Dove Release

dove releaseOne of the biggest fears wedding couples have is that their guests will become bored during the day. One such occasion where this may arise is whilst the photographs are being taken and the guests are left to mull around until they are required. During this period you might want to lay on some form of Wedding Entertainment, such as a magician or give a nice focal point such as the releasing of white doves.

Not only can the release of white doves during your wedding help to alleviate boredom of your guests but it can also act as an alternative to the throwing of confetti or rice, as more churches and wedding venues are not permitting this due to the mess that is made.  The release of doves would be a great Environmentally Friendly alternative to celebrate a couples union - being both clean and safe for the environment.

White doves are a symbol of peace, love, faith and fidelity, and the release of a pair of doves or a flock of doves by the bride and groom will signify they are about to embark on a new life together. Such a romantic display is sure to have all your wedding guests wanting to capture the moment on camera.



Finding the right wedding dove release company

There are a number of companies offering dove release as a service and the most important consideration is to make sure the dove release company has a good track record when it comes to the welfare of birds and is open to you viewing the birds they will use. If you don't think the birds look healthy with stained or missing feathers, try a different company.

Consider before you hire a dove release company for your wedding :

  • Check they are available for your wedding date.
  • Check that the doves used are trained homing pigeons, as they once released will circle the sky overhead and have the instinctive ability to fly home unlike that of doves.
  • Ask if they are members of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association >> or one of the other UK organisations.
  • Ask what happens in bad weather, if they are a reputable supplier they will not allow their birds to be released when weather conditions are poor such as fog, heavy rain or poor light (after dusk), as they might get lost.
  • Check with the supplier the distance the birds would have to travel from the church/wedding venue to their loft to ensure the distance is within the birds range.
  • Ask whether their birds have been vaccinated.
  • Ask if you can visit where the birds are housed so that you can see their living conditions.
  • Check whether you have to pay a deposit.
  • Check whether you would receive a refund, or be offered an alternative service, if the doves were unable to be released due to poor weather.
  • Make sure the cost of travel is included in the price.
  • If the wedding is delayed, and as a result there is a delay to the releasing of the doves, will there be an additional charge incurred, and if so how much?
  • Will you be allowed to release the birds, or will a handler be provided on the day?
  • If you are to release the doves do they provide gloves?
  • Will the dove release coordinator/handler attending your wedding be smartly dressed?
  • Would they be able to decorate the dove carrier with your choice of wedding theme?


Before you contact a Dove release company for your wedding first seek the consent of your church or wedding venue to avoid disappointment.

Dove Release Options

The two main options for releasing your wedding doves are the 'hand release' and the 'flurry (or flock) release'. The 'hand release' is simply the bride and groom each releasing one white dove at the same time. The 'flurry (or flock) release' is the same as the 'hand release' with the addition of a larger group of doves being released from a box, these in turn join up with the first two doves.

Pigeon or a dove?

When you see the term 'Dove Release' it is the generic term for any breed of pigeon which is used during a ceremony. The favoured type of Release Dove is the homing pigeon which is a member of the Rock Dove>> family with some strains being bread just for ceremonial release. Of course, grey is not a particularly fetching colour so white homing pigeons are normally preferred to Ringneck Doves >> for ceremonial release, as the ringneck dove lacks the homing ability and therefore may not survive once released into the wild.