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Planning help

Love_birds
sm2012
Wedding Date: Oct, 2012
Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hello, All. I live in the US and am getting married in Cartagena in October. We are using Tatiana and Cheche from Carmen Cecilia Cayon as the planners. We are making our planning trip to CTG in early July and i was looking for any advice on so i can make that trip as productive as possible. Any advice from recent brides on planning a wedding in CTG. Vendors you loved / hated? The majority of our guests are coming from abroad, so i am most curious to get suggestions on moderately priced hotels in the old city. Our wedding events will be at Casa Pestagua and the Sofitel.

Posted in Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia
Written on Jun. 10, 2012

Replies:

10 replies. Displaying 1 through 10.
283948
Cartagena Boda

I am still in the process of planning for the wedding so I can't speak about the finished product/vendor quality but the best advice that I can give you is to negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. Since Cartagena has become so popular for destination weddings, vendors are charging U.S-like prices and some wedding planners push you to get the most expensive options (like the Sofitel hotel). If you don't have a budget then this is not a problem for you but if you are on a budget, don't be afraid of asking for a better price.

Written on Jun. 10, 2012
Love_birds
sm2012
Wedding Date: Oct, 2012
Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Kat,
That is very helpful. Are you planning your wedding on your own or with a Planner? If a planner, how are you pushing them to negotiate even further? I feel like i dont have a good sense of what prices should be so hard to know how far i can negotiate. Have you gotten any sample budgets from other brides?
My fiancee speaks spanish, however i barely do (which is also a concern of mine - having tons of non-spanish /minimal spanish speaking guests coming in to the wedding). So also, hard for me to negotiate myself.

Written on Jun. 10, 2012
283948
Cartagena Boda

I have a wedding planner. Frankly, it is really hard to plan from abroad, specially because of the Caribbean culture where you have to be on top of people (vendors) to get things done, so I would say it's key to have an efficient planner. I am just at the beginning process so I have a lot more to learn. When I contacted my second wedding planner, Caribe Cordial, (the first one was a bit over our budget), she emailed me three sample budgets with different price ranges. She sent this to me before I even signed a contract with her. Because the wedding planner seemed to follow our request to stay within our budget instead of pushing for the most expensive options like the Sofitel, we decided to hire them.

I would recommend for your fiance to help you with the planning and the negotiation.

Written on Jun. 10, 2012
208093
DELIRIO HOTEL
25222
click to enlarge

Hi! It´s a pleasure for us to help you with the accomodattion for your family and guest at Delirio Hotel!
We are sure that they will be very comfortable at Delirio because as we are located in the heart of the historic center, near the Church of the Cathedral, within walking distance of most historic sites and attractions as well as boutiques specialist and the best restaurants in town; this being very convenient for domestic and foreign guests who come to Cartagena.
If you need more information, and special prices for your guest, don´t hesitate to contact us to gerente@deliriohotel.com.
It will be a pleasure to welcoming you at delirio!
Regards, LISETTE DESMOINEAUX

Written on Jun. 20, 2012
Love_birds
janie.juan.wedding
Wedding Date: May, 2012
cartagena, colombia
View Wedding

Hi,
I live in Canada with my Colombian husband and we got married in Cartagena on May 1st of this year. My wedding was absolutely perfect and i really hope yours will be as incredible. More than half my guests where from abroad and stayed for a whole week in Cartagena, from Saturday to Saturday (wedding on Tuesday) and the first part of the week they spent it at the Delirio (I see that Lisette already suggested you the hotel) and after the wedding we all went to relax at the all inclusive Decameron Baru for 4 days. Hotel Delirio is definitely the hotel you want to use for your foreign guests. It is the best quality for its price in the old city. Lisette, Alexa and all the others at the Delirio will definetely make your stay the best. No doubt about it, this where you need to go.
For my wedding, I did it all (ceremony and party) at the Casablanca Hotel Boutique. This is a hotel that I fell in love with, small, charming, and yes expensive, but so worth it! The roof top is surreal! But since you already have a venue, I am not going to expand on it. But for me it was the perfect place.
For the photographer, I used a guy from Bogota. If you go on his website juyaphotographer.com, you'll understand why I chose him. He is also, much cheaper than all the other big names in Cartagena. (my photos are the ones that say Janie+Juan).
For the music, no doubt, use the group Manhattan, they are really good. They did for the cocktail a "son cubano", a DJ for dinner and the party and of course an amazing salsa group that played everything.
On another note, I did not use a wedding planner, I did everything myseld, but I work in the event industry and I am used to coordinating events. If you have no experience in event planning and you don't know anyone in Cartagena, I strongly suggest you use a wedding planner or work with your hotel venue to prepare everything. Hope this helps! Good Luck and congratulations!

Written on Jun. 26, 2012
221668
Mimi
Wedding Date: May, 2012
Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi,

Congrats on your wedding! I recently got married in Cartagena and here are my thoughts:

1. Hotel Casa India Catalina is a nice hotel inside the old city. The staff is very friendly and the price is affordable (we negotiated the price in advance). Plus, it is only 3 blocks away from Plaza Santo Domingo where we spend a lot of time enjoying the outside seating!

2. We hired a local photographer (Fabian Alvarez) for our pics. Fabian and his staff are very nice and the pics came out great!

3. Orquesta Manhattan is great, we danced all night long.

4. Adriana Santos' food is delicious and affordable.

5. Be aware of your liquor distributor's return policies. We had some unopened bottles that my WP is trying to sell for us since we cannot return them. Seems that you can find liquor distributors that accept unopened bottles, but are sightly more expensive.

6.If you are planning a day trip to the islands be aware of the "descorche" fees. We waited until we arrived to Cartagena (a week before the wedding) to actually booked the island trip and got a great deal! We think it was because it was a "last minute" thing, probably the island did not have enough people register for the day we visited, and we were about 40 people.

7. Have fun!!! Cartagena is a great place to have an unforgettable wedding :)

Mimi

Written on Jul. 23, 2012
Love_birds
sm2012
Wedding Date: Oct, 2012
Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Mimi,

A couple of questions:

1. Which island tour did you go to? Do you mind me asking how much it was per person? Was food and alcohol included?
2. Did you use a liquor distributor who accepts returns? Can you recommend one?
3. Did you use a videographer? We are using a photographer from Bogota who does not do video. I'm trying to find an inexpensive videographer in Cartagena for a couple of hours. My Dad is really big on video :)

thanks,
Sonika

Written on Aug. 16, 2012
Love_birds
sm2012
Wedding Date: Oct, 2012
Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Mimi,

A couple of questions:

1. Which island tour did you go to? Do you mind me asking how much it was per person? Was food and alcohol included?
2. Did you use a liquor distributor who accepts returns? Can you recommend one?
3. Did you use a videographer? We are using a photographer from Bogota who does not do video. I'm trying to find an inexpensive videographer in Cartagena for a couple of hours. My Dad is really big on video :)

thanks,
Sonika

Written on Aug. 16, 2012
Love_birds
Julie
Wedding Date: Dec, 2012
Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia
View Wedding

Check this one, is not the best one but is the cheapest one in the city http://www.youtube.com/user/yjgaviria

Written on Aug. 16, 2012
221668
Mimi
Wedding Date: May, 2012
Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hola Sonika,

We went to isla del Encanto. It is a nice island about 1 hour away and w a pool. I think we paid around $90,000 pp and kids a little bit cheaper. It includes transportation & lunch. We negotiated the descorche fee per bottle, it can be very expensive.
Our liquor distributor did not accept returns. I believe if you buy the liquor from the grocery stores you can return but it a little more expensive.
We did not have videographer only a great photographer from Cartagena.
Good luck & have fun :)

Written on Aug. 17, 2012

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