Image from viral TikTok video shows performers dressed as plants at a wedding

This Viral Wedding Video Is the Stuff of Dreams and Nightmares

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Welcome to our wedding! On your right you will see the sentient plants, on your left feel free to grab a hand towel from the Lichtenstein-painted lady …

Author and activist Mikki Kendall shared a brief TikTotk wedding video to Twitter, summarizing our gut reaction by asking, “Is the theme of this wedding panic attack? I have questions.”

First things first, kudos to this over-the-top wedding, which appears to be in the Hamptons, for at least seeming to abide by COVID safety measures. The servers and some performers are wearing masks, the artistic antics are all taking place outside, and there is an airy tent for further festivities. Cool! But there’s also a lot happening here that makes for quite the tableau as you walk through a greeting gauntlet.

The people poised in the flower pots making sinuous gestures are a lot, but then you turn and see the hedge people—performers wearing costumes so that they blend into the foliage (until they don’t). If that blink-and-shriek WHAT wasn’t enough, there’s also camouflaged human arms reaching through. I’m sure this is all fine if you were to stumble upon them after too many glasses of champagne.

In case you were curious about the seemingly incongruous polka-dotted lady:

The video was posted on TikTok by smashceo (Smash Entertainment, tagline “make your event … a smash!”), the account behind a service that offers “unique entertainment for events and parties.” Smash Entertainment was established in 2004 and we love that they say they’re female-owned. Their TikTok page indeed showcases a wide variety of strange and extraordinary events, product launches, and celebrations that feature performances like these as their signature.

There are “living statues” for a Swatch party, living trees that give Ents a run for their money, more plant people for a Sag Harbor Earth Day, voguing “reindeer” on stilts at the Bronx Zoo, and many, many more. The performers who work with Smash Entertainment appear to be incredibly talented and capable of physical feats including difficult acrobatics and dancing within a hula-hoop of fire. Past clients have included everyone from Citigroup to Beyoncé to The Red Cross to The Obamas.

Yet they are not the typical sight you might expect to see when you enter a wedding reception—which I suppose was the point here. The responses to Kendall’s Tweet summarized many of our feelings when we first saw the video.

Especially this one!

OK, fair enough:

Or perhaps more Tim Burton-driven?

It’s really that arm that does it.

And to add to our current conversation about vast wealth disparities …

All other things aside, I am very upset that I have never had the opportunity to attend a clown marries clown wedding:

But wait, there’s more! Lest you thought these performers were only there to provide a unique wedding-entrance experience, nope! As we noted, Smash elements like the people undulating in flower pots have been present in other capacities. Check out this event at The Standard Hotel in New York City.

Many artistic fields have been hard-hit by the pandemic, and so this wedding is also an important opportunity for performing artists to get paid. Though it does raise the question of how one might explain this going forward:

Of course, not all of the respondents on Twitter were against this sort of over-the-top display.

And perhaps the only explanation for what’s happening here that makes sense in our book …

In the end, I feel the following tweet best pulls together our disparate reactions:

What do you think? Are you enthralled by the plant people, or might you turn around and run?

(via Smash Entertainment on TikTok, image: screngrab)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.