The Do-It-Yourself 12-Step Shower Catering Plan
Wash the vegetables if you are assembling the platters yourself.
Get out a big platter or tray and two or three baskets. If you don't have a tray or platter, wrap aluminum foil around a big piece of wood or the side of a cardboard box.
Chop up the Velveeta into chunks, dump in the beans and tomatoes, and microwave for a few minutes until you can stir it smooth. Set it aside.
Take the matching paper napkins for the party and line the baskets with them.
Slap the washed, dried romaine lettuce along the tray or platter, with the dark green part along the edges and the bottom parts all in the center.
Lay the meats and cheeses in an attractive pattern on the platter. I'd probably alternate them. Garnish with parsley, two orange slices, and two lemon slices. Put on table.
Dump the chips into a lined basket, and arrange the bread in the other one or two.
Put the Velveeta dip into a serving bowl. Stick a sprig of parsley into it and a lemon wedge. (It's good lukewarm, so don't freak out if it cools down!)
With a rubber spatula, spoon the condiments into small glass bowls. Garnish with parsley.
Unwrap the vegetable platters and put them on the table.
In a big punch bowl, mix half of the beverage ingredients you bought. Add the floating ice ring and all the leftover citrus slices you can float on top.
Put the cake and whatever other table decorations you want to use in a spot of honor on the table. Arrange the paper goods and relax! You've just catered it yourself!
Total estimated time (not including shopping or pre-ordering): 1½ hours.