Outdoor Wedding Blog

Outdoor Wedding Blog: Ideas, news, tips and resources for brides and grooms planning outdoor weddings, from Kim Knox Beckius, author of "The Everything Outdoor Wedding Book." Visit Kim's Outdoor Wedding Web Site: outdoorweddingguide.com

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Butterfly Release Can Make an Outdoor Wedding Memorable

I've been a bad blogger this year, I know. I have a pretty good excuse, though. On September 4, my mother lost her nine-year battle with breast, thyroid and lung cancer. Spending time with my mom--and making sure she had opportunities to see my daughter, her beloved only granddaughter--was my priority this summer.

Unexpectedly, my mother's memorial service provided me with an opportunity to experience a unique and beautiful option for an outdoor wedding: a butterfly release.

As my father, brother and I made arrangements, we struggled to come up with a way to include my four-year-old without the experience being traumatic for her. We'd already selected butterfly memory cards, and when we heard there was a butterfly farm in Pawling, New York, not far from where we were holding the service, we knew a mass butterfly release was the answer.

When I called and spoke with Pat at Rainbow's End Butterfly Farm & Nursery, she was incredibly helpful and even offered to have her partner deliver the monarch butterflies to my dad's house in a lovely release box. She explained exactly what we'd need to do, assuaging my fears about handling the delicate butterflies.

I've always been a bit reluctant to recommend a butterfly release for weddings. The fear, of course, is that the butterflies, which are kept chilled and asleep until the time of release, would fail to awaken at the appointed time. But now that I've successfully orchestrated a butterfly release of my own, I can say without hesitation that the effect is simply breathtaking.

The butterflies need to be taken off of ice about a half hour before the time of release. While most butterfly providers offer individual specimens in cellophane envelopes so that each wedding guest can release a single butterfly, I have to tell you that the impact of watching a little girl lift a lid off a big box and gasp as a swarm of butterflies emerges, swirls around her head, and scatters in all directions is incomparable. If you have an adorable flower girl participating in your outdoor wedding, this may be a perfect role for her to play after you are pronounced husband and wife.

We told my daughter that the monarchs she released were on their way to keep Grandma company, and oddly enough, my family and I have crossed paths with a strangely significant number of butterflies this past month. There really is something magical about these colorful, winged messengers. Whether you're planning a butterfly-themed wedding or simply looking for a way to add color and surprise to your outdoor wedding ceremony, Rainbow's End Butterfly Farm can provide the butterflies for your special release.

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