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Want a standout wedding? Be bold with table linens

By David Delk

After 40 years in the event rental industry, I’ve seen my share of trends come and go. A simple arch was perfect back in the day, but now, it’s all about gorgeous draping with uplighting. We at ABC Rental once had dozens of brass floor candelabras in every shape and size, but after years of these pieces just sitting there, we cleared them out to make room for something new. A simple reception in a relative’s backyard next to the above-ground pool has disappeared, and now, the trend is a massive, clear tent with chandeliers overlooking the water.

This journey of change has been wonderful, and we’ve loved every moment. What hasn’t changed in over 50 years, no matter how hard we try, is rental table linens. Since day one, white has been requested consistently. Occasionally, a bride will ask for ivory or, more rarely, a color, but classic white wins 95 percent of the time.


Perhaps it’s so popular because we live in the South, and it’s picture perfect and romantic to have those crisp, white linens on a table topped with greenery and flowers. Yes, that is beautiful, but it’s been done for decades. Maybe it’s time for you to be daring, to be different, and give your event that “wow” factor without breaking the bank. Today, thousands of types of linens are available within any budget. For a slight price difference, you can get that special color you want. Mixing colors is an option, too. If your bridesmaids’ dresses are a certain shade of blue, use that shade, but incorporate another color on the highboys to mix it up.

Across the country, bold designs in linens are becoming popular. Henna-style designs, a marbleized style, and watercolor floral patterns are incredible and just a sampling of the options I’ve seen lately.


And let’s not forget your wedding cake table linen. You’ll look at your photographs repeatedly over your lifetime, but that cake-cutting photo is one you’ll dwell on — so go for a bold pattern, textured fabric or even a little bling; it can only make that cake and flowers look all the better. Your wedding will be a whirlwind adventure, but know that you’re not last decade’s, or even last week’s, bride. You have your own personality, so customize your event. Whether you hire a professional or purchase your linens online, you and your wedding planner can create something even better by incorporating color and designs that will leave your guests in awe.

David Delk is president of ABC Rental, celebrating its 55th year. Reach him at

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