Just Marry! 101: How Should I Fold My Wedding Napkins?

February 27, 2018 by badmin

How Should I Fold My Wedding Napkins?

One of Leanna’s couples recently asked her for tips on how to fold their reception napkins. It seems like a simple detail, but it made us realize that our couples may not know what considerations go into this decision. So we thought it would be fun to tackle some napkin folding ourselves and share the results with you!

To start, here are some things to consider when choosing a napkin fold: the fabric type (slippery linens like satin make folding more difficult), complexity of the design (more time required for setup might mean added labor expenses), functionality of the design (do you want it to hold your flatware or menu, or is that not important to you?), and your wedding’s theme.

We searched for some of the most wedding-appropriate designs and tried them out ourselves using both sateen-finish polyester (green) and cotton napkins (blue), both of which are commonly used by caterers. Here’s how our efforts broke down…and keep in mind that the timing for each design would be reduced with more practice!

1. The Double Diamond

  1. Number of folds required – 6
  2. Time to create first napkin – approx. 2 minutes (required switching from a pictorial tutorial to a video version)
  3. Opinion on overall design – We honestly don’t see the diamond in this design, though it does offer a possible pouch to display your flatware or menu.

Additional notes – Diamonds are a classic symbol of love, so whether or not this napkin fold resembles an actual diamond.

2. The Envelope

  1. Number of folds required – 5
  2. Time to create first napkin – less than 1 minute
  3. Opinion on overall design – This is a simple, elegant design that offers functionality as a flatware or menu pouch.
  4. Additional notes – We would recommend placing a flower or small wedding favor on the fold to hold it in place. There is another envelope fold that looks like an actual envelope as opposed to serving as an envelope for flatware. We didn’t feel that look was as practical for weddings as the fold we tried, but it might be worth looking up if you’re having a travel theme!


3. The French Pleat

  1. Number of folds required – 8
  2. Time to create first napkin – approx. 2 minutes
  3. Opinion on overall design – Elegant without being overly fussy.
  4. Additional notes – We like how this napkin fold offers a pretty and practical way to present your flatware. This fold would work across many wedding themes.

4. The Heart

  1. Number of folds required – 6
  2. Time to create first napkin – less than 2 minutes
  3. Opinion on overall design – Romantic and sweet, great for a Valentine’s wedding or a fairytale themed wedding.
  4. Additional notes – The rounded tops of the heart were difficult to “sculpt” from either fabric, so we suspect it might be challenging to craft a large number of these and have them hold their shape until guests arrive.

5. The Pinwheel Napkin

  1. Number of folds required – 8
  2. Time to create first napkin – approx. 6 minutes (required consulting two different DIY websites and re-trying the fold)
  3. Opinion on overall design – This would be fun for a more casual beach wedding or for just the kids’ table. We wouldn’t recommend it for black tie affairs.
  4. Additional notes – We like that this fold worked well for both fabric types, though it was slightly crisper with the cotton. It also makes an immediate statement because it’s not a common design.

6. The Pyramid

  1. Number of folds required – 4
  2. Time to create first napkin – less than a minute
  3. Opinion on overall design – Gives some height to the plate and offers visual interest, if a somewhat basic design.
  4. Additional notes – This was hands-down the easiest and quickest design to craft. It worked well for both fabric types, but we liked the visual appeal of the poly blend better. While not the most original design, we think the napkin pyramid would serve as a lovely accent for every style of wedding.

7. The Standing Fan

  1. Number of folds required – approx. 10
  2. Time to create first napkin – 7 minutes; ultimately DNF the poly
  3. Opinion on overall design – this is a rather common design, so it probably wouldn’t make a big impression; on the plus side, many catering teams likely have practice performing this fold, making it easily available.
  4. Additional notes – After referencing multiple websites, this seemingly simple design proved challenging to accomplish, especially on the poly blend. The type of fabric for the napkin clearly makes a big difference for this fold.

Do you have questions about napkin folding or any other wedding planning topic? Reach out to our team at info@justmarry.com and our team will get back to you right away!

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