Use gift wrap to add visual interest to the table. Use it as a runner or cut it up into place mat size — you can even cut out circles to mimic a charger plate! Gift wrap rolls are cheap to buy and you can change the vibe of your table easily just with the style of wrap.
Invest in a set or two of neutral but interesting accent plates. I like the combo of gold and white. As soon as you add these to your place setting things are elevated to a new level.
Always keep a stash of sharpie markers in your dinner party kit. You can encourage guests to sign their names to the bottom of their wine glasses (or decorate any glass for that matter). The marker will wash off easily with warm water and soap but you can also remove it with rubbing alcohol.
Collect different silk flowers on sale and it is safest is to stick with all white shades. In the past, Amrita has displayed the flowers in some unlikely vessels: bottom of a sugar dish, toothbrush holder and pretty bathroom cups. Again, the vessels follow the white/metallic theme and are neutral but also full of personality!
You can buy a lot of battery operated tea lights for cheap and I like the idea of using them because they are safe and so long lasting. To give them a special treatment, put the tea lights inside of metallic napkin rings all around the table. Pretty way to dress them up for cheap!