Everybody loves butterflies. How can they not? These beautiful and elegant creatures come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are adorned in a wide array of striking colors and gorgeous patterns. Because butterflies are so very special, butterfly releases are quickly gaining in popularity. Part of the reason is that butterflies are indeed beautiful to look at and as a result add another whole level to any event. Another reason is that butterfly releases are seen as very sentimental, which is often attributed to the Native American Indian Legend (see below). Lastly, the act of releasing butterflies is seen as an environmentally friendly choice when compared to other items (rice, confetti) that are often released at various events.
How it Works
First, you’ll need to choose which type of butterfly you want to release at the event. The two most popular choices are the Monarch Butterfly and the Painted Lady Butterfly. The host of the event will then decide on how the release will take place. For example, the host can decide whether or not they are going to release the butterflies themselves, whether a few carefully-selected people will do the releasing, or if everyone at the event will be given one butterfly to release.
Next, you’ll want to decide on who is going to recite a few special words when the butterflies are actually being released. There are many quotes that are specific to butterflies, or you can go with the most popular choice – The Native American Indian Legend.
The Native American Legend, Quotes, and Poems
If the Native American Indian Legend is chosen, the reader can begin to read the words while the butterflies are being released. This legend tells us that if you whisper all of your wishes to the butterfly right before you release it, it will tell the Great Spirit what your wishes are, and because you gave the butterfly its freedom, your wishes will come true.
Other choices include finding a few quotes or poems that are focused on butterflies. For example, “Love is like a butterfly, it settles upon you when you least expect it ” or “Love is like a butterfly: It goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes“.
Life is filled with a variety of events that call for people to gather together. Although most events tend to be happy occasions, some are not. Either way, the releasing of butterflies is a symbol of transformation and is thus appropriate for any type of event. A good rule of thumb for a large event is to order 1 dozen butterflies for every 20-25 guests.
Weddings – Releasing butterflies is a great alternative to some of the more common items – rice, bird seed, balloons, bubbles, and confetti – that are released by the bride and groom’s guests on their wedding day.
Parties – Add another level to any party you are throwing by ordering a few dozen butterflies for release. Placing a large container on an outside table for all the butterflies to be released from is a great idea, and allows everyone to gather around so they can enjoy watching them flutter away together.
Graduations – When it comes to a graduation, think about releasing one butterfly for every year that the graduate will plan on working in their chosen field.
Corporate Events – Although butterfly releases are great for any corporate event, they are especially popular at a grand opening. Each of the head executives should release one butterfly, whispering their wishes for the company to them right before release.
Funerals/Memorials – Releasing butterflies at a funeral is seen as a way to help those in mourning with the healing process.
Good to Know
There are a few things that everyone should know if they are interested in releasing butterflies at their event.
- You must release the butterflies while there is at least 30 minutes left of daylight.
- The temperature needs to be at least 62° (72° for Painted Lady Butterflies) for the butterflies to fly.
- If you want a great way to get some up-close pictures of the butterflies before they fly away, put them in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, which will slow down their movements. Once taken out of the refrigerator, you’ll have about 30 seconds to start snapping those pictures before they warm up and begin to start moving around again.
This post was contributed by Phillip C. from Cloverlawn Butterflies. Phillip and his family own a small butterfly farm in Orlando, Florida.