Irie Wedding & Events was founded just as recreational cannabis became legal in Colorado in January of 2014, to manage bride and grooms’ high expectations. From bud boutonnieres to a full Bud Bar, weed weddings are the perfect way for canna-couples to ensure their big day is a unique and unforgettable experience.
The Irie Team works with a wide range of cannabis-friendly venues and vendors to represent sophistication, while focusing on moderation and the best practices. You can choose from a variety of consumption methods for you and your guests to enjoy during your reception, as well as lighting up a ceremonial joint with the bride and groom for the first time as husband and wife.
“There is a cooperation in the cannabis industry unlike anywhere else. And weddings are the same way,” Tattooed co-founder of Irie Wedding & Events, Madlyne Kelly said. “The planners, vendors, and everyone involved want to work together to create the best day possible for their client.”
Kelly tells INKED that much like the tattoo process, the consultation is a huge part of the Irie Wedding & Events experience.
“Sometimes people invite us into their homes so we can get a better feel of the couple,” Kelly said. “We might smoke together, but through meeting them to get their vision, we reach them on an extremely intimate level.”
In this consultation, Kelly likes to get the “ridiculous questions” out of the way. Questions like, “who is going to hate that there is cannabis at your wedding, the guests familiarity with pot, and a rough headcount of participation; who is a maybe, and how many are definite ‘no’s.’”
Then, they get to talking bud and strains.
“By smoking in a social setting instead of sneaking out to get high, a whole new element of togetherness is created at these cannabis weddings,” Kelly said. “It truly is a unique and memorable experience.”
The communal aspect within a wedding, specifically when married with cannabis, is that it “crosses all genders, races, socioeconomic statuses,” Kelly explains. “People don’t typically share drinks but they do a bowl.”
Most importantly, the communal aspect opens the door for activism.
Kelly highlights that Irie is not only here for stress alleviation with the wedding planning, but to facilitate a safe and calm environment, as well as serve a source of knowledge.
“If folks are not interested they steer clear of the bud bar, but we also like to know that so we can help assimilate them,” Kelly said.
Kelly appreciates the “ripple effect” that cannabis weddings create. “Giving guests access to CBD & THC through a relaxed, social environment, in a social event with family and friends, and no pressure to stigmatize, is really cool to be a part of.”
The best part of a cannabis wedding is that even people who don’t consume it can enjoy partaking. When grandma turns her nose to the bud bar, the Irie Team uses cannabis’ medical benefits to get their foot in the door, and offer topical CBD products.
“We are not medical doctors by any means, but we will ask someone who is coming to the bar with hesitations if they have any pains, know anyone with MS, CANCER, etc,” Kelly said. “9 times out of 10 they will say ‘oh my sister-in-law has MS, my best friend had breast cancer,’ and we explain there is a good chance they may have consumed cannabis to manage their pain and other symptoms."
From there, they offer CBD products that would best target relief for the desired symptoms.
“We explain this won’t get you high since there is no THC, but to come back in 20 minutes and tell us how you feel,” Kelly said. “Then they come back and say ‘where can I get this stuff?’”
The importance of destigmatizing cannabis, especially when dedicating the perfect day to a cannacouple, lies within the simple rhetorical question that Kelly poses.
“Shouldn’t folks that want to unwind with a joint instead of a glass of wine be able to do so?”
Madlyne Kelly left her state position for the government side of medical cannabis, to pursue a career in the recreational cannabis space within the wedding industry.
“I liked the work I did, while extremely valuable, it was putting me in an office. With the birth of my daughter, I wanted to do something from home,” Kelly said.
Then, as she joined forces with founder Bec Koop, Irie Weddings & Events expanded to higher places, rapidly.
Kelly had embraced the wedding industry with open, tattooed arms.
The back of her ankles hold a head of garlic on her right leg and bon appetit on her left, done by Daisy Orlick at Copper Coffin Tattoo in Santa Maria, CA. Her first tattoo was a sewing pin on her 18th birthday. While this is one she holds dearly, she says her rooster tattoo, mirroring her peacock, is her favorite.
“It represents my grandma, mom, and me,” Kelly said.
As Kelly’s family is the foundation for her motivation and drive, Irie Weddings & Events is also reflective of supporting the larger picture.
Irie is one of the founders of the Cannabis Wedding Expo, with the mission to normalize social cannabis consumption at weddings and other private events, “where love, joy, community, and diversity are celebrated and embraced across the country.”