Instructions - How a Butterfly Release Works

Ordering is easy, safe and secure. Simply choose the package you’d like, enter the date then day of your release and the your butterflies will be added to our calendar to ship to arrive the day before your release date. Your butterflies will ship FedEx Priority Overnight the day before your release before 10:30 AM in most cities Tuesday – Friday and noon in most cities for Saturday deliveries.  Orders ship to arrive the day before release if you order a year in advance or just a few days in advance.

All packages include individual origami folded release envelopes with several colors to choose from and a short inscription. There is enough room for 75 characters including spaces for your inscription (example: Chad and Jill October 17, 2005). The individual release envelops can be handed out to the guess prior to the release so family, friends and guest can participate and release a butterfly. It’s a great replacement to having your guest throw bird seed at you. Painted lady and Monarch butterflies ship in the release envelopes ready to release, no transferring needed. (No additional cost for envelopes and an inscription)

If you would rather have a mass release we offer a Decorator Box that you can add to your package and release the butterflies at one time from one box. The appropriate size box is offered with the package you choose and you have your option of flower type and ribbon color. We also offer the ribbon only choice in the pull down menu. The Decorator Box is by far our most popular type of release and is something the bride and groom can do together with each having a ribbon to untie and release the butterflies together as a mass release in front of family, friends and guest. Painted lady butterflies ship fantastic to you ready to release in the Decorator Box however any packages with Monarch butterflies will need to be transferred. Transferring instructions are at the bottom of the page and will arrive in with your order. (Decorator Boxes are an additional cost and available with the package you choose.)

If you want your package to include box a mass release and individual release, choose your package, enter the date, the day and choose your envelope color and write your inscription. Then add the Decorator Box you’d like to your package and continue to check out. Before you check out leave your instructions in the Comments Box (example: 30 painted lady in box and 30 in envelope) and we’ll follow your instructions.

If you prefer to have your butterflies on display we offer several options that you will find below the envelope options and Decorator Box option. We offer a Butterfly Release Cage, a Butterfly Release Basket, Butterfly Princess Cage and a Butterfly Release Box. All Display options are shipped ahead of your butterflies FedEx ground and then your butterflies will be shipped to arrive the day before your release.  With Display options your butterflies will need to be transferred into the Display item.  Instructions are at the bottom of the page and will come with your order.  Please give us at least 2 weeks notice to get your Display option shipped to you. (Display options are an additional cost)

After you place your order you’ll receive a confirmation email with butterfly care instructions that you can find directly below.


When your butterflies arrive it is important to change out the ice pack. To keep your butterflies safe and dormant until your release simply remove the top Styrofoam lid and take our ice pack that may be melted out and replace it with a frozen ice pack we ask you to provide. (We send a gel pack that is about 5 x 6 x 1 inch, anything similar is fine).  Continue to use the shipping box as a cooler to keep a controlled temperature. If you do not have an ice pack frozen you can use a ziplock bag and fill it with ice. You can refreeze our ice pack and reuse it to replace your ice pack that evening. Check it every 12 hours to ensure it is still frozen. (Sooner if you use a ziplock bag with ice) It is normal to hear a scratching noise when the butterflies arrive but after replacing the ice pack the butterflies will become dormant again. The idea is to keep the butterflies slightly chilled and dormant until it is time for them to fly!


Store the Styrofoam insulated shipping box in a room temperature environment after replacing your ice pack. When transporting your butterflies to your event, keep them out of direct sunlight. Replace the ice pack if needed before traveling.

To Warm and Wake your butterflies. The butterflies will need to warm up before they are released. Remove the product they are in from the make shift cooler, away from the ice so they have a chance to warm, wake and get ready for flight. Let them warm up for 1/2 HOUR to AN HOUR before you plan on releasing them. For a successful release the butterflies need to be released during daylight hours and outdoors in temperatures above 65 – 70 degrees. They will not fly at night, in the rain, extreme wind or cold temperatures.

Releasing from your Envelopes / Decorator Box: To prevent casualties please let your guests know they receiving a live butterfly when handing out the envelopes. We recommend giving the envelopes to guests as close to the release as possible. Using Release Envelopes gently hold the envelope and unfold the flaps so when the envelope is opened the butterfly will instinctively take flight. Using a Decorator Box, give it a little shake to motivate the butterflies and untie the ribbons and open / lift the lid. Don’t expect the butterflies to come out like fireworks, they will fly and flutter out instinctively from the dark box into the light but some may need to be motivated by reaching in and coaxing them out. Any lazy butterflies that do not fly right away are perfect for a photo opportunity. It’s okay to gently handle the butterflies.


We guarantee to ship live, health, vibrant disease free butterflies for your butterfly release. We cannot guarantee a successful release if you release the butterflies in inclement weather, or if your release day temperature is below 65 degrees. We recommend that you do not release them in the rain. An alternate plan is to display the butterflies as a centerpiece. Simply cover a basket with tulle, tie it with a ribbon and use it as a display cage. The butterflies can live out their lives in the basket, or you can release them on a nicer day. 

The release must he made during daylight hours and must be outdoors. Due to unforeseen circumstances, should your butterflies arrive expired, please call us within 24 hours and return them for credit. We ship approximately 1-4 extra butterflies to compensate for potential casualties. To receive expired butterflies is very, very rare and we take every precaution to prevent and potential casualties.

Butterfly Transfer Instructions

Transferring to display cage, or release box

The butterflies will be shipped in individual transfer envelopes and will need to be transferred into the display cage or release box. Transfer instructions are provided with your cage or box. To make it easier, transfer them while cold and dormant.  It’s best to transfer them as close to your event as you can but it is normal to transfer them a few hours before the event.


Transferring Monarch Butterflies from envelopes into your decorator box:

Your butterflies will be in envelopes in a florist box, inside the decorator box. Remove the florist box containing your butterflies and replace the lid on the decorator box. To transfer them into your decorator box, open the top of the decorator box by using the butterfly shaped Velcro tab, located under the silk flowers. Place your hand with the butterfly in the envelope into the opening, pry open the envelope and jiggle it gently to encourage the butterfly to flutter inside the box. Remove your hand and shut the lid. Repeat with remainder of envelopes.

Hints: Transfer your butterflies while still dormant, they will be sluggish and easier to handle. Transfer your butterflies indoors, with one of the “windows” facing direct light, they will be attracted to light and not try to flutter out.

Transfer instructions for Folding Release Box 

Use the instructions that come with the release box for assembly.  Place your release box in front of a window facing the glassine toward the sun shinning in.  This will make transferring easier because the butterflies will be instinctively drawn to the light. To place butterflies in release box, open the small back door, opposite the glassine.  Open the envelope so your finger can still hold it closed so the butterfly doses not fly out.  Reach in from the back thru the door with the envelope and release the butterflies into the box.    Repeat this until the butterflies are in your release cage. If you want to do additional decorating to your release box and add flowers to the bottom, that is a great idea, just make sure to rinse the flowers to prevent any chemicals from harming the butterflies.


Let your butterflies warm up for 35 minutes to one hour prior to releasing them.  Untie your ribbons on either end of the box, give it a gentle shake to encourage the butterflies to fly, and remove the lid.  Watch them flutter out, continue to shake the box to encourage any stragglers. Do not be afraid to touch the butterflies, they are very gentle and fascinating to look at close up.

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