The ducks, when facing each other, represent happiness in the home. My parents gave us these wedding ducks. They are supposed to have a hand-carved look to them. Also, there’s something about them mating for life.

Here’s the story we included in our wedding program:

The wedding ducks symbolize three things: Peace, family, and fidelity.

Traditionally, while working, the duck carver prays in his heart that generous portions of true happiness and good fortune will bring peace, prosperity and family (just as the duck has many eggs) to the bride and groom.

When it is time for the wedding, the duck is wrapped with different colors of cloths (except the neck). At the end of the wedding, the bride and groom bow to the groom’s mother and father, then the groom’s mother throws the ducks to the apron of the bride. According to tradition, catching the duck means a boy as the first child.

Next, the groom’s mother throws several handfuls of red dates to the outspread apron of the bride. They symbolize a healthy future.

Finally, the mother of the groom throws chestnuts to the bride to catch, symbolizing good health and a strong family.

The ducks are carried to the home of the newlyweds and are displayed where they can easily be seen, as a reminder of a harmonious wedding and the promise a happy life together.

Tradition, smatrition.

Sometimes, at least traditionally, there’s a ribbon tied around female duck’s beak to represent silence as a virtue. As you can see, we did NOT include that part in our wedding program!

Also, back in the day, choosing the carver of the ducks was a big deal as well. The carver was chosen because they were a good friend, in good health, and a good person. While carving, this person is supposed to think good thoughts about peace, happiness, prosperity and all that good stuff for the couple. Also, the carver is only supposed to do this once in a lifetime since they are passing along some of their virtues to the couple, via the ducks. So nice! (And yes, I left out parts about how the carver is also supposed to be wealthy, have a bunch of sons and have a healthy wife, etc).

Ours weren’t carved by some guru (that we know of), but these are modern times. One tradition we did keep: they’re passed down from mother to daughter, as ours were.

So, that’s what’s up with all the ducks in my photos!