By Heather Flemke, National Association for Catering and Events, Columbia, Md.

When it comes to wedding planning, the tendency to have “too many cooks in the kitchen” happens all too often. So here’s a recipe for successful event relations for event planners and professionals.

Ingredient #1: Plan for the future

There is a great deal of blood, sweat, and often tears involved in planning a wedding. Anticipating that issues may arise, it’s best for hired event professionals to connect and coordinate at the beginning of the process to avoid unnecessary pitfalls. In most local areas, prominent florists, lighting specialists, vendors, linen companies, and others will have already established working relationships and an understanding of each other’s abilities. However, it is not a bad idea to have an engaging conversation over the phone or in-person to discuss what each person envisions for the event. It is vital to stress, particularly for vendors, what the rules of the venue are, including the hours of availability, what specific rooms are available for rent, and so on. “By reinforcing a consistent vision, all participating event professionals can efficiently maximize the time they have to make it all fit,” says Terry Shields, CPCE, CSEP, director of catering and events at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, Texas.

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