I am from the States and my fiancee is from Bogotá. Originally we had talked about having our wedding in Santa Marta Colombia because we typically stay here in SM for around 2 months/year and his family has an apartment here. The more I looked into it, it seems that there is one place that is okay for weddings and it's where his brother is getting married in 2 weeks. The price is good but I'm not thrilled. Plus it's really difficult for my U.S. guests to get here easily and cheaply... not to mention, it's much grittier than Cartagena. So Cartagena was next on my list but my fiancee hates the idea because he says it's too expensive. It's only $4000 more than Santa Marta and WAY nicer. Essentially he doesn't want his family to have to stay at a hotel or rent an apartment... though it would be way cheaper and easier for my side.
So to get to the point, does anyone know how much it would cost to have a nice wedding in Bogotá for around 80 guests? I need to also look at cost of the city in general for my out of town guests... hotel, flights,etc. I want to be mindful of their budget as well. Trying to figure out best options.
Ours was around $7,000 (also for about 75 guests)... I had it a few minutes from Bogota... in La Calera.. up by the mountain... The place was called Hacienda Rincon de Teusaca. They were very open to getting my ideas, I went in person, fell in love with the place and had some ideas in mind, which they made copies of my printouts... Once the date approached I would always email & follow up with them. Everything was included in the package I got, they have their own "wedding planner".. .they included the cake, have several music options, flowers, car, etc. And if you want the ceremony there, that would make it easier (I had my ceremony at a church in the city).
A website I used to look for different locations though, was eventosyfiestas.com and that's how i discovered that place.
Well, it depends on what options you choose... like.. getting a band will definitely drive the price up.. i just went with a DJ and was totally happy with him.. he even had some organized dances.... like.. "El meneito"... and stuff like that.. kinda like the slide, etc., where everyone just follows along.. Again, with the DJ i sent him a list of songs I really wanted, etc.
The hotel I had a couple of my friends & my in-laws stay was called: Bogota Regency. It's in the northside, in a good area. Near a couple malls... Hacienda Santa Barbara & Unicentro. They really enjoyed it, even my in-laws who were iffy about going to "dangerous" Colombia ended up going out & about by themselves walking to the malls & such. Also, you might be able to arrange with the hotel to drive your guests to the location for a fee.
I do recommend actually going there and checking out your favorite places and maybe having his family help you think of ideas, because what you see online in the pix might not actually be.. I had seen one that I liked a lot, but had a bad feeling about it, so decided to go in person.. sure enough it was ... definitely not the place I'd have a wedding, to say the least. The city of Chia, just north of Bogota also has some nice wedding venues.
Also, don't forget to contact several airlines to get a group discount, even if they're not all traveling from the same city. They sent us a group discount code, I think the minimum they ask is like 10 or 12 travelers... but if you push a lil, they'll still give you the discount code even if you have less.. it was just 9 of us coming from the states.
That is great advice! I never thought about a discount code for the airline. I have the task of convincing my side that Colombia is perfectly fine and that they'll have a good time! Your advice will definitely help me with that. thanks again, Kellie
Good luck with that! My in-laws were very scared at first, and of course it doesn't help that they would look at the website that gives warnings saying its not so safe, etc. In the end, they gave in, but were very scared & nervous.. once there, they didn't understand why the government warns Americans. They even wanted to plan another trip for the near future!
It's really fine, even if you go out on the road for long road trips (Chia, Zipaquira, La Calera.. those are pretty much part of Bogota, so those are fine to go to).. the warnings are mostly for the remote small towns... Although, the roads are now fine traveling throughout the country. Colombia has come a long way from a few years back.
In Bogota, just have them take the same precautions they would take here in the States.
Plus, remember that in Bogota, a lot of us are very white... light skin, blue or green eyes, etc... so they'll fit right in (that is, until they talk) =)
Haha, so funny. I too, look very gringa, and my spanish definitely gives me away but I've never had problems in Santa Marta, Cartagena, Bogota and the surrounding areas either. The US State Department warnings can look terrifying if you've never been! I think they need to tone it down a bit, it's not a very fair view. My family is surprisingly up for it I just need to make sure they keep an eye out, like they should in any big city. Glad to hear your family enjoyed it!!
Hi, I agree with the previous post. The US warnings can really scare some guests but I sent them as much material as I could to reassure them. A quick search will bring up several New York Times articles, and other travel forums that highly recommend Colombia and Bogota. We had over 50 foreigners here and it was perfectly fine. My family is from Bogota so we had the ceremony there but most guests wanted a bit of sunshine and beach time as well so we went to Cartagena for some pre-wedding activities the week before. As per your question about costs, we found that there was a huge range for everything, for example food for as little as 12 US per plate to as much as 40 US per plate. DJs for 100 US and others for 2000 US. A wedding planner should help you stay within your budget. We DIY it a bit which helped keep costs down. I hope that helps. Let me know if you want to see some of the quotes I got when I was shopping around. Happy planning!