If you look outside, you’ll see flowers blooming and birds chirping. And that means one thing: wedding season is upon us. It’s time to party! Back in February, we launched our new cannabis champagne, Vertus, with the intention to introduce a little relaxation to your celebration. And we’re dying to see the wedding industry start to incorporate more cannabis into their event planning. As a result, we’ve reached out to wedding planners of all kinds – whether cannabis-friendly or not, we wanted to hear from them! And the first response we got was from Colorado’s Bec Koop, founder of Irie Weddings and Events. We wanted to ask Bec what her experience was like planning a cannabis-themed wedding, what the cannabis wedding expo is and what role she thought Vertus could play in her next party. And if her enthusiasm is any indication, her blossoming business is going to be around for a long time.
What is a cannabis wedding?
A cannabis wedding can be done a multitude of ways – from enhancing the bouquet to attire to party favors to décor to consumption stations and bud bars.
How did the idea start?
Well, for us, it’s been over four years now. Right before things went recreationally legal in Colorado, I had an ah-ha! moment. I wanted to put extra flowers I had around the house together with cannabis buds, and I created the first bud-filled bouquet. From there I just kept dreaming of ways to work cannabis into different wedding traditions. And since then, we’ve served cannabis to over 10,000 people over the past four years at various weddings and events.
Did you INVENT the cannabis wedding?
I like to be humble. But I’d say I’ve been a large contributor to the idea.
Do you feel as if the idea has caught on by now?
It’s definitely caught on. Our business has literally – and perhaps ironically – increased 420% from our first year. And we are starting to take our business out of state with our own brand. Our idea is that if you choose to consume cannabis in your daily life then you shouldn’t be denied it on your wedding day.
What is the vibe like at cannabis weddings versus more traditional ones?
I think the vibe can only be compared event to event because the feel of an event is often based on what you serve your guests. For example, you can offer a strain that’s a little more chatty and uplifting and giggly during the cocktail hour, then a different strain right before dinner is served to make the palate pop or appetite increase. Then you can offer something to get people back up and dancing again when it’s time and a nightcap at the end of the evening.
Don’t forget, when the only option is chugging booze, people may get more out of hand than when there’s another option for consumption. What we’ve found is people willing to do double consumption, it’s not their first rodeo. And if it’s someone’s first time with cannabis, we believe they’ll often be a bit more cautious with their experience, more considerate and responsible. We also recommend people sometimes not serve shots or not have an open bar because that can get troublesome.
How do people consume the cannabis at the weddings?
For us, we have two different packages. And anything can be customizable, of course. We offer a flower package with joints, glass, vape, one-hitters, that kind of stuff. And we also offer a canna-cocktail package with mocktails and water-soluble THC. We try to understand who our clients are and how they consume and also who the guests are and how comfortable they are with cannabis. We also understand that dehydration can be an issue, so we make sure there are plenty of water stations. We encourage people to stay hydrated.
Currently, you work in Colorado. Are there any plans to expand?
Definitely. We’re looking to have a branch in the northwest that serves both Portland and Seattle regions. We’d like to have a branch in Northern California and Southern California and one on the east coast once they’re friendlier – probably in the Boston area.
What is the cannabis wedding expo?
The expo has been happening for three years now. We started in 2016 in Colorado and expanded to California in 2017. We have 40-70 vendors at each expo and we’ve showcased everything – florists, videographers, cakes. We’ve started to have dispensaries, edible companies, hemp silk wedding dressmakers. It’s a showcase for people who work in weddings and are cannabis-friendly.
To whom do you recommend cannabis weddings?
We have clients who range from daily consumers to people who want to provide a “truly Colorado” experience to folks at a destination wedding. Some want cannabis as part of their theme – they’re super loud and proud about it. Other clients look at us and say, “We don’t want a cannabis wedding. But we want a wedding with cannabis.” We serve all types of demographics.
How do you choose the strains for your bud bars?
We typically suggest one sativa-leaning strain, one indica-leaning, one true 50-50 hybrid. We also suggest one low THC-high CBD strain. All that gives a nice variety.
What do you see the cannabis weddings business evolving into in a year or two?
I see us moving to those locations we talked about earlier – California first and then the northwest and onward. And we also want to expand the education side of it. So many people don’t know the benefits of cannabis medicinally and recreationally.
Do you think a cannabis champagne like Vertus would be a hit at weddings?
Yes, I think so. Because of the fact that champagne is often used for making a toast and not the primary beverage of the evening, I totally think people would be all about it. When I went to California recently, I had a phenomenal cannabis wine that blew my mind. I think a cannabis champagne would be quite well received.
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