Issue Date: March 2, 2006
City: New York, NY
Quantity Issued: 200,000,000
“Two Doves gliding in the air
Two loves free without a care
Two parts of a loving whole
Two hearts and a single soul.”
Doves have been a traditional wedding symbol for thousands of years. The dove represented innocence to the ancient Egyptians, love and devotion to the early Greeks and Romans, and peace and longevity to the ancient Chinese.
The Roman goddess of love, Venus, made the dove a sacred animal. A groom gave a dove to the bride to show his commitment to her and her family.
Doves are an appropriate symbol for eternal love since the birds mate for life. In recent years, releasing doves at weddings has become very popular in the U.S., both for the symbolism and for the spectacle.
Of course, the “white doves” that are released at weddings are not doves at all, but white racing pigeons. Unlike real doves, the white pigeons have a homing instinct that ensures they will return to their owners and be cared for.
The 2006 “Our Wedding” stamp features a stylized dove sitting on a branch.