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  • I don't know when or where I first hit on the idea of making a thousand paper cranes for our wedding. Probably Pinterest. Isn't that where all wedding ideas are born? Anyway, I read up about it, the Japanese tradition of hanging a thousand paper cranes at a wedding. It's supposed to bring the bride luck if she folds all one thousand by herself. And teach her patience. The last part I certainly believe.

    I decided to make ours from old sheet music. We were planning a forest ceremony, I had visions of these birds floating dreamily among the trees. It was going to be spectacular.

    I trawled secondhand bookshops looking for old music books. At one, I told the cashier what I was doing with them and she gave me a whole box of old music for virtually nothing because she said young love makes her happy.

    I started folding cranes. I folded cranes at work during meetings. I folded cranes at the table of fancy restaurants while my future mother-in-law tried to talk to me about flowers. I folded cranes during book club. I folded cranes on camping trips, both in the tent and in the passenger seat of the car. It sounds tedious and time-consuming, but it was blissfully therapeutic.

    And by I, I really mean we. My fiance, my friends, anyone who stopped by the house. It became a thing, wine and cranes nights. Those evenings when we covered the lounge floor in bits of paper were the most fun I had planning our wedding. I didn't really care much for the rest of it; the flowers or the table seating or the invites or my dress. The more wine we drank, the more abstract the cranes became. I didn't care. We solved the world's problems on those evenings. In the end, I think we only made about 300. We were so disorganized the day before the wedding we didn't even time to hang them in the trees. We managed to string a fraction of our handiwork about the tables.

    In the end, they were spectacular, our cranes. But only because they came with spectacular memories of spectacular friends.
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