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What Are the Best Tips for a Butterfly-Themed Wedding?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

When planning a butterfly-themed wedding, it's a good idea to start with the overall mood, which is often a combination of elegance and whimsy. Once the main tone of the event is in mind, the accent color can be selected. This color may be used for the butterfly motifs on the cake and decorations, or it could serve as a background hue for white or other neutral colored butterflies. Some couples like the idea of releasing real butterflies during the wedding ceremony.

Typically, companies that specialize in live butterfly releases mail Monarch butterflies in envelopes. The envelopes are opened at the wedding ceremony. Since the live butterflies are likely to only briefly fly around the wedding couple, the photographer will have to be quick in getting pictures. Even a dozen, full sized golden-yellow and black Monarch butterflies can make quite an impression on the bridal party and guests. When released live at a butterfly-themed wedding, the colorful wings of the fleeing butterflies can be a wondrous sight to see.

Monarch butterfly.
Monarch butterfly.

The golden-yellow hue of the real butterflies could then be used as the wedding's accent color. White floral displays and bouquets can look striking with silk Monarch butterflies clipped onto them. Alternatively, a flower in a similar color to Monarch butterflies such as black-eyed Susans could be used with white silk butterflies. Floral balls hanging from the reception room can also look striking with silk butterflies that appear as if they were live ones perched there. Another idea for flowers at a butterfly-themed wedding are to have large paper lace butterfly cut-outs placed above floral displays on each church pew.

A butterfly.
A butterfly.

Especially if the live release of Monarch butterflies isn't used at the wedding, virtually any accent color will work. Some brides prefer all white butterflies. In this case, sparkles or lace textures can create interest in this very elegant approach to a butterfly-themed wedding. Other brides prefer pastel colored butterflies for a wonderful, almost fairytale look. No matter the accent color used, the butterfly theme should be used in the invitations, floral arrangements, cake and wedding favor boxes. Butterfly appliques can even be sewn onto the bridal gown, veil and bridesmaid's dresses.

Colorful butterfly.
Colorful butterfly.

The wedding favor boxes could be white, but tied with a ribbon in the chosen accent color. Even the favor itself could fit into the butterfly-themed wedding. Butterfly-shaped candles or candies may work. A bar of chocolate wrapped in butterfly printed paper and set at each place setting at the reception could also be a great idea. A white tiered wedding cake with edible or silk butterflies perched on the layers can make a beautiful and striking presentation.

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Discussion Comments


@bythewell - People should be able to do whatever they want and can afford for their wedding, though. Who cares if it makes others uncomfortable? And a butterfly theme can be done quite cheaply. It looks very effective to just have pastel butterfly accents on a white backdrop and that's an easy theme to stick to as well.


@croydon - Even without bringing real butterflies into it there are so many different things you can do. I've seen gorgeous examples of wedding cakes with edible icing butterflies all over them. Or you could get some to put on cupcakes so that every guest can have their own.

With butterflies as the theme you can pretty much go in any direction you want for the color scheme as well.

Although I will say that you don't want to go too overboard. For one thing, it might sound sexist but a butterfly theme reeks of being the woman's choice and it might make the men feel a bit excluded. And everyone might get uncomfortable if the decor gets too cutesy.


One thing to bear in mind is that there are some beautiful butterfly crafts out there that have been made from real butterfly wings. The wings are sourced from breeders who have a lot of butterflies that have lived out their lives and then died naturally. So you could do something like giving all the bridesmaids a pendant with a different butterfly wing set in resin. Or you could even find out who supplies the artists with the wings and see if you can get some yourself.

Just make sure you have something tasteful in mind for them, though, as not everyone will appreciate butterfly wings that have just been randomly scattered about.

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    • Monarch butterfly.
      By: adimas
      Monarch butterfly.
    • A butterfly.
      By: Aleksandr Kurganov
      A butterfly.
    • Colorful butterfly.
      By: pandore
      Colorful butterfly.
    • Butterflies.
      By: Mark_VB
    • Butterfly appliques can be sewn to the bridal attire to enhance the theme.
      By: tayindigo
      Butterfly appliques can be sewn to the bridal attire to enhance the theme.