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Releasing Doves at Your Ceremony.
By Celebration Doves, South East Queensland
18 September 2008


Pure White Doves symbolize Peace Love and a New Beginning. Doves are so symbolic for a wedding because they pair for life and both share in the care of their young.

Can any Dove be used?   It is very important that only specially trained birds (Columbidae Livia) are allowed to be released.  If the wrong sort of doves are used, not only will the release be disappointing but more importantly the birds will have nowhere to go and will be in very great danger.

The doves are thoroughbred animals that are the end result of years of careful selection and breeding.  They will return safely to their home and live a long, healthy and happy life.

How does it work when it's a Church Wedding?   The doves are brought to your wedding venue in their cages.  The doves wait outside the church in an elegant Victorian-style cage while your service takes place inside.  After the service, when the bridal party and guests make their way outside, there is usually a beautiful reading whilst the doves are released.

The Bride and Groom release their doves in co-ordination with the photographer and videographer who can capture the moment of this very symbolic gesture, which heralds the beginning of your new life together.  Afterwards the cage is discreetly taken away.

How does it work when it's a Garden Wedding?   The doves compliment your garden setting as they watch and listen while you make your marriage vows.  The final part of your ceremony can include our beautiful 'Wedding Wish'. The doves are then released in co-ordination with your photographer.

Who takes care of the birds at the ceremony?   The specially trained birds are brought to the event by professional handlers.  They are displayed in handcrafted release cages and set free by the bride and groom at an appropriate moment.  Your dove handler is in attendance to co-ordinate your dove release with your Marriage Celebrant and with your photographer to ensure all goes smoothly.   We offer a beautiful reading which is said just before you release the birds.

Do I need to do anything on the wedding day?   Once we have discussed your requirements, you do not have to do anything until the moment of the release.

After release do they come back to the cage?   After their release the doves usually circle in the sky above a couple of times, they then fly off safely to their home.  Home is very important to these amazing birds.  After their spectacular release, they will usually circle over head, then fly back to their home to the special little spot which they regard as their own.

How do they find their way home?   The method by which they find their way home is basically understood but there are still gaps in our knowledge. They have an inbuilt chronometer and appear to be able to use both the sun and the earth's magnetic field.  Being able to tell the time of day, they can compare the position of the sun in the sky at a release point, with that at home and thus calculate the direction home. Studies have now found that these clever little birds also use their sense of smell.  This sounds complex but experienced birds can do it remarkably quickly.

What happens if it rains?   Our birds quite like a light shower, however in the interest of their safety they cannot be released in the event of severe weather like strong wind, rain or extreme heat.  

When should doves not be released?

  • in rain, high winds or extreme heat. A light shower is usually allowed.
  • at night or within one hour of sunset.
  • indoors or near power lines.

We can not provide birds for self release. An experienced coordinator accompanies our birds to each event.  Our goal is to add that special extra touch to your special day with a flawless release and to assure a safe flight home for our doves.


Article provided by  - The release of Pure White Doves has a powerful symbolic meaning for many special occasions through the entire 'The Circle of Life' -naming ceremonies, birthday parties, school graduations, weddings and celebrations of life.

Celebration Doves: 59 Peterson Rd, Camp Mountain Qld 4520.
Phone: 07 3289 6131  Email: