By: Tracey Manailescu
We are back from Cocktails in Cartagena/I Do Cartagena (aka one of the most incredible experiences ever). The attendees, speakers, hospitality, wedding venues, food, city, and the memories are sure to last a lifetime!
Cartagena, Colombia has captured a special place in my heart, and I am sure that I speak for everyone who joined us on this wonderful adventure.
A huge thank you to everyone who made this such a memorable learning opportunity. I can confidently say that Cartagena is definitely a top notch place to have a destination wedding. The wedding professionals are so talented, and they go above and beyond to create something magical that you might not have experienced before.
A special thanks to Amanda Douglas of Amanda Douglas Events who took over our Instagram for the duration of the conference and beyond to ensure every moment was captured in our stories and in our posts.
WPIC Inc. worked for months with the Cartagena De Indias Convention & Visitors Bureau and Cotelco to ensure we had a stellar program in place for our attendees. What we got was truly beyond our expectations and wildest dreams. Thank you for everything!
We were wined and dined by land and boat (yacht, catamaran and speedboat just to be clear). Thanks so much to Gema Tours for the timely and professional transportation.
Our welcome party was on the rooftop of the beautiful Cartagena Convention Center. Danielle and I were here for a site visit last month and were amazed at all of the various locations for events that it can hold, inside and out.
The views are amazing and the musicians 3 Cuerdas played beautifully.
The amazing planning team behind Cocktails in Cartagena and I Do Cartagena.
We had a full day of site visits which were broken into two categories depending on what the attendees selected. Luxury old town led by myself, or beach-side venues led by Danielle.
My group had an absolutely amazing day visiting boutique luxury properties. We were spoiled with food and beverages and of course eye candy. A lovely breakfast was provided for us at Allure Chocolate.
We then visited Hotel Ananda, Tcherassi Hotel, and had an amazing lunch at Casa 1537 (definitely a highlight) , then on to Casa del Arzobispado, Santa Catalina Hotel, Sophia Hotel and then our unforgettable dinner at Casa Santos de Piedra which is a brand new property (so new in fact, that we were the first large-scale event) owned and operated by my personal favourite hotel in Cartagena, Hotel Capellan.
This is Casa Santos de Piedra!
The amazingly talented woman behind the florals and design is none other than Mary Cueter Bodas y Eventos
Our conference day was at the lovely Hotel Almirante Cartagena We absolutely loved this gorgeous set up. It was so fresh and modern.
Our wonderful speakers gave us so much and the take-away information was invaluable. Adding to this was the fact that each speaker joined us on our site visits, breakfasts and nightly dinners and events and gave tips and advice and contributed to the learning environment the entire time. They were truly invaluable!
Liene Stevens of Think Splendid discussed pricing strategies. The biggest takeaway for me was the need to educate clients on the value of what you do, as well as know your costs of running the business.
Renee Dalo of Moxie Bright Events discussed the beauty behind selling without selling. Listen more. Talk less. Really listen.
Monica Caesar of Monica Caesar Destinations (formerly Aisle Plan Your Day) shared things to consider when working with destination weddings, time saving tips and the importance of working with a licensed travel agent.
Ana Maty Trujillio Gedeon of Gema Tours Wedding Planning Division discussed things to know about planning a wedding in Cartagena, Colombia. The laws and legalities as well as some wonderful contacts to keep in our rosters.
Timeesha Duncan is a marketing maven and powerhouse. She got us energized, and back in business to end the day with focus and incentive to do more. Recreate our business plans, eliminate our fears, get more savvy with our financial planning and recreate our brand story were the takeaways from this seminar.
Co-producers Tracey and Danielle and pictured below as well as some photos of our food breaks and lunch decor. It was beautiful!
Our closing party was on the infamous rooftop of Movich Hotel. The stunning views and photo opportunities are endless. Add a live band, plenty of great food and drinks, as well as models in wedding attire, and you have very happy planners and travel agents 🙂
The wonderful crew behind I Do Cartagena! These incredible women were so charming, professional and easy to work with.
Just when you thought it was over, we were given one last overnight stay at the luxurious Eco awarded Las Islas on Baru Island. We stayed in ocean front bungalows or tree-top bungalows overlooking the island.
I seriously can’t wait to go back and explore more of the beautiful country of Colombia, and all that it has to offer.