If you are a couple who takes great care and attention to detail to everything, something you’ll definitely want to consider is your wedding napkins.

Seems silly right? No one looks at the napkins, surely. Well actually, the colour and fold of your napkin is important, particularly if you have a strong theme incorporated into your wedding. They are laid out on your wedding breakfast table and can contribute to the overall table décor.

Couples who are thinking about every minor wedding planning detail should definitely consider the style of napkin fold they want as well.

So, we’re delving deep into the world of napkin-folds. Traditionally this a rarefied realm exclusively peopled by the origamist elite of the service and catering industry, but as you’re planning your very own event, it’s a world you may have to get a little involved in.

Ideas for napkin-folds

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Shouldn’t I just leave my venue to do it?

We highly recommend that you have some input into the appearance of your napkins, as your venue’s standard default fold may not be quite what you were expecting. Discussing this at length with the event planner at your venue would be a great idea. Make sure you ask for examples.

Most venues will have two or three fold options for couples to choose from that their staff are trained and have experience folding.

If you require a very specific fold, ensure the venue know about this request well in advance so they can teach the catering and events team prior to your wedding day if needed. For example if you require a swan fold.

Where do napkins go?

This is all dependant on the kind of wedding breakfast and layout you are going with on your day.

If you are having a traditional sit down wedding breakfast with round tables then typically, in the centre of each individual dinner place-setting, between the cutlery. But sometimes it can go on the side! The side option is often picked by couples if they have chosen to have trestle tables.

You can also decide to have the napkins placed within a wine glass in a pretty fold. This can often make your table look sophisticated and leaves room on the table for other things such as favours.

If you are having a buffet, where the napkins are placed will all depend on the type you are having. For example if you were having a casual stand up buffet, the napkins would be placed on the buffet table. However, if you still had a table plan in place, this would go on the table.

It’s pretty straightforward but you have to remember that every little detail works toward the aesthetic. So, if you’re going for a formal affair, ensure the napkins are placed on the table. If you are planning on a laid back vibe, have them all on one table with easy access.

Types of napkin-fold

The following is a list of common napkin-folds, and where they can be placed to best advantage. We would be here forever if we gave detailed instructions on how to fold each type, so take a look round the web for instructions.

It would also help to provide the venue with instructions if you’re going to be specific.

The Square

The most common type of fold is The Square. It’s simple to create, it can fit cutlery snugly inside and looks fantastic! They also look very effective laying on top of a small plate.

There are lots of variations on this square or rectangle fold, including extra flaps and cutlery holders. You could even lay favours on top of them. Often couples slot sprigs of herbs or lavender in too, for a cute touch!

You can also print off a small individual menu for each guest and slot these in as a thoughtful detail.

The Roll

Tied off with a ribbon or other piece of fabric that matches your colour scheme, these folds are also quite common and look great. Some people tuck flowers or greenery under the ribbon for extra decoration.

This fold is quite diverse as the aesthetic of the napkin will often just depend on the tie or ribbon you choose to use. Tie with hessian string for a rustic vibe, diamanté clasp for an elegant affair or coloured ribbon to match your theme.

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The Rosebud/Mitre

These folds in the form of a bishop’s hat are cute, especially when they are made from smaller napkins.

They are a more daring choice and can be perfect for the couple looking to spruce the wedding tables up to make them look a little more quirky.

The Fan

The fan is a popular choice amongst couples, particularly if they are having a grand affair or a summer wedding vibe. Put these in your glasses or fold a freestanding one and place on the plate.

This is a simple fold (so not too difficult for your venue) and is great for oriental themes or Asian weddings.

Pyramid, Diamond or Triangle

Geometry-loving Pythagorists out there will love these. And they look great.

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Lovers Knot

A little more complicated, this napkin fold is a great way to symbolise the unity between you as a couple and is very fitting to the day. It also looks impressive on the table!

Check with your venue with which type of napkin they can provide as this particular fold looks great with lace edged or embroidered napkins!

Who will be folding the napkins?

Hopefully, your venue staff! However, if you are in a DIY venue, then you, your family and friends may be doing it.

If you have chosen a particularly difficult fold, then make sure you give yourself plenty of time before the wedding starts!

There we are! There are probably hundreds, if not perhaps thousands of different napkin-folds out there (we have only really touched upon what is out there).

We sincerely hope that this has been a good starting guide – get in touch with your venue to discuss possibilities further.

For some great research, take a look at Luigi Spotorno’s ‘Luigi’s Language of Napkin Folding’ – it’s a great little illustrated book, and is revered as the servi-etiquette Bible by many in the catering industry!

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