For the first time in U.S. wedding planning history, brides in Colorado and Washington state are able to legally consider including marijuana as part of their big day. In Colorado, marijuana licenses began being distributed on January 1 for private marijuana use, which means that invite-only events, like weddings, are fair game.
Jane West is the owner of Edible Events, a Denver event planning company that caters to the cannabis palate. She left her job as an event planner in corporate America to focus solely on her growing list of clients who want to host classy events that include marijuana on the itinerary. “My concept is about catering to all the senses in a way that heightens the cannabis experience,” says West. “Luckily Denver is a really visually stimulating place already.” She works on creating music and foods that accompany that experience, too.
Currently, West is planning several events, including a bachelorette party in April and a wedding in December. She’s also spearheading a private bakery brunch on April 20 (4/20, aka ‘Weed Day’) to reclaim the date.
“If you can put aside your preconceived notions about cannabis, it can really add to an event,” says West. “There’s a lighthearted silliness to consuming cannabis that is perfect for social settings.”
There may be many reasons a bride and groom decide to include marijuana in their big day. But if you’re considering it, in a place that is legal of course, there are definitely a few things you need to keep in mind in terms of etiquette. Here are four expert tips:
Designate a pot-smoking area.
While brides and grooms should never feel the need to “warn” guests about an activity that’s perfectly legal, there should be some considerations put in place when marijuana is part of the celebration, according to Jodi R. R. Smith, an etiquette expert and the owner of Massachusetts-based Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. (Remember, it’s not legal in MA!)
“For social marijuana use at a wedding, the same guidelines which apply to smoking apply to marijuana,” explains Smith. “There should be a separate area, well ventilated, where those who wish to partake are able to do so without bothering other guests.”
Keep it discreet.
Most social marijuana smoking can be very discreet, according to West. “There are vaporizers and other ways people can enjoy cannabis without bothering anyone else,” she says. “It’s unlikely you’ll see a bunch of people just passing around a joint.”
Treat it like an open bar.
Smith recognizes that some couples will want to provide marijuana as a way to show appreciation to guests, and in these cases she insists it be handled like an open bar concept.
“It’s ungracious to expect guests to have to open their wallets when invited to an event.”
Be prepared for criticism.
But what about those guests who may be offended by the presence of cannabis, despite its legality?
“Ultimately, the day belongs to the bride and groom. People could be offended by anything –- alcohol, certain guests being invited, same-sex weddings –- you name it,” says West. “To celebrate someone’s special day, you have to accept what he or she wants.”
Ultimately it’s your day. Do what you want, just try to be respectful of your guests so that everyone has a great time.
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