Is a white bird the same as a dove?

We use the term “dove” to describe our beautiful birds. The dazzling white birds we release are actually white homing pigeons. Homing pigeons and doves are birds that are descended from the Rock Dove or Columba livia domestica. These intelligent birds are born with the natural instinct to return home safely when they are released. These wonderful birds have been in collaborative partnerships with people throughout world history. White doves represent purity, joy, hope, fidelity, and truth and are a spiritual symbol for many.

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What will happen on the day of my event?


An appropriately dressed attendant will bring the pure white doves to your wedding site prior to the end of your ceremony. The bird(s) will arrive in a cage (or multiple cages, depending on the number of birds), beautifully decorated in your wedding colors. They will be waiting for you outside. The attendant will consult with the photographer, videographer, and wedding coordinator in positioning the bird(s) to achieve the best possible presentation and optimum photos and video of your release.

When your photographer/videographer is ready, a quote of your choosing will be read by your officiant or the person you have designated. Then you or someone you designate will open the cage door.

To the delight of you and your guests, these wondrous creatures will make their way in up into the sky, winging their way home. Following the release the attendant will remove the cage.

In order for our decorated cages to coordinate with your wedding colors, you can Contact Us for instructions on how to send a small sample of the color(s) you would like the decorated cages to match. For example, you may wish to match the flowers or the bridesmaids’ dresses.



Doves can be released at the funeral home, place of worship, or cemetery. The beautiful white bird(s) you have requested will arrive in a basket at the time and location you have indicated. A personalized plaque and bookmarks displaying the name of the deceased will be given to you as keepsakes. As the officiant or person of your choice reads the final words of the plaque, the lid of the basket is lifted and the pure white dove will take flight. A white dove soaring into the sky is a memorable tribute to your loved one and provides a measure of comfort for those witnessing this symbol of peace.

Additional birds are available upon request.

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Do I get to keep the cages?

The cages and baskets are the property of Winged Occasions.

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What areas do you service?

We release our birds up to 50 miles away from our home near Flat Rock, Michigan, 48134.

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How many birds can I have at my event?

We have approximately 50 birds available for release. The number of birds for your event is up to you. More information on the pricing of extra birds can be found in our online store.

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How soon should I make my reservation for a release at my event?

Please make your reservation as soon as possible. We request 24 hours for a funeral release and two weeks for a wedding release. Many events are booked as early as six months in advance.

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What is the procedure to reserve my date?

To reserve your event date please call us at 734-782-3827, or e-mail us at wingedoccasions@hotmail.com. You can also submit your date on our Contact Us page.

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Can I have a family member release the bird(s)?

Anyone you choose can release the bird(s). This can be a wonderful place to include a special person that you want to make a part of your event.

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Can we release the bird(s) indoors?

The bird(s) can only be released outdoors.

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Where do the birds go after they are released?

Our specially-trained white homing pigeons have been hatched and raised in lofts in our backyard near Flat Rock, Michigan. It is their natural instinct to return home to their loft after being released.

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How do the birds know how to go home?

Returning home is an instinct that homing pigeons are born with. Along with careful training, there are many theories as to how the birds know exactly how to come home. Many scientists believe the pigeons use their sense of smell, sight, and hearing. In addition, it is thought birds may depend on the position of the sun and the magnetic fields of the earth to navigate home.

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How late in the day can we release the doves?

It is dangerous for the birds to fly in the dark. Therefore, we schedule releases at least an hour before sunset to allow the birds time to complete their journey from your event site to their loft in our backyard.

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What happens if it rains?

While we make every attempt to release the doves, Winged Occasions will not endanger our beautiful white birds. If it rains, or other inclement weather occurs and the birds cannot be released, you will receive a full refund.

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What is your cancellation policy?

If you, the customer, cancels a release at least 14 days prior to your event, your payment will be fully refunded.

We will make every effort to release the birds as planned. However, please know that our birds are precious to us and we will not endanger them. If inclement weather such as rain, high winds, sleet, snow, or hail prevents a release, you will receive a full refund.

It is dangerous for our birds to fly at night. We will only schedule a release at a time of day that allows the birds an hour of daylight to return home. Distance is a factor. If your wedding runs late or the release time is delayed beyond that time, the birds will NOT be released and your money will NOT be refunded.

Winged Occasions reserves the right to make all decisions regarding the cancellation of a release.

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