Frequently asked Questions
White Dove Release


Here are some of my "Doves in Training" in their Dovecote

What Happens On The Day?

The Dove Handler will arrive approximately 30 minutes before the Wedding ceremony is due to start, and will talk to the photographer about the release.  As the Bride and Groom leave the Church or Wedding venue, the handler will step forward and depending on what type of release it is, will present the doves to the Bride and Groom.

Are they Pigeons or Doves?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions - the birds raised and trained by Love–a–Dove and other Dove Release Services, are white Rock Doves or Columba Livia, often called Homing Pigeons, as these are the only type of Doves which can be released which will return to their Dovecote.  The birds are trained to return home to their loft, where food and their mates are waiting for them.

What Happens to the Doves after they are released?

The Doves "home" naturally, and will circle together in the air a couple of times in a beautiful formation to get their bearings. They will then follow their natural instinct which is to fly back to where they live, their home loft, where their family and friends are waiting and they’ll have a bath and be fed.  The Dove's homing ability is not completely understood, but it is thought that they use the earth's magnetic field, their sense of smell, their eye-sight and memory, and the position of the sun, to find their way home.

How far can the Doves fly?

Racing Pigeons can fly thousands of kilometres, and trained Wedding Doves are able to return to their loft from events up to a hundred miles away, however, most of our Doves are young birds and are still learning, and so we only release them within 10 kilometres of home.  

What would happen if I release doves that I bought from the pet store?

Releasing Ring-neck, Diamond or Magician’s doves is cruel because they don’t have any homing instinct. They are bred in captivity, accustomed to having their food and water supplied. If you purchased them and released them, they are likely to fly to a nearby tree or roof top and then survive as long as they can before they starve or become prey to predators.

Will the birds make a mess?

Our doves are washed, cleaned and all spruced up before we take them out to a Wedding or Funeral.  We monitor their feeding, but there is a small possibility that they will ... leave droppings!  After all, they are real live animals. However, this rarely happens, and we always bring supplies to clean up any mess that they might make.  And besides, it is considered "lucky" to get bird droppings on you, on your wedding day!

What happens if it rains and the Doves cannot be released?

Although we want you to have a wonderful White Dove Release, the welfare and safety of the Doves is of the utmost importance to us, so if we decide the weather is not good enough for the Doves to be released (too windy, rainy, foggy or snowy) we will not release the birds and your money for the release will be fully refunded.  When Doves are released in the rain, their feathers become saturated and they cannot fly, and even if they can fly and return home, they often develop pneumonia and die.

When can the birds be released?

The birds are usually released following the wedding ceremony, the birds can be released outside the church or venue in place of rice or confetti. During an outdoor, Beach or Garden Wedding Ceremony the Doves can be released at the time of your choice, either during the ceremony, or afterwards.  For the safety of the birds, they can only be released during daylight hours, up to one hour before sunset. We cannot allow them to fly during darkness or rain.

When could Doves be released?

White Doves are a special and unique way to celebrate Weddings, Funerals & Memorials, Christenings, Anniversaries, Valentines Day, Proposals, Family Reunions, Mother or Fathers’ Day, Grand Openings or any special event.

Recent Articles

  1. London, Ontario Wedding, August 11 2018

    Aug 14, 18 11:05 AM

    Our doves went to a wedding at the First Baptist Church in London, Ontario, on Saturday - 4 were displayed and 2 were released. They looked beautiful,

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  2. The Doves taking a bath - check out our Facebook page!

    Jul 30, 18 10:23 AM

    The doves were taking a bath - they want to be snowy-white for the next wedding!

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  3. Our doves flying

    Oct 08, 17 09:21 PM

    Here are our doves coming home from a recent wedding. I love the way the white doves show up so beautifully against the grey clouds.

    Read More