Wedding napkins, often overshadowed by the grandeur of wedding dresses, flowers and towering cakes, are the unsung heroes of wedding decor. They gracefully fold their way into every reception, their subtle presence adding an elegant touch to tabletops and place settings. Pulling double duty, not only as decor but also as a functional necessity during dinner, it's crazy how something so small can be so important.
So today, we're diving into the world of these often-overlooked wedding essentials. From the hottest wedding napkin trends to the ideal size and fabrics, we’re dishing on everything napkins. In this post we'll cover:
- What Are Wedding Napkins?
- What Kind Of Napkins For A Wedding?
- What Size Should A Wedding Napkin Be?
- What Is The Best Material For Wedding Napkins?
- Latest Wedding Napkin Trends
What Are Wedding Napkins?
A napkin is a napkin, right? Well, essentially, yes! But when it comes to wedding celebrations, napkins aren’t just for wiping your mouth. Sure! They are small pieces of fabric or paper that guests use during the wedding reception to wipe their hands and mouths. They’re often folded neatly or creatively (our favorite) and placed at each guest's seat for essentially what most think is just cleanliness.
But these marvels of fabrics do more than that. They add decor or pizzazz to the wedding reception table setting and, depending on the style you choose, can add a bit of texture, elevating the entire setting at your wedding to a luxe vibe.
But here's the fun part – wedding napkins aren't just practical; they’re a canvas for creativity! So, when you shop for them, you can personalize them with the couple's names, wedding dates, or even a sweet message.
Sidenote, if you're looking for inspiration for how to fold napkins for a wedding reception, check out our post on folding wedding napkins.
What Kind Of Napkins For A Wedding?
For connoisseurs of fine dining, there can be up to 20 different types of napkins that they would use or expect for different stages in a meal or other occasions. For general dining, there are about three different-sized napkins that suffice. There are cocktail napkins, dinner napkins, and luncheon napkins, and they tend to be personalized for most weddings.
Luncheon wedding napkins are usually 14 to 16 inches and are meant for daytime or shorter two-course meals. They tend to be smaller, so they may even be served with appetizers and then carried to the table by wedding guests.
Cocktail napkins are even smaller and only meant for use with a beverage and small delicacies like hors d'oeuvres. Dinner personalized napkins are the largest and meant for the most courses in a meal. Here's a side-by-side of a cocktail napkin and a dinner napkin so you can compare the difference.
Whether the wedding reception is a sit-down or a buffet-style meal, dinner napkins will be roughly the same size and style, reflecting the couple's taste. They are meant to be unfolded and placed on the lap as the wedding reception begins.
What Size Should A Wedding Napkin Be?
A standard size for a wedding napkin is typically around 20 inches by 20 inches (50 cm by 50 cm) when fully unfolded. This size provides enough surface area for guests to use their napkin during the wedding reception and for any potential spills or mishaps.
Some couples may choose larger or smaller napkin sizes based on their design and table setup preferences. Smaller napkins, for example, can be used creatively for intricate napkin folding techniques, while larger ones offer more coverage and can showcase decorative elements.
What Is The Best Material For Wedding Napkins?
The material you choose for your wedding napkins can add an extra touch of magic to your reception. Because it's not just about function; it's about injecting personality and style into your table settings.
Here are a few fabrics you can expect to see when you begin to shop for wedding napkins.
Linen napkins are synonymous with elegance. They have a natural, organic textured look that adds a touch of sophistication to your table settings. Linen napkins are especially well-suited for rustic or outdoor weddings and can also be monogrammed for added elegance.
Cotton napkins are popular for weddings because they are soft, durable, and absorbent. They have a classic and elegant look that compliments various wedding themes and can be personalized for an added level of luxury.
Linen Cotton Blend
Offering the best of both worlds, napkins made from a linen cotton blend are wedding reception staple. Providing the luxurious body of linen and the softness of cotton they're timeless and functional.
SatinFor a glamorous feel satin napkins provide a smooth, shiny surface that catches the light beautifully. Satin napkins work wonderfully for formal and black-tie weddings.
Polyester napkins are a budget-friendly option for a wedding reception. While not as luxurious as linen or satin, they're a practical option that will accomplish the task.
Wedding napkins made of paper are quite popular with endless customization and affordability and are a good disposable option. However, in a formal setting like a wedding they may not match the wedding aesthetic. The couple should also consider the environmental impact of using a paper napkin vs. a cloth napkin that can be reused many times.
Latest Wedding Napkin Trends: Personalized, Texture and More
Wedding napkin trends are evolving as couples look for ways to personalize their weddings while making them more of an immersive experience for their guests. So, while paper napkins continue to be a popular choice, especially for outdoor weddings, we’re seeing new wedding napkin trends arrive on the scene…. Here are a few wedding napkin trends that we love.
Monogrammed and Embroidered Napkins
Monogrammed and embroidered wedding napkins are sizzling hot in the world of weddings right now! Picture this: guests at a wedding, each holding a beautifully embroidered napkin personalized with your initials or a sweet message. What an incredible personal touch and memorable wedding moment.
If you're considering embroidered cloth napkins for your wedding reception check out our assortment on our Wedding Napkins Page.
As sustainability continues to be a significant concern, you’ll see a rise in using eco-friendly materials for wedding napkins. Look for napkins made from organic cotton, recycled fabrics, or reusable options that align with your environmental commitment.
Expect a mix of textures like lace, velvet, or even embossed patterns on napkins to add depth and visual interest to the wedding reception table. You can shop for embroidered wedding napkins custom designed with a single monogrammed letter, a wedding crest, or your name and wedding date. It also creates a beautiful sensory experience and a personalized keepsake.
Mix and Match
Embracing individuality, couples can also mix and match napkin styles and colors across the tables. This eclectic approach allows for creative and unique table settings with a personalized wedding aesthetic.