Weddings, White Doves, and Butterflies
- Author John Hankinson
- Published September 11, 2011
- Word count 1,014
Spring and summer are still the most popular times of the year for a wedding. Spring is a time of new life and new beginnings, summer a time of warmth and brightness. In this respect both symbolise the union of marriage perfectly - when Mother Nature is in full bloom; and the cold days and nights of winter now just a faded memory.
Wedding ceremonies have not changed very much over the ages. We’ve stuck with the customs and traditions of old. They have not been updated to suit current trends and fancies, they are cherished and have endured; but sometimes with our own personal touches added. Something a little bit special, something you have inspired. Theme weddings have been enjoyed by many happy couples in recent years, with choices available that range as far as your imagination and budget can stretch. Underwater, up close to the dolphins, on top of a mountain (but the breathing equipment does spoil the taking of the vows), dressed as a knight in shining armour, or 5000ft up in a hot air balloon, no problem; there’s someone out there who can cater to your desires. There are a couple of ideas around that you do not see too often, which are beautiful, have symbolic meaning; and embrace nature and the world around us.
White dove release weddings
Traditionally, white doves symbolise peace, love and fidelity. Doves mate for life and it is seen as a lucky omen to release a pair of doves at a wedding ceremony. This is not a new idea and the tradition goes back many years. Greeks, Romans, ancient Christians: all embraced white doves in various religious ceremonies.
The release of doves during a wedding ceremony is a moving experience, perfectly suited to the overall mood of the day and the meaning of marriage. The doves can be released at various times during the wedding day. It looks very attractive to have a dove either side of the entrance in a white or gilded cage as the guests and witnesses are arriving. They can then be released by the newlyweds as they exit the ceremony to the cheers of well wishers and family. Many people release the doves during the photo session after the vows; if the reception is held outside they can be released at the cutting of the cake. Such moments make wonderful photographs. Doves, bred for this purpose, have the homing instinct so there is no need to worry about them finding their way home. Dove release suppliers can be found up and down the country and can advise on all aspects of this very charming and popular addition to wedding day arrangements. The cost of dove release, compared to the other wedding day costs we incur on this most special of days, is surprisingly small; you might be pleasantly surprised.
Butterfly release weddings
The German poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe said of butterflies that they are "products of air and light". Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats and Shelley all derived inspiration from the grace and beauty of butterflies. In China, the butterfly is a symbol of everlasting love. Hindu mythology also makes reference to butterflies: while watching the change from egg and caterpillar to chrysalis and the final emergence of the butterfly, Brahma, the God of creation became filled with a deep sense of calm and was convinced the path to perfection was through rebirth.
Native North American Indian legend says that anyone who desires a wish to come true must capture a butterfly and whisper the wish to it. As butterflies have no voice, nor make any sound, they can’t reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit. By making your wish and releasing the butterfly it will be carried to the heavens and the wish will be granted. They carry your hopes for the future.
Butterfly release at weddings is very popular is popular in the USA and, although little heard of elsewhere, it is an idea that is quickly catching on amongst engaged couples who seek something unique, and who are more attuned with nature and the environment. Many countries, including the UK, prohibit the release of animals into the wild which are not normally resident. Monarch butterflies for example are generally only found in a handful of countries (United States, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and a couple of the South Sea Islands), and are the variety of choice in the USA; but their release would be prohibited by law in many countries. Fortunately, there are other beautiful varieties to choose from.
A new life created just for you
The lifespan of butterflies varies amongst the species from a matter of days to a few weeks. The Painted Lady, the small Tortoise Shell variety, and Red Admirals have an average lifespan of several weeks, are ideal for wedding day release, and will be quite at home when set free. They will bring a rainbow of colour and charm to your most special of days. One of the appeals of butterfly release is the fact that they are bred specifically for your big day, almost as if you have created this wonderful life; and it is you and your loved one who will set them free!
Specialist butterfly breeders will supply these beautiful little creatures to you, and take pride in the small part they play in making your day extra special and memorable. Butterflies aren’t sitting around in a cage waiting for someone to hopefully pop by and buy a bag full. Rather, they must be pre-ordered; just as we would order our treasured wedding rings in advance, or our bridal gowns and wedding suits. Butterflies for wedding release are delivered the day before or on the big day.
Butterflies for wedding day release are not terribly expensive; with a memorable display costing far less than the cost of the average wedding cake.
May your wish come true?
Just remember, on that special day, when releasing either doves or butterflies, make your once in a lifetime wish. You never know, it may come true!
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