South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA) A Branch of Conservation of Butterflies in South Africa (CBISA) - Founded 1993

A Non Profit Company Company (NPC) - Registration No. 2005/035451/08, Public Benifit Organization (PBO) - Tax Exemption No 930033432 - P. O. Box 599, Ramsgate, 4285.

Butterfly Weddings

Are you getting married soon? Having a function and need confetti? Or has someone dear to you passed on and you wish to say goodbye by releasing their spirit in the form of a butterfly? or

What do you need to know?

All butterfly or moth species that are found throughout South Africa, although being the same species have a geographical fingerprint of their specific environments. Interbreeding the geographical strains can lead to these species becoming sterile and in so doing can destroy an entire butterfly or moth species. For example only butterflies in Durban can be bred for Durban releases. They cannot be sent to Johannesburg as the same species will be geographically different, even though they look the same. This is why the breeding process takes up to 12 weeks for common type locality butterflies to breed and to be ready for a wedding. Butterflies are collected from your area and bred, then sent back to a wedding in the same locality from whence the breeding specimens have been found. Only these butterflies can be released in the same area.

The South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA), is a subsidiary company of Conservation of Butterflies in South Africa (CBISA). Its function is to deal with controversial issues, by setting out guidelines for the "butterfly enthusiast", accommodating their individual rights as well as those rights of the environment, species and related ecosystems. Enhancing the release of butterflies in local communities that will improve the quality of ecosystems, their species and creating suitable environments for all animal, bird, vegetation, shrub, tree and bird species alike. All to coincide with one another, as each one is dependant on another for its survival. By releasing butterflies, you are assisting in this scientific program and at the same time fulfilling your personal needs.

Butterflies are fragile and should always be treated with care and used in a proper manner for the benefit of our environments, and at the same time, we have to realize that they are there to serve a purpose as well as to provide us humans with a deep sense of understanding and a great pleasure. A sense of peace is presented to everyone who sees them in their gardens, always leaving fond memories.

Butterfly weddings: Are they good or bad?

Butterfly weddings provide people with an opportunity to do something small for the conservation of butterflies in South Africa. The business called "Butterfly Weddings" has met all the criteria set out by the South African Butterfly Breeding Association and have adopted SABBA's polices as well as act in accordance with the Code of Conduct. Their adopted breeding methods and handling of these fragile creatures is unique and well conducted. Inspections are conducted at regular intervals to check on the conditions in which butterflies and moths are bred. Through these breeding programs, many new host plants have been discovered. This makes breeding butterflies easier to breed.

What butterflies symbolize to different cultures

The symbolism of butterflies signifies something different to each person who gets one, while the meaning assigned to butterflies differs from culture to culture.

  • The ancient Celts believed that butterflies were souls seeking a new mother.
  • The ancient Greeks called them 'psyche', because their flitting from flower to flower represented the constant movement within the human mind.
  • For many the releasing of butterflies at weddings symbolizes happiness, as butterflies dart off in all directions proclaiming the promised marriage of two souls bound in Gods trust and word.
  • The Blackfoot tribe of American Indians believed that they bring dreams to people.
  • The Chinese see them as a symbol of love.
  • Many other cultures see them as a common symbol of transformation, representing a persons metamorphosis through life.
  • In some other cultures, butterflies are seen as the souls of departed relatives.
  • In some images of the Garden of Eden, Adam's soul is symbolized by a butterfly.
  • In many countries the Cleopatra butterfly is called the Easter Jesus and tend to appear around Easter and is considered a symbol of Christ's resurrection.
  • All around the world butterflies represent the winged messengers of some kind or other and always touch the souls of all humans.
  • A readily new trend in America is to hold butterfly release ceremonies to symbolize a loved one's "release" from this life.

How to order?
Butterflies can be ordered directly from

Breeding process?
Once we receive 50% on order, we get to work. We obtain host plants for the gravid females to lay eggs on and make sure that we have enough host plants (food) for them for the duration of the breeding process. Gravid females are obtained and we start them laying their eggs. The breeding process, well monitored, will take approximately 12 weeks. Butterflies start hatching from their pupa's a few days before the date prescribed for your function. A week before the delivery of the butterflies, upon final payment made by our client, the sorting of the bred specimens falls into effect. The strongest and healthiest specimens are sorted and packaged and are ready to go.

No small or large boxes, plastic containers, polystyrene containers may be used for the packaging of live butterflies to be released at weddings or any other form of occasions. This is due to all butterflies and moths being fragile with wings and body parts that are prone to extensive damage in any small confined area. The trend is to place up to 100 butterflies into a large container and to release them simultaneously. This in itself causes extreme damage to each butterfly specimen as they flap their wings in confined or overcrowded spaces and destroy their brittle wings. This practice would not be accepted anywhere if people are really concerned for the safety and well being of butterflies. Only one method is acceptable. This is a triangular paper packet folded in a special way in which the butterfly is kept in the sleeping position which does not allow the butterfly any wing room in which to fly.
The packets come in a standard white color. For personalized packaging please contact the office and we will provide you with a quote. Notice the position of the butterfly as it sleeps and remains dormant, conserving its energy while at the same time no harm can be inflicted by itself. You receive a perfect butterfly as the day when it was placed into its packet.

The contents of this code should not be construed as reasons for failing to comply with the law concerning protected Lepidoptera. If any person is uncertain as to the legal requirements for PERMITS regarding the legitimate possession of specimens of protected species or captive breeding stock for commercial purposes, advice should be sought from the relevant bodies such as SABBA, CBISA, Department of Environment &Tourism, Conservation Services, and WESSA.

Responses from clients
I cannot adequately express the emotions I felt on Saturday during our function when I opened the packets and those butterflies rose. It was like receiving a blessing from the Lord and I thank you for giving me that blessing. I shall never forget the experience. Your care and concern touched me deeply and I thank you. All God’s blessing for giving an old man much joy.
Father Morgan Ellis

We opened our packets around my daughter Sharon, 12 years old. So she opened her packet. I got such a shock when she collapsed onto the ground and started crying, filled with emotion. I will never forget this day and the expression on her face. It was one of those, once in a million moments of time. Thank you so very much.
Megan Mills

We receive many letters from clients that have been more than thrilled with our service. Please send in your experiences and allow us to include them on this site. Email to


CBISA invites new individuals who come across this website to become members of this unique Non Profit Company (NPC). The offer is open to you - to assist wherever you feel it is within your capability to do so. There is a membership fee of R250 per month. This membership allows you to take advantage of this website presented by CBISA - which covers a very wide spectrum of all the existing and future planned projects of CBISA as well as allowing you some opportunity to become involved in them - should they be of interest to you. A monthly newsletter is automatically provided for your benefit.

Contact Details: Office: Cell: 074 422 5587 ~ Click Here Membership Application Form

From Our Gallery

Welcome to S.A Butterflies

A place for rare butterflies to be and to be protected as they are extremely rare. Only a few have ever been caught - but through our breeding program we have been able to breed over one hundred and have released them back into the wild. Thanks to the dedication of a few who cared for their survival - a very rare butterfly - has been described.