Your standard linen rentals (most venues may provide you with standard white ones for free) range from $8 - $15. The more elaborate ones can go upwards of $35 each depending on size. Times this by the number of tables and it can add up.
This got me thinking. If a venue has the standard white linens that they offer for free why not take advantage of this and find a way to dress them up.....
I found these placemats at cb2. They are $3.95 each. Not cheap but if you look at them as a way to save $$$ on place cards and place card holders this may be a great alternative:
Here are the placemats in a tablescape:
Just imagine calligraphy such as this written on the white space/or black space of the above placemat. It would be beautiful to walk up to a table and see "Mrs. Jones" on such a fabulous placemat. A great way to spice up an otherwise simply table linen:
Remember if you don't have a charger and are having a sit down meal there is usually no plate at each place setting so nothing would block the name of your guest.