DIY wedding decor: origami flowers

DIY wedding decor: origami flowers

One of my favorite things about my wedding was making some of the small details myself, and my absolute favorites of these were the programs I designed and constructed (which I’ll post about in detail later) and the origami flowers I made for the tables and bouquets.

Photo by Christina Foto

Origami, of course, is Japanese rather than Korean–although papercrafts, including paper folding, are also a big thing in the Land of the Morning Calm–so this project wasn’t part of my effort to make sure things Korean were well-represented at our celebration. Rather, it based on my desire to DIY my wedding flowers, the short shelf life of real flowers and my childhood memories of doing origami with my father.

So, here I present to you, how to make your own DIY origami flowers and DIY origami bouquets for your wedding!

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A wedding week top six

A wedding week top six

I’ve taken a somewhat inevitable break from blogging for the past couple of weeks, as wedding-related phenomena–travel, crafting, family, out-of-town visitors, exhaustion–took over our lives. The next several posts will definitely be going over some of these things in detail (especially the travel and crafting), but today I’m going to ease back into the writing with a top 6 list of wedding-related events, people, places and things from the past couple of weeks.

6. Our pre-wedding trip to Atlanta

A historian’s weekend in Atlanta naturally includes a visit to Oakland Cemetery.

Most people take a honeymoon after their wedding. That’s great, but for us, this pre-wedding trip was perfect. We aren’t taking a honeymoon for a few reasons: We’re kind of tired of traveling at the moment after moving across the globe, we’re 30 years old and have already traveled all over the world, and we’re living on Mr. Kim’s grad student stipend and my part-time hourly wage (and needed to get back to work).

But, when Mr. Kim mentioned with regret a few months ago that maybe he wouldn’t be able to attend the American Historical Association conference because it was the weekend before our wedding, I got an idea. The conference was in Atlanta this year, a five-hour drive from my hometown; flying into my hometown is surprisingly expensive; and we needed to be in town most of the week before the wedding anyway. So, we decided to fly to Atlanta together, enjoy the city (and Mr. Kim the conference), and take a one-way rental car to Jackson. It was a great decision; I crafted in a nice hotel room while Mr. Kim met up with fellow historians, and the rest of the time, we ate amazing food and saw historical sites. Being away from our everyday lives for a few days before wedding craziness was a sanity saver.

5. Seeing my ideas become reality


I’m pretty good at visualizing things and turning that vision into reality–witness our Minions Halloween costumes, for example–but it’s always a pleasure (or a relief) to see things really come together in the moment. I planned all the decorations, from simple things like table coverings to origami flowers and programs, and had a good idea of the atmosphere I wanted to build, so I was gratified to hear all the compliments and to see things looking the way I had hoped. I especially loved the programs I made, based on our (and most of our family members’) mutual love of books, and they turned out to be a bit of a hit.

4. Showing off Jackson

A lamb skewer at The Manship.

As I’ve written before, a lot of people have a definite and unfavorable image of Mississippi. I was pretty nervous about so many people, from pretty diverse backgrounds, coming to Jackson for a weekend. I was a little worried that someone would say something obtusely racist and confirm their stereotypes, but only a little; most Mississippians, and probably all reputable ones, are extremely polite to strangers no matter how much they disagree with them or what their private thoughts might be. Mostly, I was worried people would spend the weekend thinking, “What the hell am I doing in this provincial dump of a state capital?” It seems, however, that I was worried about nothing. The food and beverage situation at the wedding (and beyond) was great, which went a long way, and anyway people seemed to really have a good time; one friend of ours, an Ivy-league PhD candidate, even entertained a fantasy of opening a Korean restaurant there.

3. Wearing hanbok

hanbok photo from facebook
Photo by Christina Cannon Boteler

I love love love our hanbok! Hanbok are traditional Korean clothes, and we wore them for part of the wedding reception and also for a lot of photographs beforehand. I had never even tried on hanbok until we had these made last summer, and wearing them was so much fun. I love the bright colors the hanbok tailor helped us choose, I love how comfortable it is (especially compared to a wedding dress), and I love the photographs our wonderful photographer, Christina Cannon Boteler, took of us wearing them around the Ag Musuem, where we got married. Plus, unlike the wedding dress, I will be able to wear the hanbok again and again on future special days: Korean holidays, our child’s first birthday, and maybe even a future child’s wedding one day! Hanbok: If you have a connection to Korea, do it!

2. The ceremony

Photo by Christina Cannon Boteler

A lot of guests commented on how sweet and lovely our ceremony was. I mean I guess that’s a normal thing to say about any wedding, but I have to say that I felt like it was particularly true of ours. One friend of mine, who doesn’t plan to have children and has a nontraditional view of monogamy’s centrality to marriage, told us about how when she got married, the pastor went on and on about how she and her husband would be blessed with children and always be physically faithful to one another. Mr. Kim and I are much more conventional on both counts, but we really appreciate how the pastor who married us took the time to get to know us–our values, our future plans–and worked what she learned into the homily she gave. We did almost everything in both Korean and English for Mr. Kim’s mom, and even though my vows were stuttering and I mixed my registers, I’m proud of it. And the church was adorable, and nobody cried except the pastor, and everyone laughed when I said “I will” too loud and when I grabbed Mr. Kim’s face for the kiss.

1.  So many people we love in one place

guestbook from facebook
Photo by Christina Cannon Boteler

Undeniably, the best part of the wedding (besides becoming Mr. Kim’s wife!) was having so many people who are important to us gathered in one place, and I was especially happy (and relieved) that our families (especially our fathers) got along so wonderfully, and that I got to spend so much time with one of my most beloved friends (also a bridesmaid) who I rarely get to see these past few years. Of course, there were a few people missing: One of Mr. Kim’s best friends who would have been in the wedding party couldn’t make it because of Korea’s inflexible work expectations, and my mom’s best friend couldn’t come because of an accident involving a horse and 46 stitches. But both of our families and so many friends from many stages of our lives were there, and even though I didn’t get to talk to most of them as much as I would have liked, it was wonderful to feel their love around us.

The dark side: Jackson, Mississippi: a hometown travelogue (part 4)

The dark side: Jackson, Mississippi: a hometown travelogue (part 4)

Friday and Saturday and Sunday, I wrote about lighthearted and delicious things to do in Jackson. What I’m writing about today is the opposite; in fact, it might leave a bad taste in your mouth.

The Confederate monument in front of the Mississippi State Capitol Building in downtown Jackson

Mississippi’s Confederate past and history of racial violence are well known throughout the United States; in fact, that’s all many people seem to know. “Oh, is it really like Mississippi Burning?” I’ve been asked countless times by new acquaintances from around the world. Uh, no, I don’t think so. It’s really not even like The Help.

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Jackson, Mississippi: a hometown travelogue (part 3)

Jackson, Mississippi: a hometown travelogue (part 3)

The past two days, I’ve written travel tales about my hometown, Jackson, Mississippi, a place I love (like a family member) and a place most people have probably not considered traveling to. I wrote about food, and I wrote about, well, food, because those are some of the best things about Jackson.

A frog statue outside the Mississippi Craft Center

Today, as promised, I’m moving on to inedibles: a few Jackson attractions. Tomorrow, I’ll continue with some unattractive things about Jackson because–those are so serious, and they really deserve their own entry. But that’s tomorrow–so today I’ll write about the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum and the Mississippi Craft Center. (In case you’ve forgotten, we’re in Mississippi.)

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Jackson, Mississippi: a hometown travelogue (part 2)

Jackson, Mississippi: a hometown travelogue (part 2)

Yesterday I wrote about a day spent in my hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, the day after Christmas. It was mostly about food and drinks because, frankly, we do a lot of eating down there. (How else do you think we’ve gotten top honors for fattest state in the country 10 years running?)

Me and a bear at the MS Museum of Natural Science in 2013. Pretty sure it’s been there since I was going there on elementary school field trips…

Of course, there’s a lot more to Jackson than food. For example, did you know Jackson is the only capital or major city in the US built on top of an extinct volcano? Have you heard about the two-headed snake at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science? Surely you know about Mississippi’s historic and still active music scene, or sites from the Civil Rights Movement like the Medgar Evers House.

Those things are all great and worth checking out, but I didn’t actually get around to them on this trip, so you’re going to be stuck reading about more food–poor you!

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Jackson, Mississippi: a hometown travelogue (part 1)

Jackson, Mississippi: a hometown travelogue (part 1)

Home! Mr. Kim and I like to say to each other, “네가 있으면 집이야”–“Home is wherever you are”–so I guess that means that for the last week of 2015, our home was back in the suburb of Jackson, Mississippi, where I spent my adolescence.

The Mississippi River from the air, last summer.

It’s always weird spending time in a faraway, infrequently visited hometown. Lost accents return; old thoughts and feelings and habits spring back into being. When you bring someone with you, you see it anew through their eyes, and greater experience gives you greater appreciation for some things while highlighting your earlier limits on other dimensions. But, I still love Jackson, the under-known capital of a misunderstood state, and it’s still home to people I love and also a lot of great food–so, for the next few days, I’ll present Jackson: the travelogue, with supplements from previous trips.

Continue reading “Jackson, Mississippi: a hometown travelogue (part 1)”