As legalization of recreational cannabis continues to proliferate, so does its accepted use in seemingly unusual or even mundane places. Enter cannabis weddings. I don’t mean passing around a joint behind the reception hall with your buddies at cousin Scott’s wedding or bong hits with the soon-to-be groom at his bachelor party, but cannabis as a part of the actual ceremony and reception. It’s becoming a thing, and in some places, means big business.

Cannabis Wedding Décor

The inclusion of cannabis at weddings can take the form of an in-your-face celebration of the joys of smoking marijuana, or as a discreet way to indulge amongst a group of friends. The image of the cannabis plant or its flowers (or an abstract design representing it) may be incorporated into a bridal altar, into the bride’s or groom’s attire, that of the wedding party, or as the prevailing theme with the reception decorations.

Other betrothed couples may wear cannabis itself. This can take the form of wedding gowns, suits, cummerbunds, ties, and ribbons made of hemp fibers or blended with hemp, or wearing some form of the plant. Some brides and bridesmaids may wear cannabis corsages, and the bride may carry (and later toss) a bouquet complete with cannabis leaves or flowers, while the groom and groomsmen may wear cannabis leaf or flower boutonnières.

Reception tables at cannabis weddings are often adorned with floral arrangements including cannabis leaves or flowers in their centerpieces and/or table settings. Guest gifts at some cannabis weddings range (depending upon local laws) from the giving of actual marijuana plants to a sampling of blends or strains of cannabis that the bride and groom enjoy. Still others mark the day for their guests or wedding party with personalized bongs, bowls, rolling papers, or lighters.

Cannabis Consumption in the Ceremony/Reception

Using cannabis prior to the big day, especially during bachelor/bachelorette parties, is nothing new, but publicly using it on the wedding day is. However, the use of cannabis can fit in to all aspects of the wedding and reception.

Some use it to ease the normal tensions and anxiety associated with wedding day jitters. It can also be a great bonding experience for the bride, groom, and wedding party. Some couples incorporate it into the actual ceremony with a couples’ first toke or bong hit upon being declared legally bound. The bride and groom may request that those in attendance may also share in that experience if they wish.

During the reception, in lieu of the traditional champagne toast, a celebratory smoke may be proposed to toast the newly joined bride and groom. Some weddings may have cannabis bars instead of, or in addition to, traditional bars with alcoholic beverages. Hookah bars or vaping areas are not unusual for some cannabis weddings.

Locating these areas in separate rooms or simply away from the main gathering allows guests to choose if they’d like to partake or not, as well as offers some privacy for those who do. The use of cannabis during a wedding reception can create a mellow atmosphere among those in attendance. In fact, receptions that offer cannabis and not alcohol can have a lower potential for altercations amongst guests.

It also takes a smaller amount of product to have a strong effect, which means stocking a cannabis bar with flowers, concentrates, and edibles can be much cheaper than stocking a wet bar with alcohol. Andrew Mieure at Top Shelf Budtending estimates hiring a budtender, which is recommended for assisting novice consumers, costs approximately $500 per event. The cost of cannabis on top of that can vary, with an estimated consumption rate of about two ounces of dry flower or 13 grams of concentrates per 100 guests.

Another option instead of smoking or vaping is to offer edibles in the form of beverages or baked goods, such as cannabis tonics, brownies, cookies, gummies, or candies.

Of course, not all cannabis weddings are so organized; some simply state on the invite that guests can or are encouraged to BYOC (bring your own cannabis).

Business Opportunities for Cannabis Nuptials

You need not be a grower, seller, or employee of a dispensary to make a living supporting the cannabis wedding phenomenon. There is a marijuana-themed corollary for almost every aspect of a traditional wedding (sorry, no hemp paper marriage certificates just yet).

Weed wedding planners, photographers, and bakers abound, ready to cash in on all things kush. Obviously, not everyone is comfortable being around marijuana or its use. Those proprietors of businesses that cater to wedding events that either use themselves or support marijuana’s legal use are poised for success in those markets where it is legal to use cannabis recreationally.

Even in municipalities where it is lawful to consume marijuana recreationally, it is not typically permitted for public use and may not be consumed on government-owned premises. This can mean that many traditional sites for weddings and receptions like parks and public gardens are off-limits to cannabis weddings. However, any privately owned location can be utilized for tying the knot with pot, providing that it is done so with the property owner’s permission.

Cannabis wedding expos are starting to pop up in neighborhoods where pot is legal. Weed wedding-themed (weeding?) websites, which are having great fun with all the puns to be found (like loveandmarij.com), are proliferating by highlighting the myriad ways in which folks can interweave cannabis into their wedding day festivities. Even “traditional” wedding websites are starting to discuss the recent trend of weed weddings and giving tips on how anyone may incorporate aspects of it into their own ceremonies.

Though it will not ever likely eclipse the popularity of the chapel wedding, marijuana weddings are on the rise, with outfits like Colorado-based Irie Weddings booked for more than a dozen weed-themed weddings in 2016. Make sure that you RSVP (Ready to Smoke or Vape Pot) promptly when you get your first invitation to one. I am sure that cannabis funerals are not far behind.