I am thinking of having a dove release at the ceremony.
Has anyone done this and can you tell me how it went.
Thanks in advance.
Getting married outdoors at a park.
As a wedding coordinator I have had couples release doves (actually pigeons) numerous times. Because doves will die once released, white homing pigeons are actually used for the release.
The release can be done a couple of ways. You might choose to have only two birds. If you do, at the end of the ceremony, you and your groom will each be handed a dove, which you will release together. If you prefer not to hold the birds, then you might rent a group of birds, ranging from 2 dozen to 70 or 80. At a designated time, someone, often the maid of honor and best man, will open the cage and the birds will fly.
It is particularly nice to keep the birds out of sight until the release as a surprise for your guests. To do so, the cages are positioned behind a bush or in another spot behind the guests. The person who brings the birds will choose the spot based on the open space and the direction the birds will fly. A lead bird will rise up and circle to get its bearings, then the flock will follow it. You need to release the birds in an area where they are not confused by trees, tents, gazebos, or other items that would prevent them from quickly ascending into the air.
The release lasts only a few seconds, but it can be very dramatic when it occurs if you have a number of birds. If you have only two birds, then it becomes a more romantic moment.
The cost of the birds varies by the color and by where you live. In my area, we can rent 2 dozen birds in metal cages for about $75 or we can rent 50 or more birds in wicker baskets for $250, so be sure to check around to find out exactly what you will get.
I have seen it done quite a few times in our area. Usually two low, white cages are placed under white lace cloths on either side of the front area. The handlers let them go at the end of the entire ceremony, as the bride and groom are ready to go down the aisle or as/just after the minister introduces them. It is beautiful as they fly up, circle 380 degrees over the area, and then fly home. Kind of a nice finish to it all. The birds are placed before the guests arrive, and so it is a surprise to everyone. I would guess about 20-30 birds in all.
BE CAREFUL!! I WAS GOING TO DO THAT, AND FOUND A SITE ON THE NET AND CHECKED THE MILEAGE "AS THE CROW FLIES", AND DISCOVERED THE BIRDS WOULD HAVE TO FLY 173 MILES TO GET HOME...NEEDLESS TO SAY, I OPTED FOR BUTTERFLIES. THEY TELL YOU THE BIRDS DON'T HAVE TO FLY VERY FAR OR THAT'S WHAT THEIR TRAINED FOR SO THEY'LL BE OK. YOU MIGHT WANT TO TYPE IN "MILEAGE AS THE CROW FLIES", AND SEE WHAT YOU COME UP WITH. YOU CAN PUT IN STARTING AND ENDING LOCATIONS TO CHECK OUT THE MILEAGE.