Do We Need Wedding Doves for Our Wedding?

As couples embark on the journey of planning their wedding day, they often find themselves facing an array of decisions, both big and small. Among the many considerations, one question that frequently arises is whether to incorporate wedding doves into the ceremony. Traditionally symbolising love, peace, and fidelity, these graceful birds have long been a popular choice for couples seeking to add an ethereal touch to their special day. But do we really need wedding doves for our wedding?

Wedding Dove Release

A wedding dove release is a time-honoured tradition symbolising love, unity, and peace. The release typically occurs during a significant moment in the ceremony, such as the exchange of vows or the newlyweds’ departure from the venue. As the doves take flight, it’s a poignant representation of the couple’s journey together and their hopes for a harmonious future.

Do We Need Wedding Doves for Our Wedding

Exploring the Ins and Outs of a Wedding Dove Release

Orchestrating a wedding dove release involves more than simply releasing birds into the air. It requires careful planning, coordination, and the expertise of trained professionals who specialize in caring for and training doves for ceremonial releases. These experts ensure the doves are well-prepared and handle all aspects of the release process with care and precision.

When planning a dove release, it’s essential to research potential providers thoroughly. Look for experienced professionals committed to ethical practices and animal welfare. Reading reviews and seeking recommendations from other couples can help you find a reputable provider. Clear communication about your vision, including the number of doves, timing, and location, ensures the release aligns with your wedding plans. Additionally, consider weather conditions, as extreme temperatures, strong winds, or precipitation can impact the safety and comfort of the doves.

Who Takes Charge of Releasing Wedding Doves?

When considering the inclusion of wedding doves in your ceremony, it’s essential to understand the logistics behind who releases these graceful birds. The responsibility for orchestrating the release typically falls upon trained professionals known as dove handlers or release coordinators. These individuals specialise in the care, handling, and training of doves specifically for ceremonial releases. With their expertise, they ensure that the doves are well-prepared for the occasion, handling all aspects of the release process with care and precision.

Many couples choose to enlist the services of dedicated dove release companies to facilitate this aspect of their wedding. These companies offer comprehensive services tailored to the couple’s preferences and needs. From providing trained handlers to organising transportation for the doves and assisting with logistical planning, dove release companies streamline the process, ensuring that the release is executed flawlessly. By working with reputable professionals or companies, couples can have peace of mind knowing that their dove release will be both beautiful and stress-free.

Wedding planners or coordinators may also play a role in organising the release of wedding doves as part of their overall event planning services. While they may not have specific expertise in handling doves, they can coordinate with dove release professionals to ensure that the logistics are seamlessly integrated into the wedding day timeline. Additionally, venue staff may assist in facilitating the release, ensuring that the chosen release area is suitable and that any necessary permissions or permits are obtained.

The decision to include a wedding dove release rests with the couple, who must clearly communicate their vision and preferences. Entrusting this task to professionals—whether trained handlers, dove release companies, wedding planners, or venue staff—ensures a safe and memorable experience. This careful planning creates a magical dove release, adding an unforgettable touch to the wedding day.

Pro Tips for a Memorable Wedding Dove Release

Planning to incorporate wedding doves into your ceremony? Here are some essential tips to ensure a smooth and memorable dove release:

Research Reputable Providers

Take the time to thoroughly research and vet potential dove release providers. Look for professionals with experience in handling and caring for doves, as well as a commitment to ethical practices and animal welfare. Reading reviews and seeking recommendations from other couples can help you find a reputable provider you can trust.

Communicate Your Vision

Clearly communicate your vision for the dove release with your chosen provider. Whether you have specific preferences for the number of doves, the timing of the release, or the location, sharing your vision ensures that your expectations are met and that the dove release aligns seamlessly with your overall wedding plans.

Consider Timing and Weather

Keep in mind that weather conditions can impact the safety and comfort of the doves. Extreme temperatures, strong winds, or precipitation may necessitate adjustments to your plans. Work closely with your provider to monitor the weather forecast and make any necessary changes to ensure a safe and successful release.

Prepare Your Guests

If you’re planning a surprise dove release, consider preparing your guests beforehand to enhance their experience. Including a brief explanation of the symbolism behind the release in your wedding program or ceremony officiant’s remarks can help guests understand and appreciate the significance of the moment.

Coordinate Logistics

Ensure that all logistical details are carefully coordinated leading up to the dove release. This includes arranging transportation for the doves to and from the venue, securing any necessary permits or permissions, and ensuring that the release area is suitable and safe for the birds.

Practice Makes Perfect

If possible, schedule a rehearsal or practice session with your dove release provider before the wedding day. This allows you to familiarise yourself with the process and iron out any potential issues or concerns, ensuring that the actual release goes smoothly.

Capture the Moment

Don’t forget to capture the magic of the dove release with photographs or videography. Work with your photographer or videographer to ensure that they’re prepared to capture this special moment, allowing you to cherish the memories for years to come.

By following these top tips, you can ensure that your wedding dove release is a beautiful and meaningful addition to your ceremony, creating lasting memories for you and your guests alike.

The Case for Wedding Doves

In the realm of wedding traditions, few elements evoke the same sense of timeless romance and symbolism as the release of wedding doves. While the decision to include these graceful birds in your ceremony is deeply personal, there are compelling reasons why many couples choose to embrace this tradition:


At the heart of the appeal of wedding doves lies their profound symbolism. Doves have long been associated with love, peace, and unity across cultures and centuries. Releasing them during your ceremony symbolises the beginning of your journey together as a couple, marked by love, harmony, and the promise of a shared future.

Romantic Gesture

Few moments in a wedding ceremony rival the romance of releasing wedding doves into the sky. As the doves take flight, it’s a breathtaking sight that captures the hearts of not only the couple but also their guests. The beauty and grace of the birds in flight create a magical atmosphere, elevating the ceremony to an unforgettable experience.

Photogenic Moments

From a practical standpoint, including wedding doves in your ceremony provides ample opportunities for stunning photographs. The imagery of the doves soaring against the backdrop of the sky adds a sense of grandeur and enchantment to your wedding album. These photos serve as timeless mementos, capturing the essence of your love and the magic of your special day.

Emotional Impact

The release of wedding doves has a profound emotional impact on both the couple and their guests. It’s a moment of collective awe and wonder, evoking feelings of joy, hope, and reverence. The symbolism of the doves’ flight resonates deeply with those witnessing the ceremony, leaving a lasting impression that extends far beyond the wedding day itself.

Unique Tradition

Incorporating wedding doves into your ceremony can set your wedding apart from others. It adds a unique and memorable element that guests are likely to remember fondly.

Do We Need Wedding Doves for Our Wedding

The Case Against Wedding Doves

While the tradition of releasing wedding doves may be steeped in romance and symbolism, it’s essential to consider the potential drawbacks and ethical concerns associated with this practice. Here are some reasons why couples might choose to forgo including wedding doves in their ceremony:

Ethical Concerns

Releasing doves into the wild can raise ethical considerations regarding animal welfare. While the gesture may seem symbolic of love and unity, it’s crucial to remember that these are living creatures whose well-being should be prioritised. Doves released into unfamiliar environments may struggle to survive, especially if they are not native to the area or have been bred in captivity.

Logistical Challenges

Coordinating a dove release requires careful planning and coordination to ensure the safety and well-being of the birds. From finding reputable suppliers to arranging transportation and training, the logistics involved can be complex and time-consuming.

Environmental Impact

Introducing non-native species into the environment can have unintended consequences for local ecosystems and wildlife populations. Doves released for weddings may disrupt natural habitats, compete with native species for resources, and contribute to the spread of disease.


Renting or purchasing wedding doves, along with the associated expenses such as transportation and care, can be costly. For couples on a tight budget, the expense of including wedding doves in their ceremony may not be justifiable, especially considering the ethical and environmental concerns.


There are countless alternatives to a wedding dove release that offer meaningful and memorable alternatives. From butterfly releases to unity ceremonies and personalised rituals, couples have a wide range of options to choose from that align with their values and vision for their wedding day.

Other Creative Ideas to Replace a Wedding Dove Release

While a wedding dove release can create a magical moment, it’s not the only way to add flair and symbolism to your ceremony. Consider these creative alternatives that can infuse your celebration with charm and personality:

Butterfly Release

Similar to a dove release, a butterfly release symbolises transformation and new beginnings. Delicate butterflies fluttering into the sky can add a magical touch to your ceremony.

Unity Ceremony

Instead of a live animal release, consider incorporating a unity ceremony that reflects your relationship and values. Whether it’s a sand ceremony, candle lighting, or tree planting, there are countless meaningful alternatives to choose from.

Personalised Rituals

Get creative and design a personalised ritual that holds significance for you as a couple. Whether it’s exchanging love letters, releasing lanterns into the night sky, or performing a traditional cultural ceremony, the possibilities are endless.

Color Powder Cannons

Inject a burst of vibrant colour into your ceremony with colour powder cannons. As you exchange vows or make your grand exit, guests can unleash a colourful explosion, creating a festive and visually stunning atmosphere.

Beach Balls

If you’re hosting a beach wedding or simply want to add a playful touch to your ceremony, beach balls can be a fun alternative to traditional releases. Guests can toss beach balls into the air, creating a lively and carefree ambiance.


Light up the night with sparklers for a dazzling exit or as a sparkling backdrop for your first dance. The warm glow of sparklers adds romance and whimsy to your celebration, creating stunning photo opportunities.

Rose Petals

Embrace the classic romance of rose petals by scattering them along the aisle or tossing them into the air as you walk hand in hand as newlyweds. The delicate fragrance and soft petals evoke a sense of timeless elegance and romance.

Champagne Spray

Celebrate your union in style with a champagne spray. As you toast to your future together, guests can join in the festivities by spraying champagne or sparkling wine, creating a joyful and effervescent moment of celebration.


Releasing doves at weddings is a classic tradition symbolizing love, harmony, and peace, often occurring at pivotal moments like the exchange of vows or the couple’s departure. This practice beautifully reflects the couple’s shared experiences and future aspirations. However, it requires meticulous preparation and expert coordination. Professional dove handlers or release coordinators ensure the process is carried out with precision and care.

The romantic and emotional impact of a dove release adds to its popularity, but it also presents ethical and practical challenges. Captive-bred or non-native doves may struggle to survive in the wild, potentially harming the local ecosystem. Additionally, the cost of renting or buying doves can be high. Alternatives include butterfly releases, unity ceremonies, custom rituals, color powder cannons, beach balls, sparklers, rose petals, and champagne sprays. Each alternative offers unique symbolism and adds a personal touch to the wedding, reflecting the couple’s love and ideals in a meaningful way.

Also, check out our other blogs: Is a DJ Or a Band Cheaper For a Wedding?, How Much Money Should We Gift At a Wedding?, or How To Pick The Best Entertainment For a Small Wedding for more helpful tips!

Experience the magic of your event with Melbourne Entertainment Company! From weddings, corporate event, or private party, our talented DJs, singers, and live bands promise an unforgettable atmosphere.

Content Summary

Do We Need Wedding Doves for Our Wedding?
  • Wedding doves symbolise love, peace, and unity, adding an ethereal touch to ceremonies.
  • Considering whether to incorporate wedding doves involves exploring the tradition’s significance.
Exploring the Ins and Outs of a Wedding Dove Release
  • A wedding dove release symbolises love, unity, and peace, often occurring during pivotal ceremony moments.
  • Professional dove handlers ensure the birds are well-prepared for releases, coordinating the process meticulously.
  • Researching reputable dove release providers is crucial to ensure ethical practices and animal welfare.
  • Clear communication with providers is essential, outlining preferences for the release’s timing, location, and number of doves.
  • Monitoring weather conditions is vital, as extreme temperatures or precipitation may impact the safety of the doves.
  • Trained professionals, like dove handlers or release coordinators, orchestrate the release process.
  • Couples may opt to enlist dedicated dove release companies to streamline the planning and execution.
Who Takes Charge of Releasing Wedding Doves?
  • Wedding planners or venue staff may also assist in coordinating the dove release logistics.
  • The decision to include a dove release rests with the couple, who communicate their vision and preferences.
  • Preparation and rehearsal help ensure a smooth and successful dove release on the wedding day.
  • Capturing photographs or videos of the dove release preserves the magical moment for years to come.
Pro Tips for a Memorable Wedding Dove Release
  • Researching and vetting potential providers is crucial when considering a wedding dove release.
  • Communicating preferences for the release’s timing, location, and number of doves is key to alignment.
  • Weather conditions should be monitored to ensure the safety and comfort of the doves during the release.
  • Practising with providers beforehand can help iron out any potential issues or concerns.
The Case for Wedding Doves
  • Photographers and videographers should be briefed to capture the dove release’s beauty and symbolism.
Other Creative Ideas to Replace a Wedding Dove Release
  • Butterfly releases offer a meaningful alternative to wedding dove releases, symbolising transformation.
  • Unity ceremonies, such as sand ceremonies or candle lighting, can reflect the couple’s values and relationship.
  • Personalised rituals, like exchanging love letters or performing cultural ceremonies, add unique touches to ceremonies.
  • Colour powder cannons inject vibrant bursts of colour into celebrations, creating a festive atmosphere.
  • Beach balls add a playful element to beach weddings or casual ceremonies, creating a carefree ambiance.
  • Sparklers illuminate night celebrations with a warm glow, perfect for exits or first dances.
  • Rose petals evoke timeless elegance and romance, scattering them along aisles or tossing them into the air.
  • Champagne sprays celebrate unions in style, creating joyful and effervescent moments of celebration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are wedding doves a traditional part of ceremonies?

Yes, releasing wedding doves is a tradition symbolising love, peace, and unity, dating back centuries.

Who typically orchestrates the release of wedding doves?

Trained professionals known as dove handlers or release coordinators usually handle the logistics of the release.

Do we need to hire a specific provider for a wedding dove release?

While it’s not mandatory, hiring reputable providers ensures the safety and welfare of the doves and a flawless release.

What factors should we consider when planning a wedding dove release?

Important factors include weather conditions, timing, location, and clear communication with the provider about preferences.

Are there alternatives to a wedding dove release?

Yes, alternatives such as butterfly releases, unity ceremonies, or personalised rituals offer meaningful alternatives to wedding dove releases.

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