Photo from Country Living via Fireflies and Cotton
If you gravitate to bookshelves when you're invited into someone's house then this post is for you. Why not use books as a centerpiece? A book collection tells a lot about the owner so using them as centerpieces is a great way to personalize your reception. Decorate with old books, prettily bound books, your favorite books or books on a particular topic like love, peace, your faith, etc. or choose a theme like favorite authors, classic literature, or books with happy endings. I've seen this done many times and it always looks great!
Then consider naming tables after a brief quote from the book, the authors, the topic, famous couples in love, etc.
You could even place your guests at a table by a topic they might enjoy and have in common. Perhaps they all enjoy cooking, fashion, wine, David Sedaris, a particular polticial view?
You can add a lot of color and texture to your decor for free, if you already own a lot of books or at least within your budget, if you're using it as an excuse to grow your collection! And books look great with ribbons, flowers, candles and just about any decoration.
Photo from Offbeat Bride
Finally, give out personalized bookmarks or a favorite book or book plate as a favor.