wedding origami – keeping Japan close to our hearts

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I met my husband just a few weeks before moving to Japan, and we literally had an old-fashioned  paper and pen affair for the first year of our relationship. (If you’d like to know more read my post yes moments - a year of letters.) And so from the very beginning Japan held a soft spot in our hearts.

When it came to planning our wedding it was a no-brainer to have a Japanese influenced wedding theme. I wanted the Japanese touches to be simple and elegant, rather than over the top cheesy, so settled on some simple Japanese origami for our table settings and to decorate the garden where we said our vows. I made the origami from washi paper that matched our wedding colours.

Our garden wedding aisle with paper cranes
wedding origami cranes hanging at the start of our garden wedding aisle

The first hint our guests had of our Japanese theme was through our handmade save the date video, and then our homemade wedding invitations – made of the same washi paper.

In fact, this time last year I was busy folding dozens or wedding origami cranes (no time for blogging) for the garden...

Origami wedding crane

It’s a tradition in Japan for a bride and groom to fold 1000 origami cranes to symbolise their patience and trust – important for a happy marriage. This process of folding the cranes is called sembazuru. We didn't quite make 1000 – but I hope they’ll bring us luck in marriage anyway.

To carry the theme throughout our wedding day I next folded origami hearts to host our guest’s name cards for the table settings. These I found slightly more tricky, and took a bit of trial and error to get the pattern and size just right.

Origami wedding hearts

Origami and Japanese themed wedding table setting

One final touch – Japanese heart-shaped sugar cookies as our wedding favours. To be honest I've always thought wedding favours are a bit over-rated and a unnecessary wedding expense. We weren't planning on even having wedding favours until I spotted these cookies in a Japanese store while on holiday in Hong Kong. They matched our theme perfectly, and were very reasonably priced.

Japanese wedding favour sugar heart cookie

So that’s how we had a little touch of Japan, in New Zealand, on our wedding day.

Us - on our wedding day

If you’d like to make wedding origami hearts for your wedding here is the pattern I based mine on - by Fumiaki Shingu. If you head over to his website Origami Club you'll find lots of origami inspiration.

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14 comments

  1. Beautiful photos! It looks like a lovely wedding and the origami cranes were a great idea, they look very pretty.

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    1. Thanks Anna. For us it was most certainly a very special day :)

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  2. this is incredible. I love this idea! Officially pinned to my wedding board :)

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    1. Thank you!!!! Glad you like it. Pin away....

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  3. What a wonderful idea!! So beautiful!

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  4. I absolutely love this idea! How beautiful & sentimental :)

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  5. I love the decorations! I think cranes are such an incredible tradition and it's so cool that you incorporated them into your day! How lovely! You looked beautiful, too! Thanks for linking up!

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  6. Such an original idea. It looks lovely. Thank you for the instructions. I can't wait to try making a heart for Valentines Day. x

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  7. What a lovely idea. Can I ask where you purchased your washi paper from? I think they are lovely designs. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Gem - thanks!! Glad you like the washi paper. I bought it from Shepherds paper specialists in London. If you are local I would definitely recommend you check out the store as the selection really should be viewed in person. So beautiful.

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  8. hi there. Its indeed such a lovely idea! I am trying out the heart for my wedding! So thank you.
    Perhaps you can help, I am completely confused between step 6 and 7. Is there a step missing or am I being silly? Thanks

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    1. Hello - no all the steps are there. Step 6 is just to get a fold line, and then you open it again. The pink parts in step 7 represent the up side of your paper. Hope you managed to get this! Sorry for a very late reply - I just had a baby :)

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