Wedding Questions

Wedding Planners vs Planning Yourself

Posted in Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia
Emptyprofileicon Diamond Holliday Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

My fiance and I are trying to plan a wedding in Cartagena and don't know if it is easier and cheaper to do it ourselves or hire a wedding planner. Everything that we come up with will basically be off of reviews and feedback of others experiences since we are in California. We will have about 30 guest. Does any one have any ideas's on venues for a smaller wedding and how much wedding planners cost in Caratgena if we decide to go that route? Any feedback or suggestions is greatly appreciated!


14 Replies

Emptyprofileicon andres nieto

Dear Diamie, please see ou web site and fell free to ask all the question that you want you can write at [email protected]

best regards


Emptyprofileicon Diamond Holliday Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

What is the weather like in Cartagena in August and September?


233190 Dayro Martin


234699 Andrea Sparano Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Diamond!
It's always better to have a wedding planner because it will eliminate a lot of stress and they have experience and know the best vendors. PLUS, they could negotiate for you. 30 guests is a small wedding but costs can add up! I used Caribe Cordial. They charge 10% of the total wedding budget and will help you with every little detail.

Good luck!


293849 Ana Valbuena Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Diamond! You definitely need a wedding planner for a wedding in Cartagena! We tried to do it ourselves and it was a night mare. Vendors don’t answer your calls or requests. It seems that they try to take advantage of you. We ended hiring Team Bride, for may reasons. First, you get two wedding planners for the price of one. One of them works from the States and travel down for the wedding and the other is on location. We found this to be very effective, because business is handled the way it is handled in america. Plus they deal with the vendors for you. Second, none of the vendors take credit card payments and unless you have a bank account in Colombia( that by the way, unless you have a way to show that you have an income in colombia it is virtually impossible to open one!) payment to the vendors have to done in cash. Team Bride offers the possibility to make these payments through pay pal.
I can say that our wedding planners were wonderful. They made our wedding experience great. Their fee is 12% of the entire wedding, but it is so worth it, because like I said, you get 2 planners working for you, they took care of everything and all we had to do on the wedding week was virtually be there. We were able to enjoy of all the pre wedding activities, and everything the city has to offer with out running around trying to get things done. Think about it, you are already investing money into the whole affair, wouldn’t you like to at least be able to enjoy it? Thats my advice.


293849 Ana Valbuena Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hot and humid. It seems to rain a lot, so choose your venues wisely!


233190 Dayro Martin

Hello, my name is Dayro Martin and I own Restaurante La
Lobster, We have over 25 years of experience in
Cartagena organize weddings and corporate and social events, we accept
all forms of payment, Credit Cards, Transfers, PayPal, U.S. $
and Colombian pesos
no charge for the service Wedding Planner, only the value of
ordered products, Food, Beverage, Decor, Live Music,
Horse Cars.

We have an excellent location, next to Casa Museo Rafael Nunez
Cabrero Church.

can see photos of our facilities and events on Facebook.

or write to [email protected]




Emptyprofileicon Claudia Naranjo Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Diamond,
I'm originally from Colombia, but I live in DC. We got married in Cartagena, and we used a wedding planner. I definitevly recommend you to do that, otherwise will be a nightmare, unless you are planning to go to Cartagena several times. I had 30 guest as well, and it was out f this world. The person who did mine charges 10% of the total cost of the wedding. she has the best vendors, and does everything. We did the ceremony and reception at Santa Clara hotel. If you need more information, let me know I can send you some pictures and the name of the wedding planner.



Emptyprofileicon Caroll Betancourt Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

we got married about 3 months ago in Cartagena; i started planning the wedding 2 years ago (!) b/c i have a full time job and i needed to do the planning little by little. at first I wasn't using a wedding planner b/c after looking at everyone's wedding profile on this website, it seemed like people use basically the same small group of vendors. and i started researching how much things SHOULD cost me, and i contacted the vendors directly(i'm originally colombian but live in the USA); but after a few months, i was just too busy at work and i had no choice but to hire a wedding planner. i have to say that having a wedding planner there with us the day before and day OF the wedding was just AMAZING. the wedding planner i hired charged a flat fee for her services; we paid $3 million pesos. from my research and experience, wedding planners cost from 10-20% of the wedding budget. however, there are some smaller independent wedding planners that will charge a flat fee, and some others that will do "day-of-wedding" planning and will charge even less. i could give you a list of planners for you to contact if you want. just email me at [email protected] we had our ceremony at Iglesia Santo Toribio and our reception at Sofitel Santa Clara. we loved them both. the Santa Clara is relatively expensive but the person in charge of weddings there can be at your disposal and act as your wedding planner, which is great. i can give you more details if you wish. to be honest, there is a small group of vendors that everyone uses for weddings in Cartagena, and as long as you have the TIME and you know how much things SHOULD cost, then you can do it on your own. i can give you a list of vendors to contact if you wish. you will need to make at least 1 trip to Cartagena before the wedding, regardless if you hire a wedding planner or not. (we made 2 trips before our wedding). good luck planning!


Emptyprofileicon Jessica Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hi Diamond,

When are your getting married???

We have gone against the trend and planned our wedding ourselves. However, there are pros and cons both ways...
Pros: We saved over 10-20% (which is what a planner would charge), plus we got many prices cheaper.
Cons: It takes heaps of time (I estimate at least a day per week for at least 3 months).

My advice- use a planner if you...
- want something unusual (ie: your not planning on using a venue that usually does weddings. Santa Clara, Marque, La Langosta, etc do lots of weddings and can really help)
- have limited time/patience
- aren't very organised (be honest with yourself)
- don't feel comfortable negotiating with vendors (most venders are willing to negotiate but you need to feel ok to do this yourself)
- can afford it

I also note that we had a friend who got married in Cartagena recently and used a planner... Yet, negotiating yourselves (and taking the time to build a relationship with all your amazing vendors), we have actually got cheaper prices from the same vendors...

On another note, regardless of how you plan your wedding, I would also recommend:
- Speaking Spanish fluently (all contracts/negotiations will obviously be en español)
- Having a Colombian bank account that you can pay vendors through
- Building good relationships with all your vendors
- Start early!
In addition, Cartagena is a little cheaper then the US to get married but it isn't the bargain we expected (particularly comparing it to other Colombian locations)...

I have really enjoyed planning our wedding but I does take time!

Good luck!


Emptyprofileicon Diamond Holliday Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Thank You everyone!!!! This whole experience is overwhelming and exciting all in one!


Emptyprofileicon Kelly Munoz Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Hello My wedding was on January 5, 2012 in Cartagena, I am from Colombia but I live in USA FL. I recommend you to hire a wedding planner you are going to spend less than $1500 total and you are going to have the best of everything, and not worries on your wedding day. Contact Caribe Cordial and get a quotefrom them:
Any question or suggestion let me know.



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