I feel like I should add this, in the case of covid-19, I moved everybody's deposit to a different date. If somebody decided to cancel on me all together, they did not get their deposit back. However if they wanted to move their deposit to a new date, I let them move it as many times as possible.

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WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2020