What Is the Meaning of Wedding Doves?

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If you're looking for an artistic and heartfelt element to add to your wedding day, you may want to consider using wedding doves. The doves can be released at different times during the day to symbolize the happiness that you and your spouse feel concerning the joy of your new union.

Releasing doves is a beautiful way to end a wedding ceremony.
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White doves can symbolize the purity and innocence of the marriage relationship, since white is the color of purity. White doves can also represent something that is new, which makes the dove release very fitting for a wedding. When the doves are released, it is a physical expression off the sentiment that the bride and groom are starting a new life together innocently, and are facing the unknown together.

Bride and groom releasing doves into the air
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Some couples choose to release doves at the wedding as a sign of peace. The sentiment dates back to Biblical times, when Noah sent a dove out from the ark to make sure that the land was safe for humans to live on again after the flood. The dove is meant to be a symbol of peace in the couple's home and throughout their lives together. The bride and groom may also use doves in the wedding decorations as a way to extend peace and good wishes to their loved ones.

Doves being held by bride and groom
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If the couple wants to honor the memory of a loved who has passed away, doves can be used for this purpose during the ceremony. An image of a dove can be placed in an empty chair that represents the loved one, or projected images of flying doves can be displayed at the point in the wedding where deceased loved ones are acknowledged. If the wedding is held outdoors, live doves can be released at this time as well.

Doves to be released during wedding
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Wedding doves are also released during or after a ceremony because the birds represent fidelity. When doves find a mate, they remain with the mate for life, which is why doves are the perfect bird to include in a celebration that honors lifelong commitment. Many couples choose to release a pair of doves after they have exchanged vows in order to directly display this sentiment. White is also the color of eternity, which makes the dove release at a wedding even more fitting.

Newlyweds release doves at Blackpool, England
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White doves are a symbol of joy, and since a wedding is a joyous occasion, opening the bird's cage so that they can fly freely, or using photos of doves in the day's decor is definitely appropriate. Superstition also suggests that couples who see a pair of doves on their wedding day will have a blessed marriage, which is a wonderful sentiment for the new couple to keep in mind when starting a new life together.

Doves flying in clear blue sky
Konstantin Gushcha/iStock/Getty Images

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