Tony Barthel


Tony Barthel

Anthony (Tony) Barthel has been a DJ since 1986 with a unique take on marketing that has resulted in over 1,000 events personally performed. In that time Tony’s weird sense of humor and unique perspective on the world got him started collecting these stories and sharing them with friends and other wedding professionals. Born in Baden, Switzerland Tony celebrates the unusual and outlandish as part of his lifestyle. He was married to Peggy Sue in 2005 in what his friends describe as the most unusual wedding ceremony and reception they’ve ever been to. The ceremony was in a 1928 movie theater complete with giant Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ and the reception lasted for two days including a gathering in an ocean side lagoon with 400 of their closest friends.




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Wedding Horror Story: The Reception That Didn’t Go Swimmingly

April 19, 2017 by Tony Barthel
While many receptions take place in the surroundings of a hotel or banquet hall, this one was at a very nice house in a very nice neighborhood. The parents of the bride had spent much time sprucing up an already-beautiful place so it became a showpiece for them and a great place for a wedding.WeddingHorror Part of the reception was indoors, and part was out by a fabulous pool. Because there wasn’t the restrictions that some professional venues place on the guests, the open bar was frequented by some guests more than might be expected at a wedding or where the guests would have to pay for their own drinks. Even as the night air became chilly, th... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Polite Dinner Conversation

April 5, 2017 by Tony Barthel
There are weddings where I look back and wonder how something or another ever happened. But none is more curious to me than this one, which happened within a year of my starting out in this profession.WeddingHorror I was at a Knights of Columbus hall in Redondo Beach and we had just finished the grand entrance, toast and were now in the process of enjoying a fine meal of some sort of chicken, I presume. Dinner music filled the air as guests caught up on the goings on of one another’s lives since last they were able to brag about their accomplishments or sugar coat the stupid things they had been arrested for. Naturally, there was an open bar an... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Steppin Out For A Drink

March 29, 2017 by Tony Barthel
One of the DJs I spoke with cited an event near the beginning of a long career at a venue that was otherwise plain vanilla, but featured an incredible winding stair case which was the perfect setting for a grand entrance by the wedding party. WeddingHorror It’s almost universal that as DJs spend time in this business they learn things that become very valuable lessons. For example, one of those lessons is to spend time getting to know the bride and groom and some of their wedding party. This little step makes an incredible difference in the performance a DJ is able to give. In this case, as the bride and groom elegantly came down the stairs the d... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Unpracticed Drinking

March 22, 2017 by Tony Barthel
There are a lot of people, including most of my own friends, who can be considered accomplished drinkers. While I wouldn’t qualify these people as alcoholics, they are no stranger around their drink of preference. Then there are people who drink rarely and many who don’t drink at all. Until their wedding day. It is unfortunate that some of the more experienced drinkers feel that everybody has to be part of their party and particularly sad when the object of their attention is a virgin drinker and happens to also be the bride. Such was the case as a wedding took place up in a beautiful country club WeddingHorroroverlooking the ocean in Palos V... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Music’s Recuperative Power

March 8, 2017 by Tony Barthel
People have attributed a lot of power to music over the years and I saw a bit of this first-hand myself. As a wedding progressed a particularly drunk fellow came up to me with a request for a song. I could tell by his accent that he was Irish and his request, Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ Come On Eileen, was going to be a good choice for this audience. But I had a lot of requests to fulfill first and obliged those guests. As it came around to time to play the Irishman’s request I looked for the gentleman and, sure enough, there he came from his table and was the hit of the dance floor. I love making guests happy. What I didn’t know was that seconds before his request played this bloke had been passed out in a pool of his own vomit at his table. His drinking had caused him to pass out and regurgitate ... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Family Fun For Everyone

March 1, 2017 by Tony Barthel
Every family has at least one member who may be the subject of a late-night news cast. It’s particularly unfortunate when that family member chooses a wedding celebration to create that newsworthy spectacle. From my side of the table, these events are particularly unfortunate when I like the bride and groom a lot and such was the case here. I was warned in the planning meetings about one particular family member who probably wouldn’t show up but, if he did, he was not to be encouraged, paid attention to or served any alcohol. Apparently, the likelihood that this family member would even show up was slim so we needn’t worry. As things progressed all was well. After dinner I did notice a new guest and didn’t try to provoke him, although I invited him to come and join a conga line that was happenin... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Alcohol Is Poison

February 22, 2017 by Tony Barthel
One of the best DJs I know of is named Steve Sharp who happens to work the in WeddingHorroran area north of Los Angeles known as Ventura. This interesting piece of America has a wonderful combination of city life, country life, farms, ocean and almost every other form of topography known to man. Steve was the DJ for my wedding and did a wonderful job of it. part of the process leading up to the wedding itself was a very detailed meeting where Steve asked questions I hadn’t thought of, and I thought I was thorough. Steve was in the same process with a bride and groom he describes as really liking a lot and whose taste in music he describes as ah... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Drinking And Driving Means Divorce

February 15, 2017 by Tony Barthel
A radio talk show host who is nationally-syndicated has a theory that nobody should get married who is under the age of 25. Either the bride and groom who planned a lovely celebration to include karaoke hadn’t heard the show, or didn’t really care about a radio blah blah show host’s opinions. This was one of those receptions that had a lot of unusual twists and turns planned into it and each one of them went very well. You could actually say that this reception was a success including the fact that our under age groom somehow kept managing to appear more drunk to me. Somehow he was a success at getting alcohol into his system. Maybe it was crafty friends. What happened to this couple actually happened after the reception and ceremony were but a wonderful memory. The duo had gotten into the car as ... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Friends Don’t Let Friends Throw Punches

February 8, 2017 by Tony Barthel
I have developed many friends in the wedding profession in the 20 years that I’ve been involved with it. As with many professional relationships, some are closer than others and many of the other wedding professionals have asked me to be their DJ for their own celebrations, or those of their family. Nothing could be a greater compliment than the trust of people who really know the business and choose you above others. One such function was a beautiful wedding celebration in a church hall for the daughter of a caterer who I thought was an absolute master of the art of food. After the ceremony came a reception where I found out that the bride had had her wedding dress especially crafted to show off the numerous tattoos that would be polite to show. The bride and groom were wonderful, the food was absolu... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: More Champagne Dreams

February 1, 2017 by Tony Barthel
There have been plenty of weddings throughout history where the bride was a young lady about to change her life. In fact, I’m sure the wedding I was working was by no means the first where the bride was legally too young to celebrate a toast to her new found bliss with an adult beverage. In some cases an exception might be made for the young lady in the beautiful dress but liquor laws are strict and any venue that is able to serve alcohol might not be able to if it is discovered that they knowingly did so to someone who was under the legal drinking age. Pesky laws.WeddingHorror So there I was near the beginning of my DJ career in the company of... [read more]