Pigeon racer Brian Kelly had the perfect business opportunity land in his coup when two doves arrived one day.
But he didn’t realise it until he attended a funeral and decided to take them along.
Brian, of Mallard Hurn in Donington, said: “I thought I would take the doves and let them go there, but when I got home they had flown back to the coup.
“I thought I could do something with this – no-one else was doing dove release in the area and when we let the doves go at the funeral it was such an emotional moment I could see others might like it too.”
That was five years ago and Brian has now set up Dream Doves, with his coup expanding to 120 birds.
He attends weddings, anniversaries and birthdays as well as funerals.
Inspiration for the use of doves at funerals was taken from Psalm 56, verse six, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest’.
Brian said: “It gets very emotional but it means a lot to families to be able to do this.”
Releasing doves at a wedding is becoming very popular. While the wedding takes place the doves are kept in special white baskets, which add to the setting.
Releasing the doves is often left to the bride. Brian said: “Quite often the grooms are not sure – they tend to let the brides hold them and just touch their hands while they do it.
“But the brides love it – they kiss the dove’s head and then release it into the air. It’s always a special moment.”
Find Dream Doves on Facebook or call 01775 821451.