One more thing ... YOU TWO ARE THE COOLEST COUPLE EVER! I love, love, love your site and feel so connected to your proposal story (Tim proposed the night we moved in together with boxes and paint cans surrounding us and after a long trip to Home Depot)! Then when I saw your "Honey Fund" I almost died! This is exactly what my fiance and I have been saying we want to ask for. We have a gorgeous, bohemian pad by the beach and have always traveled the globe. Since we value experiences over materials, we've been thinking of doing something just like that for our gift registry! Anyway, awesome site! You've got me, a total stranger, pumped for your wedding so I can only imagine how thrilled your guests must be!
Just had to tell you how fantastic you both seem! Makes me so excited for all of us! Best wishes! Karen
Thank you very much for all the information you provided to all of us. This is really helpful and definitely got us excited about having our wedding in the beautiful city of Cartagena. I emailed your wedding planner this morning and of course informed her you were the one who recommended her. Thanks again for all your advice and info :)
The $175 included 4 events: the welcome reception (cocktails & light hor'douves at our family's house that we rented for them), the rehearsal dinner (catered buffet & cocktails, location TBA), the wedding (reception at Sofitel), and Farewell brunch (catered breakfast at the house we rented for the bridal party).
Practically no one is staying at the Sofitel. We have rented boutique hotels for the different groups attending our wedding. We are staying at a house with the bridal party (Casa del Mar). Our family is staying at a converted Masion (casa Pombo). Our college friends are staying at Casa la Fe boutique hotel. We are only have our wedding reception at the Sofitel. the other events will be in different venues. There are so many wonderful places to stay. The Sofitel is amazing but not practical if your guests are staying for 5 nights like ours are.
We are using a local photographer. Our wedding planner took us to see various vendors in Cartagena. We selected the photographer that photographed the President of Colombia's son's wedding in Cartagena last year. that was good enough for us. We really do not know alot about photograghy so we took the recommendations of our planner. The package with video is about $1300. They will stay until the party is over which in Cartagena means the wee hours of the morning. The other cool thing about the photographers is after the wedding they take you in a horse and carriage ride around town and shot photos of the couple at all the major landmarks. Like by the water, or the murallas (walled areas), the clock tower, etc.
It is so great to see all this information about planning a wedding in Colombia. My fiance and I will be getting married in August of 2010 at El Pestagua which is absolutely BEAUTIFUL (google image it) and pretty affordable. We are on a strict budget because both of us are going back to school next year and we will be backpacking six months beforehand, but are expecting 70-80 people. We are working with Isabel at Caribe Cordial and I really like her a lot. She speaks both Spanish and English and is incredibly helpful in navigating all of this, which is great because I felt really overwhelmed when I began planning this.
My biggest concern is finding a good photographer. That is one of the most important things to me and like you Karen, I can't afford to fly someone out and pay for hotel. If anyone has any suggestions or contacts let me know. I actually have not asked Isabel about this either, but am going to send her an e-mail today and hopefully she will have some contacts that I can pass along. Another great thing is that Isabel is incredibly affordable and when I told my other friends how much I am paying for a wedding planner their mouths dropped. Thanks!
I just wanted to let you know we found some EXCELLENT professional photographers Juan and Valeria from Bogota, Colombia who will doing our wedding on August 6th. Here is some of their work feautured on the wedding blog "Style Me Pretty":
Thanks sooo much! We've been wanting to hire Colombian photographers but hadn't liked anything. Do you mind me asking what they're rate is, what it includes, and how much their prints are? I'm traveling for a couple of weeks and only have Internet on my phone so I can't see their website. Thanks! Congrats!
They only have two packages, but to get a CD of all your photos it is only 850.00. This of course includes them being their all day on wedding day shooting every moment. An album with 200 pics is about 300.00, but it does not seem like anything fancy or comparable to some of the albums I have seen of some of the photographers in the USA. We also negotiated with them a better deal. The day before the wedding we are renting a boat for all our guests to go to the Islas de Rosario. They are going to come with us on that as well and shoot that day. We only have to pay for their hotel for an extra night.
We are paying for their tickets from Bogota to Cartagena and for their hotel. You will have to pay for this.
I'm also having my wedding in Cartagena, from Feb 17-19. And our wedding planner is also Chiche, who is doing an awesome job. I hired a local photographer: Kiko Kairuz. There are other good photographers in Cartagena, like Antonio Florez (www.antonioflorez.com) who has a very stable and reliable style. Nevertheless, I chose Kiko for his photojournalistic style. Originally I thought of flying someone in, but after comparing the work and the prices... there is absolutely no need! Kiko is giving us an amazing price for covering the cocktail party, a full-day island trip, and the ceremony and reception. The advantage of Kiko, Antonio or another local photographer (e.g.dukesfotografia.com) is that you do not have to fly them in or pay any acommodation.
Anyways, if any of you have some specific questions, perhaps I can help out. I went on a scouting trip to Cartagena earlier this year and now have almost everything set up for the big day in February!...
This is so exciting! When I started this topic months ago, I was nervous that I was the only person crazy enough to plan a wedding in Cartagena from the States...I actually stopped planning entirely for several months (moved to a new city, general craziness), but am more excited than ever after reading everyone's posts. Margaux, you are awesome! And I love the Carlos Vives and Juanes on your web site - genius idea. Does anyone else have a wedding site up yet?
As for my fiance and me, we are planning to make a scouting trip over the holidays. I'm crossing my fingers that we can still secure something for a wedding next June. I know at least a few places still have availability, so I'm cautiously optimistic. A question for everyone: how far in advance did you plan everything? I'm trying to get a feel for whether I'm too late in the game...
Also, more importantly, where did you opt to have the ceremonies/receptions? I'm really hoping to have an outdoor ceremony on the muralle, so any insights into how this works would be wonderful. Are there benefits to working with an independent planner, rather than someone from our hotel?
Thanks in advance. I look forward to hearing more from the expert wedding crew here :)
Hi Liz! Thanks for starting the Cartagena Community haha.. let me tell you, it has helped us a lot. Margaux's site really inspired us along with all her tips.We started off thinking about Cartagena back in May before we got engaged but quickly scratched it off the list because i thought it would be too complicated to plan. After getting engaged in June, we thought of other possibilities like Miami, Washington DC but nothing ever really clicked for us and in August decided to go ahead pick Cartagena once and for all. As i started to do research i came across this thread and ended up contacting LA CHICHE, who is Margaux's wedding planner and she has just been amazing ever since. Unfortunately we have so much going on this year, we wont have a chance to make it there so I feel much more relieved having a planner(specially one that has been recommended by many). Our wedding will be August 14, 2010 and we are having our reception at the Clock Tower(puerta del reloj) and the ceremony at La catdreal de Cartagena. We wanted something outdoors as well that would give our guests and ourselves that magical feeling that you are for sure in Cartagena as opposed to any other place. After looking at many Casas, i was sent the Puerta del Reloj and we fell in love with it. I definitely dont think you are late in the game at all, i spoke to a bride who also used Chiche( i found her through tripadvisor) and she was telling me she was trying to plan her wedding herself, since the summer of '08 once January came around she felt so overwhelmed that she ended up contacting Chiche to help her organize her May '09 wedding. So totally go for it, i dont know how different the planning service from the hotel is from an independent planner is but our experience has been great. Good Luck with everything and definitely go for it.. you are not too late in the game.