File this one under “No-longer-cheesy wedding details”: dove releases. We know the thought might conjur images from ’80s rom-coms, but take it from this bride, who hired Cville Love Birds to enhance her long-awaited “I do.”
“The doves were released just as we kissed and were announced as husband and wife for the first time,” says Meryem Atkins. “I still remember our guests letting out ‘ooohhh’ and ‘woahh’ as the birds flew out from behind us.”
Cole Fairchild, 16, and his 14-year-old brother, Jude, got the birds about four years ago as “an intriguing hobby,” but quickly realized the hobby could be turned into a business. In 2016, they launched Cville Love Birds, which offers two, four or eight doves released upon request on your big day. The brothers raise and train the birds—a purebred breed of homing pigeon (“Ours come from the line of Disney Doves used in Orlando,” says Cole] that, after release, will return to the loft where they were born, sometimes from as far as 100 miles away—themselves, and handle all the logistics.
“Our first question of course was: How does this work?” says Atkins. “I was thoroughly impressed by the knowledge the boys had about doves, their migratory patterns, typical release protocol and the overall care they had taken of the birds.”
Atkins and her husband, Cameron, were married in October of 2016 at Blenheim Vineyards. Says the bride, “The dove release was one of the highlights of our wedding day!”