Diehard romantic, a firm believer in “happily ever after” and a freelance wedding planner Mallika Agrawal, 25, had a vague idea about her choice of profession ever since she watched The Wedding Planner, at the age of 11.
“It has been Mallika’s dream to walk around the wedding venue with a walkie-talkie to co-ordinate with her team like Jennifer Lopez did in the movie. Although, it fails miserably due to low connectivity,” says Tulika, 29, who left her high-profile corporate job to join her sister in launching Panodrama Events, a Delhi-based wedding planning company set up in 2014.
They are young and ambitious but complete opposites as individuals. “While Tulika is an introvert and needs her own time to open up with people, I’m an outgoing personality, who loves chatting with new people. While I’m quite straightforward, Tulika is more into herself,” says the younger sister.
Mallika adds, “Since my younger sister has worked with the wedding industry for over four years now and has a keen eye for design, so obviously the design and décor of an event falls into her purview. While I mostly take care of logistics and finances.”
Sharing about one of the most memorable projects, Mallika says, “It was a wedding that we had planned in February 2015. The bride was from Delhi and the groom was German. Right from the start, we felt the warmth and a fine balance of professionalism, and we became more like family friends. Meeting at coffee shops and discussing the events made us move from the formal settings, and there was a stronger bonding between us. Not just this, during the sangeet ceremony they even had a ‘thank you’ speech acknowledging and appreciating our efforts, which made us feel quite special.”
Meeting a wide spectrum of people from different corners of the world is what makes their job a fun-filled activity. “We get to meet a lot of people from different nationalities, and learn about their culture and traditions. In the process, we end up building on our contacts and becoming friends with different kinds of people,” shares Mallika, adding, “In fact, planning your own party becomes much more easier. Also, we get to travel to exotic locations while planning destination weddings and of course, who wouldn’t love gorging on shaadi ka khaana!”
When not in their work mode, the two sisters try and catch up on their social lives. “We love travelling, so we make plans to go out together with our family and friends. Both of us also love shopping and scuba diving, so we plan our trips around the same. We also watch movies to de-stress,” shares Mallika.
Honesty, hard work and a balanced approach towards their work is what keeps driving these young entrepreneurs. “We try to maintain our calm even during the most stressful situations (weddings have lot of them!). To give in our best effort, we try and take up not more than two weddings in a month, which is roughly 12-14 weddings in a year,” they say adding, “While at work on the ground, we hardly look as fancy and glamorous as Anuskha Sharma does in Band Baaja Baaraat.
With puffy eyes, hair tied in a bun and sleeves rolled up; we are busy running from pillar to post. Since we are siblings, we have a natural chemistry and that is what keeps us going.”...