Cannabis is becoming a big part of the American wedding industry in the legal states
“Cannabis is the new champagne,” declares the web copy for Love and Marij, a US company helping to connect couples with weed-friendly wedding vendors in legal states. From bud bouquets to budtender-staffed cannabars, Love and Marij offers a range of services, including advice on how to legally incorporate cannabis into all aspects of the wedding experience.
The company focuses on upscale cannabis events, says CEO Niki McDonald, noting that cannabars are its most popularly requested service. Hard-baked perceptions of the stereotypical stoner experience may linger in the popular imagination, but McDonald believes cannabars are more tasteful than their alcoholic counterparts. “If you have a wedding guest who’s overindulged in alcohol, it’s kind of messy and disruptive. Whereas cannabis can open up your mind to appreciate the details – if somebody overindulges in cannabis, they’re probably going to just sit in a chair and smile and appreciate all the things around them.”
McDonald didn’t smoke at her own wedding, but looking back she wishes she had, saying that it would’ve been nice to enjoy “one hit of something calming,” before the ceremony, something to help ground her in an appreciation of the present moment.
Enjoying the ceremony is where it’s at for Ganjasana founder Rachael Carlevale, who officiates Plant Spirit Medicine wedding ceremonies to help couples celebrate their love and union alongside the cannabis plant. For her own wedding this past September, she chose ethnobotanist and “medicine hunter” Chris Kilham to officiate. An expert in medicinal plants and shamanic ceremonies, Chris performed a cannabis soplar (protective ceremony) as well as a smudge stick cannabis blessing. In her wedding photos, Carlevale is radiant in a white lace crop-topped jumpsuit and cannabis leaf necklace, smiling from under a crown of fresh marijuana and lavender.
For brides like Carlevale, cannabis is integral to a lifestyle that celebrates the plant in all its healing and spiritual aspects. But even couples who don’t smoke can enjoy the benefits of a permissive approach to cannabis at their weddings, says McDonald, particularly couples whose friends and family members imbibe. Instead of watching guests leave the party to smoke pot, a tolerant atmosphere encourages them to stay. ““When you pay so much money and you plan for so long [it’s disappointing] to have people leave,” says McDonald. On the flip side, even the most ardent cannabis enthusiasts can face pushback from abstaining family members, so it’s not a bad idea to canvass important guests before deciding.
Canadian couples seeking similar legal wedding services will have to wait for the legalization process to grind its way through Parliament – if “weedings” become a hit here, the trend is most likely to take off in 2018. Regardless, it won’t be long before willing Canadians can start their new lives together with a special spark — or as they say at Love and Marij, “Sit back, smoke a bowl and say ‘I doobie.’”