Marijuana and marriage: Colorado couple blazing trail with weed weddings

By Patricia Kozicka

Matt Davenport and Rachael Carlevale consider themselves to be pioneers in the budding (pardon the pun) business of weed weddings.

When the Colorado couple ties the knot in August, marijuana will play a major role in their big day. The two felt it’d only be fitting since they credit it for saving Carlevale’s life.

The 28-year-old used her fiance’s homegrown supply after being diagnosed with a uterine tumor. She believes it helped shrink her tumour 22 millimetres.

So one of Davenport’s cannabis plants will be right up there with them at the altar — as well as in the 31-year-old’s boutonniere and his bride’s bouquet.

The two will also have a special teepee designated specifically for pot smoking, and a couple marijuana-infused desserts. (They’ll be clearly marked so “nobody will accidentally eat a cannabis brownie.”)

Even the invites will be made of hemp.

Their three-course rehearsal dinner will feature cannabis-food pairings, which Carlevale thinks will be a great way to ease her family into the whole thing.

She admits her parents were a little surprised when she first told them about her cannabis wedding plans.

“It’s all new to them. My family lives in a state where cannabis laws are still very grey,” the 28-year-old said.

She ran her wedding plans by her parents after beating out 11 couples for a giveaway at the world’s first cannabis wedding expo, put on this past January by Love and Marij.

It took some convincing, but the Carlevales approved.

“Cannabis saved our lives and inspired our relationship to blossom, from soil to seed to flower,” the couple wrote in the winning contest entry.

The package they scored will cover the weed-related expenses and venue, which many find to be the priciest part of a wedding budget.

Other couples who’ve incorporated weed into their weddings have “budtenders,” serving up different strains of Ganja to guests.

“People are accustomed to alcohol. That’s so normal to have at weddings. But it doesn’t always bring people together,” said Carlevale.

“Cannabis brings a sense of peace.”

It’s just a matter of time before the taboo surrounding weed is broken, she believes.

Right now, those who smoke marijuana at weddings often do so in secret.

“All I could think about whenever I snuck off to smoke weed at someone’s wedding was whatever I was missing out on or that I feel like I’m doing something wrong,” said Love and Marij CEO Niki McDonald.

By putting it out in the open, she argues, that stigma (along with people’s paranoia) can go away, allowing them to fully enjoy the moment.

“It can be a very reflective, and a very social tool for a lot of people,” McDonald said.

“If cannabis is used before a ceremony, I feel people take in that ceremony, take in the meaning of the words. It becomes more poetic.”

When marijuana is officially legalized in Canada (the feds set a date of next spring to introduce legislation), expect weed weddings to also crop up north of the border.

If you choose to partake in the trend, though, you may want to avoid getting too buzzed. Especially if you’re in the wedding party or are the bride or groom.

Global News asked a lawyer if there are any legality concerns if a couple signs their marriage papers under the influence.

He said you’d “have to be so out of it, you didn’t know what you were doing,” which might be tough to prove when you’ve planned your weed wedding months in advance.

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