Delhi-based event planner Namrata Mamak was at our garden studio for two days, flitting around our vegetable patch to set the scene for a lovely garden brunch, transforming our pantry into a cosy party nook… clearly for her the art of hosting comes easy. She has, after all, been in the business of events for 25 years. Read on to hear about her journey.
Tell us about your work.
I’m a wedding designer, to be very specific. Unlike a wedding planner, who acts as a one point contact for the family for everything from invitations to F&B, a wedding designer visualises the look and feel of the event and then executes it. For the last 12 years my husband Daljit (a light designer) and I have been at the helm of our own company named Event Décor.
How did you get into the business?
After college I joined British Airways’ ground office in Delhi. Two years into the job, I came across a temporary opening in their PR & Events division, and let’s just say I haven’t looked back ever since. That was my first foray into the world of events, in the mid ’90s, after which I started working full time with an events company. Early on, we’d focus a lot more on conferences and roadshows but once luxury brands entered the Indian market, the trend shifted to sit-down dinners and wine & cheese evenings.
And weddings? How did that come about?
It was the film Monsoon Wedding that brought the entire wedding business to the forefront, and strangely, the movie was also shot at my aunt’s farm in Delhi, who was friends with Mira Nair. Thanks to that film people could suddenly relate to the role of an event planner, played by Mr Dubey in this case, and the company I was working with started to take up wedding projects too.
Where all have these events taken you?
Daljit and I have worked in plenty of places across India: Rajasthan (Jodhpur, Udaipur, Rantambhore and Samode), Punjab (Chandigarh and Ludhiana), Goa, Dehradun, to name a few. Outside the country, we’ve hosted a beach wedding in Phuket, and a pre-wedding party at a château in Chantilly.
What are some of the most memorable events you’ve worked on?
We once created a 3D club for a client’s party, which was quite unconventional. Think concave and convex mirrors, wall panels with depth and a ceiling full of stars. Then there was a client’s birthday in Rantambhore—we weren’t allowed to use generators so the entire setup was lit by hundreds of candles and laser masks prepared by artisans from Orissa. Just recently, we covered an entire pool with acrylic and installed a hexagon glass mandap over it for a client’s wedding. All of these helped us push the envelope, and think of new ways to present a setup.
How would you describe your personal style?
I’d say it’s very simple. I put together so many looks for people so I’m usually quite lazy when it comes to myself. But with clothing, I always go for things that are easy and comfortable.
You’ve created two very different setups with Nicobar’s House&Home pieces. What do you think about the collection?
Nicobar’s products have always been very versatile. I like that you can use them every day in your home, and also repurpose them for special occasions.
What’s that one thing everyone should invest in for their home?
Good furniture! Pick one particular style of it, then keep playing with soft furnishings every once in a while to change the look.
If you have guests coming over, what are you most likely to serve them?
For drinks, there’s always gin and whiskey. I often serve them with nachos and dips, seekh kebabs and dimsums.
How is 2019 looking for you?
We’re packed with weddings till the end of March, after which it’s going to be a lot of parties. Like usual.
You can reach Namrata Mamak at +91 9811045491 or follow her on Instagram.
Writer: Sushant Kumar
Photographer: Dolly Devi
Stylist: Namrata Mamak