Cartagena is a wonderful venue, our guests had an amazing time, but keep in mind the complications of a destination wedding!
We worked with Caribe Cordial, in particular with Daniela, for our wedding in Cartagena earlier this year. Warning, long email ahead, but we wanted to be as clear & hopefully helpful as possible! Short version? We were very excited by all the positive reviews, Daniela is very nice, our venues were beautiful, but the logistics and details were exhausting and very unsatisfactory. Would say consider Caribe Cordial for you wedding, but with major warnings about the time and work involved from your side.
Recommended amazing venues that all worked out very well.
The floral arrangements were spectacular, the food very tasty, and my hair and makeup good.
They really respected and tried to work with our somewhat limited budget and nontraditional ideas, including patience with my questions over every detail and cost.
There was quite a lot of flexibility in finalizing the numbers, which was great given the string of last minute bad luck that our guests had.
Really appreciated all of the help with the paperwork side of things too!
I had to review every single detail multiple times to make sure that things we had discussed were included and in the way we wanted. Maybe they're used to more hands-off couples, who just hand over a credit card and say "make it happen"? I dunno, but I can say that I had to review every single email and budget with a fine toothed comb and ask a million questions (and, nitpicky detail, but all the budgets had exactly the same title, so I had to retitle all of the documents to know which one was the most up to date).
When I didn't triple check, it didn't work (our DJ was an epic fail, we ended up playing music from our iPhones; the rehearsal venue wasn't open when they said they would be so I was getting confused calls from guests; the wrong champagne was served; had to change the beach day venue two days before because no deposit had been made; etc)
Ended up firing the assistant who was supposed to help us find hotels because she was so slow in responding that we lost a couple of our top choices (and they didn't negotiate anything special in terms of rates anyway). We ended up organizing the lodgings for our friends and families ourselves by searching online, contacting our top hotel choices, and doing it that way.
I did not feel like I got to relax and have fun. People were coming up to me throughout the wedding to ask logistical questions and, at the end of the night, they put us in the taxi with all of the knick knacks from the wedding. It's a small detail but, the last thing I want to have to worry about at the end of my wedding is if they've handed me everything I brought to the venue (they hadn't, it took weeks and dozens of messages etc to get the other items back - and I'm not sure that we're not missing some cards or something still)
Their english is strong but definitely not perfect. Works better if you can do it in Spanish.
Some of these things are definitely the result of having an event in Latin America (sounds cheesy, I know, but things just move at slower pace than the US/you don't have to have all the details organized a year in advance - which is actually pretty great in a lot of ways!) but, in the end, it was an exhausting process and I got wildly stressed out by not being able to assume that anything we had organized was going to happen or going to work.
The good thing is that overall our guests had a wonderful time which was, after all, our goal in inviting them all to share in the wonderful country of Colombia (and the magic that is Cartagena!)
Major Pro: you get the photos very quick. We were very happy with the photos from our engagement shoot (though we did have to take charge a bit to not end up with suuuuuper cheesy photos). The photos from our wedding were by a different photographer and they were good but not great. Overall recommended, with some caveats.
You really can't beat the view, and the organization was good too. A few hitches with the logistics (confusion on the bill, some issues with the music) but overall good.
This was our rehearsal venue. Great food, great vibe. Definitely some logistics challenges (ran out of one of the preselected plates, had to check in all the time about what to do, didn't love the table set up), but overall recommended because the food is so good and the decorations so fun.
Click on each tool to see a sample.