It’s the smallest details that can make your big day special, like the lettering on your wedding invitations or the embellishments that help your gown sparkle. Wedding napkins may not sparkle, but they’re just as important when it comes to your wedding reception. In fact, napkins can help carry out your color palette and even speak to the theme of your nuptials. Here’s all you need to know about reception napkins, from what size to choose to what material you should use:


Choose the right size
Are you hosting a brunch wedding reception? Or a formal dinner? This is a vital question to answer because it will dictate the shape of napkins you should use. For instance, a brunch would call for luncheon napkins that are traditionally 6.5-by-6.5 inches. Formal dinner napkins, however, are a bit larger to accommodate a bigger meal. These napkins are usually 8.5-by-8.5 inches.

Select a material
The material that you choose largely depends on the type of event that you’re hosting. For instance, if your wedding is very formal, you should set out cloth napkins on the reception tables. But if you’re after a beachy, casual vibe, you can opt for the paper variety. Cocktail hour is another good time for paper napkins, as it’s often more laid back than the reception itself.

Personalize them
You can easily customize your napkins to match the theme of your big day. For example, if you’re having a rustic, outdoorsy affair, these Aqua Dinner Napkins would fit the event perfectly. A modern or contemporary wedding, however, would do better with these Cranberry Dinner Napkins that simply read “Mr. and Mrs.” You’ll also want to select a color for your napkins that coordinates with the rest of your reception decor. If the place settings are all white or neutral hues, give the table a pop of bright color with coral or turquoise napkins. You can also choose to keep things subdued with the classic white dinner napkin.

Know how many to order
Plan on ordering about three cocktail napkins per guest, two napkins per guest for the cake table, and then two napkins per guest for the dining tables. Keep in mind that it’s better to order too many napkins than too few. After all, you can always take the leftover napkins home! Another important factor to consider is what you’re serving for dinner. If it’s something messy, like barbecue or corn on the cob, you might want to plan on ordering more napkins.

Have you decided what wedding napkins you’re going to use for your big day? Share your thoughts with us!