Wedding Questions

- Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Cartagena Wedding Budget?

July 05, 2017 12:34:01 pm

Posted in Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia
283948 Katherine Vargas Wedding date: March 23, 2013 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi everyone,
I noticed that the last large talk on wedding budget was dated 2009 so I thought I needed more updated information on wedding budgets (I also know that prices have increased with the increased popularity of destination weddings). I am planning to get married in Cartagena during the summer of 2013. Our invitation list will be between 75 and 100 people. My priorities are a good band (good music), ability to bring our own liquor because we have a lot of friends who are big boozers, a very fun Hora Loca and a very pretty wedding dress. I am willing to skimp out on expensive decorations and fancy food, we want dinner but it doesn't have to be top notch. We will not be getting married in a church but instead do a symbolic ceremony that can be outside or another room at the site of the location. I probably use a wedding planner since I don' t have time to go back and forth to Colombia. We are aiming for a 15k to 18k wedding budget. Is that doable? One wedding planner said it wasn't but I don't know if she was just looking for more money.

28 Replies

Emptyprofileicon Angela Corredor Wedding date: September 14, 2012 London, England, UK

January 23, 2012 9:01:00 am

Hi Kattecita

I saw in your last post that you are looking for a wedding dress. I am selling mine if you are interested drop me an email and I will send you more info.

Thanks
Angela

gelaco20@hotmail.com

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Emptyprofileicon andres nieto

January 23, 2012 9:21:33 am

Dear Kathy,,, please see our website www.justmarriedcol.com.. we can provide all your needs, for more information, please send me a email andres@justmarriedcol.com

Best regards

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Emptyprofileicon andres nieto

March 21, 2012 8:14:59 am

Dear Kathy,,, please see our website www.justmarriedcol.com.. we can provide all your needs, for more information, please send me a email andres@justmarriedcol.com

Best regards

Reply

224141 Gina Castillo-Alvarez

January 23, 2012 9:57:09 am

Dear Katherine and Eric:
I think you are right on your perception of the wedding planner you contacted. Cartagena has very much to offer and there is something for all type of budgets. You just need to be helped in making the right choices. That is what a true wedding planner does. Unfortunately many that say they are "Wedding Planners" in Colombia and Cartagena do not follow the industry's standards and are only there to milk you. We have done beautiful weddings for that amount of guest within that budget. It is really a matter of compromising on the details that are not as important and splurging on those that are. I am sure we can help you in creating that dream wedding. Please visit our website to see what we have to offer: http://www.team-bride.com/. I invite you to email me to teambridegca@yahoo.com or you can call me on my cell at 513-331-9071

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267599 Pedraza Producciones

January 23, 2012 2:53:14 pm

dear kattecita
In Pedraza Productions are experts in photography and video for weddings.
You can visit our website http://www.pedrazaproducciones.com
or for more information, write to our e-mail mercadeo@pedrazaproducciones.com
regards

Reply

234699 Andrea Sparano Wedding date: February 04, 2012 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

January 23, 2012 3:32:40 pm

Hi Kathy,
I'm getting married on Feb. 4th 2012 in Cartagena (super excited!). I used a wedding planner to help me organize the wedding and obtain discounts, but even so things still tend to be pretty pricey. A good band with a DJ will cost you about $2,500 but that's a 2011 price. My wedding is for 50 people and my budget was $15,000 but I've spent a few thousand more than that due to those additional costs that you don't really plan to spend initially (such as a cake cutting fees, makeup/hair, rental car, etc.). I am having a church ceremony but my reception site is outside of the walled city at a beach house (tends to be less expensive than within the walled city).

What cost us the most was the food including tables, chairs, cocktails, waiters, and the buffet (which is just fish and chicken).

If you want to be able to bring your own booze don't have the reception at a hotel. They charge "descorche" fees which can be pretty ridiculous and won't allow you to bring booze from elsewhere. Our reception is being held at a beach house that we rented where we are able to take our own liquor.

Have you thought about having a beach wedding? Those can be beautiful in Cartagena. Just keep in mind that every year all prices DO increase by a certain percentage and a wedding for 75-100 people will cost you a much more than $15,000. Cartagena IS the most expensive city in Colombia thanks to all of its tourism.

I hope this helps! My wedding coordinator is Caribe Cordial. They can help you plan a wedding within your budget and know the best vendors in the city. Just remember, prices fluctuate depending on the number of guests.

Good luck and let me know if you have anymore questions!

Andrea

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283948 Katherine Vargas Wedding date: March 23, 2013 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

January 23, 2012 7:02:21 pm

Thank you everyody for the quick responses. It seems that we have to trim our guest list! Ill keep you guys informed about the process and updated budget. You were sooo helpful. Andrea, mucha suerte en tu boda!

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233190 Dayro Martin

February 15, 2012 6:19:24 pm

Restaurant La Langosta
www.lalangosta.com.co
www.facebook.com/lalangostacartagena
photo:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150326964062701.349876.116396632700&type=3

aiming for 100 pax -- US$6.000 to US$12.000

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Emptyprofileicon Andres Rincon Wedding date: March 10, 2012 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

February 20, 2012 1:15:04 pm

Hello there... I'm getting married in 2 weeks in Cartagena. I have only 40 people and I'm about $15K. Also, dont forget to budget for airfare and hotels... it all ads up. I'm already way over $25K.

Good luck!
-A

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283948 Katherine Vargas Wedding date: March 23, 2013 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

February 20, 2012 7:00:05 pm

Thank you for the reply a&j. Does your 15k budget include a ceremony at a church or are you doing a smaller ceremony at the site of reception? I'm trying to figure out how much money I will be saving by not doing the ceremony at a church.

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Emptyprofileicon Andres Rincon Wedding date: March 10, 2012 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

February 20, 2012 7:42:57 pm

I'm not doing a church ceremony. We rented a Colonial house and having the ceremony and reception there. Unfortunately, now days most houses require a 2 nights minimum rentals... which raises the budget even more. So what we ended up doing was renting the whole house for the entire weekend... and are staying there and having some of our friends stay there as well. We paid for an entire night (since we were hosting the event there)... and the rest was split evenly among everyone else staying in the house by number of nights. This really helped a lot and you get to really spend quality time with some of your friends/family.

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283948 Katherine Vargas Wedding date: March 23, 2013 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

February 20, 2012 7:57:11 pm

Got it, thank you!

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Emptyprofileicon Jessica Wedding date: November 20, 2012 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

March 07, 2012 10:11:29 pm

Hi Kat and a&j,

Yes, I am getting married in Cartagena this year too. I will have 40 people coming and it will cost about 15k as well.
That includes the photographer (dennisdrenner.com - my fav bit and worth every cent!!!), ceremony (Santo Toribio), bilingual priest, reception canapes + 3 courses + descorche fees (Santa Clara), alcohol (Dismel), a basic horse and cart (off the street not the more expensive florist's one), sound and lighting (Plyer Productions), Hora Loca (Ekobios), cake (from Bogota) and hair/make-up.
No wedding planner.
No accommodation or flights.

The churches vary on price. I know Santo Toribio wasn't the cheapest (but is was small and had aircon) and it was about $500.

Just to also flag Kat, I have found many Cartagena suppliers don't have credit card and international transfer facilities. Therefore, if you don't have a Colombia bank account, there could be issues. This one I didn't see coming...

Good luck Kat!
J

PS - I found the Marque Hotel very helpful for a lower budget. You still need to rent the House but it is more affordable and might work if your guest list is over 50...

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233190 Dayro Martin

March 08, 2012 4:52:52 pm

Hello, I live in Cartagena and I have a restaurant, The Lobster,
www.lalangosta.com.co or www.facebook.com / lalangostacartagena
Here you will find photos.
We organize weddings and events in Cartagena.
We have gardens where do civil wedding and reception inside.
Budget in our facilities based on 80 people:

food
80 Menus ($ 3,400,000 approx. U.S. $ 2000): Input: Fresh sea bass ceviche
pieces of marinated sea bass served in nacre
Strong: PORK LOIN MEDALLIONS Medallions of pork tenderloin in sauce
COGNAC chef SHRIMP Fresh shrimp grilled and flambéed with
Brandy Almond Rice Sautéed vegetables (Bean, Broccoli,
Cauliflower, Carrot)

Dessert Display
Beverages ($ 2.5 million approx. U.S. $ 1,400): Unlimited soft drinks whiskey 18
Buchanna's or Black Label

Music (Entertainment) ($ 2,000,000 approx. U.S. $ 1,150): 4 hours - 5 people Group
Crazy Hour

Decorative Base ($ 1,400,000 approx. U.S. $ 800)
Bride wedding cake
Table centerpieces - roses and foliage
Floor candles
Glasses of Champagne
Luxury Linens and napkins
Luxury Cutlery and Crockery
Entrance arch garden decor
Decorative Garden Bridge
bouquet roses, lilies, stems bound in tape
Botonier 4: 1 for boyfriend, 2 parents and 1 godfather
Simple Bouquet for 2 ladies of the court
Decorating with veils in the palm gardens
red Carpet

Service Col $ 400,000 aprox. US$230

Total: COL $ 9,700,000 Approx. US$ 5.580

our service in any sector walled house
add approximately COL$ 1,500,000. US$850

info: eventos@lalangosta.com.co

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283948 Katherine Vargas Wedding date: March 23, 2013 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

March 08, 2012 4:58:05 pm

Thank you Jessica for the information. I'm glad you brought up the issue of the transaction difficulties. Thank you also for the breakdown of the costs, it was very useful. I am visiting Cartagena in a few weeks and the information that everyone has provided has been so helpful! Once I have more details, I'll make sure to share with others who are also trying to plan a wedding there. Good luck with your wedding!

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Emptyprofileicon Jessica Wedding date: November 20, 2012 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

March 08, 2012 5:42:26 pm

HI Kat,

I am sorry, I just remembered...
Re Flowers/Decoration: We will be doing our own bouquet/buttonholes and we are using candles/lighting for decoration. This has saved us at least 1k+.
As mentioned we are also not using the florists horse/cart (saving at least $300).
Re cake: we are getting a better price from Bogota.
Note: 15k doesn't include the costs outside Cartagena (dress, invitations, legal docs, etc). It also does not include accom or flights.

We are also having a very simple menu. It will still be canapes, 3 courses including desert, plus party food later, but we did choose the more basic options (fish instead of lobster for example).

I just recommend to talk to your suppliers. Most people are really happy to help and lots of prices can be negotiated. l couldn't be happier with the supplier we have now chosen (as listed above). Dennis Drenner (the photographer) and Juan Pablo (events coordinator at Santa Clara), in particular, are amazing! They are lovely people and easy to work with but that have also been really good to us. We couldn't have done it without them!... And Freddo at Casa La Fe, Padre Carols at Santo Toribio, Ricardo at Plyer Productions and Victor at Ekobios (Hora Loca), have also been really great.
I really do recommend taking the time to talk to your suppliers. It will save you money but you also have confidence in planning your wedding (particularly from a distance). We had one supplier that really caused me sleepless nights (and I am glad we didn't use them). I now, couldn't be more happy with 'the team' and would recommend each one of them!

We are not using a wedding planner, however, a good one should be able to do this negotiation for you.

When are you getting married?

Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.
Jessica

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283948 Katherine Vargas Wedding date: March 23, 2013 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

March 08, 2012 5:59:14 pm

Jessica, you have been so generous with your information. One of the reasons we are visiting Cartagena is to nail down a date but it's probably not going to be until summer next year so at least we'll have lots of time to plan.

Let me know how your band/hora loca turns out. I'm willing to cut down on decorations to fit my budget but I want to make sure that the music is amazing so that all guests are having a great time. So good music is key.

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Emptyprofileicon Jessica Wedding date: November 20, 2012 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

March 08, 2012 8:42:21 pm

Not a problem!
I couldn't have done it without this website - Its nice to be able to return the fav.

Just to let you know, I have used Plyer Productions for sound and lighting, including a DJ (no band... again keeping the price down).
We then have Ekobios coming for a 45 min Hora Loca (which will include a band but only for that time.

I agree - work out what you REALLY care about (which will be different for everyone), and then cut back on the other stuff. For us, I wanted a great photographer (Dennis Drenner) and my Fiancé wanted a Hora Loca (Ekobios)... Everything else we have tried to cut down. For you, maybe music is your key 'thing'!?!

Good luck,
Jess

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283948 Katherine Vargas Wedding date: March 23, 2013 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

March 20, 2012 6:18:40 pm

Hi Andrea, I´m trying to figure out what is the cost difference between having the reception at a hotel and a house. Do you know what was the cost of renting the tables, chairs, etc that would have been otherwise provided by the hotel? I don´t think it needs to include an estimate for the waiters because that would be included in the catering estimate. Any other items that are not included in a house that must be hired from outside (otherwise included in a hotel)? Thank you!

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Emptyprofileicon Sonika and Mark Wedding date: October 18, 2012

June 10, 2012 7:30:22 am

Azu & Jan,
I am getting married in Cartagena with approx 70-90 people and having 2 days of events. We are renting out Casa Pestagua and having the ceremony and reception at the Sofitel.

I would love to get a better sense of your budget. We are trying to keep our total budget under $40K - including EVERYTHING, flights, hotels, clothing, venues, decor, music,photos, etc. I am using a planner as well, but want to make sure i give a realistic budget so they negotiate in my best interest.

If you are comfortable sharing, please feel free to email me at sonika923@gmail.com
THank you!!!

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Emptyprofileicon Sonika and Mark Wedding date: October 18, 2012

June 10, 2012 7:32:51 am

Kat,
Who are you planning on using for your music? I also am prioritizing it from an expense perspective as i want the reception to be a really, really great time. We are from the US so i want a good blend of music.
thanks,
Sonika

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Emptyprofileicon Diana Ruiz Wedding date: January 08, 2016 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

August 22, 2014 2:56:00 pm

Hi, Do you have the contact infromation for the house you rented. I like the idea of renting a house... although then I would have to worry about finding a reliabel catoring company.

Thank you,
Diana

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408046 Carolina Zapata Wedding date: January 23, 2016 Bolivar, Colombia

January 05, 2015 9:27:44 pm

Hello.

I'm looking into getting married in November 2015.

Was wondering how much you ended up spending? If you don't mind me asking.

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408046 Carolina Zapata Wedding date: January 23, 2016 Bolivar, Colombia

January 05, 2015 9:27:51 pm

Hello.

I'm looking into getting married in November 2015.

Was wondering how much you ended up spending? If you don't mind me asking.

Reply

Emptyprofileicon Daphne Fernandez Wedding date: February 18, 2016 Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

January 07, 2015 12:45:41 am

Hello Andrea,
Where and how can I contact Caribe Cordial to help me plan my budgeted Cartagena wedding?
Also, do you know if she can get me an English speaking person to do the ceremony?
Thank you so much!
Daphne

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408046 Carolina Zapata Wedding date: January 23, 2016 Bolivar, Colombia

January 07, 2015 3:20:05 pm

Here is the website: http://caribecordial.com/en/
Email: bodas@caribecordial.com

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Emptyprofileicon Andrea Becerra Wedding date: March 02, 2015 Bogota, Colombia

March 02, 2015 6:25:40 am

I am a certified wedding planner in colombia. If you need any help please contact me. Andre_ita82@hotmail.com whatsapp +573213432860

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