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Baby Shower Catering – Order Out or Do it Yourself?

So you've decided to host a baby shower for a friend or loved one. As the hostess, you'll have lots of decisions to make – when and where to hold the shower, what kind of theme to use, what kinds of foods to serve, which games to play and more. When it comes to the foods to serve, you may be wondering whether or not you should prepare the food yourself or hire a caterer. Here's what to think about while making your decision.

One crucial thing to consider is how accomplished you are as a cook. If you’re a good cook, you’ll obviously feel more comfortable doing the cooking yourself. Just a beginner? Then you'll be happier and more confident either choosing simple foods you can make easily, purchasing prepared foods or using a caterer.

Next, consider how many people you’ll be feeding and where the ceremony will be held. If you're having a small group of friends at your home, that's a do-it-yourself scale job. On the other hand, if you're hosting 50 people at an off-site location, you should definitely consider getting help of some sort unless you’re a very accomplished hostess.

Also, how much energy and capability do you have physically? Cooking and serving a large number of people can be physically tiring. If you have physical limitations, it may be better to hire help.

And how large is your budget? If money is tight, you can usually save money by making things yourself and sticking to a simple menu. If you have plenty of money in your budget, then food is certainly a wonderful place to spend it.

Think about the kinds of foods you’re planning. Food choices for a shower can be very simple – from finger sandwiches and snacks – to a high tea or a full sit-down meal. The complexity of the food you want to serve is another consideration in whether or not you should bring in outside assistance.

Finally, do you have all of the serving equipment and pieces you’ll need for the food you want to serve? For example, if you're planning to offer something that needs to be served warm, you may need a chafing dish. And unless you do a lot of entertaining, you may not have one of these on hand. Of course, there are a number of party supply businesses that will rent you the additional equipment you need, although you’ll generally need to pay a deposit, arrange for pickup, cleaning and delivery, and pay a fee for rental. On the other hand, a caterer will usually supply these materials and services as a part of their services.

If you still can’t decide, why not compromise? You can have some parts of the foods catered and do some yourself. For example, you might be comfortable handling the snacks and beverages, but you might want to hire a bakery to make and deliver the cake. You can also consider doing a potluck style event where each guest prepares and brings a certain dish to pass.

There’s no single right or wrong decision when it comes to the foods and beverages for your baby shower. Just consider all of your options and make the decision that works best for you.

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