Few events at a wedding are more memorable than the surprise release of white doves! A dove release can be a unique and romantic addition to your ceremony. I’ve photographed dove releases in Orange County, CA – from churches to luxury resort properties – and have noticed the expert at these Orange County wedding locations is Pamla Wright from White Flite Dove Releases. I have been impressed with Pamla’s presence and professionalism at upscale events, and she agreed to share some insights about her uncommon and uplifting profession.
How many years have you been in business? We started in 1988, 24 years ago. That was before the Montage, St. Regis and Pelican Hill resort properties were created, and where we have done many of our more recent releases. Our first job was at a church in Laguna Beach and I remember we worked with wedding planner Judy Feenstra.
How did you get into the business? My husband is a homing pigeon racer. He has been raising homing pigeons his whole life. We started by getting 5 pairs of Rock Dove breeder birds from Nevada and began raising them.
Once we had several generations of birds trained, I contacted Karen Carpenter at the Ritz Carlton, and from that time on my business just took off (no pun intended). We’ve been featured in a lot of magazines and work with some of the best wedding planners in the business. Mine is definitely a “word” of mouth and referral business.
So for a wedding ceremony, what is the traditional meaning behind a dove release? Sometimes the bride and groom will each release one dove toward the end of the ceremony. Since doves mate for life, the gesture is symbolic of the couple staying together for life. Doves also represent peace, prosperity and longevity. And of course, they are a beautiful celebration and fanfare for guests to applaud that first kiss!
I’ve also had requests by brides for single bird releases in memory of a loved one who has passed.
What do you feel sets White Flite apart from other dove release services? Other companies basically do what we do, but our attention to detail sets us apart. We give our full attention to each client and I think discriminating brides appreciate that. We are also more experienced and have been doing this a long time.
We personally care for and train our birds from birth, and they always return to us – they have about a 70 mile radius. Many brides assume that doves are just released to fend for themselves, and don’t realize we take the care to train them to come home.
What is the most challenging request you’ve ever had? We released 150 doves at a Pelican Hill Resort wedding. It was a challenge because we needed five people to coordinate the release from five locations. I think it was one of the most spectacular releases I’ve ever done! In fact, Elysium Productions shot a great video of that dove release which we have on our website.
Another time we had to carry the birds almost a mile to get out on a rather treacherous point in Laguna Beach. But it was truly a spectacle when they took off – just stunning.
What are some common questions you get from clients?
Q: Where do the birds go when you release them? A: They always fly home.
Q: Will they poop on me? (Yes, I get this question a lot) A: No. That has never has happened.
Do you have any advice for someone considering a dove release for their wedding? It is important to know we can church weddings in addition to outdoor ceremonies. I think a dove release adds a super romantic touch to a wedding. It is a unique and meaningful statement. And the photographs are wonderful. Many of my brides tell me that the dove release was a highlight which keeps getting talked about by their guests long after the wedding.
If you’ve got your own questions for Pamla, visit her website http://www.whiteflite.com or call 949-249-1284.