Pigeons releases can make weddings unique

Amber Armstrong

Amber Armstrong

White pigeons are considered by many to be a sign of purity, holiness, fidelity and love. That’s be why advertising journalism sophomore Katie Sauck started her own white homing pigeons business, Wedding Wings, four years ago.

Sauck releases pigeons during weddings and funerals. The wedding couple can choose to release either 10 or 20 birds. Sauck says the bride usually picks 20 birds to be released because it looks better and has more substance. She says sometimes the bride and groom choose to release one together, or they will have each member of the bridal party release a bird. The birds generally circle the church a few times and head home to the farm.

“Each release is really breathtaking. I know it makes the wedding really unforgettable,” says Sauck.

Most of the time the birds she releases return to the farm, but there have been a few times the birds never came back. Sauck says because she has so many birds, it’s not that big of a deal if she loses a few.

To train the pigeons, she releases them about half a mile from her family’s farm and continues to increase the distance until the birds know their way back. Now, 45 of her birds can find their way back within a 100 mile radius of the farm. Sauck also says that if she releases some untrained pigeons along with the trained ones, the untrained birds will follow the experienced birds back home.

Sauck began her business her sophomore year of high school in Truman, Minn., for an FFA project and has been doing it ever since. She started out with just two birds that she bought at a swap meet, and is now up to 70 pigeons. While Sauck is away at school, her dad takes care of the birds.

White homing pigeons have been known as symbolic creatures throughout history. The Egyptians thought of them as bringing peace and innocence. The Chinese saw them as a symbol of long life. Even the Greeks and Romans saw white pigeons as a symbol for love and devotion. The legacy of white pigeons has stayed among us and continues to bring a sense of peace and love, even today.