@Pippinwhite -- You can't overstate the need for a contract. I used to do some weekend catering for small events, and I bought a blank contract form from an office supply store and made a zillion copies of it. If I talked to someone, they didn't leave with a final date until I had a signed contract.
I got taken to court twice. Both times, I had the contract and the judge dismissed the case. Both times, it was essentially because the people changed their mind about what they wanted and told me at the very last minute, and I couldn't make the changes. Too bad. There's a lot I liked about it, but I'd never do it again.