10 Elegant Ways to Fold Napkins for a Wedding Reception:

As you envision a wedding, whether it’s your own or you’re planning one for your clients, think of what an upscale, elegant wedding looks like. 

Imagine the decor for the ceremony and the cocktail hour. Think of the smallest details like floral arrangements to mark the aisles, or how your guests will be dressed as they make their way from the ceremony to the reception. 

And now picture the tables at the reception. What do those look like? Creating wedding tablescapes is a key part of designing an unforgettable wedding, but it can often be overlooked. 

We are all about making sure that every detail is thought about so the wedding you’re putting together is impeccable. And one of those details is none other than elegant ways to fold napkins for the wedding reception.


How to Choose the Right Fabric for Folded Napkins for Weddings

Choosing the fold for the wedding napkins is three-quarters of the process. But don’t forget that selecting the right fabric also plays a big part. 

Each fabric also coincides with the overall aesthetic you’re creating. So choosing the right fabric along with the right napkin fold is the perfect formula. 

Think of the wedding reception you’re designing. Is it romantic and airy, like a reception in a garden or otherwise outdoors? If so, lighter, gauzy fabrics are a great choice. 

If you’re looking for a more glamorous, elegant, or elevated event, think of thicker fabrics like velvet or silk.

How to Choose the Right Colors for Folded Wedding Napkins

When it comes to selecting the right colors for the reception napkins, the best place to start is, of course, with the wedding color palette.

From there, it all depends on the style of reception you’re wanting to achieve. For many, they resort to neutral colors or otherwise softer colors for the napkins. That way, the napkins blend right into the overall tablescape designs. 

However, there’s nothing wrong with being bolder with your color choices! If your wedding color palette calls for it, opt for bright and vibrant colors such as reds, yellows, or blues.

10 Elegant Ways to Fold Napkins for a Wedding Reception:

If you’re a seasoned wedding planner or event planner, you know the importance of paying attention to the tiniest details to make sure the entire mood and tone is cohesive throughout the entire day. 

And if you’re planning your own wedding, then it’s important to know exactly that! 

Finding aesthetically pleasing ways to fold napkins for a wedding reception is just another detail to consider when designing your entire wedding day. 

It’s one of those minute parts that - when done right, maybe no one really notices or comments on it. However, it feeds into the cohesive, upscale design of the overall wedding reception. 

Yet when not done at all, it’s a glaring oversight. Something just feels off to the guests.

So, use one of these elegant ways to fold napkins for a wedding reception:

1. Elegant Knot

An elegant, albeit chunky, knot right in the middle of the napkin is a quick, easy napkin folding technique that can instantly elevate the look and feel of a wedding tablescape. 

Tie each napkin into a knot, then place the napkin to the left or right side of the salad plate. Because of the “heaviness” of the wedding napkin fold, making sure it’s off to one side balances each place setting.

A table setting showcasing one of the ways to fold a napkin for wedding using an elegant knot

2. Casually Refined Rolled Napkins

If you’re opting for a casual, yet still refined way to fold napkins for your wedding, then the classic rolled look is the go-to. This is especially perfect if you’re hosting a breakfast, lunch, or brunch wedding reception. 

To take it up a notch, find hand-frayed silk ribbon in a complementary color to tie around it. You can also use the ribbon to tie place cards to it.

Casually refined rolled napkins folded for wedding reception
Casually refined rolled napkins folded at a wedding reception in Mykonos, Greece

3. Wrapped Plate

If you want an elegant, glamorous feel to your place settings, then you may want a napkin folding technique that’s purely decorative. 

That’s exactly what you’ll get with the wrapped plate napkin fold. This technique is exactly what it sounds like. It involves wrapping the napkin around either the salad plate or the charger plate. 

You can take it a step further by folding the napkin around the salad plate with pleats. The pleated effect adds more elegance and glamor while also adding visual interest and subtle dimension to the place settings.

4. Loose, Gathered Napkin

There are some ways to fold napkins for a wedding reception that are equal parts elegant and relaxed and casual. A loose, gathered napkin fold is just the key to that beautiful combination. 

With this technique, simply gather the napkin fabric loosely. Then either using a napkin ring or some beautifully complementary ribbon, tie the napkin into that shape. 

Use this wedding napkin folding technique as a place card holder by tying a calligraphed place card to the ribbon.

Loosely gathered napkins at a wedding reception
Loosely gathered napkin with tasseled ribbon at wedding reception

5. Simple Square or Rectangle Napkin

Yes, finding ways to fold napkins for a wedding reception is a simple and effective way to instantly elevate any wedding tablescape design. 

But don’t underestimate the power of simplicity in the napkin fold itself. A square or rectangle napkin fold with the dinner menu on top is a perfect, sophisticated fold that will match just about any wedding reception.

A rectangle, one of the ways to fold napkins for wedding, with menu on top.
Rectangle folded napkin for garden party wedding reception

6. Napkin and Menu Pocket

And speaking of adding the menu into the mix, consider a napkin and menu pocket. The wedding reception napkins can be folded in a way so that it acts as the perfect menu holder. 

This creates a clean and crisp look that’s an excellent choice if the wedding reception includes a menu at each place setting.

A menu pocket created with one of the ways to fold napkins for wedding reception
A menu tucked into a napkin pocket from the way the napkin is folded for a wedding reception

7. Waterfall or Draped Napkin Folding

A waterfall or draped napkin folding is excellent for a sleek look at the wedding reception. We recommend considering this technique if the reception is using long banquet tables. 

The curve of the circular tables, combined with the draped napkin at each place setting can look overwhelming. 

But adding this to banquet tables creates a polished look thanks to its simplicity.

Waterfall napkin fold, also called draped napkin fold, on reception table for anniversary celebration
Waterfall napkin fold at wedding celebration

8. Triple Pocket Napkin Fold

If you want a unique, creative way to incorporate the flatware into your table settings (other than simply placing them next to the plates), then try the triple pocket. It’s an elegant wedding napkin fold that creates a pocket for the fork, knife, and spoon. 

Place it on top of the salad plate to create a sleek flatware bundle. And create a drop of color and visual interest by including a single stem flower at each place setting.

Triple pocket napkin fold for wedding reception at intimate wedding reception celebration

9. Pyramid Napkin Fold

Certain wedding receptions call for a little bit of drama. If that’s the case for yours, then the pyramid napkin fold is a must.

By folding it in this way, you’re instantly adding visual interest since you’re creating height with the napkin. 

Once you’ve folded the napkin into the pyramid shape, place it on top of the place setting. But as you continue designing the rest of your wedding tablescape, make sure that you’re not adding too much overall. Since the pyramid is already eye-catching, you’ll want to keep the rest of your tablescape design relatively simple and sleek. 

Of course, you can still spruce up the napkin fold by choosing a beautiful color from within the wedding color palette. 

10. Elegant Monogram-Forward Napkin

For an elegant and ornate detail, you can’t go wrong with a monogram-forward napkin. Not to mention, monogrammed napkins are an incredible way to personalize your wedding! They’re a beautiful touch that represents you on a day that’s all about you. Not to mention, they’re more than just a napkin. Instead, they’re a keepsake for you and your guests of an incredible milestone. 

To have the monogram front and center, choose a rectangle fold that places the monogram directly in the middle of the napkin. Then, place the napkin directly on top of the salad plate for a pristine, poised look. 

If you’re looking for a simple way to elevate the look and feel of the wedding for minimal cost, then napkins are the key to transforming your reception into a luxurious experience. We can help you customize your wedding napkins with monograms, as well!

Elegant monogram-forward napkin fold for wedding reception
Monograms created by Allegoria Textiles​​
Elegant monogrammed napkins for wedding reception, created by Allegoria Textiles
Monograms created by Allegoria Textiles​​

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