There's something about butterflies that we seem to find captivating. Maybe it's their beauty, paired with their extreme delicacy; it seems amazing that creatures with such vivid colors and elegant, floating flight can be so fragile. Perhaps it's all the myths that have accompanied butterflies for centuries. Or maybe we're just suckers for pretty things.
However you slice it, butterfly releases have become an extremely popular part of the ceremonies at weddings, memorials, christenings, and other events -- as seen in Charlotte recently, where butterflies were released en masse at a memorial service. Releasing butterflies can be a great way to get an entire crowd participating, but what happens to the butterflies? The North American Butterfly Association strongly cautions against butterfly releases, pointing out that many specimens arrive dead, and those that arrive alive are often unable to navigate and survive in a climate far from home.
Instead, think about throwing rose petals (choose organically-grown roses or other flowers)! You might be lucky enough to live in an area with lots of stunning flowers, like Miami, where tropical landscaping offers some great opportunities. They'll provide an opportunity to integrate something beautiful into the ceremony, without harming animals.