BUTTERFLY RELEASES Releasing live butterflies (Painted Ladies or Monarchs) at your wedding will create a memory that will last a lifetime for everyone present and is a UNIQUE alternative to releasing balloons, throwing rice or bird seed. Their release is not only environmentally safe, but helps contribute to the restoration of the population in your area. These beautiful delicate creatures will inspire a truly memorable and unique experience to be cherished for a lifetime. Here’s a few ideas for releasing your butterflies at your wedding. INDIVIDUAL RELEASE An individual release is done by releasing the butterflies from their own individual boxes. - The Bride and Groom can open a box each. -The Bridal Party can each release a butterfly - The mothers/grandmothers/immediate family of the Bride and Groom can each open a box with them. - You can add in the children in the wedding party, or the entire guest list, it’s up to you. MASS RELEASE A mass release is a number of butterflies being released from one or several large boxes at the same time. The Butterflies flutter out of the box a few at a time. For the mass release, each person can release a butterfly from individual boxes or you can mass release from a larger release box. For a stunning mass release, we suggest using 2 to 3 Dozen butterflies released from an approx 9” x9” square box or renting one of our special flight/display cages for up to 24 butterflies. (available in Edmonton Only) Organza boxes (available at most wedding retailers) are an excellent choice as you can see the butterflies through them and you can then decorate them in your own bridal colours. SOME IDEAS FOR YOU FOR A BUTTERFLY THEMED WEDDING ATTIRE - Have a butterfly embroidered in white thread (or whatever colour your dress is) somewhere on the bodice of your dress - Wear jewellery with a butterfly on it - Wear hairpins with butterflies on the end - Accent your garter with a butterfly appliqué - Add a small appliqué to your headpiece - Have your attendants wear butterfly jewellery or hairpins CAKE - Have your baker decorate the cake with white sugar butterflies - Use a butterfly decorated cake top - Make your own cake top; buy a plain white gazebo or arch, decorate with silk flowers and glue small butterflies onto it -A small decorative cage may be placed on top of the cake and filled with flowers and a fluttering butterfly or two. CENTERPIECES - Make balloon centrepieces; buy balloons with a butterfly design - Use fresh flowers and place butterfly picks in with the flowers FAVORS - Butterfly shaped cookies placed in small boxes or bags - Buy butterfly moulds from any craft store and make your own butterfly-shaped candy/chocolates - Butterfly bubbles wrapped in tulle and ribbon - Decorate plain boxes with small butterflies; fill with whatever you like! - Give out butterfly shaped cookie cutters - Seed packets with butterflies on the packaging - Butterfly magnets - Candle votives; wrap in tulle and decorate with a small butterfly or two FLOWERS - Put flower picks with butterflies into the bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres. They can be found any most craft stores. MUSIC SELECTIONS - Use the song "Butterfly Kisses" as one of your special dances, such as father/daughter, mother/son, etc. OTHER IDEAS - Add an appliqué to your ring pillow, or buy a ready made butterfly accented pillow - Appliqué’s can also be added to your money bag or purse - Glue small butterflies to your flower girl’s basket - Sprinkle butterfly shaped confetti on the tables - Have your napkins imprinted with a butterfly - Buy accessories with butterflies on them, such as ring pillow, flutes, unity candles, etc. - Stencil a butterfly on a plain white guest book! IDEAS WITH LIVE BUTTERFLIES Display them in a decorative lace cage beside the guest book or other place of honour during the event. Then take it to the reception for further enjoyment. The flower girl could complete her outfit by carrying a small lace-covered cage. Inside the decorative cage place flesh flowers and a butterfly - a beautiful alternative to dropping rose petals. And last, but not least, after the ceremony, the wedding guests are each given a small box. Inside the box is a safe and secure butterfly, just waiting to make its appearance at your wedding. As the Bride and Groom make their way out of the chapel, the Pastor or someone special reads an appropriate prayer or "The American Indian Legend." When the prayer is finished, the guests are instructed to open their boxes. As each box is opened, a beautiful butterfly flutters slowly through the air, entertaining you and your guest. Family and loved ones will be delighted by these flying flowers as they glide along sparkling in the sunlight. As an alternative to the boxes is a wicker basket filled with majestic butterflies, covered with tulle and securely tied down with a lace ribbon. The newlywed couple can untie the ribbon and together release the butterflies to dance for all to enjoy. You have just created wonderful memories that will last a lifetime! Don't forget to save a few butterflies for those memorable pictures right after the ceremony! How many butterflies are enough? We suggest 1 dozen butterflies per 25 - 50 guests keeping in mind that you'd like to keep a few aside or pictures after the ceremony. Let us help you coordinate your butterfly release! Special events planning just got easier. We've helped many customers coordinate their butterfly release using these time-tested guidelines Step by Step 1) Assign someone to be “Butterfly Release Coordinator.” This person will be in charge of keeping the butterflies out of heat and direct sunlight before the release. a) For displays, the Coordinator will ensure that the display cage is in a stable location, out of direct sunlight, away from a/c vents, and may periodically mist the butterflies if necessary. b) For mass releases, the Coordinator will place the release box in the appropriate place at the appropriate time. c) For individual releases, if you are providing fewer than one butterfly per guest, the Coordinator must know who will release butterflies (compile a list ahead of time). 3) Decide at what point during the occasion you will release butterflies. 4) Have someone read a poem or other say a few special words. 5) Alert the photographers to be ready during the moment of silence following the reading. 6) Guests of honour (such as Bride and Groom) whisper a wish to their butterflies, then release them. 7) Other Guests whisper a wish to their butterflies, and then release them. 8) Savour the sight of your beautiful butterflies filling the sky with colour. How Do I get Good Photos ? Butterflies photograph best up close. Once in flight, all you capture with the camera is a cluster of black dots silhouetted against the sky. There are a few tricks available for getting spectacular butterfly photographs. Released butterflies will target the highest and brightest objects for their initial flight. Photographers should know that this often means butterflies will target flowers carried by the bridal party atop the steps of a church or other flowers nearby. Wait for one to land and be ready to photograph it. An alternative is to stage a photo shoot with your butterflies. You may want to reserve a few butterflies for this purpose. Place boxed butterflies in a refrigerator (no colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes to an hour in order to slow their activities. Then gently pick up the butterflies by their folded wings and place them on the bridal bouquet, wedding veil, groom’s boutonnière or other place designed to capture a charming photo. You will have a few moments to capture your photo while the butterflies slowly open and close their wings to warm up. The warmer the ambient temperature the less time you will have before they become active and take flight. For a well-prepared photographer, there should be plenty of time to capture special photographs.