Traditionally, brides and grooms were showered with rice as they left the church or chapel following their wedding ceremony.
Throwing rice is an ancient custom intended to give the newlywed couple good luck and represent fertility. In showering the bride and groom with rice, it was in hope that the couple would be prosperous and have many children.
More recently brides and grooms have switched from rice to having birdseed tossed overhead, partly from the misnomer that rice harms birds. An urban legend has spread that birds who eat uncooked rice will have it expand in their stomachs, causing the birds to explode. There is no truth to this tale. In fact, birds often eat rice in the wild and it doesn’t harm them.
Actually, the biggest dangers of throwing rice is that a guest will slip on it when walking on a hard floor or the newly weds or guests will get it in their eyes. But the same can be said for birdseed! However, due to this popular piece of folklore, many wedding industry professionals began recommending birdseed as a rice alternative.
Other ways to celebrate immediately following the ceremony include tossing rose petals, leaves, confetti, blowing bubbles, or waving lit sparklers. However, a way to be environmentally friendly with your wedding choices would be to choose a wedding butterfly release.
Because butterflies are dwindling in numbers due to the destruction of their natural habitats, releasing butterflies at your wedding can help repopulate the species. During this release, the butterflies natural instincts kick in and they will begin seeking out nectar and new shelter to begin their life cycle again.
As a beautiful addition to your wedding, a butterfly release is a unique way to celebrate your special day. A live butterfly release can be added as part of your celebration in one of two ways.
Mass Release or Individual Release
A mass release is when the bride and the groom would release the butterflies from one box. For an individual release, wedding guests are provided an envelope containing one butterfly. It is instinctive and natural for the butterflies to fly when the envelope or box is opened. At a pre-determined moment, all guests would open their envelope allowing the butterfly to fly free. Both ways result in the same filling the sky with beautiful and colorful live butterflies.
Things to Consider
There are a few considerations when deciding if a wedding butterfly release is for you. Be careful to ensure that your butterfly release is held outdoors, during the day and when the temperature is above 70 degrees. If it is too cold, the butterflies will not fly. Also, be sure to hold your release in an area protected from the wind or either the butterflies will not fly or they will quickly disappear. A sunny, warm, flower-filled area or garden is best.
Then, one hour before you want your butterflies to fly, you should let the butterflies warm and wake up. Once thebutterflies are released, they will fly to nearby flowers and plants. A butterflies first flight is usually very short, and they will instinctively fly toward the brightest object. Usually, much to the delight of wedding guests, people wearing bright colors, or towards flowers and bouquets.
During the release there will be many opportunities for wedding pictures of the bride and groom with the butterflies as well as the guests. Be sure the photographer and guests have their cameras ready!
And finally, you should plan to let the butterflies fly free no later than two hours before sunset. This will allow sufficient time for them to find nectar to eat and to also find a safe hiding place for the night.
Just as you and your husband are starting your lives together, the butterflies new life cycle is beginning as well.