Couples are taking things higher with cannabis-themed weddings

Couples are taking things higher with cannabis-themed weddings

Watching your wedding go up in smoke isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

With marijuana legalized in New York, Massachusetts, Maine and a growing number of states, more couples are looking to take things higher, with cannabis-infused cocktails, canapés and pre-rolled joints available to wedding guests.

“People are starting to treat marijuana the same way they treat alcohol,” said Sabrina Ely, the Boston wedding planner behind Defined Luxe Events, who has planned weddings that incorporate the newly legal drug. “But right now the law is really gray. You can have it. But it’s not like getting a liquor license that tells you when, where and how much.”

While weddings on cannabis farms that include everything from marijuana flower arrangements and bouquets to THC-infused dinners have been popular on the West Coast for several years now, New England is just starting to catch up.
However, Ely says the confusion about what is and isn’t allowed makes many venues hesitant to host parties with pot.

 John Filippides and Luckesha Joseph
John Filippides and Luckesha Joseph are incorporating cannabis into their upcoming ceremony.
Pierina Wilkins, In Our Image Photos

Organic farms and independent hotels, or other venues run by owners who use marijuana themselves, are good places to start your search. (Unfortunately, cooler climes on the East Coast mean that the weed farms are typically indoor facilities under growing lamps and make poor venues.)

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That’s what Connecticut couple John Filippides and Luckesha Joseph discovered. After proposing at a cannabis expo, the couple, who met at Boston College, knew from the start that they would incorporate the crop into their I dos.

“We knew it would be more complicated, so a planner was our first priority,” said Joseph, 28, who works as a talent manager in the entertainment industry.

The couple plans to have a “bud bar” during a cannabis cocktail hour prior to their ceremony this October at a farm in Massachusetts. There will be weed-infused edibles, as well as smokable marijuana flowers.

“We had to be flexible,” said Filippides, 31, who works as a television writer. “We had to venture out a little ways, and rearrange our budgets a little bit.”

As they discovered, there are definitely some dos and don’ts when it comes to lighting up at your wedding.

Cannabis caterers like Buddha Som bring the bud.
Cannabis caterers like Buddha Som bring the bud.
Courtesy Buddha Som

“A wedding planner can vouch for you,” said Ely, who will be on site for Filippides and Joseph’s wedding as a point person in case of any issues, as per the venue’s request. “You also need to get everything in writing, with a contract that includes cannabis. You also need insurance, just in case. I won’t try to do anything hush-hush.”

Creating a cannabis-only area that separates those who want to indulge can put operators at ease. Ely also recommends hiring transportation to and from the venue. Hiring a specialty cannabis caterer who is experienced with controlling dosages is also a must.

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“Our basic packages include pre-rolls, or we can send someone to roll joints right in front of you,” said Johnny Maden, the owner of Buddha Som, which caters cannabis events in Brooklyn, Boston and Connecticut. “Vapes are the most popular option because it’s much less likely to make your wedding dress smell. There are some cool tabletop vape devices out there.”

For a more upscale experience, spring for food and mocktails infused with cannabis butters and oils. Services like Maden’s can bring credentialed ganjiers to pair out your dinner while sharing information on the history, horticulture, aromas, flavor profiles and effects of different types of Mary Jane.

“You are paying for a lot of knowledge,” Maden said, whose services start at $50 per head.

Weed infused canapes.
Samantha Kanter is the cannabis-friendly caterer behind Dinner at Mary’s.
Courtesy Sam Kanter Events

Something to consider: Non-intoxicating CBD options, “preferably in mocktails,” said Maden. “If somebody’s gone a bit too far, or if they are inexperienced, CBD does tend to mellow the experience.”

If you are a couple that wants to go green without being stricken from your grandparents’ will, there are diplomatic ways to make your wedding 420-friendly.

“I like gift bags,” said Samantha Kanter, the cannabis-friendly caterer behind Dinner at Mary’s. “You can have joints or edibles, for people to use in their personal time. I find that you really run the gamut with how people feel about cannabis, so it’s nice to be subtle.”

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But for couples like Filippides and Joseph, having cannabis at their wedding is also a statement.

“I don’t think everyone in my family is happy about it,” said Joseph. “But they know I smoke and I would say that there is an activism aspect to it for me because there are so many black people, in particular, incarcerated because of weed. It’s not harmful. I don’t think my family expected it to be incorporated into my wedding day, but, yeah, it’s going to happen.”

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