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: Don’t Wear Black To The Wedding

January 4, 2017 by Tony Barthel
The date was Valentines Day 1993 and the wedding was planned for a beautiful home in the Ventura, California area. Some folks have the privilege of having enough property on their property to have their favorite family and friends over for a nice, elegant wedding reception and this one was to be held on the tennis courts of the family estate under the shelter of a tent. As our DJs were setting up for the event in this huge tent, one of them noticed the wedding party and it caught her eye that they were all wearing black. Even the parents had on black, which really took this DJ by surprise. “You don’t wear black to a wedding,” she said. “It’s an Italian tradition – you just never wear black to a wedding.” “What could happen?” asked her working partner for the day. “I don’t kno... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: A Ghost Of A Chance Of Success

December 28, 2016 by Tony Barthel
This one comes from another friend in the wedding business who related this story:WeddingHorror I did a Halloween Wedding and Reception at a Country Club in the Ballroom. The bride was dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and the Groom was dressed as The Big Bad Wolf. All of the guests had costumes on and were having a fantastic time. We did some Halloween games and participation dances plus regular dance tunes. The weather was nice and people were in and out all night. There was a two story back deck just behind me where people were going outside to smoke or just enjoy the beautiful night air. Later in the evening, a bunch of people came in and ... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: High Ho, Heigh Ho – It’s To The Floor We Go!

December 21, 2016 by Tony Barthel
Weddings have so many wonderful traditions, and many different cultures bring WeddingHorrortraditions to the table to share with the fabric that is America. It is the custom in Jewish weddings, for example, to raise the bride and groom up in chairs during a dance called the Hora. This is possibly one of the greatest ways to start a wedding because it involves every guest at the wedding in a festive and fun celebration that is the cornerstone for the party that will follow. As the guests dance around in a circle, a chair is brought over for the bride and groom. The bride and the groom sit in the chairs and they are then lifted above the heads of the ... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Robbed Of Your Wedding Day

December 14, 2016 by Tony Barthel
As you’ve come to realize, the stories in this book are generally the result of the guests or vendors people choose doing something stupid, deadly or just embarrassing. This is one that’s totally beyond the control of the bride and groom. You see the bride and groom were in the process of celebrating their wedding reception at a restaurant in an otherwise very safe area when a couple of uninvited guests crashed the party. The pair just happened to be armed robbers. The duo forced everyone to the floor face down and robbed the guests of wallets and purses. As if that weren’t bad enough, the bandits also relieved the bride and groom of all their wedding gifts as well. Sadly, it’s not horribly uncommon that some guests feel obliged to help themselves to the envelopes on the gift table knowing... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Horsing Around

December 7, 2016 by Tony Barthel
It is not uncommon for a bride to have Cinderella dreams of her wedding. After all, you get to wear the big dress, theoretically the guy in the rented tux is Prince Charming and all the guests certainly dote upon the bride. It’s probably the WeddingHorrorclosest any of the majority of the world ever get to feeling like a celebrity. So with those Cinderella dreams come some very interesting implementations. A good friend of mine was the DJ for a wedding where the bride’s big dream was to arrive at the wedding ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage. Doing so would certainly evoke images in the minds of guests of the young lady with the glass slipper a... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Nice Trip See You Next Fall

November 30, 2016 by Tony Barthel
This was another one that was relayed from the source of my “tooth” story a bit earlier. It seems that a videographer was hired to capture a wedding reception and was in the process of recording the cake cutting ceremony when calamity struck. In the days when video cameras began making appearances at weddings battery technology was not as advanced as it is today so it was not uncommon for videographers to have long, long extension cords laying about so that they could power their cameras. Wedding guests are notorious among wedding professionals as being focused on everything but where their feet are landing so it was no surprise that a guest tripped on the videographer’s extension cords. What was unfortunate is that it sent the camera and its tripod tumbling toward the cake which, in turn, domi... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Elvis Has Left The Building. We Wish.

November 23, 2016 by Tony Barthel
“This story previously appeared in Shawn McMaster’s Winter 2003 issue of his electronic magic publication The Mandala.” It was submitted by Marc Bacharach, The Kinder Gentler Hypnotist, who amended it with an addition. Shawn wrote…On a totally unrelated subject, I think I should also share with you my increased level of hatred for Elvis impersonators. In September, I was performing at a huge Mardi Gras-themed event. The people who booked me really went all out. No expense was spared, and it showed. A variety of entertainers, including the singing group The Tokens (of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" fame) performed at this function. Anyway, I was scheduled to go on after The Tokens. I was informed during their performance, however, that an Elvis impersonator who was scheduled for later in the show had ano... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: By Rain Sleet or Snow!!!

November 16, 2016 by Tony Barthel
While I live in sunny Southern California, I have friends all over the country. One of those friends relayed this story to me about trying to provide a performance for a couple in the mountains during a snow storm. Here’s the story my friend related... It wasn’t quite the night before Christmas, but it was the busiest Saturday evening during the December holiday party season. An uneventful Saturday afternoon found me preparing, as I usually would, for my upcoming evening performance which was to begin at 6pm at an upscale hotel. Across town my DJ, Justin, was in the process of dispatching to another prominent hotel for his expected 4:30 set-up and arrival. Shortly after 5pm I received a phone call from Justin informing me of the "gridlock" situation that was developing on the freeway due to an after... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Urine The Celebration Now

November 9, 2016 by Tony Barthel
Many DJs do not charge much for their services. In fact, the number of DJs who WeddingHorrormake their full-time living from this profession is small so many of them have other jobs that help bridge the gap between DJ income and the poverty line. It’s also common practice to offer one’s services to larger operators who assign performances shortly before they occur. These companies book as many jobs as possible and then search for talent from the available pool as close to the performance date as possible so that they can negotiate better rates for themselves and, thereby, more profit. A DJ I know in Sacramento was performing at a night club to h... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: One Cake Going Down

November 2, 2016 by Tony Barthel
There is a venue in Southern California that I work at with some frequency. It is a beautiful and historic venue with plenty of banquet rooms available so on any given weekend, there are a lot of special events going on. This place is WeddingHorrorparticularly popular as a wedding venue and there are no shortage of weddings that recognize the beauty and history of this place. One of the rooms in particular is somewhat unusual in its layout, having served other purposes before it became popular as a wedding venue. While it certainly serves its present purpose well, the layout is different than what many people expect so accommodations have to be made... [read more]