Two White Dove Ceremony:
During the wedding ceremony and after the exchange of rings, we begin the Two White Dove Ceremony.
Outdoor Wedding: When you are asking the Lord’s blessing on your wedding and your marriage I can say: “The dove is the universal symbol of peace, joy and love. In the bible we read that after Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended upon Jesus and the voice of the Father from heaven was heard from above—‘This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.’”
While holding one white dove taken from the small white heart shaped basket, I could say, “Those of you who know and love Mary(the bride) and John(the groom) know without a doubt that their Father in Heaven is well pleased with them this day. These two birds will travel home together just as Mary and John have promised to travel this journey of life home together.”
As one dove is placed in Mary’s hands and the other in John’s, I could ask your guests: “Will you join with me in with your best wishes and prayers that this journey of life that Mary and John begin today as husband and wife will be one of joy, peace and love.” You both raise your hands and release your dove.
At the end of the ceremony, the wedding guests stand. You and your groom turn towards your guests. The officiant would say, “It is my pleasure to present to you for the very first time Mr. and Mrs.______.” Immediately thereafter, the two baskets, with 20 white doves in each basket, open on both sides of the wedding party and the 20 white doves from each side fly up and cross in front of you…you begin your recession to the applause of your guests.
In the case of a wedding in a church or chapel: The dove ceremony, the “two bird release”, includes the release from the two baskets of 20 white doves is performed as your guests await you to exit the building.
In the case of a secular wedding: After the exchange of the rings and prior to handing one white dove to the bride and the other to the groom, I could say: “Historically, the Dove is the symbol of peace, joy and love. Today we celebrate the peace, joy and love that has brought (the bride) and (the groom) together in marriage. They know that these doves will fly home together…just as they will travel this life together. Will you join with me—your prayers and best wishes that their lives together will be one of beauty and great happiness.”*
What I say regarding the symbolism of the doves could be modified as per the wishes of the bride and groom.