Wedding Questions

Wedding Planner Stress!!!!

Posted in Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia
203327 Jessica Bedoya Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Everyone,

My name is Jessica. I live in Miami Florida. I as in the beginnings of planning a wedding for May 2011 in Cartagena and feeling incredibly overwelmed. I have looked on the website for input and there are so many different directions I could go.

I spoke with La Chiche last week and I know everyone says AMAZING things about her but my concern with her is cost and her inability to give me a straight answer on cost!

We are going to Cartagena in Nov and she keeps saying we'll discuss it all there... don't worry! 20% is a HUGE chunk of money and I don't want to wait until Nov.. then realize that it's just not going to work out. Then I'm stuck without a wedding planner and a wasted trip there...

For anyone that has worked with her??? Does she actually give you a written quote... and will she actaully reduce her fee??

I'm looking at a TOTAL budget of 30K and I can't bring myself to pay $6000 for just the planner... especially when there are other companies that I'm sure are just as good???

I just emailed Itala from mibodaedcartagena.com but haven't heard back yet.
I've heard a few good things but again would like something more concrete so I know for my trip in Novemeber.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

Jessica

56 Replies

183667 Paula Nino Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Jessica,

Give Itala from mibodaencartagena.com a few more days. She is usually very quick to respond. I don't know anything about la Chiche but I worked with Itala and she was wonderful. She had us fill out a questionnaire stating what we wanted and then gave us an estimate based on our choices. Of course things fluctuate once you start picking specific things but she will give you a good figure to start with and will work with you to stay within budget. I highly recommend her.

Paula (also in Miami)

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190253 Alejandra Rocha Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Jessica,
Totally understand your frustration, but don't freak out!
La Chiche is our planner and we are actually going to Cartagena this Saturday to meet with her. Our budget is much smaller than yours- 20k. I'll keep you posted when I get back and let you know how everything worked out, especially the $$ part.

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Emptyprofileicon Michelle and Luis Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Jessica-- We got married in Cartagena in May 2009 and la Chiche was our wedding planner but honestly she wasnt charging 20% for her fees then. I agree that is way too much money. Our wedding was 85 guest and we spent around ~20K in Colombia. Of course all other expenses were incurred here (NY) so werent included on her tab. As well as the activities I planned for the guest were all seperate. My budget was ~40k. I looked back at her proposal and she charged 10% back then. Seems like a huge increase for 2 years. Where are you planning to have the reception? Have you compared her fees to others? I would talk to her and be very honest about your concerns.

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Emptyprofileicon Yezid Meneses Rumie

Hi Jessica

How are you !!

Planning your wedding in cartagena , i can help you, with everything you need for your event.
My email [email protected]

Regards

Yezid Meneses

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203327 Jessica Bedoya Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Alejandra,

That would be amazing!!! She was supposed to come to Miami this past week to see her daughter but couldn't get her visa in time. She said she is coming the first week in November. I really hope that she does so we can speak in person before our trip. As I said earlier with us wanting to do the wedding in May I'm hoping I can figure the wedding planner situation ASAP.
My email is [email protected]
Would love to swap notes:) when you email me I'll give you my number.

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203327 Jessica Bedoya Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Martha,

Would love to speak with you also about both of your experiences with La Chiche and Caribe Cardial. [email protected]
Thanks so much for your help,

Jessica

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204606 amy laforte Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

I went about it the old fashion way and got references and I saw videos and information on weddings. We decided to hire Caribe Cordial. I had an AMAZING visit to Cartagena. We had a four day tour and got to see several vendors. My recommendation is to include Monday and Tuesday in your tour, if you go at the end of the week most vendors are busy. I am going with Adriana Santos for my menu (she is fantastic and has great prices), William Baena for decoration, Elsy Salgado for the cake (delicious!!! best part of the tour). I am still deciding on other things. I think 20% is totally overpriced for the planning process. We are extremely happy with our plan and we don't feel the need to pay over $5000 dollars for the service. I also saw the review of Janine for Chiche. She certainly gave her great reviews but she was not happy with her DJ, decoration, and she was sort of unhappy with the venue. I don't think I could give great reviews to my planner based on that.

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152243 Jannine Pizarro Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Jessica, I totally understand your frustration and stress, I experienced the same thing. My suggestion is to wait until Nov and don't rush on a decision until then. I think to wait for what Alejandra has to say is great. In my reviews I honestly put how I felt about the vendors. My decorations were excellent!!!! I just put a bad review for the florist and that has to do with the flowers I chose, not La Chiche. I also had to chose that DJ because of my budget. With La Chiche you chose things according to your budget and my budget was super low, so if things were not perfect it was because of my low budget and not because of La Chiche (she always suggests the best stuff but also is conscious of your budget). My reception place was amazing!!! it just had stained mirrors and of course I have to rate those bad mirrors so the owner changes them. I can tell you more about how La Chiche works if you want you can write to my e-mail.

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Emptyprofileicon Yezid Meneses Rumie

Jessica, Im Colombian and I Live in Miami as well... I Got married a about a year ago in Cartagena and YEZID MENESES was my wedding planner. You cant imagine how organized, well known in the area, well connected, experienced, responsible with money he is. He has been working with events I think for more than 15 yrs.
I met him before my wedding... he did everything for me... from the music, decoration to the invites, protocol, etc. and my wedding was a DREAM.. it was an excellent party, excellent organized, and I can say he was on top of every detail and everybody commented about the whole event.
About $$$, im sure he will acommodate to any budget... and you are going to be able to negotiate with him his fee.Im 100% sure he is very competitive when quoating for any event and he helps you save money on unnecessary or very expensive things.
If you are planning to go on NOvemeber to Cartagena what he usually does is to spend the WHOLE trip with the couple... or bride... to show them every place.. every option for everything.
His email is
[email protected]
or
[email protected]

If u have any question about my experience with him or anything related to my event, feel free to contact me. [email protected]
JULIANA!

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190302 Georgette Cardenas Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Jessica. I just got married on October 9, 2010. Chiche was my planner and she was amazing. My wedding was beautiful.I think you should talk to her and be honest with her about how you feel. If you have any questions feel free to email me at [email protected]

Wish you the best of luck!

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190253 Alejandra Rocha Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi girls! Writing to you from Cartagena- just added another post with an entire recap of our wedding planning trip with La Chiche. It's pretty long though lol. Let me know if there's something I didn't cover and you have questions, while it's still fresh in my mind ;)
The main purpose of the trip was to get a feel for the vendors and see options- not too much talk of prices yet. Now have to go home and start processing all the information!

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190253 Alejandra Rocha Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi girls! Writing to you from Cartagena- just added another post with an entire recap of our wedding planning trip with La Chiche. It's pretty long though lol. Let me know if there's something I didn't cover and you have questions, while it's still fresh in my mind ;)
The main purpose of the trip was to get a feel for the vendors and see options- not too much talk of prices yet. Now have to go home and start processing all the information!

Reply

207053 Natalia V Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

It may seem like a lot of money, but you will have the peace of mind you need for your special day. I live in Texas, and could not travel to Cartagena to talk to her personally. We were there just one week before. She took us everywhere, answered all our questions and all her suggestions were excellent. She is definitely worth it.
Congratulations on your wedding!!!!

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190253 Alejandra Rocha Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Jessica, did you finally go with La Chiche? She will be in Miami next week in case you want to meet with her in person.

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203327 Jessica Bedoya Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Alex,

I actually ended up using Itala and I am extremely happy!! Would love to chat more. We are going to Cartagena in 2 weeks:) Maybe you, me and Tracy can meet for a drink?

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183667 Paula Nino Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

JB,

So glad you used Itala!You're going to love her.

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203327 Jessica Bedoya Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Paula,

She is incredible! We are going next week and I can't wait to meet her:)

Who did you use as your photographer?

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208093 Eva Maria Campo

Hello Amy! Congratulations on your wedding! Thank you for choosing Cartagena as your wedding destination. I have read that your reception will take place at the beautiful Santa Teresa Hotel and would like to offer Delirio Hotel for extended accomodations for your guests. We are located three blocks away from the Santa Teresa and maybe could serve you as an alternative lodging. We have 17 rooms that goes from $170 to $240 per double room, and could make a special rate for your guests. Please see our page www.deliriohotel.com and let us have your comments at [email protected] All our best!

Eva Maria Campo
General Manager

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Emptyprofileicon Adriana Beltran

Hi Jessica,

We are just starting to plan our wedding in Cartagena and are going down in a couple of weeks to check out places. I've been looking at different wedding planners and all the postings on the site, and was curious as to why you decided to go with Itala instead of the La Chiche or Caribe Cordial. Thanks. Adriana.

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203327 Jessica Bedoya Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Adriana,

Is the gmail account on the board.. one that I can email you??? I'll give you the scoop:)

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Emptyprofileicon Adriana Beltran

Hi Jessica, Thanks for the quick response. My email is [email protected] Thanks.

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210959 Denice Mancilla Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi JB, I'd love to hear on why you decided to go with Itala. We are in your exact same situation! Same budget, same 6000$, I don't know what to do! It's too much money.

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206820 Patricia Gallego Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi girls!
My fiance and I are leaving for Cartagena tonight to check out vendors and venues. Our planner is La Chiche and this will be our first time meeting her. Alex, your incredibly thorough notes from your trip were a God send!

Adriana, when are you going? Maybe we'll be there at the same time and can compare notes!

Denicita, I see you're getting married in June as well! Our wedding is Friday June 24, when is yours?

Jessica, did you come back from cartagena already? I'd love to hear about your trip!

Patty

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190253 Alejandra Rocha Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Patty, Good Luck on your trip- get ready for a marathon, but trust me you'll get so much done. Are you based in Miami?

La Chiche and her assistant Tatiana and her driver Don Leon are so nice and helpful- tell her Aleja and Eric say hello!

Can't wait to hear all about your trip! When's your wedding?

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206820 Patricia Gallego Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Thanks Aleja, I'm really excited! We're in LA, California, so it's a much longer trip from here. How many guests are you expecting? Did you get your quotes back yet?
I'll fill you in when I get back!

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190253 Alejandra Rocha Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Wow that's awesome! Doesn't matter if you're far though- La Chiche will make sure everything is taken care of.

We're expecting approx 75 guests. I got most of my quotes and La Chiche worked with us to get a lot of the prices lowered so we're right on budget. Have fun!!

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Emptyprofileicon Adriana Beltran

Patty,

How funny! We are actually heading down tomorrow. How long will you guys be there? Would be great to meet up and compare notes. Shoot me an email if you have a chance and maybe we can coordinate a time to meet. ([email protected]) Safe travels. Adriana.

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208093 Eva Maria Campo

Hello Patty and Adriana! Welcome to Cartagena. If you are looking for a well located boutique hotel for your guest, take a look at Delirio...17 rooms in the heart of the Old City, very close to most of the ceremony and reception venues, and with good room rates. La Chiche knows us and she can drive you around. See us at www.deliriohotel.com. Look forward to welcoming you and your guests!

Eva Maria Campo
General Manager
[email protected]

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210959 Denice Mancilla Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Patty,

Our wedding is June 18! We have Sofitel for the venue and we want Peter Claver church. What are you going with? We are going to Cartagena in January to choose providers. Let me know how it goes!!

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208093 Eva Maria Campo

Hello Denicita! Congratulations on your wedding! If you are looking for lodging for your guests, please look at Delirio, a 17 rooms boutique hotel located in the heart of the Walled City. Good rates and personalized services. See us at www.deliriohotel.com. Give us your thoughts at [email protected] We look forward to welcoming you and your guests!
All our best,

Eva Maria Campo
General Manager

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212642 Claudia Arango Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Jessica,

I noticed you ended up using Itala as your wedding planner. My fiance and I are going in a few weeks to meet with her. I was wondering if you can tell me about your experience with her. So far, she's been really great and professional, but I was just curious to have your input. I emailed la Chiche before and she never responded! Thanks and congrats!

Claudia

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Emptyprofileicon Yezid Meneses Rumie

Wedding In Cartagena de Indias!!

Planning your wedding in cartagena , I can help you, with everything you need for your event. My email [email protected]

Regards

Yezid Meneses
Wedding Planner

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203327 Jessica Bedoya Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

YOU are going to LOVE her!!! She has been absolutely incredible:) I couldn't ask for anything more. She is extremely organized and will walk you through the whole process. I would recommend having an idea of things that you like.. ie colors, style, and definitely budget. She will show you everything you want based on those things that you have told her.
We are in the final stages before our wedding and I could never imagine doing this all without her!!! All the people she works with love and trust her, and she deserves all the praise you see on the internet. It is all completely true:)

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206820 Patricia Gallego Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Denicita,

We are having both the ceremony and reception at the Sofitel, it's absolutely beautiful! We haven't really chosen any other providers.

Right now we're trying to get accommodations for our wedding party and guests. Most hotels will give you a discount, but some will just try to tell you that it's "high season" in June, but they'll give you the "low season" rates. Really? I gave that one to my wedding planner, La Chiche. She'll handle it :)

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218136 Norys Barcasnegras Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

I just had my wedding in Cartagena. I still have a great feeling of a emotion and happiness sort of of hung over of the wonderful time we had! I hired Caribe cordial because I really liked them went I visited Cartagena to select my planner. They are a great team, of wonderful people. Sandra is just a person full of energy, full of fresh ideas, great taste, very happy person, it just brings a great positive energy to the event. Camilo is just a person willing to help you with everything and just knows a lot about Cartagena and the vendors. Lily is also wonderful and she is very responsive and helped my friends prepared couple of surprises they had for us. They have a new planner, Aura, who studied in Paris and was a wedding planner in Israel. She is just so wonderful! She was with me the whole time while I was getting ready and I just felt so pamper and comfortable. I was feeling very relax and happy. They did a terrific job! I hope everyone enjoys their wedding. Cartagena is FANTASTIC and we had the BEST time!!

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212642 Claudia Arango Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Jessica,

Thanks so much for your response. I would love to keep in touch and let me know how everything moves along since your wedding is closer than mine (we're still trying to decide whether March or April would be better). I noticed the tickets get expensive after these months. Anyway, lots of luck in your special day!

Claudia
[email protected]

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212642 Claudia Arango Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Amy,

I saw that you are using Caribe Cordial as your wedding planner. Just wanted to know if you can tell me how has been your experience with them so far? My fiance and I are planning to fly out to Cartagena the 2nd week of Feb (to meet vendors) and we're still not sure who to go with. Thanks chica!!

Claudia

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234699 Andrea Sparano Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Would you also email me and give me the scoop on Itala versus Caribe Cordial and La Chiche??? I'm trying to decide which one to go with! My email address is [email protected]

Thanks!

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234699 Andrea Sparano Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Norys,
You sound so happy with your wedding experience :). I've been in contact with Caribe Cordial's Sandra and she seems wonderful. Can I ask you what % they charged you for the planning??

Thank you!

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218136 Norys Barcasnegras Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Andrea

Yes, we really were extremely happy with our wedding, it was a dream for me. I felt that we had a team of people working for us. Sandra gave us great choices and adjusted to our plan and budget. I recommend also the photographer-- Juan Pablo he has a lower rate and he is extremely good. Caribe charged us 10% or a fix value option. The fixed amount was lower so we ended up paying that (you have the choice). congratulations and enjoy Cartagena! Norys

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234699 Andrea Sparano Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Norys,
I just spoke with Sandra last night and I feel so overwhelmed with the prices haha but I added everything to be about $15,000 or 30 million pesos. Is this about what you spent on your wedding? She also mentioned the 10% rate and the fixed rate option. Also, how much did Juan Pablo the photographer charge you? Sandra mentioned someone named Antonio Florez but I think he charges about $600 which seems like a lot to me...if it's easier you could email me at [email protected] I need all the help I could get and you seem perfect! :)

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224826 Maria Alexandra Artunduaga Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

We're having a 150 guests party, we arranged a fixed price of $6.750.000 pesos with Caribe Cordial.

I highly recommend them, they're way more affordable and as good as Chiche/Itala in my opinion. I sincerely don't understand why the formers would charge 15% of the total cost! Everybody uses the same vendors in Cartagena, once you're there, you negotiate the prices according to your budget and the quotes you've gotten from 2-3 vendors (same offered service).

I'm very satisfied with Caribe Cordial's work, Juan Camilo is a "master of bargain (he's saved me $10.000 dollars), and Sandra is always on top of everything.

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224826 Maria Alexandra Artunduaga Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

I can't speak on behalf of Aura, Caribe Cordial is a young company (~3 years in the market) and they have 6 planners dealing with over 50 weddings/year.

Juan Camilo is the most experienced, I recommend working with him. I'm currently in Cartagena and we've been able to get discounts for everything! We're up to $39,000 dollars for a 150-wedding-party with some of the best vendors in town (William Baena, Monica del Risco, Javier Barrera's orchestra among others).

We quoted Gladys Sandoval, Adriana Santos and Monica del Risco a few months ago. Gladys was the most expensive, while Adriana was the most affordable. Nevertheless, Monica offered the best food selection and we negotiated the price including waiters/tables/chairs/cutlery/glass cups/etc. We're paying $11,000 for cocktails, Hors d'œuvre, salad bar, ham/cheese table, 3 cebiches, 4-meat stations (some of them prepared alive) and variety of rices (paella and coconut rice).

I think it all depends on what you're looking for. I'm all up for the best as long as I can save my money (even if this means more work for me). We're working as a team, Juan Camilo quotes the vendors and my mom and I do the same in parallel. You'll be amazed on the price differences you'll get! Sometimes, you'll get better prices if you contact them directly, other times is the opposite. If this sounds like a good strategy to you, go with Juan Camilo. He rocks!

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Emptyprofileicon Anaely Gonzalez Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi girls! I just started my planning for wedding next year in Cartagena. The first planner to respond was Gina from "Team Bride" have any of you worked with her, if so what are your thoughts. She seems to be very attentive.

thank you,
Anaely
Miami, FL

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Emptyprofileicon Curtis Morrison Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Claudia,

I'm curious to know who you ended up using as a wedding planner? I'm getting married in Cartagena 19Feb12 and in search of a good wedding planner. My email is [email protected]

Thanks

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