Have you ever been to a wedding without alcohol? Chances are, unless there was some amazing food or a really great band, you probably found yourself wishing for a stiff drink at some point during the event.
This is not uncommon. Weddings can get a bit boring, especially if you’re not close to the couple who’s getting married, which is one of the many reasons alcohol is so often served at weddings. After all, it’s the best way to make sure everyone has a great time. Right?
Well… no. No, it’s not. It turns out there’s an alternative to serving alcohol at your wedding: serving cannabis.
Why Hate on Alcohol
We’re not. We’re just saying, having an open bar, or any kind of bar at your wedding, can sometimes be a very negative experience. Some guests may take unlimited access to alcohol and the promise of a designated driver or nearby hotel room a little too far. Before you know it your cousin has nabbed and chugged half a bottle of vodka, knocked over a buffet table, mooned your grandmother, and run off with one of the bridesmaids.
Not exactly the classiest thing to do but hey, open bar means drink all you want, right?
Why Cannabis May be a Better Choice for Your Wedding
Yes, drinking is fun but, as most of us know all too well, it can have a plethora of downsides: pounding headaches, lowered inhibitions, and, in severe cases, alcohol poisoning.
Cannabis, on the other hand, doesn’t have any of these downsides. It lightens the mood and provide guests with a fun way to party, without risking anyone feeling like crap the next day.
If you’re still not sure about why and how cannabis can be a better option for your wedding than alcohol, consider the following:
- Unlike alcohol, cannabis isn’t going to make your guests do things they (and you) will regret the next day
- Cannabis is cheaper than alcohol. Like, way cheaper.
- Just a little bit of cannabis can help take away the nerves if your guests are feeling nervous about conquering the dance floor or you’re anxious about talking to people you haven’t seen in years. It would take at least a couple drinks to accomplish this and by then you may be too drunk to do anything!
- With cannabis, you tend to become more aware of your surroundings, instead of less aware as you would when drinking. It also tends to make music sound better, food taste better, and often evokes a warm, loving feeling that’s perfect for weddings.
- Cannabis is perfect for Jewish weddings because it’s totally Kosher, whereas some alcohols, like wine, gin, and vodka, are not.
Cannabis is an excellent alternative for those looking to have a super chill wedding without the risk and expense that comes with alcohol. That said, it’s your day. Do what you want.
Just note that mixing the two can make the effects of each feel stronger. If you choose to offer both, consider asking guests to make a choice between alcohol and cannabis in their RSVP and providing colored wristbands so bartenders and budtenders can tell who is supposed to have what.
Cannabis is no stranger to the party scene, yet its broadening popularity is encouraging adults to incorporate the plant into events in ways never experienced before — from décor to delicious infused dishes and everything in between. Why not host your own weed-themed soirée? To help you produce the best party possible, we’ve assembled the following tips for success with insights and suggestions by two of the country’s leading professional cannabis party planners, Kendal Norris of Colorado’s Mason Jar Event Group and Jessie Samedi of California’s Greenleaf Canyon. Now, puff, puff, pass your way to a most memorable event!
Allow Weed to Lead
Start the party planning process with the cannabis you’d like to highlight at the event. “The weed leads everything,” shares Norris. “Always consider the energetics, flavor, smell and cure of the herb before trying to decide what food and beverages to serve.” What do you smell? Is it spicy or sweet? Do you detect a hint of citrus or berries? Is it uplifting or more mellow? Finding flower with pronounced terpene levels will allow you to pair complementary and contrasting flavors and effects in food and beverages with ease. Let your nose and preferences inspire your decisions.
Create Chill Vibes
Cannabis’ unique ability to heighten our senses begs us to create a comfortable and entertaining space for consumption. Bean bag chairs, soft blankets and fluffy throw pillows placed strategically around the room encourages relaxation. If it’s an evening event, mood lighting is key. Lighting candles and projecting cool images on the wall is always festive. We recommend programming a few color changing LED bulbs (like LIFX or Phillips Hue) beforehand, so you can bathe your guests in an array of immersive hues. Good music helps round out the collective energy in the room. Program a few Spotify playlists of your favorite tunes, create a dance floor space, and see where the party takes you. Temperature and air-flow is important, too. Open a window to allow fresh air to circulate from time to time, as you’ll want to encourage plenty of oxygen, as well as clear out any lingering smoke. Also, take advantage of available outdoor space, so your guests can bask in the sun or stargaze when the mood strikes.
Infuse with Care
While it’s not necessary to infuse food and beverages with cannabis for a weed-themed event, it can be a fun way to elevate the evening. “A low-dose, farm-to-table, four course meal gets everyone talking and sharing!” suggests Samedi. Remember, less is more. Low-dose edibles ensure you and your guests don’t over do it. Clearly label each infused dish with the amount of THC or CBD per serving. Consider the THC and CBD percentages of your flower, as well. Balance high THC strains and CBD dominant selections with your infusions for a well rounded experience. Also, offer menu items that aren’t infused, so your guests have plenty of sober munchies options. Whipping up a batch of Magical Tincture before the party allows guests to infuse beverages to their specifications, or not at all. For more fun infusion ideas, consult the Magical Butter Recipe page online.
Pay Attention to Detail
Photo courtesy of Mason Jar Event Group
The “little things” matter when exploring creative ways to weave cannabis into your event. “Cover tables with linen hemp runners and floral arrangements, featuring a selection of summer favorites like peonies and garden roses with fresh buds in a My Bud Vase bong,” advises Samedi. “For an extra pop of green, place a fresh cannabis leaf on each plate.” Cannabis leaf ice cube trays add a festive touch. Plus, the Game of Zonk or Stoner’s Coloring Book with an assortment of crayons make fun additions to any celebration.
Photo courtesy of Mason Jar Event Group
These days, there are many ways to imbibe cannabis. More and more people are enjoying the therapeutic effects of high CBD strains, so offering flower high in THC, high in CBD and 1:1 THC & CBD will be appreciated. Impress your guests by offering a diverse selection of craft cannabis cultivars grown by local farmers. Set up a station dedicated to cannabis consumption that includes all the materials you’ll need to spark up, like a poker, pipe, grinder, lighter, hemp wick, pipe cleaners, ashtray, roll tray, vaporizer and papers. If you’re particular about where guests consume, create signs with instructions to keep everyone on the same page.
Additional Tips & Recommendations
Photo courtesy of Mason Jar Event Group
- Dosing too heavily is common and can induce anxiety, so create a mellow space for guests to go if they’ve had a little too much.
- Since alcohol increases the levels of THC in the bloodstream, be sure to offer plenty of non-alcoholic and hydrating beverages like sparkling water, still water, lemonade, tea and juice.
- Encourage guests to take a Taxi, Uber or Lyft to and from the event to ensure safe travels.
- Send your guests home with leftover edible treats and goodie bags filled with fun hemp infused topicals and pre-rolled joints.
Serving beer, wine and spirits at special events like weddings, engagement parties, birthday celebrations, and holiday gatherings is already a common practice in the United States. Now that cannabis policies have been reformed in nearly half of the nation, with four states legalizing recreational use and retail sales, serving cannabis (more openly) may be the next trend at such events.
Event planners, vendors and venues, especially in Colorado, Washington and Oregon, have already discovered creative ways to incorporate cannabis into special events, like weddings, in every facet from including fresh buds in bouquets and boutineers to offering a cannabis-bar (cannabar). In fact, this is expected to become so trendy in the near future that the world’s first Cannabis and Wedding Expo has already been scheduled for January 2016.
Island Jenn Photography
Cannabis policy reform is a relatively new development in the United States, but it will not be long before the attitudes of people begin to evolve with the laws. Americans are already beginning to realize that many of the facts presented in the form of propaganda during the Reefer Madness era were false, as the most recent Gallup Poll revealed that 58 percent of American voters believe that federal cannabis prohibition should end. As more people begin to realize that cannabis is no more harmful than alcohol, attitudes shift and the marijuana industry grows, many predict that consuming cannabis at weddings and other celebratory events will soon be just as widely accepted as alcohol.
Much like how the same alcoholic beverage may produce different effects in different people, it is important for hosts and guests alike to be aware that the same strain of cannabis may affect each person differently. While there are always exceptions to the rule, the majority of people can expect to experience the effects described for each of the strains below.
Consult the Experts
Each individual strain of cannabis is unique. When exploring beyond the basic differences between sativa and indica, understanding cannabis becomes more complicated when considering how each strains’ cannabinoid and terpene profiles translate into the effects experienced. Much like a bartender is trusted to pour drinks for guests at an event, a budtender or any person with extensive cannabis knowledge can be hired to work the cannabar at your next event. A budtender will be able to share knowledge, help guests select strains and decide which method of consumption to use. Having a cannabis expert onsite to help serve and educate guests will ensure responsible consumption, especially for novice or first time users.
Just as choosing which strain to consume may be difficult for a wedding guest, selecting how many and which strains to offer may be just as overwhelming for the bride and groom or wedding planner. In an effort to narrow down the hundreds of possibilities, we have put together a list of the top-rated strains that would pair well with weddings and other social gatherings.
Cannabis connoisseur Jake Browne, better known as the world’s first pot critic, shared his recommendations with Whaxy for a “three strain combination that is perfect for parties” to establish a no-brainer, go-to selection for those who find it difficult to choose.
Browne said that offering Blue Dream, Green Crack and Grape Ape, would provide guests with a well-rounded selection. Browne’s reasoning behind each choice is explained under those three strain names in the descriptions below.
Durban Poison is a pure sativa landrace strain that will leave guests or the bride and groom alert, energetic and ready to party. In heavy doses, this strain may cause the heart to race. Click here to read an expert review of Durban Poison to learn more about what to expect when consuming this popular sativa.
This fruity sativa, Strawberry Cough, would make a great addition to any cannabar because its the perfect combination of mental relaxation and energetic focus, helping guests feel good about dancing like no one is watching.
This award winning strain, Amnesia Haze, will leave guests mingling, laughing and dancing the night away with energizing, mood boosting, uplifting and pain-relieving effects.
Island Sweet Skunk
Both experienced and novice cannabis consuming wedding guests will be enticed by the sweet, fruity and slightly skunky scent of Island Sweet Skunk. Often testing higher than most in Cannabidiol (CBD), ISS is the ideal pre-vows strain, leaving guests relaxed and loose without lessening the ability to focus or socialize.
Sweet, tropical fruit scented Maui Waui flowers are a great option for a wedding where smoking is favored because guests won’t have to fear coughing much when exhaling. The mood-boosting and energizing effects may also inspire friendship between guests who have just met.
Often praised for helping to inspire creativity and a happy state of mind, fruity Kali Mist flowers may provide the perfect mix of relaxation and focus that the bride and groom need before they say “I do.” Guests will also be impressed with the beautiful pink and purple hues splashed between the bright green leaves and orange trichomes.
Earning notoriety as a “high CBD” strain for having a 5:2 ratio of cannabidiol (CBD) to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive effects of Harlequin are mild compared to other strains because CBD buffers the potency of the THC. Like training wheels on a bicycle, Harlequin is perfect to have on hand for the novice and first time consumers at the wedding. The higher levels of CBD in this strain will eliminate the risk of developing paranoia or anxiety that some users face the first tim while also relieving the aches and pains of guests who have traveled a long distance or twerked too hard on the dance floor.
Browne explained, “Grape Ape is perfect for the end of the night. The robust grape candy notes taste great and it provides a deep body stone without too much couchlock. Its also great for hangovers!”
As a powerful indica strain, Critical Mass is great for the nervous bride and groom or an anxiety ridden guest. Often testing high in both THC and CBD, Critical Mass is best consumed in small quantities (one to two hits maximum) at social functions in order to avoid lethargy and drowsiness. In small quantities, Critical Mass can free the mind from overthinking by relaxing the body with tingling sensations through the arms and legs.
Grand Daddy Purple
Grand Daddy Purple (GDP) is one of the most recognized strains in the world for good reason. Guests can anticipate feeling happy, uplifted and relaxed almost instantly without being sedated. Plus, the resinous flowers spotted with dark purple leaves will pique the curiosity of guests, encouraging them to ask questions.
G13 is the ultimate strain for anyone who prefers a powerful body high with very little cerebral euphoria. While it may uplift your mood, G13 allows for intense relaxation and lightness of the limbs without clouding thoughts or making it difficult to focus. G13 is also ideal for pre-meal consumption, as it may increase the appetite and enhance the taste of food even more so than all other strains.
Likely to encourage a positive outlook and a case of the giggles, Bubba Kush and the slightly more difficult to find Pre ’98 Bubba Kush are great strains for clear-headed relaxation and intense body tingling sensations. The Bubbas may be best delivered in smaller quantities in order to avoid being too tired to get out of your chair when its time to teach ’em how to dougie.
Often recommended for the treatment of pain, insomnia, depression and appetite loss, Northern Lights is the perfect compliment to the wind-down portion of the evening, allowing newlyweds and guests alike to drift attention away from sore muscles, aching feet, and dance floor fails.
In small doses, award-winning Blueberry can be energizing and encourage socializing, but it can also ease end of the night tension with waves of weightless relaxation throughout the body. Often reported to enhance feelings of arousal, these sweet scented flowers may be best reserved for the newlyweds’ nightcap.
Browne said, “Blue Dream is ideal for guests who might need a little help getting on the dance floor, as its a body moving hybrid that is great for mood elevation.”
Browne explained, “Green Crack is the ultimate conversation piece and truly does give a ton of energy to those who might be exhausted from travel or just being at a wedding. The fruity flavor is just a bonus.”
Happy-go-lucky New York City Diesel (NYC Diesel or NYCD) is an ideal strain to offer at weddings because it is suitable for cannabis consumers of all levels of experience. Promoting happiness and talkativeness in social settings, makes NYCD a great option for events, especially weddings because it may also enhance feelings of arousal.
Suitable for novice users, its more than the sweet, citrus scent that of Jilly Bean that may increase the reach of your soul-shine rays. While Jilly Bean effects start with an immediate rush of cerebral euphoria and relaxation, while the body tingling sensations creep in over time.
As an energizing, stress relieving, promoter of happiness, sweet and citrus scented Cinderella 99 (Cindy 99) is a strain that could be enjoyed before, during and/or after the wedding. Demonstrating mostly motivating and euphoric effects, Cinderella 99 may be able to rejuvenate sluggish guests near the end of the night.
Often recommended for daytime stress and pain relief, Golden Goat, is the ideal strain to get the party started on the dance floor, as the initial effects often consists of silly, happy giggles that may encourage the sharing of such incredible dance moves as “Running Man,” “Rolling the Dice,” “Stirring the Soup,” and “The Bernie.”
The almost mentholated, spiciness experienced in the back of the throat upon exhalation of XJ 13, alone, is noteworthy, but it’s ability to increase a person’s ability to spark conversations with strangers landed it a spot on the list for Best Strains to Offer at Weddings. Pair the clear-headed creativity with intense body relaxation and tingling sensations, and you get a strain that is suitable for novice and cannabis-experienced guests.