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Forget rice, move over birdseed, get lost bubbles, there is a new wedding tradition in town and it is absolutely spectacular. It is a live butterfly release! And the results are breathtaking!

As the Indian Legend Goes:
"If anyone desires a wish to come true they must first
capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it."

Since a butterfly can make no sound, the butterfly cannot reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who hears and sees all. In gratitude for giving the beautiful butterfly its freedom, the Great Spirit always grants the wish. So, according to legend, by making a wish and giving the butterfly its freedom, the wish will be taken to the heavens and be granted. That is the principle idea behind the butterfly wish, besides it being a beautiful sight.

I was married in September and my whole theme centered around butterflies. I had butterfly invitations, butterfly balloons, butterfly clips for my bridesmaids, and much more. But of course, my wedding ceremony would not have been complete without a live butterfly release.

So my search began approximately 8 months before the big day. I learned that butterfly releases were only practical in spring and fall temperatures, they do not do well in the winter, and most reputable places will not sell them to you during the winter months.

I started looking on the internet for different farms that specialized in releases. I also found out that butterflies are also very popular at graduations, birthdays, and even funerals. I typed in my keyword search of "butterfly release" and was amazed at how many different companies were out there.

I found out that there were many different varieties of butterflies to release, the most popular being the monarch and painted lady. I chose to go with the painted lady, as they were less expensive than the monarch was.

My next step was to find a company that had reasonable prices and wasn't too far from home, as I had to consider that these butterflies were going to be shipped. I reside in New Jersey and found a butterfly farm in Pennsylvania that was reasonable and close enough to ship.

I called to order my butterflies; it is recommended that you order at least 6 months in advance to ensure availability. My butterflies were going to come in pre-packaged envelopes with my name and my husband's name printed on the outside. The company told me the butterflies would be fed-exed to me the day before the wedding. Once I received the butterflies I was to put them in a cool place so they would go into a state of hibernation. Then, approximately 2-3 hours before the wedding, take the butterflies out so they would wake up and be lively for the release.

My junior bridesmaid passed out the butterfly envelopes and it was such a joy to see people's eyes light up with delight or for those puzzled looks to cross their eyes. Then the greatest moment of joy was when my husband and I were welcomed as husband and wife with a parade of butterflies flying up into the air, one even landed on my bouquet for a great Kodak moment.

This new tradition added immensely to the mood of the wedding. Most people had never seen this done and still talk about it today! It made us feel good, and our guests, and that is a wedding tradition we will always cherish.