Bud bouquets are exactly what they sound like – floral arrangements with marijuana leaves and sticky green marijuana buds carefully worked into them.
San Diego artist Leslie Monroy gets hired for lots of weddings, and she doesn’t stop at fancy bud bouquets. She also makes weed-filled boutonnieres – called “budineers” – and hooks up brides with hair stylists who twist marijuana buds into updos, photographers comfortable shooting cannabis weddings, knowledgeable “budtenders” who work open weed bars and food vendors that include pot in their fare.
Monroy is the go-to weed wedding expert in San Diego.
And with full legalization in California going into effect in January, business is good.
“It’s happening really quickly,” she said. “The demand’s gotten up there. It’s gotten ridiculous.”
It is part of a cultural shift following the change in legal status that’s just beginning.
“Weedings” have already taken off in Colorado and Oregon, where marijuana is legal. They’re weddings where weed, not alcohol, is the primary social lubricant. Guests might find table centerpieces filled with free joints wrapped in ribbons matching the bridesmaids’ dresses, or gourmet sushi infused with pot. The bride’s wedding dress might even be made of hemp.
Monroy launched Flowers on Flowers about a year and a half ago. She was a well-known visual artist who used pressed flowers in her work. She took a floral class and put weed in an arrangement as a joke, but quickly saw a business opportunity. She’s since been hired to make cannabis-infused arrangements for over a dozen weddings. She’s now hired a small team to help.
Monroy currently only caters to people with medical marijuana cards, and runs the business as a nonprofit that donates proceeds to a another nonprofit that connects families to service animals. She said she always buys the marijuana she uses at medical marijuana dispensaries, and it’s never sold at the events, just given away.
“I do everything by the books,” she said.
Vanessa Corrales specializes in infusing hand-spun cotton candy with cannabis, but her San Diego-based business, Bedibles, has already been hired to cater weddings in San Francisco and Monterey. She hasn’t worked any local weedings yet. She said there’s still a lot of confusion about what can and can’t be done with weed at weddings.
“There’s not a lot of education about what people can and cannot do,” Corrales said. “So having something like cotton candy being spun on-site at a wedding – how does that work if there are people under 21? How do you control that? So I understand it might take time before it really takes off.”
Andrew Mieure runs a budtending business out of Colorado that caters weddings and other special events with a mobile bar staffed with bowtie- and suspenders-wearing pot experts equipped with pot paraphernalia.
He said once legalization goes into effect in California next year, navigating the recreational marijuana laws is fairly simple. The weed served at a wedding has to be purchased from a legal dispensary, no one can buy or sell marijuana at the wedding and each person has to be of age and stay within the legal carry limit – adults 21 and over can legally possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis, or 8 grams of concentrate such as oil, hash or dabs.
“We fly into town and will shop in a dispensary with the bride and groom prior to the event,” Mieure said.
At the weddings, Mieure said he provides trained budtenders who are meant to serve as guests’ knowledgeable guides to responsible marijuana use. They hand out forms to guests at the start of the night to collect information on each individual’s experience and tolerance levels. He always has an “anti-high kit” on hand, he said, and his budtenders are trained to help those people who get too high and freak out.
“The kits have essential oils like lavender,” he said. “Things that help bring people’s highs down. We make sure that if someone does get too high, the budtender actually takes specific care of that person.”
He said his company caps how much a first-time user can have if they’re taking edibles, keeping them below 2.5 milligrams.
“It’s really, really difficult to freak out over 2.5 milligrams,” Mieure said.
Brittany Ray is engaged and planning a wedding for next year. She lives in El Cajon, and while she’s had luck finding some weed-friendly local vendors like Monroy, she hasn’t found a venue accepting of the cannabis wedding she’s envisioning.
“We are medical patients and work in the field, so it’s [an] important part of our wedding,” she wrote via a Facebook message. “I care more about us being able to medicate than our guests being able to drink.”