The bride carried a “budquet.” The groom wore a “budtonniere.” And the wedding guests indulged themselves at the reception at a cannabis bar staffed by a (wait for it …) “budtender”!
“Weed weddings” — where marijuana is incorporated into the wedding paraphernalia and reception — are increasing in popularity as pot for recreational use becomes legal in more states.
The November election added California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada to the list of states where recreational marijuana is legal, joining Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Washington, DC. As a result, the percentage of Americans living in states where pot use is legal for adults rose to more than 20%, from 5%, according to The New York Times.
Some enterprising florists, caterers, and event planners in pot-friendly states are capitalizing on the trend by incorporating cannabis into weddings and other special events. An early entrant into the market is Denver-based Buds & Blossoms, which staged its first weed wedding in 2014 after the owner discovered almost no one catering to cannabis enthusiasts in Colorado, despite recreational marijuana being legal there for two years. The business took off: Buds & Blossoms staged six pot-infused weddings in 2015, followed by about a dozen to date this year. Cannabis bars are also on the rise. A 2015 wedding in Portland, Oregon, nixed an open bar in favor of a “weed tent” stocked with 13 varieties of cannabis, including edibles. (Oregon law restricts alcohol and marijuana from being served at the same event.)
The new line of business is not without challenges. Because marijuana sales require a license, customers must purchase the pot themselves and “gift” it to the florist or caterer to use. Transportation is another problem due to restrictions on the amount of pot in a vehicle, requiring multiple trips. Banking and finding a venue to host a weed wedding are additional hurdles. (Events held on private property work best.)
While pot-infused weddings certainly aren’t for everyone, given the right couple in the right state, they present a novel growth opportunity for the wedding and event planning industries.
Industry Impact: As more states legalize recreational cannabis, demand by newly married couples to incorporate marijuana into weddings is likely to increase.
Alexandra Biesada shops every day, whether she wants to or not, and pines for the days when it was strictly a recreational activity. She has covered the retail beat since 2001. Follow her on Twitter.