Ultimate Guide: Releasing Butterflies at a Wedding

Butterflies have long been associated with beauty, transformation, and new beginnings, making them a popular addition to weddings. Releasing butterflies at a wedding can add a unique and memorable touch to the event, creating a stunning visual display and symbolizing the start of a new chapter in the couple’s lives.

However, planning a butterfly release at a wedding can be a daunting task, as there are many factors to consider. From choosing the right type and number of butterflies to deciding on the release method, there are several important decisions to make. In this ultimate guide to releasing butterflies at a wedding, we will explore everything you need to know to plan a successful and meaningful butterfly release.

Whether you are looking to release just a few butterflies or create a breathtaking display with hundreds of them, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to make your butterfly release a success. From the cost of releasing butterflies to the best time of day to release them, we will cover all the essential details you need to know. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of butterfly releases at weddings!

Why Release Butterflies at a Wedding?

Releasing butterflies at a wedding has become a popular trend in recent years. It is a unique and beautiful way for the couple to mark the beginning of their new journey together. The butterflies symbolize love, new beginnings, and transformation, making them the perfect addition to any wedding ceremony.

Butterfly releases are also a great way to involve guests in the celebration. The release creates a magical moment that everyone can enjoy and remember for years to come. It is also a fantastic alternative to traditional rice or confetti, which can be harmful to the environment and wildlife.

Furthermore, butterfly releases can be a meaningful way to honor loved ones who have passed away. Releasing butterflies in memory of a loved one can be a touching tribute and a way to keep their memory alive on the special day.

It is important to note that when planning a butterfly release, it is crucial to choose a reputable vendor who follows ethical and sustainable practices. Releasing non-native species or wild-caught butterflies can have negative impacts on the environment and the butterfly population. Therefore, it is essential to do proper research and choose a vendor who breeds their butterflies in captivity and follows responsible release practices.

Choosing the Right Butterflies for Release

When planning a butterfly release for a wedding, it is important to choose the right type of butterfly. Not all butterflies are suitable for release, and some may not survive the shipping process. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right butterflies for release:

  • Local Climate: Choose a butterfly species that is native to the area where the release will take place. This will increase the chances of survival for the butterflies, as they are already adapted to the climate.
  • Shipping: Make sure the butterflies are shipped from a reputable supplier who follows proper handling and care procedures. The butterflies should also be shipped in a temperature-controlled container to ensure their survival.
  • Butterfly Species: Some butterfly species are more suitable for release than others. The Monarch Butterfly is a popular choice for release due to its vibrant colors and ability to be shipped to almost every state. Other popular species include the Painted Lady and the Red Admiral.
  • Release Time: Choose a time of day when the temperature is warm and the sun is shining. This will increase the chances of survival for the butterflies, as they need warmth and sunlight to fly and find food.

It is also important to consider the symbolism behind the butterfly release. Butterflies are often associated with transformation, new beginnings, and freedom. Choosing a butterfly species that aligns with the couple’s values and beliefs can add a special touch to the wedding ceremony.

Overall, choosing the right butterflies for release requires careful consideration of several factors. By taking the time to research and choose the right species, couples can create a beautiful and meaningful butterfly release that will be remembered for years to come.

Preparing for the Butterfly Release

Releasing butterflies at a wedding can be a beautiful and memorable experience for everyone involved. However, it requires some preparation to ensure the safety and well-being of the butterflies. Here are some important steps to take before the release:

  • Choose a reputable butterfly supplier: It is important to choose a supplier who breeds their butterflies ethically and provides healthy, well-cared-for butterflies. Research potential suppliers and read reviews from previous customers.
  • Select the right butterfly species: Different butterfly species have different temperature and habitat requirements. Consult with your supplier to choose a species that is suitable for your location and time of year.
  • Confirm the weather conditions: Butterflies cannot fly in cold or rainy weather, so it is important to check the forecast and plan the release accordingly. The temperature should be above 60°F (15.4°C) for the butterflies to fly.
  • Decide on the release method: There are different ways to release butterflies, such as individual releases or mass releases from a box or basket. Choose the method that best fits your wedding theme and preferences.
  • Practice the release: It is a good idea to practice the release with your wedding party or coordinator to ensure a smooth and organized process. This can also help alleviate any potential stress or confusion on the day of the wedding.

By taking these steps, you can ensure a successful and memorable butterfly release at your wedding. Remember to treat the butterflies with care and respect, and enjoy the beauty of nature on your special day.

The Butterfly Release Ceremony

The butterfly release ceremony is a beautiful and symbolic addition to any wedding celebration. The release of butterflies at a wedding represents love, new beginnings, and the start of a new journey together. The ceremony is typically performed after the exchange of vows and rings, and before the newlyweds exit the ceremony space.

When planning a butterfly release ceremony, it is important to choose a reputable butterfly release company. The butterflies should only be released outside during daylight hours on a sunny or overcast (not rainy) day with a temperature above 65 to 70 degrees. It is also important to follow the guidelines of the company providing the butterflies to ensure the safety and well-being of the butterflies.

There are several ways to perform the butterfly release ceremony. One popular method is to have the bride and groom each hold a butterfly and release them together. Another option is to have the entire wedding party release the butterflies at the same time. The release can also be done by individual guests, who can each release their own butterfly from individual envelopes.

Regardless of the method chosen, it is important to time the release appropriately. The butterflies should be released at least an hour before sunset so that they have plenty of time to find nectar and shelter before it gets dark. Ideally, butterflies should be released between 10am and an hour before sunset.

Overall, the butterfly release ceremony is a beautiful and unique addition to any wedding celebration. With proper planning and consideration, it can be a memorable and meaningful experience for the newlyweds and their guests.

Tips for a Successful Butterfly Release

Releasing butterflies at a wedding can be a beautiful and memorable experience for the couple and their guests. However, it requires careful planning and preparation to ensure that the release is successful and safe for the butterflies. Here are some tips to help you have a successful butterfly release:

1. Choose the Right Time and Place

Butterflies are delicate creatures and can be affected by extreme temperatures, wind, and rain. It’s important to choose the right time of day and the right location for the release. The best time to release butterflies is in the morning or early afternoon when the temperature is mild and the sun is not too hot. Choose a location that is sheltered from the wind and has plenty of flowers and plants for the butterflies to feed on.

2. Handle the Butterflies Carefully

When handling the butterflies, it’s important to be gentle and careful. Do not touch their wings or antennae, as this can damage them and affect their ability to fly. Hold the butterflies by their thorax, which is the middle part of their body, and gently place them on your hand or on a flower. Do not release the butterflies if they are weak or injured, as they may not survive.

3. Use Proper Release Boxes or Envelopes

If you are using release boxes or envelopes for the butterflies, make sure they are made of breathable materials and have enough space for the butterflies to move around. Do not overcrowd the boxes or envelopes, as this can stress the butterflies and affect their health. Follow the instructions carefully when releasing the butterflies from the boxes or envelopes.

4. Consider the Environmental Impact

Before releasing butterflies, it’s important to consider the environmental impact. Make sure that the butterflies you release are native to the area and will not harm the local ecosystem. Do not release non-native or invasive species, as this can have a negative impact on the environment. If you are unsure about which butterflies to release, consult with a local butterfly expert or conservation organization.

5. Communicate with Your Guests

Make sure that your guests understand the importance of handling the butterflies carefully and respecting their natural habitat. Provide them with information about the butterflies and their life cycle, and encourage them to take photos and enjoy the experience. Consider having a butterfly expert or biologist on hand to answer any questions and provide additional information.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your butterfly release is a beautiful and memorable experience for everyone involved.

Alternatives to Releasing Live Butterflies

While releasing live butterflies at weddings has become a popular trend, there are alternative options that couples can consider. Some of these alternatives include:

  • Releasing butterfly-shaped confetti: This option provides the same visual effect as releasing live butterflies but without the ethical concerns. Couples can find biodegradable butterfly-shaped confetti made from rice paper or flower petals.
  • Planting butterfly-friendly flowers: Couples can choose to plant butterfly-friendly flowers in their wedding venue or give them as wedding favors. This not only benefits the environment but also provides a long-lasting memory of the special day.
  • Releasing bubbles: Couples can opt for releasing bubbles instead of live butterflies. This option is child-friendly and provides a fun and whimsical atmosphere.

It’s important to note that releasing live butterflies can have negative consequences on the environment. According to the Yahoo News, releasing farm-raised butterflies at weddings might not actually be beneficial to the environment. The article suggests that farm-raised butterflies might not be able to survive in the wild and could disrupt local ecosystems.

Therefore, couples should carefully consider the ecological impact of releasing live butterflies and explore alternative options that align with their values and beliefs.


Releasing butterflies at a wedding can be a beautiful and meaningful experience for the couple and their guests. However, it is important to do it responsibly and with consideration for the butterflies and their natural habitat.

There are different methods of releasing butterflies, including using a display cage, individual release envelopes, or a mass release box. Couples should consider the number of butterflies they want to release and the timing of the release to ensure the safety and well-being of the butterflies.

It is also important to choose a reputable butterfly supplier who follows ethical and sustainable practices. Couples should do their research and ask questions about the butterfly source and handling to ensure that the butterflies are healthy and not taken from the wild.

While releasing butterflies at a wedding can be a memorable event, it is crucial to remember that butterflies are living creatures and should be treated with respect and care. By following these guidelines and being mindful of the butterflies’ welfare, couples can create a beautiful and responsible butterfly release experience.

Subscribe to the Austin Wedding Blog
Join my email list to receive the latest articles directly in your inbox