While it may be wintry cold nowadays, spring is on our mind with a cherry blossom theme. A Japanese-inspired wedding reception can be a true decorating dream! You have the perfect opportunity to indulge in the stylistic elements that are so distinctly Japanese—from the overall decor, to the table settings, to the wedding favors.
Here, we’d like to focus on the favors and how you can package them in keeping with this unique theme. Our suggestions will help you say a warm
“Arigato” to your wedding guests!
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Present Favors in Cherry Blossom-colored Wraps
The delicate blush pink of Japan’s beloved cherry blossoms are the perfect inspiration for sweet and simple fabric wrapping.
Our example: We took our own organza packaging in pretty sugar pink to bundle up Japanese candies and confections. Then, we placed them as welcome favors at each place setting marked with a gold paper crane as a place card holder.
How to recreate: Take your pick from the many lovely Japanese-inspired treats or gift items available to give as favors. Then choose a fabric wrap—from sheer organza, tulle or chiffon, to Japanese-print cotton cloth—to package these items, tie with ribbon or cord, and trim with an origami-inspired tag.
Hint: The simplest approach to this packaging is to focus on the cherry blossom color. So if you choose to go DIY, look for fabrics like pink organza or pink tulle. They are easy to cut and no hemming is required!
Use Japanese Fabric Boxes as Gift Boxes
An ideal option for your favor packaging would be authentic Japanese fabric boxes! These are works of art in themselves, so guests would be thrilled to receive these to use as elegant decor pieces at home.
Our example: Here, we’ve taken a striking oval-shaped fabric box with a lid embossed and glazed with a patchwork of Japanese patterns. Inside, we placed traditional sweets, called wagashi (a wide variety of these are available online). Then to complete the packaging, we wrapped the box in a circle of sheer sugar pink organza, and positioned one at each guest’s place setting.
How to recreate: Authentic Japanese containers may not be that easy to source at regular home decor or houseware stores—and may be a bit pricey. But you could make some lucky finds at flea markets or thrift shops, or even on eBay. To give you an idea of the wonderful Japanese packaging options you can look out for, here are some helpful links to photos and sources:
Hint: An alternative would be to buy several sheets of Japanese-print paper, cherry blossom wrapping paper, or washi tape and use these to cover kraft favor boxes. Cover the box lids and bottoms separately, so that guests may use them as pretty utility containers after the wedding!
Add Japanese Accents to Your Packaging
Another favor packaging option would be to take your choice of container, and dress it up with touches that speak of Japan.
Our example: A heart-shaped favor box woven from fuchsia-colored sinamay was our pick. We filled it with a crunchy Japanese nut mix, then finished the look with a pair of lacquered chopsticks and a monogram-style tag mimicking Japanese brush strokes.
How to recreate: You could take any lidded basket in a color matching your wedding motif, or in its natural fiber color. For accents, choose from:
- faux cherry blossoms
- whimsical origami figures (cranes, flowers, stars) you can make from kits
- mini cocktail umbrellas
Hint: If you’re the crafty type, why not make the origami accents yourself? There are numerous sites providing how-to guides, and this will make your favor packaging that much more personal!
Give Decorative Japanese Tableware as Favors
Japanese items—from decorative pieces, to houseware, to little gifts and trinkets—are so beautifully crafted, it’s almost a pity to hide them underneath packaging materials. So, why not give them as favors sans packaging!
Our example: We chose traditional soy sauce dishes and sleek wooden chopsticks to give as gift sets. For a hint of color, we put some Japanese sugar candies called konpeito in the dishes, and tied the chopsticks in place with gold cord.
How to recreate: You could purchase similar soy dishes online or again try your luck at flea markets and thrift shops that also carry Asian products. While our dishes feature a floral design with a crackled glaze finish, you can always substitute plain ceramic ones (white or colored) found in tableware stores. Some come in charming oval, leaf, or flower shapes. The Japanese chopsticks are less difficult to find, as Asian cuisine has grown in popularity.
Hint: When buying the chopsticks, just be sure that they’re the Japanese kind. There is a difference! The tips should come to slender point, rather than the blunt squarish end typical of Chinese chopsticks. Also, Japanese chopsticks are about 9″ in length, while the Chinese ones are about 10 1/2″ long.
Craft Obi-sash Packaging for Your Favors
The beautiful Japanese kimono is traditionally finished with a wide sash around the waist, called an obi. This can be recreated in paper form and used as a stylized sleeve for your favor packaging!
Our example: Here, we show how non-Japanese wedding favors can be given that distinctive Japanese flair. We took carved gold picture frames, wrapped an obi-style paper sleeve around each one, then added crane-shaped cutouts as favor tags. A variation we added was to further wrap the frame favors in lovely olive-colored organza.
How to recreate: Measure the gift items you’ll be giving as favors, and cut strips of handmade paper long enough to encircle them. We suggest using 2 to 3 different colors of paper, and cutting the strips in different widths for a layered effect once they are glued together. To secure the sleeve around the gift items, tie on a length of natural twine. Then, attach Japanese-inspired favor tags.
Hint: Together with the plain handmade paper, you may opt to alternate strips of Japanese-patterned paper in creating the obi-style sleeves. That would be really pretty! And again, if crafting is your thing, the favor tags can actually be little origami creations instead of flat card stock cutouts.
Pretty Floral Favor Bags with Candies
Floral pouches and sachets in pink and white would tie in effortlessly with presenting cherry blossom-inspired wedding favors.
Our example: We tucked Japanese candies into favor pouches in white or blush pink organza. Then we arranged these on a favor display table with a cherry blossom centerpiece.
How to recreate: Fill romantic floral sachets with colorful konpeito. Then add favor tags personalized with gold markers.
Hint: Even with the simplest favor pouches in pink or white, you can bring in an authentic touch by creating DIY tags with decorative Japanese-pattern stickers.
Another beautiful packaging tradition from Japan is known as furoshiki. See our how-to post on this fascinating craft!