Plate chargers are a fun way to add a little panache to your place settings. If you choose to use these for your reception, chargers typically remain on the table for the first courses, and then are removed for the entree. Although, if you really love the look (and if the chargers are larger than the entree plates), there is no reason they can't remain there for the whole meal.
Some chargers can be a solid color and basic. Others can be embellished with different decorative elements, such as the pearlized buttons above. But as you can see from the black chargers below, each can be equally statement-making.
Chargers can be especially effective when you are incorporating a third or fourth color into your palette. Both of the chargers above are used against black and white striped tablecloths. The one on the left is all about playing up the gold that is also seen on the plate's dots, as well as creating a backdrop muted enough to make the red napkin "bow" pop. The one on the right is glass with gold pearls, which doesn't compete with the lavish floral centerpieces and avoids a chaotic look.
But chargers can also be made of completely unexpected materials. For a rustic wedding consider round woodcuts and pair them with vintage or hand painted plates (above). For an autumnal wedding, mirror an earth-toned color palette with a woven charger.