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: 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]
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Wedding Horror Story: Is That A Belt?

October 26, 2016 by Tony Barthel
I did a wedding for a wonderful family where there was a clothing emergency. This has happened to me as well, so when I found out that the clasp on the groom’s father’s pants had given up the ghost, I knew just what to do. I have developed a talent for creating a “belt” with the thick black stage tape that I carry and did so for this gentleman as well. I hope he was able to get a refund on his tuxedo rental and I wonder what he would have done had he not had a DJ who was experienced in pants failures and the resolution of same with stage tape. You know what they say – you can’t fix it, duct it – can’t duct it…... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Puttin’ On The Ritz

October 19, 2016 by Tony Barthel
There are so many reasons to have a super fancy hotel figure into your wedding and a bride who I had the good fortune of working with had planned a beautiful seaside wedding and reception capped off by a night at one of the fanciest hotels in Marina del Rey, an upscale marina in Southern California. Being a high-zoot neighborhood they also had a room at one of the fanciest hotel chains in the business and that’s where she planned night one of her honeymoon. Fortunately, this hotel was just minutes from the seaside restaurant where both her wedding and reception were planned to be and the combination of the two venues made for a wonderful celebration with the ocean as part of the picture. Literally. The morning of her wedding she checked into the hotel and with a honeymoon’s worth of luggage and, add... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Help Me!

October 12, 2016 by Tony Barthel
I’ve heard more than one story from friends in the wedding business where someone has painted something to the effect of “help me” on the bottom of the groom’s shoes. It’s not until this poor chap is kneeling at the altar does the audience get let in on the little joke. Usually the groomsmen have painted the offending phrase in white out so it really stands out on the bottom of black shoes. Grooms, check your soles before you commit with your soul.... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Mixed Message With The Toast

September 28, 2016 by Tony Barthel
With over 30 years experience Ray Martinez, RayMar, has seen most of it, if not all of it. One of the pioneers of the DJ industry, RayMar certainly has some stories to tell and it doesn’t hurt that he’s a heck of a story teller. At one particular wedding, RayMar described the marriage as something one might find typical in Southern California – an Irish guy marrying a Mexican girl. But this was one of those weddings where you could feel the tension in the air so when the well-spoken father got on the mic, a bit of that tension was relieved. That was, until he said to his son, “What the hell are you doing marrying a Mexican girl – you should have married an Irish girl.” There’s nothing quite like a relative with an attitude armed with a microphone. Naturally, this started a war of words ... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Screwing Up The Toast

September 21, 2016 by Tony Barthel
You never know when tragedy is going to strike in one’s life, and in this case it was years before the bride and groom had ever met. While still a young girl, the bride’s parents had been involved in a terrible auto accident that killed her father and left her mother paralyzed. Following the tragedy the bride’s older brother assumed the role of family caretaker and had done a wonderful job in that role. The bride had grown up to be a wonderful lady that her daddy would have been very proud of and her mom and brother were truly in celebration mode at the wedding. The groom was also respectfully enjoying himself and all was well. Until it came time to share thoughts of good fortune with the guests and the mic was handed over to one of the groomsmen. Actually, the toast wasn’t half bad as the fr... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Toasts

September 14, 2016 by Tony Barthel
Somewhere in the past the tradition of toasting the bride and groom started. I’m sure some statesman eloquently evoked the emotion shared by the bride and groom and caused feelings of warmth, love and caring in each guests’ heart. As champagne was shared these statesmen created a unity in the guests that was a tribute to their ability to write and deliver a speech. Not wanting to be outdone, Mr. and Mrs. Everybody Else decided that they, too, should have someone share their feelings with the audience and as time marched on the toast became part of the wedding tradition. In today’s world almost every wedding has a toast and, more often than not, they are less than memorable. In my opinion, part of the reason for this is that Americans hate speaking in public. In fact, in a recent poll they said tha... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Speaking Of Wireless Microphones

September 13, 2016 by Tony Barthel
My good friend Ray Martinez, or RayMar, has been in the DJ business since this country celebrated its bicentennial. He relayed a story to me that goes back almost that far to 1977 when he was working at a Southern California ocean park called Marineland that, like much of Southern California, has since been developed into a housing development. Marineland had a beautiful room for banquets that was round and had sliding glass doors all around it so you could take in the spectacular view of the ocean. At this particular event, the room was sold to capacity or, as RayMar said, the people were shoulder to shoulder. From his position Ray couldn’t see the dance floor for all the people in the room and the story unfolds as the groom is in the process of removing the garter from his lovely wife. In those days... [read more]
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Wedding Horror Story: Was That On The Mic?

September 7, 2016 by Tony Barthel
Like most forms of technology, wireless microphones have evolved to become WeddingHorrorbetter and better. The combination of technologies that it takes to make a microphone wireless have resulted in better range to be sure, but the real advantage is the ability to choose from a wide number of channels that the wireless mic operates on. For example, if a DJ arrives at a venue and discovers another DJ in the adjacent room with the same wireless mic, it’s very easy to simply change the channel and avoid any conflicts. Such was not the case in the past where I happened to have purchased a brand new wireless mic that was the same as the one a friend o... [read more]