Brides and grooms are traveling from all over the country to express their shared love for cannabis with their friends and family in the hottest new destination wedding: legal states.
STORY BY ROBYN GRIGGS LAWRENCE
Heather and Bryan* were married on a sky- blue Colorado day on the expansive porch of a log mansion high above Breckenridge, Colorado, with the freshly white-capped Rockies as their backdrop. Friends and family—from Texas, Mississippi, New Mexi- co—gathered around as they exchanged vows, then everyone went inside to toast the bride and groom with THC- and CBD-infused sparkling lavender lemonade.
This is the new normal in Colorado and other legal states, and I have the privilege of helping couples like Heather and Bryan toast their nuptials with the bubbly of their choice. My company, Cannabis Kitchen Events (CK Events), works with clients to create meals gently infused with cannabis-based on experience and tolerance. For all the guests at Heather and Bryan’s wedding (except for a woman from Austin), tolerance was low, calling for 2.5 milligrams of THC or CBD in each of the four courses, for a grand total of 10 milligrams.
This wedding meal was the first time Heather, Bryan, and their guests experienced cannabis cuisine as a meal, and I felt that responsibility deeply. We had this one shot to show Heather and Bryan’s guests how delightful a thoughtfully and carefully dosed cannabis-infused meal can be.
The day before the wedding, I met Heather at one of several cannabis stores on the edge of Breckenridge and helped her pick out the flower and concentrates for her wedding meal. (CK Events never provides THC or CBD to anyone.) Heather and Bryan had been experimenting with edibles since they’d arrived in Colorado several days earlier, and they already knew that 10 milligrams of THC—the recommended serving for one person—was just right. Heather bought Stillwater’s Ripple, a water-soluble CBD and THC powder, and earthy Lilac Diesel flower.
After the toast, Heather, Bryan, and their guests took their seats at a long table, and our servers gave each person a notecard to indicate whether or not they wanted to ingest THC. Nearly everyone did. Diners could choose croutes brushed with 2.5 milligrams of Lilac Diesel–infused extra-virgin olive oil in their french onion soup and blistered cherry tomatoes with 2.5 milligrams of infused oil to accompany the pan-seared trout.
By dessert, about half the table went for coulis infused with Ripple THC while the other half went for CBD on top of buttermilk panna cotta with fresh berries.
Chef Sean Cosby and I have systems in place to make sure these orders never get mixed up. Giving a guest THC when they are expecting CBD isn’t like giving them French dressing instead of Italian. A proper serving is imperative when it comes to cannabis-infused food. No one wants to accidentally dose Grandma.
From a Trend into a Tradition
At the wedding dinner, there was a sense of history being made— and dining on the right side of it. This scenario wouldn’t have happened just five years ago. Minds across America hadn’t been opened to the healing and helping benefits of cannabis—unlike today when two-thirds of Americans say they want it legalized. Weedings, incorporating weed and weddings, are becoming more and more popular.
“It’s changed from a trend into a tradition,” says Bec Koop, who founded Denver’s Irie Weddings & Events in 2015 and is considered the queen of cannabis weddings. Irie was one of the first, if not the first, of what is now many services that will walk brides and grooms through options for cannabis-friendly weddings, varying from ice bongs to boutonnieres and bouquets made with smokable flowers (watch them disappear). Koop says business is growing exponentially.
“In the beginning, it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what are my parents or my aunt going to think?’” Koop says. “Now, even when our clients have conservative guests, they don’t care about them. They say, ‘It’s my day, not theirs; it is part of my celebration, and I’m going to do it.’ That’s the biggest change we’ve seen.”
Philip Wolf believes that in 10 years, cannabis will be as important to weddings as alcohol is today (pretty important, given its $2,500 average tab for wedding booze, according to The Knot)—and he should know. Wolf co-founded the Cannabis Wedding Expo with Koop in 2016. From its humble beginnings in a Denver art gallery, the Expo—offering everything from CBD products to calm wedding jitters to bud- tending services to floral displays—has become an international phenomenon, with shows this year in Los Angeles, San Fran- cisco, Las Vegas, Denver, Boston, and Toronto.
In a sign of how mainstream cannabis weddings are becoming, The Knot, the first digital wedding-planning brand, was at the Expo in San Francisco in February. Imaginal, a marketing firm that counts Willie’s Reserve and Flow Kana among its clients, was the presenting sponsor at that show for its New Moon Saloon, a pop-up lounge with a customizable bar featuring boutique sun-grown cannabis. Growers from Huckleberry Hill Farms and Moon Made Farms were also on the show floor to answer questions about cannabis and regenerative agriculture.
Laughter, Tears, Appreciation
A wedding where guests are ingesting cannabis is a lovely thing to behold. Instead of getting loud and aggressive, as many do after drinking too much champagne, guests become relaxed and engaged. As the peaceful effects of just the right dose of THC or CBD settle in, they share laughter, joyful tears, and moments of appreciation for one other.
We keep a close watch from the kitchen, and we’re prepared should anyone consume too much. It’s never happened, and it won’t, but it’s always reassuring to hear that guests are enjoying all aspects of the meal—the food, the effects, the set, and the setting.
After the last spoonful of panna cotta had been scraped from the goblets, everyone around the table looked full, peaceful, and happy. I was feeling pretty good about things as the guests got up, some to change into comfortable clothes before joining everyone in the game and theater space downstairs, when Heather came into the kitchen, barefoot after hours spent in sparkling silver stilettos. “I am perfectly high,” she said. (Phew.) As we were packing up, a gentleman from Santa Fe who had been very curious about the meal told us how much he had enjoyed it. “This was my first cannabis-infused dinner,” he said. “But it won’t be my last.”
Mission accomplished. We’ll get this plant legalized, one wedding at a time.