I consider this a great example how a few key elements can make a statement.
Most venues provide linens for their tables at no extra cost but the options are usually limited to white or ivory. The most economical way to infuse your own color palette into the reception facility is with tablecloths. If you think about it, most of the square footage in the room will be taken up by tables so putting tablecloths in your decorating budget is by far the best way to go.
Another item that is commonly used are chair covers. They are used to cover "not so pretty" banquet seating but they can look baggy and heavy. There is another option. Dollar for dollar you will get a much more tailored, clean, and elegant look by using Chivari chairs. Majority of the time we are talking only a dollar or two more per chair and that includes the coordinating cushion. Unless you are in the industry, you wouldn't know the name of this chair type but I know that most people have seen them in many, many pictures in magazines. Gold is a popular and versatile choice but they do come in Silver, Black, White, and several other colors. There is a delivery fee involved and each reception facility has their own set up fees but there are fees for installing and delivery chair covers as well. If you are one of several receptions on the same day, you may want to contact the other "parties" for that day and offer to share the expense and use of the items.