Couples are always asking me how many they should order so I thought I'd share my equation with you too! It's really simple. First, determine how many hours you'll have the bars open during your reception. For example, if your reception will be five hours long, then the bars will likely be open for 3 1/2 hours (allowing 1 1/2 hours for dinner-ask your banquet manager how long they estimate dinner service for all courses if you're not sure). Remember to include the cocktail hour! Then multiply the number of hours by 1.5. This is the average number of drinks that a guest will have per hour. Finally multiply that number by the number of guests your expecting. Here's what this looks like:
3.5 (# of hours) x 1.5 (# of drinks) x 100 (# of guests) = 525 napkins
Remember that you CAN only have decorative napkins for the cocktail hour and use plain or the venue's (or caterers) napkins for after dinner.