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“Love Birds” and Japan’s Folded Crane Tradition

Written by in Inspire

Paper Cranes: Icing on the Cake

(By Abbey Fowler of 6.25 Paper Studio, Grand Rapids, Michigan)  — As winter warms to spring, Old New Borrowed Blue turns to handmade ideas in paper that turned a brand name into a theme.)

I started thinking of this feature after learning about a detail in one of my 2012 weddings. One of my wonderful couple’s used paper cranes as decor in their wedding. This is a unique detail for Western culture, but filled with so much history that I am excited to share it. It’s truly those personal wedding details that make a wedding more meaningful for the couple and memorable for the guests.

In traditional Japanese couture, it’s believed that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane. Some legends say that you are granted eternal good luck, not just one wish. This makes the act of giving one thousand cranes to a sick friend or family member common in Japanese history.

Why a thousand? In Japan, the crane is considered holy or mystical, and said to live for a thousand years. In the realm of weddings, the cranes are traditionally given by the father as a wedding gift. In my couples case, I think it was a real good lesson on patience. If you can sit together folding one thousand paper cranes over the course of 6 months (10-15 minutes per crane!), then it’s pretty apparent the marriage will be a lasting one!


Suspended Animation:  The couple followed tradition by creating a senbazuru which is 1000 paper cranes folded and put on 25 strings of 40 cranes each per string. They are now hanging in the front window of the the bride’s family business in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

 The couple said that having the cranes meant a lot to both of them. So important in fact that we created her wedding stationery around the design of the cranes. And while they haven’t necessarily been visited by a wish-granting crane, the bride said, “We’re still both very happy so I think the crane has granted our wish!”

Hey!?! What’s the Big Idea

The invite was printed using Neenah Paper ENVIRONMENT® Cover Desert Storm 80C and ESSE® Cover Espresso 80C . 

“Nothing is better than those sheets that take and make a fine impression,” says Abbey. Got see  6-25 Paper Studio’s for abundant ideas using eco-friendly paper for wedding décor, gifts and printed elements. Abbey has also suggests these links:

Check out these other “wedding crane” examples on http://www.stylemepretty.com/2012/03/30/mt-pleasant-wedding-by-kellan-studios/ and Project Wedding http://www.projectwedding.com/wedding-ideas/1000-paper-cranes



  1. 06

    > "Takeeeeeeeeee meeeeeee homeeeeeee" I would definitely pick the dog that sings Guns’n Roses!