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Wedding Doves: Why It’s Cruel & 4 Alternatives

wedding doves
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels

Wedding doves are a problematic tradition in the wedding industry, as the practice is unnecessary cruel. We'll outline some alternatives you can use here.

Doves are a symbol of love and peace, making dove releases traditional for all sorts of occasions including weddings, funerals, religious ceremonies, and more. Unfortunately, the practice of using wedding doves is cruel and harmful to the animals.

The white doves you can purchase for such ceremonies are specifically bred for dove releases. This means they spend their entire lives in a cage until you release them. Breeding and holding the doves in captivity is cruel in itself, because birds need lots of room to fly.

Furthermore, keeping these creatures in cages means they have no survival skills. Just like if you were to release an animal born in captivity into the wild, the released doves will not survive.

While the pretty pictures sell the story that the doves will fly away and live happily ever after, the reality is they will likely be hurt or killed within just a couple of days. If you want an eye-catching, beautiful moment, use one of these alternatives to wedding doves instead.

1. Flower Petals

Use flower petals instead of wedding doves.
Use flower petals instead of wedding doves.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / JillWellington)

Flower petals are a great alternative to wedding doves for several reasons. They are beautiful, romantic, and fully bio-degradable. Contact your florist to see if you can add flower petals to your existing wedding order — you can even stay with the same color scheme.

Try arranging the petals above the altar so that they can rain down after you both say “I do.” This way, you’ll get the same picturesque, loving moment that the doves would provide. Plus, the flower petals are a fun surprise for your guests.

2. Champagne Spray

Spray your front row guests and then cheers to your happily ever after.
Spray your front row guests and then cheers to your happily ever after.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels)

Spraying champagne is a great way to transition from ceremony to reception, and get the party started! This is a good alternative to wedding doves as it’s easy, affordable, and provides the same action-packed pictures full of energy. A champagne spray may also provide a more memorable moment, as you and your new spouse get can have fun and pop the cork together. 

3. Bubbles

Bubbles are fun for everyone!
Bubbles are fun for everyone!
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Alexas_Fotos)

Bubbles are cheap, easy, and super cute! They look great in photos, and they won’t mess up your hair or makeup. You can get the whole reception involved by providing everybody with their own bubble container. Once you’re officially wedded, everyone will have fun blowing their bubbles as you and your partner walk down the aisle.

This is fun for adults and children of all ages, and will make for some party favors full of memories. We recommend making your own bubble solution, or using eco-friendly, non-toxic bubbles such as these Bubble Tree bubbles which you can find on Amazon**.

4. Natural Confetti

Toss some natural confetti made of lavender in the air.
Toss some natural confetti made of lavender in the air.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / k-e-k-u-l-é)

Confetti is another great alternative to wedding doves. You and your wedding guests can toss it in the air for a fun moment that everyone gets to enjoy. There are several types of natural confettis out there, ranging from dried leaves and flowers to lavender buds. You can easily press and dry your own leaves to use as confetti, or you can use a hole punch and cut out small, confetti sized pieces of leaves from yard waste.

If you do want to go down the route of purchasing some, you could buy some lavender in bulk from a nearby lavender farm, or purchase seed paper confetti. Just remember to check with your venue before using any of the above options! 

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