Like It or Not, Marijuana Is Making Its Way Into Weddings
It's true: Because of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, some couples are now looking for ways to include weed in their wedding day plans — from cannabis reception centerpieces to special brownies at the bridal shower. And while we don't expect it to become as popular as, say, the signature drink at cocktail hour, many of the Colorado and Washington state-based wedding planners and experts we talked to gave us reason to believe that we can expect to see more of it over the coming years.
"We're going to start thinking of cannabis like alcohol."
Jane West is founder of Edible Events Co. a Denver-based company that specializes in private BYOC (bring your own cannabis) events. While Jane hasn't planned a cannabis-themed wedding yet, she is working with a handful of brides to help them incorporate weed into their bachelorette party and bridal showers. "We're going to start thinking of cannabis like alcohol, and we're moving towards regulating cannabis like alcohol and normalizing its consumption," West says. “It's the new wine. I think Colorado will see a lot more destination weddings for this reason."
And with companies like DixieElixirs (which Edible Events uses as their dispensary) that specialize in creating cannabis-infused products like marijuana-infused sparkling pomegranate beverages couples can actually find more discreet and creative ways to incorporate marijuana into their weddings. "It's a second wave of cannabis users because a lot of people don't want to smoke out of a pipe," Jane says.
"My fiancé wanted to have an area for vaporizing."
Bride to-be Christianna Lewis works for The Hemp Connoisseur magazine based in Denver, Colorado, and both she and her fiancé knew that they wanted cannabis to be a part of their wedding, especially because most of their guests also work in the industry. "Initially my fiancé wanted to have an area for vaporizing, but because of the venue we chose it won't be at the actual wedding," Christianna says. "We even thought about trying to do something in our bouquets because it's how we met, even if we're not smoking at the wedding." While she hasn't finalized plans, she and her fiancé have decided to throw a co-ed bridal shower with a variety of weed sweets and edibles involved.
"It's a chance to demonstrate how classy it can be and hopefully calm some nerves."
Jennifer Gargotto and her fiancé founded the site cannabase.io. The idea of having hemp at their wedding came to Jennifer after having attended a traditional Las Vegas bachelorette party. "I didn't want a traditional bridal shower," Jennifer says. "But I did want to play all of the games and [weed] is a great way to expose my friends to the industry, and the way we see it. It's a chance to demonstrate how classy it can be and hopefully calm some nerves and help people get to know each other before the wedding."
“Everyone knows what we do and it's our biggest goal to not make anyone feel uncomfortable."
While both brides have a large number of guests who happen to work in the cannabis industry, they also recognize that some of their family and friends are not comfortable around marijuana. "We're trying to be mindful and respectful of their feelings, even though they're supportive of what we both do," Christianna says. And this hits at the core of why both brides-to-be aren't planning to serve marijuana at the actual wedding. "Everyone knows what we do and it's our biggest goal to not make anyone feel uncomfortable, which is why it would be fun to do it beforehand," Jennifer says.
"It may not be a larger liability than it would be to serve alcohol, but we're still researching it."
It's safe to say that for reception venue owners in Colorado and Washington, the laws and policies are vague. Generally speaking, the new laws allow smoking on private properties and venues with the owner's permission only. "I had one bride who wanted to have a 'hemp bar' instead of the traditional bar to replace alcohol," says Roxie Ellis, owner of Ellis Ranch and Event Center in Loveland, Colorado. In the end though, Roxie turned down the wedding. "It's all so new for us. We want to accommodate all of our brides and give them what they want, but until we can figure out the liability part we have to hold off for a bit," she says. "It may not necessarily be a larger liability than it would be to serve alcohol, but we're still researching it."
"[Cannabis event planners] network and work with other 420 friendly vendors to assure everyone's comfortable and on the same page."
Wedding photographer Dalton Clements of Pasiflora Photography has lots of experience shooting marijuana-themed weddings, most recently for a Colorado-based couple who are professional marijuana growers and grow on the land that they were married on. All of the marijuana details, like the bride's bouquet, were grown, provided and arranged by them. "The trend is so hot right now that there are cannabis bridal event planners (like Cannabride and Colorado Cannabis Concierge) who design and plan your wedding around the idea of incorporating marijuana in your arrangements, bouquets, cakes and other details," says Clements. "They network and work with other 420 friendly vendors to assure everyone's comfortable and on the same page."
He adds, "Most couples who bond over smoking together, feel like toasting to a dab or joint conveys who they are in a much more accurate light. Weddings are by nature very personal, making an intimate moment like this truly special and personal."
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