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The Dos and Don'ts of Napkin Folding

We've all seen those impossible napkin folds on Pinterest. You know, the ones that call for 3-5 napkins, an iron, hot glue gun, and a few ounces of holy water to put together. They look beautiful, but are they really worth it?

The answer? Yes and no.

Here are a few tricks I've gathered to help you decide what role you want napkins to play in your table setting.

When is a fold too complicated? If you get frustrated the first try, even with the online video tutorial, then your wedding planner is certainly not going to want to fold two hundred napkins in that same style. You may be lucky enough to have family members possessing the superpowers necessary to sit around for hours learning complicated folds, but more likely than not you're not going to want those special people dedicating their time to the napkins that will dissolve minutes into the reception. The solution: if it took you a while to figure out, it's probably more complicated than you’re going to want to replicate for all of your guests. This is when you know that it may be time to look for something a little more manageable.

What if I don't want a fancy fold? Just to clarify, simple folds can be elegant and are often preferred. A simple waterfall or a wrapped napkin is timeless. The complex folds come in for those creative types who want to make a small statement multiplied over many place settings.

What materials work best? It may be an unpopular opinion, but I've found that nova fabric has the best texture and weight for more complicated folds. Nova tends to be one of the more expensive napkins to purchase or rent, but if you decide to go all-out on the napkins, the nova fabric is going to be your best friend. In my experience, the satin is a bit trickier to fold, due to its slippery nature, and polyester is better than satin but not quite as malleable as nova.

Do I need many accessories to make an interesting fold? It's easy to get overwhelmed by the napkin folding ideas online that call for starch and and iron, but I've found that those folds go into the "too complicated" category for me. My personal preference? If the fold requires more than a napkin ring, it's probably more trouble than it's worth. But don't lose hope! Those folds exist too.

A few of my favorites So you've decided to go with the fancy fold. Which ones are doable? Here are a few of my favorites:

The Rose

The Pumpkin

The Bowtie

The Lover's Knot

A final suggestion When it comes to napkins, it's all about balance. A napkin fold isn't going to ruin your big day, but it could add a little pizzazz to your already memorable occasion.

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