When I was 26, I was in the habit of toking in the evening to alleviate stress; but as my wedding day crept up, I stopped. I've always wondered what it would have been like if I had partaken on that occasion. Lucky for me, I had the opportunity to play the part of 'bride' at the Cannabis Wedding Expo in Toronto last weekend, and found out just what cannabis adds to the experience of getting hitched.
Activity: Getting Married
Hypothesis: Given that weddings are usually seen as stress wrapped in tulle and bows, the interjection of cannabis into the bride's preparations should serve to calm anxiety and relax the celebration
I have learned a lot about managing my anxiety and stress in the time since I got married; but on my wedding day in 2011, I had none of this perspective (or the tools I've since developed). I was a raw nerve, unable to eat or sleep; and either always angry, or dissociated. I didn't know why, but neither was I willing to do anything to change it. I thought "it is what it is", and dragged myself onward. The result was a (by all accounts) wonderful day...that I can hardly remember.
On Sunday, as I stood before the Berkeley Church at 8:30am, I had a moment's trepidation. Though an expo, this was styled very much as an actual wedding; there were the guests, place settings, decorations, flowers, photographers, an ebullient planner, a striking harpist. But before I was able to make too many associations to my own wedding, I was swept inside to start getting ready.
Afraid to be a nuisance but really needing to medicate, I asked the founder of the expo, our host Philip, if it would be okay for me to slip outside for a quick puff before everything starts. This is when I realized that a cannabis wedding is unlike any other formal event I've attended; not only was I graciously encouraged to medicate as needed, but I was not hidden away- and I even had company!
For the occasion, I had chosen to bring some of my homegrown Blueberry with me. She's a wonderful hybrid with a sweet-fruity-tangy aroma that very much carries through to her flavour. Now, I have found that the effect of other Blueberry bud I've tried is relatively sedative; but my Blue starts clever and euphoric, ending with a relaxed slide back into sobriety.
I had rolled up a couple of blunts to share, and a few more medicinally-sized joints for in between. When Lizzie, (@tokuspocus) the other model, arrived, she joined me outside and introduced herself; then lent her lungpower to the joint. By the time we finished it we were well acquainted, so we went back inside for hair and makeup. I don't know about my friend, but smoking a joint before relinquishing myself into the talented hands of @blackcatbeauty_guelph was a much more pleasant experience than my previous anxiety-riddled preparations. On that day, I have a vague recollection of staring at myself in the mirror and not recognizing the person staring back. Not because my hair or makeup didn't suit me, but because my anxiety, even that early in the day, had already been causing me distress.
Not so on Sunday; we listened to some upbeat music and chatted until we were beautifully made up and styled. At this point we decided that another joint was necessary, as we did not want to get the smell of smoke on the gorgeous dresses we'd glimpsed being steamed for us. Our second Blueberry doob was just enough to resume my relaxation (and keep the tremor at bay!).
I was elated when I stepped into the gorgeous gown that @luxecollectionbridal had created. The wedding dress that I wore at my own wedding years ago was trumpet-shaped; i.e. very form fitting and highly structured (read: heavy). I adore that dress and the silhouette, but one of the things I do recall was how pinned in place I felt, and how that worsened my anxiety (I can't even wear a bra without feeling suffocated). Cut to Sunday when I was slipped into a light and elegant dress that, to my delight, not only suited me to a T, but was a perfect fit... and quite comfortable!
I felt relaxed, and beautiful. I was smiling and laughing, joking with the others, not feeling at all out-of-place or awkward. I was able to let go and enjoy the experience of being beautified, without the overwhelming dread of being noticed. I told myself going into this that I would not be cowed by anxiety or fear. As it turns out, the introduction of cannabis allowed me to relax enough to talk to and relate to people (both guests and exhibitors)- and those connections sustained me throughout the day. This is in very stark contrast to my actual wedding, at which I felt like a spectacle, inaccessible and removed from the event.
Although my perspective was from a bride's vantage point, it was obvious that the openness of the cannabis community has a marked influence on a wedding. Some may initially believe that the integration of weed into a formal event to be unfeasible; but they would be decidedly wrong in that. To be honest, I have to say that I, myself was wrong in some of my assumptions about weddings, as well.
I learned that a formal occasion does not have to be highly-strung to be impressive. Elegance and beauty can be achieved without stress and chew; pomp and circumstance can be complimented with smiles and laughter rather than a serious demeanor. I learned that the ingenuity and flexibility of service providers in the cannabis space is tremendously beneficial when it comes to making your wedding yours. And finally, I learned that as a bride, cannabis can be a great way to step back from your concerns about all the awful things that could go wrong on your special day!
...Just remember to be ready with that midnight buffet (mine was poutine!)
The Verdict: As a bride, cannabis allows you to be centered and calm, and actually enjoy your wedding day. I found myself more mindful of the details of the day, and was pleased to engage with guests. My hybrid Blueberry was the ideal strain for me, although I am convinced that even a 1:1 THC:CBD or an entirely CBD strain would be effective in providing grounding against the anxiety.
As a guest- well, you'll have to tell me (in the comments)!
Recommendation: I would recommend cannabis to a bride; however, you'll want to give some thought to red-eye in pictures!