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Live Butterflies Released for Wedding Ceremonies

Updated on May 20, 2013

Butterfly Release

Monarch butterflies are hardy and it is ok to handle and touch them during the butterfly release.
Monarch butterflies are hardy and it is ok to handle and touch them during the butterfly release. | Source
Butterfly Release for weddings, notice the bouqet has monarchs resting among the flowers.
Butterfly Release for weddings, notice the bouqet has monarchs resting among the flowers. | Source
The box the butterflies arrived in.
The box the butterflies arrived in. | Source
Monarch butterfly after a butterfly release
Monarch butterfly after a butterfly release | Source

Eco Friendly Butterfly Wedding

Butterflies are so amazingly beautiful and perfect to share during a wedding ceremony. Include the eco favor -Milkweed seeds, a perfect favor for guests to take home and plant to attract butterflies in their yards. If you have guests that do not garden, suggest they donate their seeds to elementary schools, churches or day care centers in their area. It is a wonderful opportunity for any of these places to use such a gift.

Some things to think about when considering the release event:

  1. The venue, is it ideal for butterflies? Is the temperature acceptable? 60 degrees F and above.
  2. If you are on an island, how windy is it. Stronger winds and they will disappear into the sky very fast.
  3. Do you want to release the butterflies yourself? You can release them from a small box or enclosed floral d├ęcor that allows air to circulate in for the live butterflies. tulle works great to allow a window of air.
  4. Release them from a floral enclosure? Have your florist use the mesh kit (tulle fabric - wrap around the basket/container one and a half times like a donut with a slip not at the topto easily open later) over a weighted floral arrangement that appeals to butterflies and coordinates with your wedding design. They like red, purple and blues.
  5. How do I place the butterflies inside the floral enclosure? Remove one at a time from the envelope, hold the wings and gently slide into the tulle fabric.
  6. Have the children in the wedding release them? Always ensure the view stays open to all your guests and photographer. Have the children stand behind the area the butterflies will be released so all guests can share in the experience and watch the children as they enjoy the release.
  7. You can even have each guest release one. Each style requires some careful planning to ensure the best experience that everyone can view as it happens. (on my site below, you will see some videos of different wedding styles of releasing.)
  8. The butterflies arrive a day before, so consider the day your wedding will occur and whether that arrival date is possible. Make sure all your decorations are complete and ready to attach. If you are placing each one in its own little box, do so and then place back into the cool dark container
  9. Make sure your photographer is ready to capture the special momments and a few of the butterflies up close. This is a major challenge, but preparing your professional ahead of time will give them time to plan for the best way to get some wonderful images.
  10. The meaning and is it for your? Wishes - first catch a butterfly (they are caught already in their containers) and then whisper that wish to it. The silence of the butterfly keeps your wish a secret so it will come true as you release the butterfly for heaven to receive and grant it to you. May your love be uplifted on these butterfly wings. To me, that is the perfect reason to share the experience.
  11. How many? That will depend on your budget and the type of release you want to do. If it is just you, a smaller number is plenty (6-20). Children releasing them, the number should be equal to the number attending plus a few extras. Each guest, so that should help with the quantity.
  12. Milkweed seed favors, when you place the order, specify that you want them shipped earlier (to allow time to decorate the favors and personalize for your wedding) Otherwise they will arrive only a few days before the butterflies do.
  13. How will you let people know or make it a surprise? Up to you.

On May 11, 2012 Brenda Green owner of A Wedding Theme ordered a few live monarchs to personally experience what a bride would with a live butterfly release event. The video is the mini butterfly release event in my backyard. It also helped me create a video wedding guide and favor collection called, Butterfly Sancutary Collection.

I set the release date, paid the $35.00 overnight charge and planned for it. I interviewed Christopher with Live Monarch as with every order they receive, they call and go over the details of care and answer any questions you may have. These were my questions:

The Phone Interview with Christopher at Live Monarch

  • "With every order, we call the customer to finalize details and explain the care of the butterflies. They arrive in clear envelopes, in a box within a box within a box and surrounded by an ice pack to maintain the 50 degree hybernation state. Keep them in the cool dark area until you are ready to release them. It only takes about 5 minutes for them to be ready after room temperature is reached for the event." Christopher explained right off.
  • What types of breathable containers or materials work best for the butterflies? tulle fabric is ideal. A small opening with the mesh covering is just fine while they remain in the clear envelope (as they arrive in)
  • Is it possible the butterflies may hang out a bit if you incorporate citrus slices and butterfly flower favorites near the release area? yes and the right flowers or butterfly feed.
  • Is it ok to lightly decorate the box and/or envelopes containing the butterflies? Yes. Just return each one back to the inner box with the ice pack to maintain the 50 degree hybernation state. A short time at room temperature will not affect them. (Bridal Letter recommends applying pre-made decorations so all you have to do is adhere the embellishment to the envelope)
  • What works best when individuals release one? (I have seen a video of them releasing them from small jewelry looking boxes) a box with a small opening, tulle mesh to cover yet allow the air to circulate. Just maintain them in the envelope inside the box. (when I did it, the envelope was the easiest.
  • As your scientific video shows, it appears it is ok to touch the wings of the butterfly if needed since they are a hardy breed. Yes, they are strong enough so it is ok to touch and handle them.
  • What types are in the mixed butterflies and are they hardy enough for handling? This year we are mostly selling the monarchs. The mixed butterflies is based on your area and climate.
  • What can wedding couples do to help the monarchs/donate? visit the site and learn more about the donation process. Also plant the host plant milkweed to encourage an environment for their eggs.
  • Can they represent their guests by making a donation and have your website acknowledge it on your website? They can, but we do not list their names on the website. Bridal Letter recommends you list on your own wedding website and at your ceremony on a display. Share your website link, images and/or video on facebook and youtube.

By Brenda Green, A Wedding Theme (c) 2012

Butterfly Release and buying butterflies:
http://www.livemonarch.com/aweddingtheme


Live Butterfly Release Guide

Behind the scenes of a butterfly release

 Live Release on May 11 2012. Monarchs resting inside the floral décor, just before the release.
Live Release on May 11 2012. Monarchs resting inside the floral décor, just before the release. | Source
Butterflies can occupy an envelop for each guest to release. Make a decoration ahead of time to attach quickly when unpacking the purchased butterflies from their cool packing.
Butterflies can occupy an envelop for each guest to release. Make a decoration ahead of time to attach quickly when unpacking the purchased butterflies from their cool packing. | Source

Butterfly Release or Not

With an understanding for how a butterfly release works, how likely are you to do it?

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Instructions

  1. Determine the type of release to calculate the number of butterflies needed. (for individual releases, add a few additional)
  2. Place the order online and expect a phone call from Live Monarchs.(must have your date so they will deliver a day before)
  3. Have the seeds sent ahead to prepare the favors and prepare the decorations/embellishments for the envelopes (if releasing directly from the envelope)
  4. Have your wedding planner and florist design your floral decor to place butterflies inside when they arrive. Rehearse or plan out the placement, time of release and ensure your photographer is prepared.
  5. When the butterflies arrive, open and ensure the temperature remains at 50 degrees F to maintain hybernation. Add more ice packs around them as needed. Release within 24 hours. This is the time to add individual embellishments on the envelopes (if applicable). Do one at a time quickly and place back in cool area.
  6. Day of event, place the container in its location. This is the time to place them inside the floral container or box using the tulle fabric to keep them from escaping. Otherwise, have designated people pass them out quickly to guests and/or children. Make the announcement,including the reminder to make a wish. And release!
  7. Important Notes: Spray mist the butterflies while in the mesh covered floral decor or box container occasionally till release time. They butterflies warm up and wake up at temperatures above 60 degrees F and within 5-10 minutes of removing them from the cool environment.
  8. Share your videos and images on your website or other social media networks!

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    • novascotiamiss profile image

      novascotiamiss 5 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      I don't know what I should think about this. It all sounds very beautiful but what about the butterflies? Isn't this a bit cruel?

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 5 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Good question, they are in a hybernation stage when transported and monarchs are very hardy butterflies. It is beneficial to release them when temperatures are above 60F and will improve their numbers throughout the U.S. This is also one of the reasons Live Monarch (company)offers this type of service. They are working hard to increase the populations. The butterflies must be released within 24 hours of receiving them, this guideline insures their health and safety.

    • Ronna Pennington profile image

      Ronna Pennington 4 years ago from Arkansas

      What a neat idea. I think it's a great way to increase the butterfly population. It reminds me of the kits the kids use in classrooms to watch the butterflies develop.

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Have you been to a butterfly event? Powell gardens in Missouri shares the event every year in August. I like the butterfly place in the lake of the Ozarks too. Both places promote butterfly populations.

    • pringoooals profile image

      Karina 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      What a fantastic idea. I have never thought about it. It's not in practice here. I must introduce this idea to people. Thank you for sharing!

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      They are so helpful at live monarch, I am sure they would assist an organization setup a butterfly sanctuary that promotes their population anywhere the butterflies can thrive.

    • GiblinGirl profile image

      GiblinGirl 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Very cool idea - I got married last August and I bet this would have made for a memorable moment.

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Congrats! and Happy First Anniversary. Maybe on a 5th or 10th anniversary.

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 4 years ago from usa

      I am so excite because this article contains a lot of useful information for someone wishing to have a butterfly release wedding.

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you. I wanted to make it easier to understand all the steps involved. I know I will do another release for a special event. It was an awesome experience!

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 4 years ago

      This is awesome, I would love butterflies at our wedding and it would fit in great with our plans. Great idea!

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you emilybee, I was hoping you would come across this hub. I know my choice of themes would involve butterflies in everything.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      It all sounds so beautiful. I think it would make for an unforgetable wedding.

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you, I feel the same way. I have thought about all the other times I would consider doing the event too. It is really special and amazing to see them up close.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 4 years ago from New York City

      Awesome hub here I love the idea of butterflies at a wedding, and never heard of it before, and this is what prompted me to give your hub here a try, wow!

      I love your fine detailed instructions, and especially the part where you brought out the connection to making a wish, and how its like a sort of prayer wish, where the butterfly will key in on and if God allows, it shall be granted.

      Awesome stuff here, this ones definitely getting my thumbs up, and votes, as well as shared with the community here and elsewhere. Bravo! Very well written as well.

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you, you are giving me the encouragement I needed for today, hub 5 of 30 will stream out later today. I love butterflies and I did make a wish when I released them.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      What a fantastic idea, voting up and sharing.

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you Jackie

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I had never heard of this before until my nephew got married a couple weeks ago. I found it very beautiful and symbolic. The bride ended up having a couple butterflies land on her wedding dress. Hit many buttons as you gave great information.

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you, so glad they experienced their own butterfly release. I think it is so lucky when the butterflies stay awhile.

    • SJLA profile image

      SJLA 4 years ago from Indiana

      Lovely great idea.

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you Sjla. The butterfly release is such a special experience. I know I will do that for myself or my kids some day.

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