@Miss Orchard: I personally think this is a cruel/inhumane thing to do. It also irks me when people put fish in vases used for their centerpieces. These are living things, not a prop to your wedding. I’m sorry to be harsh, but have some respect for life.
I am 100% against the fish in vases as centerpieces. The butterfly release, to me, isn’t the same. Butterflies are pretty, but they are insects. I don’t think one should be deliberately cruel, like by pulling off their legs or wings or starving them, because I do believe they feel pain. But proper handling and release at a wedding doesn’t fall under the category of cruel or inhumane.
Also, have you ever swatted a fly or slapped a mosquito? They are insects, too. Does your respect for life go that far?
Also, just because you get butterflies doesn’t mean they will survive well where you release them.
Monarch butterflies are the most commonly released, and they are found all over the world whever milkweed (in its variety of forms) survives.
Butterfly breeders (or at least those I have found) will not ship butterflies for release to areas that do not already have that species present.
@louisianablue: Please don’t do this. I’ve heard they are mailed in an envelope and are usually dead when your guest open them.
They are not mailed in an evelope. They would never make it through the sorting machines at the post office that way. Each butterfly is fed and placed in a small evelope. The enevelopes are then carefully packed into a shipping container with cooling packs, which basically puts them into a state of semi-hibernation. Before release, they are either transferred to the release boxes/envelopes, or a mass-release container, and allowed to warm up, which makes them become more active again. Not one butterfly among the 24 we released died in transit or prior to relase.
@Baimee: That reminds me also of the huge dove populations that are not where they should be due to weddings.
The doves released at weddings are not actually doves. They are white pigeons, and after the release, they fly back to their home base.