http://www.sina.com.cn 2009年04月07日 15:15
A single butterfly can cost up to £5 with favourite varieties include the monarch and tiger-spot。
Despite the financial crisis Chinese butterfly farmers said that business had even picked up during the financial crisis。
"It's never been so good," said Liu, a director of the Love Butterflies Co in Beijing, "In fact from the end of last year and beginning of this year it's been booming。
"Even in recession people need to 'keep face' so they spend on their weddings."
Mr Liu added that the growing craze for butterfly weddings also reflected a 'more romantic' younger Chinese generation who had grown up in a more colourful and unrestrained world than their parents。
"This is the 'new era' generation of China, today's young people understand romance and they are willing to spend money on romance," he added。
Ensuring that the big moment causes a flutter among the guests requires careful stage management。
The butterflies are cultivated in farms, often in China's warm southern provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan, and then flown in thermally-controlled boxes to wealthy cities like Shanghai and Beijing while still in the chrysalis stage of development。
They are kept in the hands of professionals for three or four days to ensure that the chrysalises hatch properly and the butterflies are in prime condition for the wedding day。
"It requires a highly precise time arrangement," said Wang Yong of the Tiantian Wedding Ceremony Company in Tianjin city southeast of Beijing, "Or else, the butterflies would either still be a chrysalis or they would be dead."
According to the wedding brochures advertising such services, butterflies have only one partner for life and are emblems of love and loyalty. Their emergence from the cocoon symbolises the transforming powers of love。
To avoid the embarrassment of having to scoop lethargic butterflies out of their box – a not uncommon event on colder days – the bride and groom are advised to dress colourfully and dab themselves with flower nectar which excites the insects。
According to Liu the average couple might spend about £100 for a few dozen butterflies, but others much greater sums to ensure they had 'lucky' numbers of butterflies such as 88 or 199 which, when spoken in Chinese, sound like "rich, rich" or "Want to last long"。