Dove releases are a wonderful way to celebrate the love that joins you. Inserted into the ceremony after the kiss, the symbolism of the two doves winging off together into the clouds is a wonderful visual representation of everyone’s wishes for you. If you use this small ceremony, forever after when you see doves, you will remember your beloved, the promises you made and the joy you have in one another’s company.
Here are some things about doves that can deepen the meaning of your wedding vows and empower your marriage. If you incorporate some or all of these into your vows, you’ll live more happily in marriage. I will say that I haven’t seen a lot of poetry or prose about the doves that isn’t terribly romantic. If you’re a less flowery person, you may have to do some writing yourself, or get your officiant to help you.
- Doves mate for life. Not a lot more to say about that!
- When they’re in the cage together, they spend a lot of time preening and cooing. Physical contact, not only lovemaking (though of course also lovemaking), is an important component to keeping the marriage vital. Touch one another, rub one another’s feet, go get a cup of tea (or even a beer) for one another. And it’s not only about giving comfort and being solicitous; it’s about being willing to receive those things as well. Don’t shut yourself off from your lover. Giving and receiving little acts of kindness, repeated, add wonderful strength to a marriage. And enjoyment!
- When they leave the cage, it takes them a while to get their bearings, and then they head off in the same direction, but each on his or her own flight path. One person can’t make a marriage. Marriage depends on the strength of the individuals to create a strong marriage. This is why the notion of one-ness is misleading. Your strengths may complement your beloved’s (ok, and sometimes war with theirs), you may even be able to compensate for a lack of strength for some amount of time, but, in the long run, you must each hold your own. Watching the doves take off leaves no illusions that both birds are beautiful and powerful.
- They are beautiful. All hearts are beautiful. Even if your physical body is not strong, your spirit soars. To reap the benefits of marriage, you must allow yourselves to soar in one another’s company.
- They clearly enjoy the flight. You’re committing yourselves to one another for the long haul. Why not commit yourself not only to the work and the struggle, but also to the fun and frivolity involved in sharing a life. Laughter and pleasure make the time fly by and give you resources for when life is difficult.
- As a memorial. You can have a caged dove sitting in the chair of where the loved one would be, and during the remembrance, you can open the cage and allow the dove to be released.
The doves are eager to fly home (which they do very quickly, people won’t usually take their birds more than an hour from home) because dinner is waiting. So you don’t need to worry about bird poop! (and who wouldn’t!) And these days most handlers simply have you open the doors and not touch the birds, so the birds don’t get nervous. You want to make sure that your symbols of happiness are well treated!