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DIY Wedding Journal 1: 1,000 Paper Cranes

So, I am here today with my first DIY Wedding Journal! to put it simply, wedding planing went from 0-100 really fast, which is 100% my doing so at least there is that haha.

First off, you wouldn’t believe how many people ask you when the wedding is (un-ironically) the very same day you get engaged. For us, it was enough that we almost felt like we missed some memo that the wedding was supposed to be planned before the engagement haha.

While we were in Paris, I didn’t even start to think about wedding planning yet, which was nice because I didn’t want to be distracted from our trip. I honestly didn’t even think I would start any amount of the process till next year since the holidays are coming up, but it seems as if I didn’t know myself well enough.

If you know me, you will know that I get really into planning things and getting lost in every detail of research, I love it, even if it makes me feel a bit crazy sometimes.

With that being said, while thankfully we completely avoided jetlag upon our arrival to Paris, we were not so fortunate when we got home. Unfortunately, we both got sick during the trip so we didn’t have the energy or will power to force ourselves into a normal human sleep schedule. So for 5 days we were complete hermits, wide awake at odd hours long enough to play Luigi’s Mansion, and then sleeping whenever we got tired. This pattern had my mind SO far from even thinking about the wedding.

Ah but then the fog cleared, we both went back to work and started sleeping at normal hours and it was like a switch flipped and I went back to being my overly prepared self once again, needing to figure out every single minor detail before…..nothing? There is no risk involved whatsoever with me taking my time, so the feeling of urgency is just a figment of my imagination mostly haha.

My best guess is that I probably literally did 40 hours of research in 1 week…you know… like it was my job…like a normal person. Well, if those 40 hours taught be anything, it’s that (in at least California) if you want any amount of a “traditional” wedding, it’s pretty difficult to do it for anything that I would consider a reasonable price for a 6 hour party. As I started to realize the our budget would have to go up much higher than I anticipated, my immediate though was ” How can I make a mostly bare bones venue look super nice for cheap?”

I think it is going to take me quite some time to really come up with cohesive decor that I can mostly DIY, but there was one thing I knew I could do very early on, which was the 1,000 Paper Crane Tradition!

If you haven’t heard of it before, it is derived from a Japanese Legend in which it was believed that an individual who folds 1,000 paper cranes was told to be granted a wish from a god. There are several variations of how people use this traditional in modern times, one of which being a symbol for good luck and happiness in a marriage if you make 1,000 cranes for your wedding.

Neither of us are very religious, but we knew early on that we wanted to researched different traditions or symbolic ceremonial practices from different cultures and see if any of them felt like they would be meaningful to us.

This specific tradition caught my attention right away for several reasons, but I also enjoyed that it was crafty, because you know I love crafts haha. It also happened to fall right into my quest for creating decor elements that would be beautiful, but not break the bank.

The second I would tell anyone that this was something I wanted to do, most of them would stay on the side of ” Wow are you sure?” or ” Wow, you’re crazy”. If we were doing a 6 month engagement, sure it might be a little too ambitious, but we have 2 years, so I’m pretty positive I can pull it off.

It’s interesting because I get intimidated by crafts if they are too time consuming, but one of the original things that drew me to this tradition was the appeal of making something everyday. I figure if I make at least one crane a day, a couple extras when I have the time, I can do 1,000. While i love the idea of routines, I don’t actually have a standard one. I don’t have many specific activities that I do every single day, and the thought of trying to discipline myself to have the one extra task that I have to do everyday and slowly watch myself get better at really spoke to me.

I honestly have no idea why, but very early on, I subconsciously decided that planning this wedding was going to be a big opportunity to grow as a person. While Nick is completely in the loop of everything and i’m not making any decisions without him, I have taken on the role of leading 99% of the planning responsibilities.

Generally in my life, when I am working for someone else, I can put on my business face whenever need be, but when I am doing things for myself I tend to be more shy and well, a push over. I used to accept that about myself, but I have had a a big push lately in my life to know that I need to be more assertive and I think that wedding planning is going to be the best experience to learn that skill. SO I figured what better way to set the mood for the whole journey than to have my first wedding craft be one that is about discipline at its core.

SO, as I write this, I currently have about 50 cranes, so i’m not quite doing 1 a day considering I started these about 5 days ago, and i’m so sure my crane rate will slow down, but for now i’m not doing too shabby.

I am making my cranes out of regular printer paper and 4″ X 4″ squares, which means that I need to cut them to that size, and let me tell you, this little guy has been my best friend for this. If you don’t have origami paper, having something to keep your cuts straight, the right size and your hands from falling off from using scissors too much, using a paper cutting tool like this is a life saver.

I thought about making my own paper crane tutorial video for this, but let’s be honest, there are already so many and mine won’t be any better than the ones already out there (my cranes are still pretty wonky even after making 50). So here is the video I followed to learn how to make a simple paper crane.

You may be thinking, Okay 1,000 cranes, but what are you going to do with them?? My current plan is the do the same thing that is currently pretty popular, which is making a “wall” of cranes, by stringing several of them together in separate strands and have them hang down nest to each other form a kind of wall like such…

Obviously I am still in the beginning stages of this DIY, but I can’t wait to see it and share it when it is done!

Blog · DIY Wedding Journals · DIY Wedding Journals

DIY Wedding Journals

Hey guys!

It has been quite a while hasn’t it?? Well I have many reasons for that, one of them being that Nick and I recently got Engaged! and then went to Paris! I shall proceed to disperse my favorite photos from the trip throughout this post for your viewing pleasure!

I’m not going to lie, since crafting has become such an integral part of my life and identity, I have DREAMED of having a wedding for the past few years! Now of course that thrill of planning and crafting a wedding has been a roller coaster. Forever rising to the highest peaks of creative energy and then plunging into the depth of feeling completely overwhelmed by all of the creative options you have (not to mention how much they cost). Yes, if you read into that properly, I was overwhelmed by planning an imaginary wedding before I even got engaged. If that doesn’t scream Samantha I don’t know what does.

I have been with Nick for about 5 years and we have been through so much together, our relationship is very special and important to me. I know that sometimes wedding planning is exciting to brides because of the joy of planning a party. Although I do thoroughly enjoy the planning side of things, even when I have the nights where I fall into the rabbit whole of color Palettes and Chiffon vs. Organza, I still feel very grounded in not losing sight that it isn’t just a big party, but celebrating a union with someone that means a lot to me. I plan to keep that mindset the whole time.

Just in my short experience with beginning wedding planning I can see how it is really easy to get caught up in feeling obligated to do things a certain way, but no matter how many people are pressuring you to do the wedding their way, I can already see that it is super important to not let traditions and other peoples vision (unless it’s your partner) tell you what your wedding has to be.

VERY surprisingly to me, I actually have a pretty solid idea of what I want this wedding to be. This is surprising because when I was planning imaginary weddings, I often felt overwhelmed by just how many different visual styles you can focus on, throw in the factor of trying to have your vision be cohesive and it feels like a recipe for disaster. However, when the imaginary wedding became a reality, it felt like I quickly became so much more decisive , which is unheard of for me, but I love it.

Now I will be honest, there is nothing wrong with how much any individual wishes to have their wedding cost. In my most whimsical moments, had the gull to look at how much a Disney Wedding would cost, and even uttered the words ” it’s not that much” (it was that much by the way). Would I love to have a magical fairytale wedding? Absolutely. Will I have one? Actually yes, but on my terms, it doesn’t have to be a $1 Million dollar wedding for me to be happy and think our wedding is beautiful.

Planning events isn’t the only thing that I get a crazy high from, but actually budgeting and trying to find deals as well. Honestly this probably stems from trying to be overly prepared and maybe a little controlling, but I will take it if it leads to me being smart with my finances!

What is my favorite way of saving money you ask? Unsurprisingly it is always going to be a good DIY project. Now there are times when a DIY ends up being actually more expensive, but it you play your cards right and most importantly are willing to put the time in, there seems to be lots of fun things you can do with wedding decor yourself! Again, I can already tell that it is really important to pick your battles strategically.

With all of that being said. While we are trying to lock down a date and venue as soon as possible, we don’t actually plan on having the wedding till 2021. That will be about 2 years of my life working on the wedding, and while i’m eager to get married, i’m not upset about the timeline.

I have a lot of ideas for ways to get crafty for the wedding just within a little over a week of planning, so i’m sure I will come up with a lot in the next 2 years. Because this is going to be such an important and creative time in my life, I wanted to have a sort of journal for me, to look back on all of my thoughts and ideas throughout the process, as well as a resource for other people.

Now I know there is no shortage of wedding planning resources out there and this is going to be anything super comprehensive, but just some DIY projects that I end up working on for this whole process. Some will be super simple or just informative, and others will be too ambitious haha but it’s a journey! If anyway chooses to follow me along on this journey, i hope you have fun!