Frequently asked questions
The short answer is – simply make an enquiry or place your order via email, and pay via internet banking. The live butterflies will arrive by courier the day before the event, and will come with full [and simple] instructions.
See our IDEAS page on how to incorporate a butterfly release into any occasion, or just ask – we’re happy to brainstorm with you
We recommend that you book well in advance. A 50% deposit is required to confirm your order with the balance being paid on month prior to shipping.
Our entire stock can become completely booked for popular event dates, so we strongly advise that you book in advance to avoid last minute disappointment.
A butterfly’s life cycle is 6-8 weeks, so if we run out, it can take a while to restock!
BUT…. We can sometimes fill last minute orders – even the next day!
Contact us to check availability of butterflies for a specific date.
Occasional Monarchy hand delivers locally, or sends by overnight courier to arrive the day before your event.
When its cold and dark the butterflies simply go to sleep, so we pack them in an insulated box with a chiller pack.
Keeping them cool and dark keeps the butterflies calm and inactive during shipping.
Easy instructions on how to care for and release your butterflies will accompany your delivery, but in brief:
When the butterflies arrive, you should keep the container in a cool, dark area so the butterflies will remain calm and inactive. Move them to a warm area an hour before the ceremony so that the butterflies start to wake up and become active.
How many do you need? We’re happy to send one or two individually packed butterflies, or one or two dozen in a flight release basket, depending on your requirements.
You might give individual Butterfly Release Boxes to guests, so that individual guests can each release a butterfly, or even have the bride and groom do a Mass Release from a box, cage or basket, and then select certain guests (such as the wedding party and family) to release individual butterflies from the Release Boxes.
The temperature really needs to be at least 15 degrees or warmer, and preferably sunny weather for the butterflies to fly well when released.
For most of New Zealand, you should be able to release successfully during late spring, summer, and early autumn.
As a general rule, the warmer the weather the better the release!
If you’re not sure whether the date and location of your occasion are suitable, just ask – we’ll be glad to advise you
Summer showers are OK for releasing butterflies, but heavy rain is not.
If it’s stormy on the day of your special occasion, you can still display the butterflies in a cage or basket as a stunning centerpiece somewhere inside where it’s warm and dry, and then release them when the weather gets better.
If the long range forecast is bad, we’re happy for you to call or email [no less than 5 days before the event] to cancel the order and refund you.
Please see our refund policy for more details.
NO! The butterflies must be released in good daylight otherwise they may not have enough time to find a place to rest for the night.
The butterflies will be hungry after their journey, so they often head for the flowers in bouquets and buttonhole flowers of the bridal party and VIP guests.
Individual release butterflies will usually sit for a few minutes pumping their wings before taking off.
If you have flowers and host plants for the butterflies nearby, they may stay a while or even take up residency for the season. You can also give your guests gifts of milkweed seed or swan plant seedlings, and help boost the local Monarch Butterfly population.
Sure! You can buy a box or cage from Occasional Monarchy, or create your own– antique bird cages work well, or a cane basket draped in tulle or organza and tied with ribbon.
Transfer the butterflies at least 1 hour before the event and expose them to gentle warmth and light (not direct sunlight), which will stimulate the butterflies and make them active.
Cold butterflies won’t flutter away when released.
Remember that flowers are a butterfly food source – so if you place real flowers in the basket or cage, they may not want to fly out of the basket! You can transfer the butterflies into the basket up to 6 hours beforehand, if you plan to keep them on display during the event.