Atlanta Wedding Vendor: Georgia Dove

I’m here today with Tom Reed of Georgia Dove.

Georgia Dove Photo by Pixel This

JMB: Tom, I used to be a schoolteacher, and I never once heard any kid say, “Hey, when I grow up I want to release trained white doves at weddings.” How did you get into this business?

Tom: Well, when I first graduated college, I started working as a wedding photographer. While shooting several weddings in 2011 I saw a butterfly release and several sparklers. I thought how beautiful it would be to release white doves and wondered why nobody ever released them for their wedding.

JMB: Ooh, that’s a good question — why weren’t people releasing doves at weddings? Let’s pause for a moment while our readers see if they can guess the answer.


Tom: Uh … can I tell you now?

JMB: Yes, go ahead!

Tom: After some research I discovered that people do release them for weddings, but they were not readily available in this area.

JMB Oh, okay. See, I would have thought it had something to do with the fact that the doves would fly off, and then you’d need to go find more doves for the next wedding.

Tom: Actually, after I researched a little more, I found out that they can be trained to return home. I was really intrigued and read everything I could find on the subject of raising and training doves, and I started discussing the idea with some friends.

JMB: Oh, and I bet your friends all said, “Tom, that is the coolest idea ever!”

Tom: Um, not exactly. They all told me that it was a stupid idea. So the lesson there is, “Don’t let anyone squash your dreams.” Failure is the first step to success!

Georgia Dove white dove release for weddings

JMB: Okay, so your friends weren’t supportive, but you didn’t let that stop you. Then what happened?

Tom: In February 2012, I built a small dove house and purchased a few doves. I did a little research and found a flower shop that was having an open house. So I called Design House of Flowers, explained my services and asked if I could participate in their open house. Pam invited me to set up a spot. At the open house I met Tod Peavy from DJTod and Jackie Raez from Smooth Tie The Knots. I also booked my first dove release, at Lake Lanier Island Resort.

JMB: Lake Lanier! That’s where you and I first met, when we both did Kaley and Alex’s wedding.

Tom: Right! In fact, I have a photo of their wedding right here.

Georgia Dove release at Lake Lanier wedding
Dove Release at Lake Lanier Islands


Tom: Jackie, Pam, and Tod were already on the Lake Lanier Island Preferred Vendor list. Jackie mentioned my services to the ladies at Something Blue and they asked me to give them a call. After talking with them, I was invited to participate in a food tasting they were having, and there I booked a couple additional weddings. Since my start, I have grown into a bigger loft and am excited to be on the preferred vendor list of Lake Lanier Islands and many other venues and vendors throughout Northeast Georgia.

JMB: That’s a great story, Tom! Now let’s take a couple minutes to talk about your non-dove life. For example, everybody knows I’m a big book nerd. Who’s your favorite author?

Tom: John Grisham.

JMB: Oh, John Grisham, huh? I remember I read The Firm way back when the movie came out. And then several years later I tried reading The Testament — that’s the one where the rich old man writes his entire family out of his will before jumping out the window, but I couldn’t get into it for some reason. But you know what legal thriller I really liked? Defending Jacob by William Landay. It’s about a DA whose teenage son is charged with murder, and —

Tom: I thought this interview was supposed to be about me.

JMB: Oh! I’m so sorry. I got a little carried away. {coughs} So what’s your favorite movie?

Tom: Open Range with Kevin Costner.

JMB: And do you have a guilty pleasure, Tom?

Tom: Yes — Cadbury Eggs.

JMB: Well, lucky you, because the Cadbury Eggs should be hitting the stores any day now. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today, Tom!

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