Wedding Etiquette for Personalized Napkins

by Margo Dewey

Brides want to have a memorable wedding, and sometimes all it takes is paying attention to the details. The smallest idea, like having personalized napkins, can be the one thing that becomes a wonderful memory for everyone. Personalized napkins can be modern or traditional. They can represent the personalities of the bride and groom as well as be a part of the overall wedding theme. Whatever you decide, personalized napkins can be that special keepsake your guests take home.

Important Details

Some people wonder whose name should go first on the personalized napkin. If you are going with a more traditional look, which includes the full name of the bride and groom, the groom’s name goes first, as in: “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” or “Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Carol Smith.” For the less traditional napkin, follow what 90 percent of wedding couples are using -- the bride’s name first and the groom’s second, as in: “Carol and John Smith.” Or opt out of having your last name and use first names for a more personal touch, for example: “Carol and John.” The wedding date is the next important detail. It should include the wedding day and year and can be modern, as in, “08 01 2014” or traditional, such as, “August 1, 2014.”

Colors and Styles

Traditional wedding napkin colors are white and ivory. For the more contemporary look, match your napkin with your wedding theme such as purple, gold or pink. If you decide not to use names on the personalized napkins, monograms will give that classic look, as in, “C & J” or “CSJ,” with the middle initial representing the last name of the couple. Personalized napkins are available in a variety of materials from the paper napkin to fine linen. Alternatively, have a personalized napkin designed separately for cocktails and the dinner reception.

The Modern Look

A favorite photo of the bride and groom on a personalized napkin can turn a traditional wedding into a modern look. The photo can be a current one of the wedding couple or their baby picture. A favorite poem or saying can be added as well as a memorable quote. Guests enjoy reading the wedding napkins, and if you have a favorite saying, it becomes another reminder of your wedding for years to come.

How to Place the Napkin

Once you have decided what kind of personalized napkin you want, follow the proper etiquette of napkin placement. If you are having a formal wedding, place the napkin on the center of the plate with the writing on the napkin facing the guest. For a wedding that is more casual, place the napkin to the left of the plate. The napkin can also be wrapped around the flatware or be inside of a decorative ring.

Photo Credits

  • bonchan/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Livonia, Mich., Margo Dewey has been writing cultural and society-related articles since 1987. Her articles have appeared in “Suburban Living” magazine, “Associated Newspapers”, and “Oakland Business Monthly” magazine. She also produced a wedding cable series, “Just For The Bride”. She has achieved the Michigan Press Association Award. She holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Eastern Michigan University and Bulmersche University in England.