The dove is the sacred animal of Aphrodite and Venus, the ancient Greek and Roman goddesses of love. In ancient times, the groom would give a dove to his bride, to symbolize he would take care of her, and their family.
Doves are known for mating for life and being monogamous. The male puffs himself up, spreads his tail feather, and does some dove dancing to attract his wife. They then dove dance together, preen each other’s feathers, and even kiss with their beaks (billing). Both the father and mother build their nest together and engage in child-rearing duties, such as sitting on the eggs for incubation. And both are even able to produce milk to provide to their young.
The dove remains a time honoured symbol of love, fidelity, and devotion at weddings. In addition, doves symbolize peace and hope for the marriage ahead. Released doves are homing birds that have an innate ability to figure out how to fly back to their home. This is a fitting symbol of ‘finding one’s home’ in one’s new life with their husband or wife.
Some ideas of ways in which doves take part in your wedding/anniversary /engagement:
•Uphold the classic tradition of the ancient Greeks and Romans: The groom hands his bride a dove- who can release it up into the sky.
•A pair of doves for each partner to hold and release together – Doves mate for life! (One of the most popular options) It is usually calming and grounding to hold a living breathing creature.
•A flock of 5 to 50 doves released outside as the couple exits or enters their venue, as an impressive display of symbolic flight. A more renewable and environmentally friendly choice than balloons, silly string, etc.
•A pair or flock of beautiful doves in a display cage to greet your guests at the entrance to your venue, at your receiving line, or as part of your outdoor décor.
•Holding doves and releasing doves included in your professional photo shoot. Or doves on display as part of your photo booth– a unique opportunity for your guests to take photos with real white doves.
•An engaging activity for guests of all ages, including children: guests have an opportunity to pet the doves with the help of a handler. They do not bite. Feel how dove feathers are as soft as icing sugar. It’s a hands-on connection to nature, tradition, and symbolism.
•A combination of the above!