"The flower girls are monkeys." Mamamia recaps Joe Exotic's epic 23-minute wedding video.

There was a significant portion of Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries dedicated to the (not legal) wedding of Joe Exotic to John Finlay and Travis Maldonado.

The wedding, where the three grooms wore matching pink shirts, took place in January 2014, and was definitely not… legal, on account of a few things: Same-sex marriage between two people was still banned in the United States in 2014, let alone three people. But that didn’t seem to stop Exotic from throwing a lavish, and very pink, ceremony.

But while we saw a bit of the big day during Tiger King, it certainly came as a surprise to discover there was a 23-minute video of the ceremony on the internet for our complete viewing pleasure.

A look inside Joe, John and Travis’ wild wedding. Post continues below video.

Video via YouTube

And before we even reach the wedding, the video is simply… everything we could’ve hoped for.

First, a voiceover from Exotic informs us the video contains “images that are graphic in nature”, but also… “some scenes may also contain recreations”. That means… they may have got dressed up and filmed things… after they happened… just… because.


Then, comes a familiar sound.

It’s the 20th Century Fox movie opening. Except that it’s… not.

joe exotic tv
joe exotic tv

It begins as Exotic and Finlay pick someone called Ashley up from the airport. It's an unexplained, unimportant trip, but we'll allow it because meanwhile, Exotic's absolute banger I Saw A Tiger plays in the background.

Then there's approximately four minutes of set up and pre-wedding things, including a peek at their seriously on brand cake.

joe exotic wedding
"The crocodiles are made out of butterscotch."

Overall, the next few minutes are not very exciting because WHEN DO WE SEE THE PINK SHIRTS PLS.

On the morning of the wedding, Exotic heads to a store to pick up the wedding outfits and invites the women selling him the pants to the wedding.

"A couple of the flower girls are monkeys," he says. "It's gonna be awesome."

They... laugh, but it's not very convincing.

The screen fades to black, and suddenly we're there in the small, very pink hall they have hired out for the occasion.

Exotic lights a candle in memory of his brother Garold, and then it's go time.



joe exotic wedding
Shirley Schreibvogel had a nice frock picked out but okay.

Then a man who looks really bloody chuffed about his large gun walks down the aisle for reasons that remain unclear. We feel uncomfortable.

joe exotic wedding
joe exotic wedding

I zone out a bit while children in pink fringe jackets wander down the aisle, and only come to when I realise A MAN WORE A GOD DAMN HOODIE AND BEANIE TO A WEDDING.

joe exotic wedding

Joe spent $480 on pink shirts for his grooms and you, sir, dress in a green hoodie? The DISRESPECT.

Precisely none of the grooms look very pleased about being here, but finally, it's wedding time.

"I'd like to welcome you to a most unusual wedding. In our society today, no wedding is really normal… Our diverse nature has blended together so many ideas of what it means to be married and how one goes about doing it... But even by modern standards, where blended families are the new norm... and in an increasing number of states and countries anyone can marry the person they love, this is an usual wedding," the celebrant says and she's not wrong.

"Today we have gathered to witness the union of Travis, John and Joe. We are here today to offer them our love and blessings as they embark on the next phase of their lives together."

We then learn the (unverified) history of throuples.

"What they are about to do today is as old as mankind. While modern humans may have invented the word polyamory, which means many loves, we certainly didn't invent the idea. Multiple adult relationships are as old as we are a species. Every major culture on the planet has some some form of multiple marriage. Every major religion has allowed it at some point, and still do.


"Know this: all acts of love are blessed and holy to the creator."

joe exotic wedding
"This is wild ya'll"

A monkey called Jada wasn't super keen to hand over the wedding rings, so there's a slight tug-of-war before Joe is able to put the rings on the fingers of his grooms.

They recite vows and it sounds remarkably like the way a class of children greet their teacher each day, with that really monotone 'good morning Mrs Whoever', and light pink candles.

They all individually kiss and the wedding guests cheer.

Another Joe Exotic tune plays as the grooms take photos and feed each other cake. Once again, it's reiterated that the alligators are butterscotch. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


What do you buy a tiger-owning, mullet-having, pink shirt-wearing zoo owner and his two much younger, not-gay grooms as a wedding gift? Apparently, the answer is a blanket with the three of them shirtless on it.

joe exotic wedding

Makes sense!

The reception sees the guests getting our pet monkeys, who quite frankly made much more of an effort than any of the humans invited, for what appears to be... the throwing of the bouquet.

Guests sat down for a lovely, traditional meal of steak and baked beans. Yes, INCLUDING THE MONKEYS.

joe exotic weddingjoe exotic weddingjoe exotic wedding
joe exotic wedding

The video then abruptly ends, with a loud noise and a flame graphic, perhaps foreshadowing the disastrous end to the three-way marriage that would come just months later, when Finlay left Exotic... for a woman... who worked at the zoo... who was also pregnant with his child.

I hope he gave his pink shirt back.

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Feature images: YouTube.

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