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Before attending a catered event such as a party, wedding, or banquet, talk to the host ahead of time about your diet. Caterers can and will usually provide a vegetarian meal but will need to know in advance.
If the event is at a restaurant you can call the restaurant or hotel kitchen to request a vegetarian meal and feel free to suggest a dish that you know you can eat and that the kitchen is likely to be able to make. For example, most kitchens have the ingredients to make pasta primavera or a large baked potato topped with steamed vegetable. If you will be having dinner at someone's house, tell them that you are a vegan or vegetarian before committing to go or bring a "just in case" vegetarian food dish for yourself.
At barbecues simply take your own meatless burger or hot dog to throw on the grill. You could also do veggie kabobs with fresh vegetables and marinated tofu or tempeh.