Many couples are looking for 420 friendly wedding vendors and ways to incorporate cannabis into their wedding and elopement days, now that marijuana is being legalized for recreational use in more and more states across the country.
Colorado has always been at the forefront of the cannabis industry, and over the past six years of photographing elopements in the Mile High State, I’ve had dozens of couples ask if I can capture them taking a bong hit after their ceremony, if I’m okay with them smoking together while getting ready at their airbnb, or if I want to take home a joint as a party favor. (Spoiler: the answer to all three is of course yes.)
Read on for some of my favorite tips for how to plan a 420 elopement and use cannabis on your wedding day—legally and responsibly!
If you want to incorporate cannabis in your wedding, it should go without saying (but I’m saying it anyway): make sure you’re getting married in a state where recreational marijuana is legal. As I’m writing this post in June of 2022, marijuana is legal recreationally in 19 states, Washington D.C. and Guam. You can find the full list of marijuana laws by state on Wikipedia.
Colorado was the first state to legalize marijuana recreationally, and it’s also the best place to have a 420 elopement—because you don’t need an officiant or witnesses to elope in Colorado. This makes the mile high state the perfect place to get married for couples who want to enjoy cannabis on their wedding day, without anyone else around. I might be biased though, since I live in Boulder and photograph elopement across Colorado!
How to find a 420-friendly elopement location or venue
While marijuana is legal for recreational use in Colorado and many other states, there are still a lot of rules around where you can actually consume (read: smoke) weed.
For adventure elopements in nature, there are two important factors to consider: 1) does the trail that you’re hiking allow smoking of any kind, and more specifically marijuana, and 2) are there fire restrictions in place for the area?
Colorado has fire bans for much of the year, and for very good reason: when the vegetation is dry, it only takes a single spark to start a wildfire. Always make sure you know the local rules, and err on the side of caution. Consider using a vape pen or eating edibles instead of using a joint, pipe, or bong that all require a flame to be lit. If you are smoking a joint, bring a container (like the plastic tubes joints are sold in, or an empty mint tin) to put out the joint in, and never ever throw a joint on the ground.
A great way to make sure you are smoking weed legally at your elopement is to book a 420-friendly vacation rental for your stay. Bud and Breakfast is like airbnb and vrbo, except with all marijuana-friendly lodging. You can also find homes on the traditional platforms by searching things like “420-friendly vrbo in Colorado” on Google—many hosts will put 420 somewhere in their title or listing if they allow marijuana consumption.
If you’re planning a bigger wedding, make sure to ask venues you’re considering if they allow marijuana consumption on site. While many venues allow it, there are also many that don’t—and you want to make sure you know where they stand before booking. Love & Marij has a directory of 420-friendly wedding venues across the country. Some venues only allow weed weddings with a licensed and insured cannabis bartending service like Irie Weddings & Events.
Ways to incorporate cannabis in your wedding
Cannabis Chefs and Edibles
One way to incorporate weed into your wedding is to have a personal chef prepare a cannabis meal for you. This is becoming more common in states like Colorado where marijuana has been legal for longer, but it’s bound to spread. More than just the weed brownies and cookies we all know, you can now get wedding cakes, or even full five-course gourmet dinners, infused with cannabis.
If you’re going all in on the cannabis theme, consider asking your florist to incorporate cannabis leaves or flowers into your wedding bouquet, boutonniere, or other floral arrangements.
Joints, edibles, and other cannabis products can make for fun party favors to your guests—as long as you are careful about how much each guest gets, follow any local rules for how much marijuana a personal can legally carry, and of course making sure no one is at risk for over-consumption.
If you are interested in eloping in Colorado, I would love to help you brainstorm ideas for how you can plan a 420 elopement, and find the best locations where you can legally smoke without the risk of starting a wildfire. Reach out and let’s chat more!
About Nina Larsen Reed
Nina Larsen Reed is an elopement photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. She plans and captures adventure elopements and intimate weddings, and has photographed over 200 elopements across the Rocky Mountains since 2017.