wedding - 2


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Learn the how, when, why, where and what if’s of butterfly releases for weddings & special events.

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wedding - 2

  1. 1. Butterfly Release Course for Event Planners Day Two (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  2. 2. Table of Contents 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. Where to Find Butterflies When to Place an Order How to Place an Order How are Butterflies Shipped What to Do When Butterflies Arrive 9. After Butterflies Arrive 10. Checking Accordion Release Box 11. 12. 13. 14. Mass or Individual? Individual Release Mass Release Release Containers & Envelopes 15. Photography for Butterfly Releases 16. Handling Butterflies 17. When to Release Butterflies 2
  3. 3. Where to Find Your Butterflies The butterflies that will be released are raised on butterfly farms. Much time and care is taken to ensure that the butterflies are healthy and strong for releases. Butterfly farmers are especially careful to see that they raise healthy plants and healthy caterpillars to be able to sell healthy butterflies. They spend long days working at their farms; working seven days a week is necessary to raise butterflies. See: List of Butterfly Farmers Butterfly Release Accessories (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  4. 4. When to Place Your Order It is advisable to order butterflies at least two months or more in advance. It takes approximately four weeks to raise a butterfly to maturity. By placing your orders early enough, the farmer is able to plan for the amount they will need to fill their orders. If you place orders less than four weeks before your event, there is a risk of not being able to locate a farmer or broker with butterflies. May and June are the busiest months of the year. This does not mean that it will be easier to find them in other months if orders are placed too late. If your order cannot be placed until the last minute, don’t give up! Every farmer will have extra butterflies from time to time. The farmer you call at the last minute should try to help you locate butterflies for your event if they are out of stock. (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  5. 5. How to Place an Order The method to place an order will vary from farmer to farmer. With some farmers, you can purchase your butterflies online. With other farmers, you must call them to place your orders. It is always best to talk with the farmer; tell him/her what type of effect your are visualizing for your butterfly release. They will be able to help you achieve the release you want. (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  6. 6. How Are Butterflies Shipped Butterflies are shipped in individual envelopes that are packed securely into insulated boxes with an ice pack. This is done to protect the butterfly. Stains in the envelope or release box may be occasionally seen. This is, simply put, butterfly pee. It may be brown or red, depending upon the species of the butterfly and what it has eaten. The cold box places them into a hibernation-type state and protects their wings from damage. Butterflies are cold-blooded and require warmth to fly, so when they are packaged in the cooler, they are dormant and resting. They are shipped overnight primarily through UPS or FedEx. Sometimes DHL and the United States Postal Service are used by farmers, but they are considered to be not as reliable since they do not always guarantee overnight, next-day delivery. Most farmers have accounts with both UPS and FedEx. (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  7. 7. Packing and Shipping (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  8. 8. What to Do When Your Butterflies Arrive You need to make sure that you or someone is home when your butterflies arrive. You do not want the cooler sitting in the hot sun for hours, only to find that the butterflies were baked to death. When you receive your box, open up the box and check to make sure that everything is okay. DO NOT WAIT TO CONTACT THE FARMER THE NEXT DAY TO TELL THEM THAT THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THE BUTTERFLIES! You need to contact the farmer as soon as possible if there is a problem or if the butterflies do not arrive on time. This is essential as some farmers are able to re-ship in an emergency. You are able to check the butterflies by carefully opening (just slightly), listening, or holding the envelopes up to the light to see movement of their legs. Remember, they are still cool and there may not be much movement at first. Do not be alarmed to find a couple of butterflies that arrive deceased. This is not a normal occurrence but it will happen occasionally. Butterflies have short life spans and can die in shipment. They may have lived their natural life and expired in transit. Butterfly farmers usually include a few extras at no extra cost just to ensure that you will have the correct number of butterflies to release. Most butterfly orders contain more butterflies than ordered! (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  9. 9. After Butterflies Arrive After you have checked the butterflies to ensure they are all okay, you need to place them in a cool, dark place, like a closet. DO NOT PLACE THEM IN THE REFRIGERATOR! You only want to place them in the refrigerator if they arrive and their box is not cool inside. Then you need to place them in the refrigerator with the box lid off for approximately 5 minutes. If they are left in some refrigerators, they may die from the cold temperatures. You should have an ice pack or package of frozen vegetables available to replace the ice pack which was packed in their box. You may refreeze the cold pack and replace it in the cooler, also. After you have cooled the butterflies, place them in a cool, dark place until the next day. Refer to “Day of Release” for further instructions. This will be presented later in the course. (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  10. 10. Checking Accordion Release Box Some farmers offer accordion release boxes. If your butterflies are shipped pre-packed in an accordion box, DO NOT open the accordion box. If the sides of the box are clear, watch through the sides to see if legs are moving. If you cannot see butterfly legs, listen closely to the box. If you cannot tell if your butterflies are alive or not, contact your farmer for further instructions. Each farmer may have different methods to check their boxes without opening the box and releasing your butterflies! (c) Association for Butterflies 2007 10
  11. 11. Mass or Individual? Individual release requires providing simple instructions to guests and handing out butterflies for the release. Mass release in most instances requires that you remove butterflies from their envelopes and place them in a mass release box. One person can release all the butterflies at once. An Accordion Release is the only method that causes all butterflies to fly at one time other than individual release where everyone releases their butterfly at the same time. (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  12. 12. Individual Release An individual release is the most personal. It allows guests to become involved in the release. This is accomplished when the butterflies are distributed to designated people, still in their envelopes or in individual boxes, to be released at a given time. This allows the bride and groom, honored guests, the bridal party, etc. to participate in this lovely moment. Each person attending the wedding may also be given a butterfly to release, also. Note: Some farmers will not sell fewer than one dozen butterflies. (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  13. 13. Mass Release A mass release is when all of the butterflies are released from a container, by one person, or the wedding couple. If enough butterflies are ordered, they can be placed into several mass release containers. In this situation, several people can release them all at one time. (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  14. 14. Release Containers and Envelopes Each farmer carries their own types of release envelopes and/or boxes. They can range from paper envelopes to cardstock envelopes to decorated and fancy envelopes. Usually the envelopes are free. Fancy envelopes usually are an additional expense. Many farmers will personalize release envelopes. Check with the farmer you contact to see if there is an additional fee for this. Release containers can range from a basket covered with tulle, to a plain box, to a decorated box. Many butterfly farmers carry these, for an additional cost. (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  15. 15. Photography for Butterfly Releases Your butterflies can be photographed by posing them on a selected person or persons. You can achieve this effect by placing the butterfly(ies), still in their envelopes, into a cooler with an ice pack or in a refrigerator. Do not place them directly on the ice pack. Leave them there for approximately 5 minutes. Take them out and place them where you would like them to stay. They will not fly for a minute or so since they are cold. Remember the temperatures we discussed earlier? You will have a minute to take photos before they become active. When you see them becoming active, you can put them back into the envelopes and replace them in the cooler and repeat the process again. When handling butterflies, pick them up with their wings closed over their bodies, near their “shoulders” (if they had shoulders). Make sure you pick a location that is not windy. If you are taking pictures inside, you may want to make sure that the ceilings are not too high, so you will be able to capture them if they happen to fly. They will usually fly to the light or to a window. It is advised not to take pictures of butterflies when they are flying and your background is the sky. The butterflies will get lost against a blue sky background. Close-ups are much better. (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  16. 16. Handling Butterflies When handling butterflies, pick them up with their wings closed over their bodies, near their “shoulders” (if they had shoulders). The safest way to hold a butterfly is between your first and second finger, as if holding a cigarette. This prevents scales from being removed from the butterfly. Although loss of scales does not harm a butterfly, it simply is not as beautiful if it has lost scales! (c) Association for Butterflies 2007
  17. 17. When to Release Butterflies Any occasion! Please note that butterfly releases can be held at other special occasions, besides weddings, i.e., anniversaries, graduations, birthday parties, corporate functions, etc. 17
  18. 18. Coming Tomorrow The Day of the Release Transferring Butterflies Release Ideas Butterfly Myths and Truths Final Exam (c) Association for Butterflies 2007 18