How Many Napkins Do You Need for a Wedding?

How Many Napkins Do You Need for a Wedding?

Milena Kukurekovic

Table napkins are extremely important when it comes to designing an impressive tablescape. Although they may appear to be a minor detail, these pleasant accessories enhance the appearance of your wedding tables and dinnerware while also adding a refined touch to your entire wedding décor.

A few disposable paper napkins provide a touch of elegance and refinement to your party scapes with no effort at all.

Need some guidance figuring out what kind of napkins you will need for your wedding reception and how many? To assist you to estimate the number of napkins you'll need for your reception - we've compiled a list of helpful suggestions to help you choose the best table napkins for yourself.

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Different Napkins of Different Sizes! What To Choose?

Since each napkin has its style and appearance, your choice of table napkins says a lot about your aesthetic preferences. Those who want to understand the purposes of different napkins, read along.

Cocktail Napkins

Unfolded paper napkins measure 5 inches in width by 5 inches in length, and when folded, they measure 10 inches wide by 10 inches in length. Cocktail napkins are the smallest of the three standard napkin sizes (cocktail, dinner, and luncheon) and are used to serve drinks, snacks, and desserts.

  • For serving drinks at a drink station

Since guests will generally make multiple visits to the drink station during the wedding, order two to three (2-3) cocktail napkins for each guest for dispensing drinks. Each beverage will be served with a single napkin to absorb moisture and dry the lips.

  • Serving appetizers

If you're serving starters before the main dish, then order one cocktail napkin per person. Not all guests will eat appetizers, and those who do, will probably only go to the table once.

  • For cakes and desserts

For the cake and dessert table, order one napkin per guest. Usually, guests only visit the dessert table once. Because cake is usually served on a small dessert plate, a small cocktail napkin is ideal for serving with cake.

Luncheon Napkins

Luncheon napkins are 60 percent bigger than cocktail napkins, measuring 6 1/2 inches in diameter by 6 1/2 inches in length when folded and 13 inches wide by 13 inches in length when extended. 

Luncheon napkins can be used for a variety of purposes throughout your glamorous wedding reception.

  • For breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets

If you're having a wedding breakfast, lunch, or supper buffet, get one to two luncheon napkins for each guest. When guests are self-serving at a wedding buffet, luncheon napkins are a suitable size to carry with flatware.

  • For an outdoor picnic-style wedding reception

For an outdoor wedding reception, order one to two luncheon napkins per attendee. Luncheon napkins are a good size for a picnic-style event where visitors will self-serve their reception meal.

The key to napkin sizing is the ease of handling.

  • For desserts and cakes

Do you need a larger napkin to serve desserts? When fully unfurled, luncheon napkins have 60% more surface area than cocktail napkins. For the cake and dessert table, order one luncheon napkin per person.

Dinner Napkins

Dinner napkins are 60 percent larger than luncheon napkins, measuring 8 1/2 inches in diameter by 8 1/2 inches in length when folded and 17 inches in width by 17 inches in length when unfolded. 

  • Catered Dinner

One dinner napkin per person will suffice if dinner is served at the dinner tables. Order a couple more in case you have some unexpected guests.

  • Dinners and lunch served buffet-style or in a cafeteria

Guests are welcome to return to the buffet table or the cafeteria. To ensure you don't run out of napkins before your dinner party is complete, order 1 1/2 to 2 dinner napkins for each guest.

To Sum It Up:

  • Cocktail Napkins: Order three to four per guest
  • Luncheon Napkins: Order one to two per guest
  • Dinner Napkins: Order one to two per guest

You should have 3-4 wedding cocktail napkins for each guest as a rule of thumb, and one extra per guest if you're using cocktail napkins for the cake or dessert table.

Pick the finest disposable napkins for your wedding to give your lead tables a royal touch. Our elegant paper napkins will enchant your guests with their absolute elegance and whimsical feel, so get the correct quantity and make your event spectacular.

Napkin Folds That Will Upgrade Your Reception Tables

Wrap your napkin and menu card together with thread or string to keep your table settings tidy and orderly. Fold each paper napkin in half and set the menu on top; tie the bundles together and finish with a bit of greenery, such as the olive branch or any of your favorite plants. 

Cloth Vs Paper Napkins: Pick The Best One

The type (formal/informal) and the location of your reception will determine whether you use paper or cloth napkins. The table settings may include cloth napkins. Alternatively, if you're ordering tablecloths or linens for your event, the cloth napkins may be included. Cloth dinner napkins are suitable for a formal reception.

For a more casual style, such as an outside or backyard reception, paper dinner napkins would be ideal. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you're having a messier dish at your outdoor reception (like BBQ ribs or chops), you'll need additional napkins!

Personalized Napkins - Create Your Own

Designing your wedding napkins will add a unique touch to your big day. If you don't want all your napkins to be personalized, simply the cocktail napkins that will be placed on your cake table can be personalized.

There are a lot of options when it comes to what to put on your wedding napkins. There's always the tried-and-true logo, which combines the couple's names or initials.

Tip: If it seems too formal, have the couple's favorite music lyrics or phrases, and put them on the napkins instead.


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