It's official! Weed is legal for recreational use in the state of California. That means, depending on the amenability of your venue, you can serve marijuana right along side alcohol. But should you? It's not like you want a Fast Times at Ridgemont High-themed wedding replete with smoke billowing out of Spicoli's van, right? Well, don't worry because cannabis can be classy, just ask Korinna Peterson of Le Festin Events, which offers marijuana options such as cannabis-infused cocktails, edibles, decorations, flowers, guest gifts, and more.
For the record, Peterson does cannabis-free weddings and receptions, but the self-described "tattooed, fast-talking, grounded dreamer, happy-energy, bucket o' fun wedding planner and designer" is more than open to integrating the leafy green into your special day, and she says requests for cannabis elements have been picking up since pot become legal.
- Photo Courtesy Of Kiel Rucker Photography
- STEP RIGHT UP Megan's Organic Market supplied marijuana products and professional bud-tenders at one of Le Festin Events' cannabis-themed weddings.
"There've definitely been more inquiries since legalization," Peterson said, "already more than last year. The one issue we're up against at this time is with properties and venues. I don't know if you know this, but San Luis Obispo can be a conservative little town. As a vendor, I strive for complete honesty with venues, and many simply don't allow marijuana use. I think some are apprehensive, thinking the federales will come knocking. It's a little ridiculous because the truth is people have been secretly smoking weed in the parking lot at weddings for years and years."
Peterson said most of the canna-themed weddings she's done have been on private property, but she did note that the tiny hamlet of Harmony, in between Cayucos and Cambria, recently told her it's open to marijuana use.
Aside from finding a commercial venue willing to allow marijuana usage, there's also the matter of public perception. A sizable portion of people still believes the propaganda that for so long vilified cannabis.
"We did a weed event last year, and I was so shocked by how many people I knew who were still totally against marijuana in any shape or form," Peterson admitted. "It's really a lack of education about what marijuana has evolved into. Unfortunately, I think it's going to be a continual struggle. We've had so many years of being brainwashed that it's going to lead to death and destruction, so for the time being we're going to see a few more years of it being a struggle. Still, I'm encouraged because I do see it's becoming more tolerated."
So let's say you decide to go for it and have marijuana at your wedding; how do you serve it safely? Just like Uncle Harry can get drunk, Aunt Edna might eat too many pot brownies.
"I'm absolutely a huge advocate for ensuring that marijuana is embraced and tolerated, but those who allow it at their events need to educate their guests who are about to consume it," Peterson said. "I've definitely been knocked off my ass [by consuming too strong an edible] and I fucking hated it. You need to know what you're getting."
Peterson noted that thankfully with regulation, all commercial products are required to label the exact dosage contained within. She also suggests that just like you have a bartender, you should also have a "bona fide proper bud-tender" who can educate guests on dosage as well as regulate consumption.
- Photo Courtesy Of Kiel Rucker Photography
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"Just like a bartender will cut off an intoxicated guest, a bud-tender can talk to guests about their normal usage and gauge how much someone should consume," Peterson said. "If someone's a regular smoker or knows what dosage it takes for an edible to have an effect, the bud-tender will work with them. 'Here, eat this little piece and wait a half hour and if you need more come back.' A good bud-tender can guide your guests. Or sometimes you can give guests two or three tokens good for 5 micrograms each and that way the bud-tender can regulate how much people are consuming."
Peterson stressed that weed weddings don't need to be ostentatious. Marijuana can be discreetly part of your reception, in a separate tent for instance.
"My stand on weed weddings, and I don't want to sound like a bourgeoisie jackass, but I think it should be incorporated in a classy manner," Peterson said. "I remember when weed was available in Colorado, we saw these blatantly reggae or Rastafarian-wannabe weddings with marijuana leaves everywhere and everything green and white, cheesy and in your face. People need to consider how their guests will take it, and if it's, 'Hey, we're a stoner couple,' that may feed into the idea that marijuana is negative."
Instead, Peterson said you can have cannabis-infused cocktails, "which by the way are delicious, or beautiful edible bud bars, little gifts you can give to friends and family—all these little things done so beautifully. It's not like I'm against a couple who wants weed front and center at their wedding—that's certainly amazing—but for conservatives, that may equate to a bunch of stoners eating Cheetos and watching Dazed and Confused."
Actually, now that I think about it, a Fast Times at Ridgemont High-themed wedding—or a Dazed and Confused theme for that matter—might be pretty awesome, because, "All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine." Δ
Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at firstname.lastname@example.org.