Elsy is the pastry goddess. She did our beautiful wedding cake in a coral ombre ruffle design which was absolutely perfect for our rustic romantic theme. The flavor of the cake was the traditional arequipe flavor also known as dulce de leche. Our dessert table was a dream, filled with an assortment of pastries from passion fruit and chocolate mousse shots to miniature cheesecakes, coconut truffles, exotic fruit pies,and many more delicacies. Needless to say there was something for every palate. Elsy is the sweetest person, she even made a "groom's cake" as a gift to my husband which was delish!!!
In the beginning stages of our wedding planning we didn't know which caterer to hire for our wedding but our wedding planner mentioned Adriana Santos and most of the reviews on wedding mapper insisted that Adriana Santos was the best caterer in town and boy were they right! Last August we had our degustation tasting with Adriana Santos which pretty much was the highlight of our entire trip (besides dessert tasting with Elsy). My fiancé and I knew we wanted to incorporate the local flavors of Cartagena. Everything Adriana Santos presented at the tasting was phenomenal making it difficult for us to narrow it down to 3 entrée choices. Finally, we decided on a sea bass, chicken (Peruvian style) and Filet Mignon entrées. Of course we had local flavors of coconut rice to go along with the sea bass, prawns in a sweet and sour coconut sauce as a starter and the traditional ceviche de pescado shots as one of our cocktail hour treats. Our amazing signature drinks included the famous "Limonada de Coco" (coconut milk lemonade), passion fruit mojito and my favorite "Atardecer" which is a tangerine martini that kept me going all night. To end a perfect evening we decided to give our guests one last treat "menu de media noche" (midnight menu). After a couple of hours of non-stop booze and dancing there's nothing better than eating traditional fried food! Carimañolas, arepa de huevo, chicharron, empanadas,and yuca frita. As for the linens and flatware, Adriana Santos was also great! She was so patient with me because up to one week before my wedding I could not decide on the linens; she patiently provided us with many options until my wedding planner and Adriana Santos combined two linens to make the perfect tablescape. I also insisted on having gold-toned flatware since my main color at my wedding was gold. Adriana Santos did not have gold toned flatware, but lucky for me she got a set a week before my wedding and gave us a good deal. We highly recommend Adriana Santos, she is very professional, her staff went above and beyond for us and our guests. My fiancé especially loved the fact that he had his own personal waiter following him throughout the night refilling his glass with ice and whiskey lol. Adriana Santos is top notch in food and service. Go for it! you won't be disappointed.
Planning a dream wedding is no piece of cake but when you have the best wedding planner who works her magic to make your day The Best Day Ever it just makes the planning process run smoothly and can actually fun. We hired Caribe Cordial to coordinate our wedding and worked directly with Daniela Lopera who all I can say, is a wonderful human being with a beautiful soul. Her expertise and attention to detail was invaluable to us. Since day one Daniela would always greet us with her warm yet, energetic poise that always helped alleviate any uncertainties and doubts we ever had. It's so funny because I remember there were times (especially the last couple of months leading up to the wedding) that my husband and I would have a laundry list of questions for Daniela and before our Skype phone call we would feel completely stressed and apprehensive but after speaking to her we would both laugh at how silly we were to doubt her because she always had it down packed! Planning a destination wedding can be more stressful than having a wedding close to home because you’re dealing with vendors you’ve never heard of (other than on social media) and most if not all of the communication is dealt with via phone, skype, emails, whats app, etc. Also the culture in Colombia is very different than the one in the East Coast where we send an email and expect a response almost immediately, I’m guilty of this lol. In Colombia everyone is more relaxed and work at their pace so there were times where my husband and I became very anxious waiting to hear from our vendors and wedding planner so we can cross things off our long “To do List” but didn’t realize cultural differences when it comes to the concept of time and delivery. Overall, our experience with Caribe Cordial was amazing and our wedding was magical! It was everything we hoped for and much more! There are so many moments and things I can highlight about our wedding and the entire experience but the one thing that I want to share that left us completely awestruck was the entourage of professionals that Daniela had on our wedding day. We never imagined having such a huge support team and attendants. Our guests were in complete shock and surprised to see all these beautiful girls dressed in gorgeous black gowns wearing what seemed like high- end wireless earpieces (my guests refer to them as CIA workers LOL, this is how professional they looked) in order to communicate with each other including the photographers to make sure everything was running smoothly and in a timely manner. Daniela also assigned me my very own personal assistant who was this beautiful girl named Juvissa whom my bridal party especially my man of honor/best friend was infatuated with because of her elegance. I’ve never had a personal assistant so I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do but that didn’t matter because Juvissa was always attentive to me, asking me if I needed a drink, wanted to retouch my lipstick (which she carried in her pocket throughout the entire reception) and even helped me get into my second dress. Now, I know that the bride is usually the one getting pampered and having all these amenities but my husband got special treatment too; he was assigned his own personal waiter who made sure his glass was always full with his favorite scotch and fresh ice cubes, my husband is a simple man, as long as he has a drink in his hand he’s happy. Meanwhile, Daniela was behind the scenes making sure everything was running smoothly at the bar, with the food, servers, music, lighting, the protocol of events etc. Not only did Daniela take care of everything the day of the wedding but we had several events such as welcome cocktail and rehearsal dinner that same week that Daniela helped coordinate including a post wedding tour to the Islas Del Rosario on Saturday. It might be difficult for some brides to say they had the “perfect wedding” because sometimes things don’t go as planned but I can honestly say my wedding was pure PERFECTION and all thanks to Caribe Cordial.
DJ Pke was great! He knew exactly what kind of music to play for everyone to keep the party going. Also, for the cocktail hour, since my husband loves House Music he made a mix with his fav music and asked DJ Pke to play it during the cocktail which he did. DJ Pke even helped us select the song for the wedding party to walk out to since we were at a lost and wanted something current and fun; since we like house music we decided to choose "Summer" by Calvin Harris.
Where do I begin?! Anyone that knows me knows that I love make up and even though I am not a make up artist I know how to do my own make up very well however, for my wedding I obviously wanted a professional since I wanted to make sure my make up was good with the different lighting of cameras and I didn't want to be the one worrying about retouching my own make up. When I visited Cartagena in August 2015 prior to my wedding in June 2016 my wedding coordinator Caribe Cordial recommended a salon in Bocagrande called Diego Moya. Now, I will be completely honest, this salon is known to be one of the best in Cartagena. The salon is nice and the staff is pleasant however, I was a little bumped out that Diego Moya was not the one doing my hair and make up. The girl who did my hair and make up was his right hand girl so I thought she would be awesome but unfortunately it was not the look I was going for. My hair was okay but I wanted it all down to the side with soft curls but she insisted that in order to place my hair accessory she had to pick up the sides of my hair which I didn't like. Anyways, I was willing to deal with my hair that way but I definitely did not like the make up. She did my eyes with a silver gray and my lips with a bright pink lipstick which I did not like. Basically, my face looked flat since there was no highlighting or contouring technique. I took tons of pictures and send them to my wedding planner who agreed with me that my face looked flat like I was missing bronzer or something. Needless to say, I didn't choose Diego Moya Salon for my big day. I was determined to spend the money and fly my own make up artist from the USA to Cartagena when three months before my wedding my wedding planner told me about Brigitte. I contacted Brigitte via Whats App and asked her to send me videos of make up she has done. After reviewing her videos I immediately realized she knew how to do contouring and highlighting and she confirmed that she knew this technique. Brigitte also does hair but since I use extensions I needed to make sure she knew how to work with them and she did so I chose her for both my hair and make up and I must say it was the best decision ever. Brigitte quickly send me the contract via email with all the details of her service since I hired her for all of my wedding events of the week for both hair and make up and of course the big day. Also my bridesmaids did their hair and make up and were very happy with the price and results. Brigitte met me at my hotel the same day I arrived in Cartagena for my hair and make up trial. I knew the hairstyle I wanted for my ceremony but afterwards I wanted an updo for the reception since it's scorching hot in Cartagena and everyone recommended that I should have my hair up. However, in the past every time I have gotten an up do I looked terrible so I was very apprehensive about it for my wedding. For my ceremony Brigitte left my hair down with soft curls and my hair accessory which didn't need my hair to be half up as I had told the other girl. For my up do Brigitte came up with a side bun and used the same hair accessory (which looked like a tiara) and wrapped it around my big bun. My hair looked amazing and it lasted all night without a hair out of place. My make up was flawless every single time. Despite the intense heat, my make up did not run or become pasty. Nonetheless, Brigitte agreed to give me a retouch between the ceremony and reception which was also when she picked up my hair and did the up do. Brigitte even accompanied me for pictures after the ceremony to help me with my dress and retouch my hair and make up when needed since it was hot! She is a true artist and I looked gorgeous; even my make up artist in the USA said she did great! If you're the kind of girl that likes wearing make up and likes a contemporary look definitely choose her because these other salons will typically do a more "natural" simple look which Brigitte can also execute.
Ekobios was definitely an amazing group of dancers whose energy was contagious and made everyone including my dad (who doesn't dance) get up on their feet. They brought a beautiful folkloric skirt for me to wear during the "Hora Loca". We also provided masks and glows sticks to fit the carnival theme. If you're looking for entertainment at your wedding Ekobios is the perfect choice. "Hora Loca" AKA "Crazy Hour" is so much fun, all my guests loved it.
MAT fotografia was absolutely amazing. This group of professional photographers took breathtaking pictures of us for 10hrs on our wedding day and we also had a pre-wedding photoshoot the day before along with our welcome cocktail which they also captured. MAT fotografia were very professional, their presence the day of our wedding was so seamless that it allowed us to live in the moment and not worry about countless hours posing for the standard "traditional" wedding pictures. Their style is called photo journalism where they capture candid moments in its most pristine form. We did take the traditional pictures with our main family members but we didn't want this to be the focus of our wedding; we wanted to dance, eat, drink, and be in love while MAT photographers snapped away. Check out their website and you'll see how creative this team is. Also we recently ordered our coffee table photobook and the rest of the unedited footage and we are beyond satisfied; our coffee table photobook looks so sleek and clean.
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