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How to plan your dream canna-wedding 

click to enlarge Pop some Champagne or smoke a joint? - ELIZABETH CRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Elizabeth Cryan Photography
  • Pop some Champagne or smoke a joint?
You’ve dreamed of the perfect June wedding ever since you were a young child, and now your big day approaches. The only change in your original vision: You and your Rocky Mountain mate are living in Colorado, and you want to enhance your special celebration with cannabis to enjoy with your friends and well-wishers.

Maybe your old Uncle Bud or Aunt Mary Jane will wander over to the special tent to have a toke or enjoy a refreshing, fruity, THC-infused mocktail!

It’s a brave new world in Colorado post-legalization, and cannabis weddings are in demand, sought out by couples young and old who are looking to say vows their way. Right now, Colorado’s stock of 420-friendly wedding venues is growing.

Where there is a niche market, there are companies eager to fill the need. Websites like Love & Marij and Cannabride offer wedding planning advice in six Western states: Colorado, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. The sites promote cannabis-friendly vendors from caterers to florists to hairstylists and nail artists to limousine companies, DJs and much more.

Professional cannabis wedding planning companies, like Irie Weddings & Events, which works with some 50 venues across Colorado, can be hired to sweat all the details. “We’re a one-stop shop for cannabis-friendly weddings,” says Bec Koop, 33, who co-founded Irie with partner Madlyne Kelly, 27, in 2016 in Centennial.

Koop was also instrumental in starting Denver’s Cannabis Wedding Expo — last held in January 2018, and now expanding to other legal states — which offers couples a chance to meet with experienced, 420-friendly vendors ready to serve.

What might a 420-friendly wedding look like? While the bride goes for the final fitting of her hemp gown, and the groom stops at the marijuana shop to pick up the strains selected for the “bud bar” at the reception, a limo from High End Transportation can pick up the wedding guests at the airport and take them for a ride to sample some fine Colorado herb.

click to enlarge Mens’ “budonnières” make weed decorative. - LOLLYLAH PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Lollylah Photography
  • Mens’ “budonnières” make weed decorative.
For the wedding flowers, the 420-friendly florist can incorporate marijuana buds into the bridal bouquet or make “budonnières” for the groomsmen. The caterer can pair the food offerings with the strains of cannabis selected for the bud bar, and serve CBD-infused coffees and teas with the cake. Head shops can provide canna-themed jewelry and gifts for the attendants, and favors for the party bags, such as hemp lip balm and CBD gummies. Glassblowers can custom design heady matched waterpipes for the bridal couple. A masseur can be arranged to give canna-massages to the wedding party or, at the reception, offer neck rubs to guests anxious to try a cannabis product without getting high.

Even ahead of the wedding, party buses can be hired to serve as transport and a smoking lounge for bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Much of the energy and creativity to open and nourish these 420-friendly wedding ventures comes from youthful “ganjapreneurs,” like Irie’s co-owner Koop. Business-minded and originally trained as a florist, Koop was working as a budtender in the high-altitude mountain town of Alma when she came up with the idea of adding ganja greenery to her floral creations. She started Buds and Blossoms, Colorado’s first cannabis florist, four years ago, and that morphed into several related canna-wedding ventures. Business is good and growing, Koop says, and Irie’s now managing three to six cannabis-themed events every month during the summer.

click to enlarge A bud bar should provide lower-THC strains for newbies and lightweights. - SHANNA M PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Shanna M Photography
  • A bud bar should provide lower-THC strains for newbies and lightweights.
Koop has safety in mind when she oversees these events. Many of the guests are new to cannabis, and disaster can strike if they over-consume or mix weed with too much alcohol. Irie personnel are prepared with an “oh shit” case of homeopathic remedies, if needed, and have practical advice to minimize consumption, such as selecting lower-THC strains and rolling smaller joints for the bud bar. “There will always be non-cannabis consumers,” Koop says, “We can be discreet by vaping and serving low-THC infused mocktails.” She does suggest that bridal couples be up front with their guests, and perhaps include a line on the invitation like, “The bridal couple has chosen to incorporate cannabis as a beautiful addition to their wedding.”

The good news about cannabis weddings is that they can be less expensive than those that serve only alcohol. “Two-hundred dollars’ worth of cannabis is enough to roll over 100 ½-gram joints,” Koop says. “Alcohol for this many people may be $2,000.” 
When asked for her advice to couples planning a cannabis wedding, Koop, of course, recommends hiring a professional firm like hers, over a DIY wedding. She adds that couples should make sure that the venue is comfortable with the plans before signing a contract. Lastly, she says, “Hire a professional budtender — you don’t want a disaster!”

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