Koop is co-owner of Irie Weddings & Events, a one-stop-shop for all wedding vendor needs. While Koop caters to plenty of traditional weddings, she also offers a plethora of fun ways to incorporate cannabis into an event—including everything from cannabis bouquets to party favors and bud bars. Her aim? To create a truly personalized experience. We sat down with Koop to learn how cannabis arrangements are influencing the wedding scene.
Leafly: How can someone include cannabis in their wedding?
Koop: Clients can do anything from a hemp silk wedding dress to CBD or hemp favors. They can have edibles, tinctures, joints, vaporizers, or bud bars. It can be in a party favor bag, or out-and-proud on display at the event.
Clients can also do a bachelorette party where it’s totally cannabis spa related. I am not a heel girl, and when I am in heels for a certain amount of time my feet just hate me. A lot of people at weddings aren’t used to being dolled up all the time. So that’s kind of a joke, ‘Hey, should we have a CBD foot soak for everyone who wants to kick off their heels and put their feet in?’
What’s the benefit of setting up a bud bar?
If the majority of the people consuming are going to be novices, we really push for the budtender, because we want the guests to have a positive experience.
Last summer alone we had 15 people who smoked for the first time ever as a result of the education and presentation that we provided at different weddings.
Can clients pick any strain?
We try to guide the experience for them. The strain selection will depend on the way that we are presenting it to the guests at the event.
If a client is going to be putting out cannabis for all of their guests and … some of the guests have never smoked cannabis, I’m not going to put something out for a novice user that’s a 30% THC strain.
If we have a bud bar, we like to have all ranges, from high CBD, low THC, to something that’s sativa, indica, and hybrid. Depending on what point in the evening it is, or depending on the level of consumption or tolerance, we will guide them towards what strain we think will be the most enjoyable for that part of their evening. The strain selection can be based on the timeline, or even on different parts of the meal.
Do you have a protocol for if a guest isn’t enjoying being high?
Our big motto is educate, educate, educate … but then we also like to moderate. If we feel that someone has begun to get near a level of overconsumption, whether it’s with cannabis or it’s alcohol with cannabis, we’ll talk to the budtenders and bartenders to cut that person off.
We always try to prevent these circumstances with moderation and dosing, but if it goes a step farther and someone is starting to have a poor experience, we carry what we call an ‘oh shit kit’ with us. It has some different natural remedies that can help balance whatever uncomfortable feelings or sensations someone may be having.
We want it to be a positive experience and we’re going to do everything we can to make it positive. The second someone might start to go the other way, we are on a full-blown recovery mission to make that person feel as wonderful as possible.
Why is education key to your bud bar service?
If it’s a destination wedding, guests are from out of town, and many say, ‘It’s legal here, so why not try it and experience something we can’t somewhere else?’ Given that circumstance, the last thing we want is for them to have a poor cannabis experience, and leave saying, ‘Wow, I’ll never do that again!’
That would hurt the perception of cannabis. Making the opportunity for it to be a positive experience is good, but also, it’s good to break the barriers and open the conversation even with people who don’t smoke.You have to take some of the intimidation out of it, because for so long “reefer madness” really put false perceptions on this plant, and we are being granted an opportunity to teach people differently and to make sure that it is a positive experience.
What is your ultimate goal for these events?
You’re dealing with people on some of the happiest days of their lives, and I want to be there to help guide those experiences so they are top notch and fun. I want to give a level of service where clients come away saying, ‘I can’t believe we got all of that, that person was amazing!’
Really, our goal is to blow people’s minds, to allow people to be themselves on their wedding day, and if they’re starting to have a stressful moment, we’re able to say, hey, take a puff of this joint or take some CBD, I guarantee it will mellow you out.