Butterflies are identified in folklore worldwide as a symbol of joy, change, light-heartedness, color, and transformation. As its life-cycle has three distinct forms, it is a symbol of metamorphosis and change, rebirth into a new life. Butterfly symbolism is also used often in matters of the spirit and the soul (the Greek word psyche has two meanings, "butterfly" and "soul"). Early Christians also used butterflies as a symbol of the soul, and some ancient cultures explained dreams as the flight of the soul-butterfly. The ancient Chinese believed that a jade butterfly suggested a wedding of the souls, and this was a traditional gift for a groom to give his bride.
When giving a butterfly party favor to your guests, you may want to include one or a few of the above stories on a card. Butterfly gifts can take any form imaginable, including jewelry, cookies and candy, candles, glass charms, snow globes, and figurines. You may want to get silk or plastic butterflies in bulk from a craft-supply store or catalog and attach them to wedding favors. These can include bud vases, flower pots, gift bags and baskets, boxes, tea sachets, and so on.
Butterfly treats can include butterfly-shaped iced sugar cookies, marzipan candy, spun-sugar butterflies, or foil-wrapped butterfly chocolates. The traditional wedding favor of five candied almonds can be attached together with icing to form a butterfly and mounted on a on a peppermint stick or sugar cookie with spun-sugar antennae. You might also give rice candy topped with a "jade butterfly" fashioned from mint leaves and paired with a fortune cookie.
Another angle is to give your guests treats for butterflies by giving out starts for butterfly-habitat bushes. These include daylilies and rosemary, or seed packets for lavender, phlox, hibiscus, black-eyed Susans, bachelor buttons, or other plants that butterflies love. Wildflower mixes, are also great for this, and many brands have a specific "butterfly blend". You can also find butterfly houses and feeders at specialty stores, in catalogs, and online.
Personalized gift cards with a watercolor or printed clipart butterfly make a nice wedding favor, and a good project for children is to paint butterfly cards for guests with their names or make a butterfly potato stamp. You can also give out picture cards of different species of butterflies with printed information and facts about that specific butterfly.
Wearable butterfly art is as varied as it is fun, and can be bought or made. For elegant "pre-fab" butterfly gifts, you might choose earrings, pins, or embroidered handkerchiefs. Craft butterflies can be attached to barrettes, bracelets or pins, or you may choose a more whimsical option such as butterfly finger puppets, stickers or headbands.
Butterflies are the perfect symbol of lighthearted, joyous new beginnings. To reflect the nature of the life you are beginning together, and reach out to your guests in the same spirit, consider giving butterfly wedding favors. May they also be an omen of beauty and happiness in your future together!