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Napkin Fold Options | Wedding Reception Details

Once you've nailed down all the big picture items like selecting a wedding dress, saving the date, and securing the venue it's time to dive into the little details. Consciously selecting small details will take your wedding day from good to great, pretty to Pinterest-worthy. One seemingly small detail that packs a big punch, is the napkin fold. The way you choose to display the napkin on the table can make a significant difference to the overall look of not only the table but the full room itself. To make the process a little easier, we're sharing our favorite napkin fold options and why they work well!

Over Charger Napkin Fold
Chloe Luka Photography - Laurel Hall Indianapolis

Pretty and Purposeful

One thing that becomes quickly apparent as soon as the wedding setup starts is how many things need to coexist cohesively on a tabletop! From all of the elements of a formal table setting and favors, to centerpieces, menus, and place cards, a wedding tabletop is some of the hottest real estate in town. Depending on how many items you will have, it can be exceptionally helpful to put your napkins to work. This can mean everything from holding a menu to a place to pop the place card.

Some of our favorite folds with a purpose include:

Menu Pocket - have your caterer make this short & fat or long & skinny depending on your aesthetic preferences

Napkin Square Bundle - super easy to execute, and perfect for popping the place card, menu, or other curated items on top. To pull it all together, we recommend decorative ribbon or twine, depending how fancy or rustic the vibe is.

Wrapped Chargers - You can choose to fold the napkin in a long, thing rectangle that wraps over the charger or plate. Once the plate or charger is wrapped it makes a perfect canvas for a menu or gift on top. You can even have a pocket with this option for the best of both worlds!

Gathered and Tied - A loosely gathered napkin with a tie can easily have a placecard hooked into the ribbon or string like a little gift tag.

Tall Menu Pocket Fold
Violet Short Photography - Laurel Hall Indianapolis

Folded Napkin
Stoffer Photography - Anna Maria Island Florida Wedding

Menu Pocket Fold
Danielle Harris Photography - Four Seasons Scottsdale Wedding

Folded Under Plate Napkin
Chris J Evans - Maui Hawaii Wedding

Wedding Napkin Fold with Menu
Danielle Harris Photography

Purely Decorative

Pleated and Wrapped - Elegant and more dimension to your place setting

Knotted - This is a great, easy yet impactful way to tie up a napkin. Whether placed on a charger, to the side, or in the center of the place setting if there's no charger, it adds a level of visual interest to the tabletop.

Loose Roll - for the ultra laid-back couple, this is a rustic and low-key napkin treatment that can be left as is, or tied with a simple ribbon to jazz it up a bit.

Gathered and Draped - Ideal for gauzy fabrics, gathering the napkins loosely and then draping them either vertically or diagonally across the setting is a perfect, no-fuss option that is still very chic

Over the Table or "Martha Stewart" - Placed under the charger (or simply on the table), this is a sleek and simple option that leaves space on top of the setting for other items.

Elegant Napkin Fold
Danielle Harris Photography - Winter Croquembouche Wedding

Draped Under Plate Napkin
Chloe Luka Photography - Charleston Magnolia Wedding

Black and White Place Setting
Jordan Voth - Humming Bird Nest Ranch California Wedding

Knotted Napkin
Danielle Harris Photography - Cox Hall Carmel Wedding

Steakhouse Silverware Fold
Danielle Harris Photography - Lowndes Grove Charleston

Over the Table Napkin Fold
Sweet Caroline Photography - Indianapolis Boho Wedding

In addition to the napkin fold, the fabric type can go a long way towards the overall feel of your tablescape. Light colors in gauzy fabrics will contribute to a romantic, airy ambiance, while thicker, silks or velvety fabrics will lend themselves well to elevated and moody events. Some fabrics work better with certain napkin folds than others, but for the most part all of the options can be paired well with one another. Have fun mixing and matching a luxe fabric with a more casual napkin fold, and vice versa.

Whether you're looking for a quick and easy napkin fold, or need a napkin fold that can serve a purpose while looking pretty, there's no shortage of options to choose from! As you begin to work with your caterer and your wedding planner, be sure to walk through a few different options based on all of the elements you plan to include on your table. Your experienced vendors can provide a myriad of suggestions for napkin folds that will suit your needs and look beautiful at the same time. Once you make your perfect selection, don't forget to add a few photos of the tablescapes to your shot list for your photographer - those beautiful table settings deserve to be preserved in photos long after the last bites of food have been taken at your reception!




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