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Studio Insights

Napkin Tips

How Many Napkins Should I Order?

Custom napkins are one of our favorite accent for all types of celebrations.  They set the tone, they set a theme, and of course, they are very useful!  Not to mention that printed napkins are a practical, fun and affordable event accent.  They are a fabulous way to bring in a theme or special color to your celebration as well. 

Determining the number of napkins that are needed for your event is easy. When entertaining, the number of napkins or guest towels needed depends on the type of affair you are hosting.  Whether your event is casual or formal, the recommendations below provide a guideline to the number of napkins typically ordered.  So, whether you are planning a wedding, bridal shower or cocktail party, or a bar/bat mitzvah, baby shower, or birthday, ordering the correct number of napkins will make your event easy to plan and outstanding to attend.

Formal Events

From black tie Weddings to beautiful Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Award Ceremonies or Corporate Affairs, we recommend that you purchase three to four Beverage Napkins per guest to be used for the cocktail hour and appetizers.  If you are having a sweet table, add in one to two extra Beverage Napkins per guest or you can consider Luncheon Napkins for a dessert table. Typically there will be a cloth napkin used for the meal.

Semi-Casual Events

For celebrations such as Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, Birthdays or Anniversaries,you will need two to three Beverage Napkins per guest to be used for beverages/cocktails and appetizers.   If you are having a sweet table and would like to lay out Beverage Napkins for that, add in one to two extra napkins per person.  Some like to use Luncheon Napkins for a dessert table and the quantity needed would be the same.  If you are providing a sit-down meal, you will one Luncheon, Dinner or Guest Towel size napkin per guest for the meal, unless you are providing cloth napkins.

Casual Events

For these types of events, such as Picnics, Backyard Parties, Pool Parties, Bar-B-Ques or Family Holidays, we suggest ordering two to three Beverage Napkins per guest to be used for beverages and appetizers.  If you are having a special dessert table add one extra Beverage Napkin per guest, or you can use a Luncheon Napkin for the dessert table.  If serving a meal, you will also need to add one Luncheon Napkin, Dinner Napkin, or Guest Towel per guest, unless you are providing cloth napkins.

Cocktail Parties

For Cocktail Parties, order four or five Beverage Napkins per guest as these affairs usually involve heavy appetizers and drinks throughout the evening.  If you are having a dessert table or passed desserts, add one or two extra Beverage Napkins or order one or two Luncheon Napkins per guest. If you are offering a sit-down meal, add one Dinner Napkin or Guest Towel per guest for the meal, unless you are providing cloth napkins.

Special Note

If you are offering passed appetizers, request that your servers pass out a napkin each time they serve an appetizer for the kindest service. If you are offering appetizer stations, request that your napkins are available at each station.

Additional Napkins Tips...

What should I use for my dinner party, a guest towel or a dinner napkin?

Dinner napkins are approximately 8.5" square and typically customers either leave them flat or some customers do fold them. They are only are offered in white and warm white. Many customers opt to order our Guest towels to use for dinners instead because they are offered in many colors. Here is the direct link to our Design your own Guest Towels product. Guest towels come pre-folded and are the same quality thickness as the dinner napkins.


If you have a private washroom for your event, Guest Towels are typically used in the restrooms. Purchase one to two Guest Towels per guest for the restrooms. You can place more guest towels in the women’s washroom than in the men’s washroom.

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