Smart Bites

Shrimp cocktailIsabelle Donovan, event coordinator for Charleston, S.C.-based Duvall Events (, suggests working with a catering firm or venue that charges one fee for all passed hors d'oeuvres. If so, be sure to take advantage and include high-end bites -- like tenderloin or seafood -- in the mix. "If it's a set rate, you'll pay the same price whether its lettuce or oysters," says Donovan, whose company uses this pricing method. "You're getting value for what they pay for, and we're ready to eat the cost because it's a small portion."