Posted by Richard Rawlinson
I’ve always associated the ritual of releasing white doves with Hello!-funded weddings between footballers and the singers in girl bands. They make a cute photo-op as they flutter from their gilded cage, perfectly colour-co-ordinating with the bride’s gown. They may symbolise love, peace and faith but, at a funeral, might they may be more distracting than moving?
The White Dove Company, which operates across Greater London and the Home Counties, charges £80 for a single dove, £100 for a pair, and then £10 each for additional birds.
It assures concerned customers that its homing doves are fed like prize athletes and undergo training to help them to navigate back to their loft, which can be up to 150 miles away. It also puts minds at rest that the doves will not crap on guests as they ‘like to perch before they mess’.
However, the company warns against releasing doves in fog, rain and sub-zero temperatures. It also berates some rivals for using untrained birds which cannot find their way home.