Blog · DIY Wedding Journals

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!