It was a late Wednesday afternoon. 60 people gathered at Frank Sinatra’s former residence in Woodland Hills to witness Jeff and Serena Baleja walk down the aisle. But their wedding was far from traditional. After Jeff and Serena kissed to solidify their new union, Jeff reached into his pocket and pulled out two joints. He handed one to his wife and put the other to his lips. The officiator ignited a lighter and the newlyweds leaned in to light their joints. Smoke rolled up from their smiles as they laced fingers and held their hands to the sky.
As legalization spreads, progressive canna-centric weddings are becoming a trend. But throwing a weed wedding isn’t as simple as having flower arrangements adorned with fan leaves and buds. It also requires a lot more than having heaps of cannabis at the reception. Jamie Lee McCormick, the founder of the Flower Daddy floral designs, planned the Baleja’s elegant SoCal wedding, and gave us brilliants tips on what it takes to throw an exquisite elevated wedding. So, if you’re unsure whether you should have a weed wedding or not, we’re here to tell you that you should. Here’s what you need to know to ensure you host an unforgettable celebration of love.
You Don’t Have to Tell Your Guests It’s a 420 Wedding
Sure, you can announce that you’re hosting a weed wedding on the invitation, but we’re here to assure you that it’s not entirely necessary. It’s 2018 and cannabis is the most accepted it’s ever been. Although it’s still far from conventional—particularly for older generations—cannabis is only going to become more normalized as legalization spreads. McCormick says there’s no obligation to announce you’re having a canna-wedding.
“If [your guests] know you well enough to be at your wedding, they probably already know you’re going to have a weed bar or something,” he says. “For me, it’s letting it be kosher, and just letting [the guests] come.”
It’s All About Aesthetic
We know not all families are 420-friendly. But even if that’s the case, and you feel more comfortable communicating to your guests that you’re having a green wedding, it still doesn’t need to say “WEED WEDDING” in bold capital letters across the top of the invite. Rather, it could say something along the lines of: “Join us for an elevated celebration of love” and/or mention you’ll have an open-flower bar and/or joint roller at the reception for those who wish to participate.
Weed weddings are all about aesthetic, according to McCormick. And most of the time, people are beside themselves when they experience the class of flower power weddings. If any of your guests show up with a judgmental attitude, chances are they’ll feel differently by the end.
Host Your Wedding in a Private Home
The reason canna-weddings are still relatively obscure is because of the law—and not just federal law. Even in California where weed is legal, there’s a whole category of regulations for events. And canna-weddings are not included in them, so they’re still considered a grey area. It also doesn’t help that the majority of wedding venues aren’t 420-friendly. Thus, most weed weddings are held in private homes. The Golden State’s laws say people are welcome to indulge in the herb from the comfort of a private residence. So, obviously, the best way to throw a weed wedding is in a home that ideally has a yard big enough to host your guests.
McCormick planned Serena and Jeff’s wedding in a sprawling estate that used to belong to Frank Sinatra. The actual house was used for the caterers, bridesmaids, the families of the bride and groom, etc. The backyard, overlooking the hills of the San Fernando Valley, was where the ceremony and reception took place.
Choose Your Favorite Vendors
What’s a weed-wedding without lots of product? Make a list of your favorite canna-goods and brands that mesh with the overall vibe of your wedding. For instance, if you have a general theme of elegance, it might be chic to have a vendor there who can offer guests samples of decadent dark chocolate caramels—medicated ones, of course.
But you don’t have to overdo it with the vendors. “I think it’s just a matter of covering your bases,” McCormick says. “You want to have your range of flowers, edibles, and vapes.”
Edibles Should be Low Dose
Microdosing is a way of life. And, especially at a wedding—or all family gatherings, for that matter—you don’t want (or need) to see your Aunt Susan turning into a stoned zombie. This is particularly important if alcohol is going to be present on your special day. It’s recommended that all edibles at the event are under 20 mg. Personally, we feel the majority should be below 10 mg to keep people from experiencing intense cross-fade. Also, who only wants to eat one gummy bear or cookie? Call us crazy, but we want to eat at least 20. And that can’t happen when edibles are high-dose. So, for the sake of all people who get the munchies, provide low-dose delicious edibles your guests can devour.
Treat the Plant Like Alcohol and Have an Open Canna-Bar
There’s no concept more beautiful than an open canna-bar, equipped with an abundance of freshly rolled joints, edibles, smoking accessories, and more. This was a hit at Jeff and Serena’s reception. At most weddings, guests either huddle around the buffet, bar, or dance floor. At their wedding, however, everyone—and I mean everyone–was packed around the weed bar. People passed joints, stashed some for later, and shared fire to experience the different strains. Cousins snacked on medicated sour belts while friends ate fruit coated in infused chocolate. Guests had the opportunity to take dabs and sip on infused beverages, too. Although alcohol was available at the wedding, there was a specific emphasis on the weed bar.
Provide CBD Options for Those Who Don’t Want to Get High
Some people don’t like the feeling of THC. But that doesn’t mean they have to be left out of the fun. At Jeff and Serena’s wedding, McCormick made sure there was a CBD station with someone offering bong hits of CBD distillate. The vendor prepped bowls for guests, while offering education about CBD and assuring them they won’t get stoned
“I wanted the CBD bar for a couple of reasons,” says McCormick. “One was for those who don’t participate in THC, but still want to try something. Also, CBD can help people who get too high, so having a CBD booth there is a good way to educate people about that facet of CBD, like, ‘Hey, if you smoke CBD, it’ll knock your high down, a little bit.’”
There’s a Blossoming Niche for Cannabis Wedding Planners
If you’re a wedding planner who likes to smoketh the herb, there’s no better time to be in business. As cannabis weddings are slowly becoming a thing, there’s a need for cannabis wedding planners. Legality aside, part of the reason it’s difficult for couples to have a weed wedding is because few wedding planners are open and equipped to do so. Also, planning a wedding in general is stressful and intricate. Throwing weed and vendors into the mix can become a hazy mess if you don’t know what you’re doing. Thus, a new niche for cannabis wedding planners is currently blooming.
McCormick not only has experience creating flower arrangements, he’s also a wiz when it comes to event and wedding planning. He organized Jeff and Serena’s wedding in a little over a month. He was able to execute in such little time, though, because he’s well connected in both the cannabis and wedding spaces. “Usually in wedding world, you start [planning] about year out from your event,” he says. “And for a weed wedding I’d say it’s the same. But I did Jeff and Serena’s in six weeks. There’s really no right or wrong time frame. I think it’s just about whether the wedding planner can do it and get it right.”
Go to the Cannabis Wedding Expo for Ideas and Contacts
If you’re sold–or even curious– about having a cannabis wedding but don’t know where to start, there’s an annual Cannabis Wedding Expo that’s loaded with vendors, products, and concepts for an elevated matrimony. It’s also a great place to make contacts with professionals, Like McCormick, who can help make your green wedding a reality. There are expos in Vegas, Denver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
“The Cannabis Wedding Expo is incredible,” says McCormick. “They are such a great group of pioneers. I think the best thing about it is they’re so good at making this progressive wedding-style normal. There were a lot of curious couples at the last one in LA.”