{review} Hiway Productions

Hiway Productions

Reviewing Ron Larson of Hiway Productions

You want your reception dance to be both romantic and fun, and to get that balance, you need a disc jockey with real experience. Ron Larson of Hiway Productions knows how to DJ a wedding with the professionalism and confidence couples are looking for on their big day. Ron is ready to provide music that’ll keep your guests dancing all night long, as well as provide hosting duties, ceremony sound, and just about any other audio requirement you might have.

We interviewed Ron to find out everything a Vancouver Island bride needs to know to hire Hiway Productions for her wedding…

Hiway Productions, from the beginning

Hiway Productions is named after Brady Hiway who founded the DJ business in Lethbridge in 1999. Ten years later, Ron Larson stepped away from his 15 year radio career to start the Hiway Productions franchise on Vancouver Island. It seemed like a great way for Ron and Brady to stay in touch as they had been best buddies since grade four! Hiway Productions has created a strong reputation of its own in Victoria and Vancouver Island working hard in every area of the sound industry.

What you can expect…

Hiway Productions provides hours of music, lighting effects, Master of Ceremony services, ceremony audio and even karaoke –all for prices starting at $300 per event. Considering the cost of most of the elements that go into a wedding, the services that Ron provides for your wedding reception are priced to impress.

Prior to booking, Ron is more than happy to sit down with you to answer any questions. This is also a great chance to meet Ron and learn more about the options for music, lighting, the various packages, slideshow equipment, ceremony preferences and much more.

Closer to the wedding date, he will meet with you, in person if possible, for a consultation to discuss the details of the wedding. This usually happens a few weeks before the wedding. This is a great time to discuss the more in-depth details such as musical likes and dislikes, additional services needed, such as MC services, or to go over any specific song request lists. He says that, “I really enjoy getting to know the couple as well as their family and friends and how I can make the event more personal for everyone.” Ron says that the bride and groom’s vision of the occasion is what it is all about.

Hiway Productions places emphasis on working within whatever guidelines his clients give them, whether it is a themed wedding, a specific list of songs you want played at certain times, or specifics about what you don’t want played at your wedding. There are still many couples that simply leave music choices up to the DJ. Either way, Ron is dedicated to delivering what his clients ask for.

So, what’s the difference?

Ron is a big part of what sets Hiway Productions apart from other DJ companies. With a great personality and a huge love of music, he provides couples with the face-to-face service that is so rare. “Really, I’m a former radio host myself and you have to love being around people to love that job. It entailed endless hosting duties on-air and at live events… there really is no social situation I have not dealt with before!!”

Ron insists that a DJ needs to love music to work in this field. “I was looking for something a little more interactive on a full time basis. This was the perfect fit!” Ron especially loves weddings for all the emotionally intense ways music gets involved in the day.

Ron is a big believer in supporting the music industry and continues his love of purchasing music. Hiway Productions buys music on a regularly not just to keep up with what’s new but also to bolster their back catalogue. All their music is legal and appropriately licensed with the A.V.L.A. Ron states, “If you want a song and we don’t have it, then I will find it!”

In addition to constantly updating their music library, Ron believes that it is just as important to constantly update their equipment. He wants you to know that when you book with Hiway Productions, you are getting top notch music AND equipment.

Hiway Productions tries to provide as many personal touches as possible throughout their clients’ wedding days. They work with the couple to determine appropriate and meaningful songs for things such as the first dance of the bride and groom, mother-son dance, father-daughter dance, garter and bouquet toss and special songs chosen for family and friends. Ron also loves to create special audio/visual presentations such as pre-made introductions for your wedding party over chosen songs or games that you may request.

Ron also covers the many couples that make Vancouver Island their destination wedding choice. July 2013 couple, Ben and Jacqueline, planned a beautiful Victoria, BC wedding from their home in Quebec. “We had to plan the entire wedding via email and phone. Ron was always early to set-up, easy going, listened to what we wanted and delivered it professionally! Our first face to face meeting with Ron was at the rehearsal the day before the wedding. Ron attended the rehearsal with sound equipment to run through the ceremony with our music as well as provide a practice for our singer.”

Ron also prides himself on being a “walking wedding handbook for Vancouver Island.” Several couples we talked to mentioned that Ron suggested their wedding planner, florist and other wedding professionals for their big day. The wedding industry returns the favor – you will often find Ron listed on preferred vendor lists on venues around Vancouver Island.

Online options with Hiway Productions

Hiway Productions goes above and beyond to reach out to their clients, both in person and online. For example, at www.djpro.ca/vancouver-island-dj, you can find song list suggestions for the Father-Daughter dance, bouquet toss music, dinner hour, and more. You can also read past client testimonials, listen to pre-produced intros for wedding parties and watch videos of various types of events that Hiway has worked on. You can even decide to choose your services and book entirely online if you want to.

Packing your DJ options

Hiway’s packages cover just about every budget and audio requirement.

The “Love over Gold” Party DJ Package ($700) covers all the bases for a great event, including a mic, 400 watt speakers, lights and a professional DJ for 6 hours.

The “Better together” Party DJ Package ($800) also offers a professional DJ for 6 hours, and adds more kick with the sound of 900 watt speakers, tri-light LED lights, and additional freedom of movement provided by a wireless mic.

The “Moondance” Party DJ Package ($900) works well for those who want to start early and stay late, including everything in the above package, plus two additional professional DJ hours, and the use of quad LED lights instead of tri-light LEDs.

The “Signed Sealed Delivered” Package ($300) is the bridal music set up for your wedding ceremony. It includes a wireless mic, 400 watt speakers, and a professional DJ.

Audio Scrapbooks…

Audio Scrapbooks are a product created by Ron, and which have grown to become extremely popular at Hiway Productions. “It’s a way of preserving the story of a family or couple. It’s a unique way to capture the watermarks of a life in a three to five audio segment. It’s full of sound effects and visual and can be shared instantly on social media.” If you’re not sure what this mean, just ask to see some of his previous creations!

Preparation is key…

When you are an audio/visual company on Vancouver Island, it goes without saying that you had better be prepared for ceremonies and/or receptions in remote locations such as beaches and parks. Thankfully, Ron has had plenty of experience with just about every situation you can dream up… If you are planning a wedding anywhere where you may be concerned about power outages (or where there is no power source), Ron can make sure that the party won’t stop and you can be assured that your remote location reception will run smoothly. As one bride put it who married in August 2013, “Ron is a super-friendly guy who kept the night going despite logistical hitches.”

Ben and Jacqueline agreed. “The big day went off without a hitch! The sound quality and music selections through the day at both the ceremony and evening venues was superb. He added to the ambiance of the cocktail hour and dinner with a great choice of background music. The dance/party was even better. Ron managed to find music to get everyone on the dance floor, at one point or another, from the 8 month old to the 80 year old.”

Leah, married in 2011, wrote, “Ron’s a total pro who did an awesome job on a logistically difficult double outdoor set up. One set up was for our Vows complete with song and wireless mic. Then Ron also did separate set up for our outdoor reception. Both set ups went amazing and Ron even set up his own tent just in case it rained (he also had a very cool light show). Knowing how focused he is allowed us to just enjoy our big day.”

Details, details, details

• Ron and his associate disc jockeys will always attend your wedding dressed appropriately.
• Hiway Productions requires a deposit to confirm and hold your wedding day for their services.
• Suggested book ahead time is six months, if at all possible.

A few of our favourite things…

• Ron has been the host for numerous Island Events and Fundraisers – too many to mention but we especially appreciate his work with the Wedding Ring events! We have personally worked with Ron and can attest to all his virtues…
• Ron gets pretty excited about what he can make a venue look like with coloured light
• Ron volunteers for the Women’s Transition House, Rotary club, Canadian Cancer Society and many other charities.
• Ron well-known for school events and large corporate events such as the Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.
• We also love how Ron will work pretty much anywhere on Vancouver Island!
• Ron has provided the hosting duties and music for the past three annual Race for The Ring events!

In other words…

Ben and Jacqueline said it best. “Ron contributed to making our day special and stress free with his experience, knowledge and clear passion for his work. We had an awesome experience with Ron and would recommend him to anyone.”

Matt and Michelle, married Oct 26, 2013, had a lot to say about Ron! “We hired Ron to be our DJ for the night. Working with Ron was so much fun from the flash mob music he made up for us to the ceremony and finally to the reception party. He listened to our needs and wants and provided us with spectacular service.  He knew just what to play just at the right time to get everyone on the dance floor. The countless hours he put in for our wedding was so appreciated. I knew I could leave it to Ron to take care of things. Without a doubt I would recommend Ron Larson to be ‘your man’ to make your wedding party dreams come true.”

Contacting Hiway Productions

Ron Larson at HiWay Productions can be reached by email at ron@djpro.ca or by phone at 250-888-5440. You can also visit HiWay Productions online at http://www.djpro.ca.

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