Doves and Butterflies
Photo © Roy Katalan
many ancient traditions, white doves have symbolized love, purity, holiness and
fidelity. There is a beauty and symbolism that is associated with both doves and
butterflies. Many couples have decided to release doves or butterflies at the
conclusion of their wedding ceremony. The winged beauties can be a unique and
memorable way to cap off your wedding.
is an Italian tradition to release a pair of white doves at the end of a wedding
ceremony. The release is meant as a symbol of the couple's love and happiness.
The bride and groom can each release a dove or they can be released from a special
basket. Your parents, children, special family members or attendants can also
be responsible for releasing the doves. Most companies provide an assistant to
help with the release. Discuss with the company providing the doves how the attendant
will be dressed. Since they will play a part in your wedding ceremony, you want
to make sure they look nice.
can be released only during daylight hours. They must be able to fly home before
it gets dark. After they are released, the doves fly home as they are trained.
They can fly about 150 miles. However, most dove releases are done about 50 miles
or less from the birds' home.
also create a beautiful display after a wedding ceremony. They are usually shipped
to you via overnight delivery to arrive the day before the event. You should store
them in a cool place to keep them in a sleeping state. (Butterfly keepers recommend
an air-conditioned room or basement). About two to four hours before the event
starts, move the butterflies to a warm, bright place so they can wake up and become
alert. They are now ready to release.
should probably assign a close friend or relative who is not in the wedding to
be in charge of caring for the butterflies before the release. This may be a special
honor bestowed on someone who couldn't be in the wedding party.
can be packaged in two ways: in a decorative box for mass release or in individual
origami envelopes for the guests to open. Up to 100 butterflies can be packaged
in one box. The boxes are usually decorated with flowers to fit the occasion.
Butterflies can also be packaged one per envelope so your guests can participate
in the release. Some popular butterflies used for release include the painted
lady, monarch and gulf fritillaries.
sure to order your doves or butterflies about two to four months before your wedding
to ensure their availability. As with any wedding service, be sure to discuss
the exact plans and prices with the provider. Make sure all of the terms are spelled
out in the contract.