March 9, 2016

Butterfly Release: Wedding Wednesday

I've mentioned before my wedding and throughout various Wedding Wednesday posts that we had a few surprise elements for our big day planned. From the moment I thought about marriage I knew one thing I wanted to do, and that was a butterfly release.

As you may know, my mom passed away 16 years ago and I obviously wanted part of our wedding dedicated to honoring her memory. Each year our family attends a butterfly release put on by the Visiting Nurses Association of our area, an organization that is near and dear to our heart because they became part of our own family during my mother's battle with cancer.
Butterflies are a sign of hope. My hope for my wedding day was to feel my mom there with us, blessing over us and sharing in our day. I had to make this butterfly release happen.

I had been looking in to a few concerns when it came to getting the butterflies and how this would all go off as a surprise. I was worried something would happen to them overnight and wasn't risking having them arrive the day of the wedding. We purchased the butterflies from Shallowtail Farms and I would definitely recommend their company.
We ordered one butterfly for every two people at the wedding, and one for each member of the bridal party also. The butterflies were set to arrive Friday, the day before the wedding from Fed Ex. I basically stalked the FedEx truck waiting for them to come because I was so anxious. I was texting Chuck freaking out because they hadn't come by 11 am. I was looking for some huge box, only to check the tracking to see they had been delivered and rush to the front door to find the smallest box I could imagine for over 100 butterflies. I wish I would have remembered to take a picture of it that day.

We kept them in a cool dark place, our reception location under a table overnight. The only people that knew about the release were members of the bridal party since we had to discuss the plan during our rehearsal. Once some of the guys found out they were a little nervous they were going to mess it all up by passing out butterflies, so we changed the way it all went down.
Right before people started arriving the wedding coordinator placed butterflies under every other seat at the ceremony and a basket of butterflies was set aside near the front for the bridal party. Chuck's two stepsisters read a poem we had chosen and explained was about to happen before the release.

The poem read:
A butterfly lights beside us, like a sunbeam…
and for a brief moment it’s glory
and beauty belong to our world…
but then it flies on again,
And although we wish it could have stayed,

We are so thankful to have seen it at all.

butterfly release for weddings

They continued with: 
Today we celebrate life with the release of butterflies. If you look below your seats, butterflies have been randomly placed at some of your chairs. Please share with the ones next to you as we release them. The animals you have been given will emerge from their envelopes and alight on your hand for a moment before flying off. 
Butterflies, a symbol of life, and freedom, represent our love ones who have passed before us. Though they are not present today, they are celebrating and shining from above. When instructed, please open the envelope and allow the butterfly to emerge on its own. It may take a few moments for the beautiful creature to adjust to the light and temperature before it flies off. The butterflies will thrive and continue on to be with our loved ones, taking the memories from today and sharing them in heaven for years to come.

weddings at peek n peak resort

I can't explain to you what I felt in that moment that everyone opened their envelopes. It was magical, incredibly special...and a dream come true. One butterfly landed on the train of my dress for a moment then flew away and I know it was my Mom telling me she was there. The look on everyone's faces as the butterflies flew around will stay in my memory forever. I loved that special moment and will hold it close in my heart for the rest of my life. 

wedding butterfly releases

Not only was this release meaningful, it was also so fun to have a surprise part to our ceremony. Our family and friends seemed to love it, and the pictures will always remind me of how awesome this release was.

special butterfly release ideas

shallowtail farms butterflies

I couldn't have been happier with how it all happened. Seeing all the butterflies in the air was so beautiful.

weddings at peek n peak

A funny story--we had changed the plan as to how this was all going to unravel a few times and as Chuck's stepsisters were reading the poem he looked at me in panic thinking he forgot to do something with the butterflies. When everyone started reaching under their chairs he was so relieved since he know how important this moment was to me. It was so cute and funny.

This was by far one of the best parts of the day (I think I may have said that every week)...ha-ha. Our wedding was a complete fairytale and I'm so happy to be sharing it with all of you. I hope you enjoy it for the first time as much as I do reliving it. 

Until next time...

Wedding Wednesday in week's case you missed it:

Details & Vendors:

Photography: R. Frank Photography
The Dress: Bridal Elegance
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka (similar)
Bride's Clutch: Rent The Runway
Groom & Best Man  Shoes: Nike Lockwood
Flowers: Afloral (handmade bouquets by the Bride)
Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way
Bridesmaid Earrings: Frou Frou & Frill
Butterflies: Shallowtail Farms

To Travel & Beyond

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