Live Butterfly Releases
Butterfly Releases - Enjoy a Butterfly Release at Your Wedding!
A LIVE BUTTERFLY RELEASE will make your wedding the most memorable event your guests have ever experienced! We are the LARGEST supplier of Live Wedding Butterflies and specialize in making your butterfly wedding perfect. We guarantee your beautiful butterflies will arrive alive and in time for your event. We are dedicated to helping couples create the most memorable wedding possible. And what a perfect video and photo opportunity! We have the BEST prices because we are one of the largest live butterfly suppliers in the USA. We have an Internet Package Deal just for our online clients – only $95 per Dozen of our large Monarch butterflies. Three or more Dozen are only $90 per dozen. Established in 1991, we have over 20 years experience in the butterfly release industry, so you can be assured of becoming another very satisfied customer.
Butterfly Releases - Enjoy a Butterfly Release at Your Wedding!


INTERNET Package Deal SPECIAL! Only $109 per Dozen live Monarch Butterflies! 3 Dozen or more are only $99 per dozen. 

Butterflies arrive in the individual release boxes (pictured above). For those who would rather release the butterflies “in mass” rather than individually, try our optional Mass Release Box or Cage.

Optional mass release box for those who would rather release the butterflies “in mass” rather than individually. You can add an optional mass release BOX – Holds up to 4 dozen. Shipping is included.

Box $29.95 Add to Order

Monarch Butterflies per Dozen

1-2 dozen… $109 per dozen 3+ dozen… $109 Sale! $99 per dozen

1 dozen Monarchs $109 Add to Order
2 dozen Monarchs $218 Add to Order
3 dozen Monarchs $297 Add to Order
4 dozen Monarchs $396 Add to Order
5 dozen Monarchs $495 Add to Order


$54.00 for Overnight weekday delivery of butterflies.

$69.00 for Saturday delivery of butterflies for Sunday or Monday events.

Tax is added to CA orders.

Need more than 5 dozen? No problem! Please call to speak to a representative for a free quote at toll-free 888-441-4908.

We are your Last Minute Specialists!

Place your order ONLINE And receive this special pricing. 

Or, you may call us at 888-441-4908

Butterfly Release Cage

Optional mass release cage for those who would rather release the butterflies “in mass” rather than individually. You can add an optional mass release CAGE – Holds up to 5 dozen. Shipping is included.

Cage $49.95 Add to Order


Monarchs and Insects on Flowers

I wanted to take a moment and express my thanks for making my special butterfly release perfect. The butterflies were just as you said and so healthy, beautiful, and vibrant! I worried about caring for them when they arrived, but everything was explained to me in great detail and the instructions for the release were very thorough. This whole experience totally surpassed my expectations and couldn’t have been more beautiful! Thank you so much for the memories! The greatest gift anyone can receive is the smile the butterflies bring to the face of the recipient. It is a memory I will never forget.

Thank you so much, J. Moody, Cornland, Illinois


1) I love this idea! How do I proceed?  We breed and ship butterflies for weddings all throughout the year. It must be 55° or warmer and (preferably) sunny for the butterflies to fly well when released. To help determine if the climate is right in your area during your event date, click to check Average Temperature then place your order online to get the special Internet Pricing. You will be asked for your wedding date during the ordering process. We accept all major credit cards. You will receive an automated email confirmation immediately upon submission of your order and then a 2nd email confirmation within 2 to 48 hours when a representative has reviewed and scheduled your order. Rush orders will be reviewed within 2 hours. The live butterflies will arrive the day before the wedding via Overnight delivery with easy instructions. 2) How far in advance should I place my order? We are your last minute specialists! However, sometimes we get completely booked for popular event dates, so we recommend you place your order as soon as possible to avoid any last minute disappointments. To ensure a reservation, try to place your order at least 4 weeks in advance for events from March through September, since these are the most popular months for butterfly releases at weddings. However, we can frequently fill last minute orders – even the next day! You can call us at 888-441-4908 to check availability of butterflies for a specific date if you are concerned. 3) How many butterflies should I order? Most purchases are for 2 to 3 dozen butterflies. Some clients pass out the individual Butterfly Release Box that each butterfly is shipped in to guests, so that individual guests can each release a butterfly. Others use a portion of the butterflies for the closest family member to do a Mass Release from a boxcage or basket, and then select certain guests (such as the funeral party and family) to release individual butterflies from the Release Boxes. 4) When can I do wedding Butterfly Releases? Monarch Butterflies will only take flight when the temperature is above 55° and preferably sunny, but the warmer the weather the better the release! Please check the history of the Average Temperature for your area to be sure your butterfly release will be a success. 5) What if I place an order, but then the weather forecast is bad? You have some choices. You can choose to keep the order and display the beautiful butterflies inside as a centerpiece in a cage or basket and then release the next day or so when the weather gets better. You can make your own display Basket (see instructions below) to set on a table. Or, call us exactly 5 days before the event, and we will gladly cancel the order and refund the full purchase amount. We won’t penalize you for Mother Nature’s indecisions! 6) Can I do wedding butterfly releases at night? The butterflies must be released prior to sunset. If it is a warm evening, the butterflies may still fly during civil twilight, which is up until 20 minutes after the sun sets. To find the exact time that the sun will set on your wedding date visit the Sunset By Location site. If it is too dark, the butterflies will not fly. 7) How do the butterflies survive shipping? Each butterfly is carefully placed inside an individual Release Box for their safety. They are packaged in an insulated box with a “cool-pack.” The cool temperature combined with minimal light keeps the butterflies calm and naturally inactive during shipping. Butterflies are sent via Overnight delivery to arrive the day before your event. Butterflies that will be released from a mass release box or cage will be shipped in special ‘transfer’ envelopes designed to keep them safe in shipping, but are much easier to transfer the butterflies to a different container. 8) What should I do when my butterflies arrive? Easy instructions on how to care for and release your butterflies will accompany your order, or click HERE to read them now. In summary: when they arrive, keep the shipping container in a cool, dark area so they will remain calm and inactive. Move them to a warm area an hour before the wedding. 9) What happens to them after release? The USDA approves monarch butterflies for release all over the continental USA because the butterflies are native to all states. If you have flowers and host plants for the butterflies nearby, they may stay a while or even take up residency for the remainder of the season. 10) Can I make my own Release Basket so I can release them all at once? Sure! You can buy a box or cage from us, or make your own basket. 1) You can pick up a nice wicker basket from Michaels or any craft store for just a few dollars. 2) Drape tulle (veil material) over the basket and hold it down with a pretty ribbon tied around the upper part of the base of the basket. Flowers are a butterfly food source so if you place real flowers in the basket, they may not want to fly out when released. 3) You can transfer the butterflies into the basket up to 6 hours before the wedding if you’d like to keep them on display during the event. Make sure to transfer them at least 1 hour before the event and expose them to warmth and light (not direct sunlight). The light stimulates the butterflies and will make them active. 4) Simple transfer directions will accompany your order, or click HERE to read them now. 5) Your family can then untie the ribbon and release the butterflies to create a show-stopping flight of beautiful butterflies! 11) What is your guarantee?

Cancellation Policy for Live Butterfly Orders (Minimum 10% for any cancellation)

For Cancellations:   The Fee Is:
6+ weeks prior …   10%
4-5 weeks prior …   20%
3-4 weeks prior …   40%
2-3 weeks prior …   60%
1-2 weeks prior …   80%
0-1 week prior …   100%

For your benefit, we offer a bad weather exclusion to the cancellation policy shown above. If the weather is either too cold or too rainy for a successful butterfly release, you may cancel up to 4 days prior to your event and receive a full refund, less a 10% processing fee. The policy, however, is NOT valid for orders larger than 8 dozen butterflies. The forecasted high should be 55 Deg. F or greater. Showers are OK for releasing butterflies, but heavy rain is not. We guarantee that you will receive live and healthy butterflies for any butterfly order of any quantity and delivery location. And for orders of 8 dozen or less, we also guarantee that they will arrive in time for your event or your money back (up to the value of the butterflies). This delivery guarantee applies to orders scheduled to arrive the day before the event and on a weekday; however, the guarantee is void for ‘same day’ deliveries and/or SAT deliveries. Our delivery guarantee is also void if you do not notify us of the missing package by 3 PM the day the shipment is supposed to arrive. No refunds given for recipient unavailability. The suggested time of delivery is a commitment time for your area based upon the FedEx service guide. There are occasional delays with FedEx due to weather or other ‘acts of God.’


Butterfly Care and Release Instructions:

Warm weather butterfly storage instructions: Cool weather butterfly storage instructions: Transfer instructions for box, cage or basket: Opening instructions for cage:

1) WHEN THE BUTTERFLIES ARRIVE: If you hear some scratching or fluttering inside box, don’t worry, it’s normal. Open the shipping box and remove the ice pack. Put it into the freezer. Once it has re-frozen, put it back into the box and close the box. Just the ice-pack please, or you’ll have frozen butterflies instead of active healthy ones to release. Store the butterflies in a cool, dark place (like a closet) until ready to transport to the wedding. This keeps the butterflies slightly chilled and dormant until it’s time for them to fly! No other care is needed until 2 hours before the event. When transporting the butterflies, do not leave them in a parked car for more than a few minutes, especially if it is a warm day, and keep them in the shade or away from direct sunlight. 2) TO RELEASE BUTTERFLIES FROM THE INDIVIDUALBOXES: Each box already has a single butterfly in it awaiting flight. Remove the boxes from the cooled shipping container about 2 to 3 hours prior to the release. This will give them enough time to warm up. If it is a cool day, then let them sit in the sun for 20 to 30 minutes. If it is a hot day, then be sure to keep them in the shade while warming up. When it’s time for release, simply pull the two tabs on the sides and the box will come open. 3) TO RELEASE BUTTERFLIES FROM A MASS RELEASE BOX, CAGE, or BASKET: You can purchase a mass release box or cage from us. Or, you can pick up a nice wicker basket from Michaels or any craft store for just a few dollars. Drape tulle (veil material) over the basket and hold it down with a pretty ribbon tied around the upper part of the base of the basket. Flowers are a butterfly food source so if you place real flowers in the basket, they may not want to fly out when released. You can transfer the butterflies into the basket up to 6 hours before the event if you’d like to keep them on display during the event. Make sure to transfer them at least 2 hours before the event and expose them to warmth and light (not direct sunlight). The light stimulates the butterflies and will make them active. If you plan to transfer them more than 2 hours before, then try to keep them in a cool dark place so that they will remain inactive. To transfer the butterflies into your release basket: first, place the butterflies (while in their transfer envelopes) in a refrigerator (NOT THE FREEZER!) for 15 to 20 minutes. This puts them into a natural hibernation state so they are easier to transfer. Then, open the envelope and turn it upside down inside of the tulle so that it drops out and into the basket. Or, you can help the butterfly out by its wings. It does not hurt the butterfly to touch or hold it gently. It is normal to have some scale powder on your fingers after picking them up. When all the butterflies are in, tie the ribbon like you would tie your shoelace (not double knotted) and you’re all done. The bride and groom can untie the ribbon and release the butterflies to create a show-stopping flight of beautiful butterflies! 4) DURING WEDDING BUTTERFLY RELEASES: As they emerge from their boxes and/or mass release basket, an appointed guest can read the words from the American Indian Legend (below). This can be read before the release to tie the event together. OR you can write your own dedication to provide a cue for the wedding butterfly release. Be sure to capture this awesome video and photo opportunity!    

Copy of the Indian Legend

According to an American Indian Legend –

If anyone desires a wish to come true they must first capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it. Since a butterfly can make no sound, the butterfly can not reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who hears and sees all. In gratitude for giving the beautiful butterfly its freedom, the Great Spirit always grants the wish. So, according to legend, by making a wish and giving the butterfly its freedom, the wish will be taken to the heavens and be granted. We have gathered to grant this couple all our best wishes and are about to set these butterflies free in trust that all these wishes will be granted.




It’s easy these days to have a fancy-looking website with high-tech images. You must look beyond appearances to locate an experienced, well-established and respected butterfly breeder. Swallowtail Farms, Inc. is the “Original Butterfly Company” and has been in business for over 16 years. We have produced hundreds of thousands of beautiful monarch butterflies. Established in 1991, with over 16 years experience in the butterfly release industry, you can be assured of becoming another very satisfied customer.

Our experience, high standards and special methods including our “Flight Proven™ Technology” system results in your butterflies:

  • Arriving on time

  • Emerging alive and healthy

  • Being large and bright

  • Flying in stunning beauty

       Important questions to ask when shopping for butterflies to release:

  • Are your butterflies Monarchs, Painted Ladies, or a “mixed bouquet?” 

Correct answer: “Monarch butterflies ONLY!” Painted Ladies are ¼ the size of Monarchs and a “mixed bouquet” is fancy language for the butterfly company’s lack of ability or inexperience to commit to a specific type of butterfly, especially the much superior Monarch butterfly. Many companies use the much smaller and inferior “painted lady” butterfly. Swallowtail Farms doesn’t believe in cutting corners in order to sell an inferior product at a slightly lower price.

  • Does each butterfly come in a release box?


Correct answer: “YES, each butterfly is placed in a BOX.” A paper envelope has a course texture and will likely rub the scales off of the wings of the butterfly. Our standard release boxes are stylish and elegant, yet designed to keep the wings of the butterfly safe. For mass releases, butterflies are shipped in special glassine transfer envelopes that are designed for the protection of the butterfly. (Glassine envelopes work well for shipping & transferring, but are not proper to be used for release.) Many companies pack their butterflies in thin paper envelopes. Paper origami envelopes often come apart in shipping and are not substantial enough to protect the butterfly when handling prior to the release. Our boxes are made of thick card stock and are held together by a locking tab that ensures the butterfly will remain safe and healthy from the moment they leave the farm until the time of release.

  • Will we receive adult butterflies or chrysalides?

      Correct answer: “adult butterflies.” It takes work to hatch a butterfly, and hatching chrysalides in boxes results in a messy pupal shell and body fluid that your guests will       see. Also, about 10% of chrysalides fail to emerge after they are shipped.

  • How long have you been in business and how much experience do you have with monarch butterflies? 

Swallowtail Farms, Inc. is an award winning company that has been around for many years and will continue to be here when you need us. Our success as a business depends on your satisfaction as a customer. We are a reliable and professional firm with several farms across the country. We have developed mulitiple cutting-edge commercial breeding techniques, including our Flight Proven™ Technology, to ensure that you receive the highest quality butterflies available. Our rearing methods and resulting butterflies have also been certified as disease free. When you place an order with us for live butterflies, our many years of experience and dedication to high standards are your insurance for receiving lively, healthy, and beautiful monarch butterflies for release at your special event.