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Butterfly Releases
Article submitted by the Association for Butterflies

Have you thought about releasing butterflies at your wedding?   Butterfly Releases are spectacular and breathtaking . 

Ordering: Order your butterflies early; it takes butterfly farmers approximately four to five weeks to raise your butterflies for your butterfly release.  This will ensure that you are able to purchase the type and quantity of butterflies that you would like.  It is advisable to start looking at least three months or more in advance.   Reserve your butterflies early, preferably five to eight weeks in advance.  Most farmers ask for a deposit of one-half the total be paid to reserve the butterflies and the remainder is due approximately two weeks before the event.

Monarch Butterflies: Monarchs are the most popular and recognized butterfly for releases.  Monarchs are lovely butterflies with vivid orange and black wings that span 3-3/8 to 4-7/8 inches. When Monarch butterflies are released, they soar and glide through the air, dipping and landing to drink nectar and investigate bouquets and colourful dresses.

When to Release: Release your butterflies on a warm sunny day. Butterflies are not able to fly in cold temperatures, at night, or when it is raining.  You must release butterflies when the temperatures are at least 60 degrees or warmer.  Butterflies naturally fly in the day.  Be sure that any events where you release butterflies that the butterfly releases are held at least one hour before dark.  Butterflies should not be released when it is raining. 

There are other butterflies that can also be released at weddings or receptions, such as the Painted Lady, Swallowtails and others that are native to Canada .  Contact your local farmer to see which butterflies can be released in your area

Shipment & Delivery: Butterflies are shipped in individual envelopes that are packed into insulated boxes with an ice pack.  This is done to protect the butterfly nature's way, simply placing them in a cool spring night situation.  It puts them into a hibernation-type state and protects their wings from damage. You need to make sure that you or someone is home when your butterflies arrive for your release. Butterfly farmers do not have control of what happens to the butterflies once they put them into shipment until they arrive into your hands other than the care they use when packing your release butterflies for shipment. When you receive your box, open up the box and check to make sure that everything is okay. Your butterfly farmer will be able to instruct you on the proper care of your butterflies until the time of your release. 

Butterfly Myths and Truths

  • Myth - You can color coordinate the butterflies to your colors.
  • Truth - Butterflies only come in a few different colors.  The colors range between black, browns, and oranges and yellow mixes.
  • Myth - They will not fly and people will step on them.
  • Truth -If you do a release properly, you will have a lovely release experience.  Talk to your butterfly farmer. 
  • Myth - Butterfly releases are cruel to the butterfly.
  • Truth - The butterflies are raised and handled with the best of care.  The butterflies are only sent to environments that they already exist in.  After a release, the butterflies will live the rest of their natural lives in the wild. 
  • Myth - The butterflies will have nothing to eat and will die.
  • Truth - Again, talk to your butterfly farmer about the proper times to release butterflies.  If butterflies are released in the summertime, there are plenty of nectar flowers around for them to survive on.  Some butterflies even nectar on fruit and tree sap.  You do not want to try to release them in the middle of the winter.  Use common sense.
  • Myths - Most of the butterflies will arrive dead or not make it to the release .        
  • Truth - Thousands and thousands of butterflies are shipped across the United States and Canada and arrive live and healthy. Only a very few of those thousands of butterflies may not make it. Your butterflies are handled and packed in such a way to protect them and make sure that they will survive the journey.  Extra butterflies are usually included just in case a couple would not survive.


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