1000 Paper Origami Cranes (or at least 325)

I’m sharing the last of my wedding project posts throughout the month of October in celebration of our one year wedding anniversary! For more wedding related projects check out our Wedding Fun tab.

Tom and I both have a varied ethnic background, and we wanted to try to incorporate little bits of our heritages in our wedding.  From our Italian rehearsal dinner followed with Norwegian dessert cookies, to the Irish soda bread being served on Sunday morning, we tried to add additional meaning to the food we chose to serve our guests.  But I think the most obvious nod we gave to either of our ethnicity’s was the paper crane display in our cocktail tent.  And I’ve got the thumb calluses to prove it!

There are various interpretations of the significance of folding paper origami cranes in the Japanese culture, but they mostly come down to wishing good luck or happiness to either the person that folds the cranes, or the person that receives the cranes.  These traditions have crept into American culture, and seeing paper cranes at weddings has become someone commonplace (or at least in the wedding blogoshpere).  

I decided when we got engaged I wanted to try to fold as many cranes to hang from the ceiling of our cocktail tent at our wedding as I could.   To be perfectly honest, I knew I would never get to 1,000, but I figured it was the thought that counted and it would also be a great way to inject color and whimsy into an otherwise plain tent.  I looked up a few methods online, and got to folding.  Since you need a square shape, I decided to go with 12 x 12 scrapbook paper in various shades of yellow, gray and teal instead of having to trim 8 x 11 construction paper.  I also occasionally picked up wrapping paper that matched our color scheme and cut out my own squares.  At the end of the year of folding, I ended up with 3 full garbage bags of cranes, which came out to be about 325 cranes.

My MOH and SIL-to-be spent and afternoon using large sewing needles to string up 2 – 4 cranes to bakers twine and affixed them to hangers to keep them in order.  Then once the tent guys had the cocktail tent up, they helped me string them up on one long piece of heavy fishing line.  

Lots of people took a few home after the wedding which was nice to see. They were certainly a labor of love, but I think they brought a big impact to an easily forgotten area of the wedding. 

I love this shot at night with the tents all lit up…


Seating Charts and Place Cards!

I’m sharing the last of my wedding project posts throughout the month of October in celebration of our one year wedding anniversary! For more wedding related projects check out our Wedding Fun tab.

When you are planning your wedding, you picture the last few weeks to be filled with bridal party brunches and afternoons at the spa and manicures with your friends and those last five pounds that you wanted to lose just magically melt away while you sip on champagne at your final dress fitting.

And then reality sets in. You’ve got two weeks left, people keep changing their RSVPs, which is making it impossible for you to plan your seating chart, or finalize your bill with the rental company and catering company, and the weather channel is predicting rain on the day of your outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour. Oh and just four days before the wedding, an unseasonably early frost kills every flowering plant in your parents yard that was planted specifically to bloom at the wedding (by the way, asking for pity when you are buying every last flowering plant at Lowes can get you a decent discount in the gardening section!). Everything you carefully planned in the past months is basically getting thrown out the window and you find yourself coming up with Plan B and Plan C and Plan D.

All of that would stress out many a bride. It definitely stressed me out (and may have actually help me lose those last few pounds that week).  But luckily we all got through it together, but not without some creative thinking and lots of flexibility.

When Tom and I first discussed our vision for our wedding, we were both pretty set on the idea of just a few long banquet tables – we wanted our guests to feel like they were sitting at a giant dining room table, a community table, passing around plates of food and enjoying one another’s company. I knew I wanted to assign specific seating at our large tables (25 – 30 people per table).

Since a lot a people had to change their RSVPs for various reasons, we had to play around with the seating a lot to try to keep family with family, friends with friends, etc. I ended up buying a set of menu stamps from Papersource and some antiqued tags from Etsy.  We stamped everyone’s meal onto one side and hand wrote their name and spot to leave their table number on other.

Then I hung up pieces of paper in the layout of our reception tent and loosely taped the name tags up, making it easy to switch them around.  

We tied the name tags to our favors that would be left at each place setting (little bags of wildflower seeds with a little poem we made up and had printed by another Etsy seller) and added the final table numbers a few days before the wedding when we were confident enough that it wouldn’t change again.  Then we bagged up the favors by table and left them with the decorations that would be put out by the caterers the day of the wedding.


Since we had such big tables, I also thought it would be easiest if people knew which table to head to when they entered the main tent. One of my bridesmaids’ parents let us borrow an old glass panel door and using a white paint pen, my MOH painstakingly wrote each guests name on the glass.  We stapled some burlap to the back to have some contrast to make reading the names easier, and also just because we had a TON of leftover burlap available.

It came out great and we actually got quite a few complements on the door idea. I’m sure every person that hosts a party feels this way, but it was so nice for people to notice the little details that we spent so much time on.  It made the stress of the past months all melt away…(as did the copious amounts of alcohol).

And just for fun…a few shots of the guys from Big Top Tent Rental building the floor and putting the reception tent up.  I had initially planned on trying to set the camera to take photos throughout the process to create a little stop motion video to show at the rehearsal dinner, but again, when you end up spending a few days cutting out dead plants and replanting so the whole yard doesn’t look dead, those other things you planned on get pushed to the wayside.


Just a few wedding posts left folks…do I know how to stretch out the fun or what??

Super Simple Bachelorette Survival Kits

I’m sharing the last of my wedding project posts throughout the month of October in celebration of our upcoming one year wedding anniversary! For more wedding related projects check out our Wedding Fun tab.

Being the micro-manager that I am, I kinda took the reins on planning my bachelorette party. Who is surprised by that last sentence?  I really wanted to thank my girls for being such great friends so I figured if I removed the planning they wouldn’t have to worry about it. I ended up renting a house in upstate New York and we stayed there for a long weekend last August.  Don’t let that NSFWish poster in the picture below fool  you – I was not out to celebrate the end of my single-dom. The goal was to have some serious quality girl time, maybe go out on the lake, definitely get into some mischief and laugh a lot.

It was a perfect weekend for so many reasons, and I have to thank each of my friends that were there for making it so special.  I knew I wanted to give them a few little mementos to remember the weekend by, and to help them get through the baboonery that was sure to ensue!

One of my requests was to have a “neon night” where we all dressed up in bright neon clothing (I’m sure you’ve seen a gaggle of girls all in black for many bachelorettes, I basically wanted the opposite). Thankfully neon was super trendy last summer so it was really easy for everyone to comply!

I picked up some neon sunglasses down on Canal Street (I think I haggled them down to $5 a pop) and some bright and colorful makeup bags for $3 a piece at H&M.  I stuffed them with the essentials: Advil, gum, throat drops, perfumed soaps, and of course, glow stick necklaces to complete the look!


The sunglasses came in great a few months later too 🙂