Wedding Horror Story: Beach Ball Bangup

August 31, 2016 by Tony Barthel

I love themed weddings and there is no theme that I love more than a beach or WeddingHorrorHawaiian theme. Shorts and a Hawaiian shirt are what I usually wear so when a couple requests that I do the same for their wedding, I’m thrilled to oblige. Funny thing, I’ve even had couples ask if I have a Hawaiian shirt and I tell them that I have dozens of them.

At any rate, I was performing at a reception that had a Hawaiian theme and I noticed that the couple had used the hugest beach balls I’ve ever seen as part of the decoration. There were probably a half dozen of these balls which were literally 3’ in diameter – about as large as a Hippity Hop. As many Jimmy Buffett concerts as I’ve gone to, I’ve never seen beach balls this big.

My first thought when I saw them was, “oh, shoot, something’s going to get broken.” Having done as many functions as I have, I know how minds work, especially after a few drinks.

Sure enough, once the dancing got started the beach balls started flying around the room. Among the victims of their velocity were two centerpieces and several glasses of liquids including beers (that’s alcohol abuse in my book, and this is my book).

There were a few small efforts made to keep the gigantic orbs under control but as soon as the kicking stopped, someone else restarted it again and the damage continued.

Finally, one guest felt compelled to launch a beach ball as far as they could and ran at the gigantic thing at full force, affecting a kick that would make any kicker in the NFL jealous. The huge beach ball took flight, completely missing the dance floor but it soon became apparent what was going to happen.

This is one of those moments where time suddenly shifts into low gear and many, many eyes watch the same inevitable sequence of events. As the ball went over two tables on an ever escalating trajectory it finally reached its destination – one of the hotels beautiful and historic chandeliers – which was no match for an enormous orb with such momentum behind it.

Crystal crashed, and the chandelier shook like a Slinky on the San Andreas Fault. Back and forth it rocked, sprinkling expensive crystal with each sway. At the end of its little dance the few unbroken lights in the fixture went dark and everybody then turned their attention to the football kicker who had launched the beach ball.

Meanwhile, he was on his way out the door but one of the hotel’s bar tenders was quicker than he at getting to the entrance. This beach-themed wedding reception should really have been a football themed event because the bar tender grounded the guest with spectacular skill and the game was over.

Someone had thrown a flag on the field and the game was called due to interference. Score: wedding guest 1; chandelier 0.

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Tony Barthel Tony Barthel (49 Posts)

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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