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.
There’s a lot to consider when planning a wedding. Flowers, food, clothes, venues, invitations; the list is virtually endless. As different as all these different aspects of wedding planning are, there’s one common theme: money.
In the United States, the average cost of a wedding is $26,720. That’s pretty crazy, considering the fact that some people are spending enough to buy a car in just one day.
There are definitely parts of the wedding that cost more than others. For instance, party favors and invitations are cheap compared to the cost of things like jewelry and photography. But alcohol is, by far, the priciest part of a wedding. In fact, in that average wedding we mentioned earlier, nearly 20 percent is spent on providing an open bar. And for what? So your guests can get too drunk to remember your big day?
If this seems like a waste, it is. Swapping alcohol for cannabis is a much better way to make sure your guests have a good time. Plus, it can be much, much cheaper.
Don’t believe us? Let’s break it down.
The Cost of Alcohol for a Wedding
For all of these calculations, we’ll assume you’re going to have a pretty small wedding with just 100 guests. On average, bars at weddings are usually open for about five hours. It’s safe to say your guests are having at least one drink per hour, but since you always want to overestimate these kinds of things, we’ll assume they’re going to have more and plan for each consuming 9 drinks during the reception.
Everyone drinks something different, so we’ll plan as though each of these guests is going to have 3 beers, 3 glasses of wine, and 3 liquor-based drinks. Each beer is 12 oz., each glass of wine is 5 oz., and each cocktail contains 1.5 oz. of liquor. We used a wedding alcohol calculator to help with the math.
So, for your wedding of 100 guests at 9 drinks each, you’d need:
- 13 cases of beer containing 24 bottles each
- 60 bottles of wine able to pour 5 glasses each
- 18 bottle of liquor able to pour 17 drinks each
Let’s make one more assumption and say you’re probably not going to go with bottom shelf liquor. To get our final total, let’s say that:
- Each case of beer costs $20
- Each bottle of liquor costs $20
- Each bottle of wine costs $15
What’s this add up to? You’re looking at a bar tab of around $1,500. Again, this is assuming your bar is open for 5 hours and each of your 100 guests consumes 9 drinks during that time. Your actual cost may be a bit more or a bit less, but this is a good ballpark figure to go on.
The Cost of Cannabis for a Wedding
The easiest way to supply your wedding with cannabis, is to hire a budtending service. These companies will supply budtenders, glass accessories, and however much flower, edibles, and concentrates you think you’ll need.
In a recent interview with Mic, Andrew Miuere, owner of Top Shelf Budtending, said that his company’s services start as low as $250. That’s flower, glass, and budtenders for an entire night for just $250.
But maybe you’re not interested in a budtender and want to do everything yourself. If so, our friends at Love and Marij have some tips on planning the cost of flower, edibles, and concentrates.
Many couples choose to serve flower at their wedding. After all, that’s what most people think of when they picture cannabis and it’s the cheapest way to serve it. Half a gram each is likely more than enough to get your guests lifted, so for 100 guests you’re going to need 50 grams.
There are 28 grams in an ounce, so let’s go ahead and assume you purchase 2 ounces, just to be safe. In most places, you can get a high quality ounce of flower for around $150, which means you can have plenty of flower to last the whole night for a modest $300.
If you’re looking to mix it up by providing edibles, the pricing changes a bit. Most people who have never had edibles don’t need more than 5-10 mg to last the whole evening, whereas regular users may need up to 50 mg to feel an effect. To ensure there is plenty to go around, we’ll plan for each guest eating 25 mg total.
Again, if we’re overestimating, we can assume that a 100 mg edible will cost around $30. Since each will accommodate 4 guests, you’ll need a total of 25 edibles which will cost you $750. That means your guests can basically eat all the edibles they want and you’re still only spending half what you would on a bar tab.
If you and most of your guests are experienced users, you can step it up a notch by providing concentrates. Wax is one of the most popular cannabis concentrates, so we’ll use that in this example. The half a gram per guest rule works well with wax. Even for an experienced user, a half gram dab is going to do the trick nicely. So for your 100 guests, you’d need 50 grams of wax.
Wax can vary in its pricing, so we’ll calculate two figures based on wax that costs $50/gram and wax that runs $100/gram.
If you go with the lower end, and assume $50 per gram, you’re looking at spending $2,500. Double that for high end wax at $100/gram, and the grand total for the night would be $5,000.
Cannabis or Alcohol – The Choice is Yours
So there you have it. As promised, providing cannabis for your wedding can be way cheaper than serving alcohol. Flower is definitely the most efficient way to go, plus it’s pretty fun to see your guests lighting up. Edibles cost more than flower, but are still much cheaper than booze.
Concentrates are definitely costly, so if you want to include them, you might consider offering mostly flower and have some concentrates available for heavier users to partake in. No matter what you decide, you can have a nice mix of flower, edibles, and concentrates and still pay less than you would for an open bar. At the end of the day, you should choose whatever you think will ensure your guests have a great time and you have a wedding you’ll never forget.
How much do you love cannabis? Enough to make it part of your big wedding day? Some couples are saying yes to a 420-friendly wedding and, by doing so, are creating another sector of the cannabis economy.
For some couples, they may want to introduce their guests who have never tried cannabis to the plant for the first time, others may want to give guests an alternative to alcohol.
When you start planning a cannabis-friendly wedding, you will have to consider venue first. Finding the perfect place for your wedding day is hard enough, but finding a beautiful venue that is okay with weed? Sounds like a unicorn. Luckily cannabis is gaining so much mainstream acceptance that opportunities for cannabis-friendly venues and vendors is at an all-time high.
Let’s start with the basics: you obviously need to start with a recreationally legal state. If you do not live in one, it is important to consider how long the commute to a legal state will take for your guests.
Colorado, one of the first states to pass legal recreational cannabis, seems to have the most options for cannabis-friendly venues. While public consumption is illegal in Denver, you can hold events with cannabis so long as it is on private property and no cannabis product is sold at the event.
Bella Vista, Steamboat Springs, CO
If you have been to or live in Colorado, chances are you’ve heard of the idyllic town Steamboat Springs. Steamboat is known for its naturally occurring geothermal hot springs and, in true Colorado fashion, world-renowned skiing.
The gorgeous, Bella Vista, private property is only a few minutes from downtown Steamboat, has plenty of room and an insanely scenic view. The best part? They are totally cannabis friendly! If you are looking to get married in the summer months, Bella Vista can accommodate up to 200 guests and 50 in the winter months.
Arrowhead Manor, Denver, CO
Right outside of Denver, you will find Arrowhead Manor. Another private residence boasting gorgeous mountain views and an old school lodge vibe, this would be a perfect backdrop for your big day. As a private residence, Arrowhead Manor allows for cannabis consumption on-site, so feel free to book that budtender and stock up your cannabis bar!
Venue rentals start at $2,000, including overnight room stays.
The International Church of Cannabis, Denver, CO
This one is for the real cannabis enthusiast. The International Church of Cannabis is now booking cannabis-friendly weddings because…of course they are! This church is what cannabis dreams are made of. The walls are painted floor to ceiling with bright murals, a modern take on stoner cultures of the past.
If you love cannabis, have that ring on your finger and are ready to go, your timing couldn’t be better. The International Church of Cannabis is giving away a free wedding venue rental!
Already have the perfect venue but still want to incorporate cannabis into your wedding? You can book a cannabis-friendly limo service to drive your guests around! The “limo law” in states allow for consumption inside the vehicle. Keep in mind you will, of course, need to be in a legal cannabis state for these services.
He or she, or you, popped the big question, and they, or you, said, “Yes!” Que the music and magic as you prepare for your special day and the ensuing chaos. Let the engagement begin! Soon-to-be brides and grooms often integrate personal aspects of their lives into their “Big Day” and the ceremonies, events surrounding it. It’s not uncommon to see favorite team colors or hobby themes present at the bridal shower, stag & hen parties and the wedding. Little girls dream of the day they will walk down the aisle and plan it a little at a time while growing up. This day, your wedding day, is the most important day of your life and the day you marry your soul mate. Invitations and napkins are ordered with initials, delicious hors d’oeuvres are tasted, wedding cakes selected, bridal party called, wedding planner programed in the cell.
The whirlwind magic after a jittery or elated “yes” is still as unnerving as ever, but ceremonies and traditions have evolved over the years and weddings now are more creative, inclusive and unique to the bride and groom-to-be. It’s a goal for many couples to have a custom, individualized and very personal wedding. They can plan their perfect day around things they love, with the people they love, and include intimate aspects more openly than ever before, even if it’s marijuana. Wedding etiquette now includes weed. “Weeding Etiquette” and cannabis are now officially included in the planning for anyone that wants to infuse their ceremony.
Weed Weddings are growing in popularity and pot is no longer taboo when planning your union ceremony. You can incorporate cannabis into your nuptials and consumption in your big day in varying forms, if that’s something you and your better half want.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something…Blue Dream? Sure! Brides and grooms have the option in many states of including cannabis in their wedding. To capture a glimpse at options, love birds are flocking to a wedding expo unlike any other, the Cannabis Wedding Expo.
The creative vision of Bec Koop, Philip Wolf and Madlyne Kelly, the Cannabis Wedding Expo was launched last year in Denver and had already expanded to three cities in 2017, Denver, San Francisco and Portland. The future looks bright green for the Expo’s continued expansion with 8 US states having legalized recreational marijuana. If you don’t know where to start, but know you want marijuana included in your wedding, attending the Cannabis Wedding Expo is a must.
“It’s the most important day of their lives, they should be able to celebrate and incorporate cannabis as easily as they would alcohol,”said Bec Koop, owner of Irie Weddings & Events and one of the Expo’s founders.
said Bec Koop, owner of Irie Weddings & Events and one of the Expo’s founders.
“The Cannabis Wedding Expo strives to create normalcy around cannabis weddings and showcase options for brides and grooms who want to include marijuana in their ceremony.”
The little touches
CBD infused coffee, tea or both? Absolutely. Steepfuze Coffee or Stillwater Teas have booths and samples for attendees. Want a budtender for your reception? Check out Top Shelf Budtending. Customized smoking gifts for the wedding party? Look no further than a Kush Kard, Mary Jane Gift Box and a My Bud Vase for each. Edibles and infused options to pair alongside non-infused food? The options are delicious and seemingly endless, Love’s Oven, Rolling Smoke Barbeque, BlackBelly, Mid Valley Catering, Sweet Grass Kitchen, The Cupcake Gypsies, Better Baked or Modern Edge Catering.
Need to unwind before the ceremony? Get a cannabis infused massage from Primal Therapeutics. Want a wedding dress made of hemp? High Vibe Bride has you covered. If you’d like to indulge or try out an apparatus, take a trip in the consumption friendly rides from High End Transportation. Consumption friendly venue needed? MetLo Skyline & Suites, Cultivated Synergy, Bud & Breakfast or Aspen Canyon Ranch could make your special day even more spectacular. And don’t forget to hire the right photographer, Cannabis Camera or Megan Yonkers Photography…and that’s just some of the Colorado options!
Do you prefer sparking up a joint to a champagne toast? You’re not alone and the trend to have a Weed Wedding doesn’t show any signs of burning out soon. If you want a wedding extravaganza like no other, the possibilities are as varied as the slang names for pot itself, options are everywhere and very different. Whether it’s modern or traditional or a customized wedding theme, ganja has presented itself in more and more unique, elegant, and exquisite ways.
For better or worse, cannabis weddings fall under the “adults only” weddings in most cases, but it depends on the venue location and methods of cannabis ingestion. Smoking cannabis has more limitations than edibles or even vape pens at most venues, and when considering locations, private venues versus public venues should be considered and toured. Venues with liquor licenses could also be an issue if you choose to allow consumption at your wedding, so be sure to check your local laws before finalizing your wedding venue or putting down any deposits. Make sure you disclose to all participants in the wedding if you plan on having marijuana, including those you hire. DJ, band, servers and for a cannabis friendly clergyman, check out Canna-Vows.
Some couples choose more obvious cannabis elements, like bold marijuana patterns, bud boutonnieres, joints for attendees and Bob Marley music, while others have more slight and inconspicuous inclusions like hints of marijuana leaves in the bouquets, CBD beverages or invitations printed on hemp paper, either way, the options for cannabis weddings are elevated higher than ever before. However you choose to include the plant, make sure to check out the Cannabis Wedding Expo next year for the best ideas, vendors and options to make your big day extra special. For dates and locations or to check out pictures from past Expos, visit the website, www.cannabisweddingexpo.com.
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.