By Gladys Pinky D. Tolete
As a bride, Mariel Eduarte-Clark of Wings of Dreams Enterprises, Inc., badly wanted butterflies in her own wedding. However, to her dismay, she could not find a local company that specialized in butterfly releases. So in the year 2000, with a business partner, she started a company that sold only butterflies for release. Up to now, Clark says they are the only company that trades exclusively in live butterflies.
Meanwhile, May Solomon of Acclaim (Live Butterfly Release and Souvenirs) said they noticed that most churches have restricted the use of rice and other confetti because of the unnecessary clean-up afterwards and potential accidents. Solomon says, “Butterflies are the best alternative for bridal send-offs because aside from providing a unique experience, the release of butterflies is ecologically-sound and environment-friendly.”
Wings of Dreams offers packages as low as PhP6, 000 for 10 dozen butterflies. Acclaim’s butterflies range from PhP28-50 depending on the species. They have two major packages: PhP3,050 for 50 pieces of butterflies with 3 decorated cages/enclosures and PhP 5, 100 for 100 butterflies with 5 decorated cages.
So how many butterflies do you really need? Solomon says it depends on when do you intend to release the butterflies and how you release them. She says 50 to 100 butterflies should enough. Clark advises that the rule of thumb is 1 dozen per 50 guests. “Depending on the venue and the number of participants, a simple release would require 3 dozens while larger venues may need 5-6 dozens.”
Wood Nymph Butterflies
Both companies use the wood nymph (Idea leocono) butterfly for wedding releases. According to Clark, “The wood nymph is the strongest, graceful and friendliest, or I may say most suitable butterfly we have here in the Philippines. It’s an all-season species meaning it’s available all year. It’s the friendliest because you can put it on the bride’s gown for the pictorial.” Solomon adds, “The wood nymph has a large wing span and exhibits a graceful flight pattern. It is also one of the few species that fly well in the post-twilight hours.”
The butterflies of Wings of Dreams are from a trade partner’s farm although they are developing a larger farm near Manila. Acclaim gets their fluttering beauties from a contract farm in Palawan.
Solomon advises couples to book their services at least two weeks to a month before the wedding. Wings of Dreams requires a down payment of 30 days in advance. Their full service packages feature an experienced staff who offers practical tips, consultation and written instructions for clients.
Should couples wish to perform the butterfly release on their own, Solomon enumerates the following instructions: “If the butterflies are contained in individual envelopes, the butterflies are released by simply unfolding the envelopes’ opening wide enough for the butterfly to flap a wing, and take flight. If they are contained in baskets or decorated cages, all they have to do is to open the lid of the cage or basket for the butterflies to take flight.” Solomon cautions couples to keep all baskets covered and shielded from light or direct sunlight prior the release.
It is believed that the butterfly is a great agent for granting one’s fervent wish. So go ahead, wish on that butterfly and watch it take flight, as you and your beloved start your new life with a little help of the dainty wings of love.