In a now viral post, a photographer said they recently edited a wedding where the bride and groom accidentally killed an unspecified number of butterflies.
The photographer posted on Reddit’s “Wedding Shaming” forum under the username u/throwthrowthrow713 and said the couple planned to do a “butterfly release” after their ceremony. Unfortunately the butterflies died before then. The post has garnered 9,900 votes and hundreds of comments slamming the wedding trend.
Butterfly releases have become an increasingly popular wedding broadcast because these releases symbolize “happiness” and “new beginnings,” Brides said. Speaking to the publication, event planner Heather Balliet said butterfly releases are “so beautiful” and called it a “sweet way” for guests to send well wishes to the newlyweds.
However, the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) said the release of “commercially farmed” butterflies could do more harm than good. On its website, the organization said butterfly releases could spread “diseases and epidemics” and confuse the migration patterns of native butterflies. Further, these releases may “reduce the fitness of the local population by introducing genes that are not optimal” for local environmental conditions.
“The commercially bred and released butterflies often suffer,” NABA continued. “These butterflies often arrive dead or dying and are then often released into hostile environments at inappropriate times of the year.”
When you/throwthrowthrow713 were first told about the butterfly release, they assumed there was “a large cage/aquarium full of butterflies and [the couple] would open it,” they said. Instead, the insects were kept in small, “butterfly-shaped” boxes.
“The boxes were small, so it was obvious the butterflies were trapped with no possibility of movement,” u/throwthrowthrow713 said, adding that it was “burning” hot outside too.
“It was impossible to survive in this heat and… well, all the butterflies were probably boxed in the car since then [that] morning [and] were dead,” continued u/throwthrowthrow713.
Sure enough, when everyone opened their boxes for the big release, the butterflies either “fell to the ground or remained lifeless in their boxes.”
“I should be ashamed of this,” u/throwthrowthrow713 wrote.
Redditors joined u/throwthrowthrow713 to disgrace the trend, calling it “disgusting.”
“For God’s sake, just go with WIND UP BUTTERFLIES (which are reusable and also make great favors/keeps),” u/Foodventure wrote.
“Wow, shame on you… Some people refuse to use their brains and hearts,” you/dietokitten said.
“Ugh, reminds me of that photo where the couple had betta fish as decor on the tables. Absolutely cruel and disgusting,” you/selflessmonster added.
News week contacted u/throwthrowthrow713 for comment.
Other viral moments
In August, Redditors applauded a man who decided not to attend his sister’s wedding after refusing to invite his 11-year-old girlfriend.
Commentators also defended a woman who “ruined” her boyfriend’s wedding by not telling her husband he smoked.
And earlier in the month, Redditors were divided over a bride who didn’t invite her sister-in-law to her wedding after the latter “damaged” her wedding dress.