Getting married in Cartagena
Every bride has a picture in her mind of that perfect wedding: warm breezes and sun-kissed skin, wedding venues with Old World charm and romantic appeal, scenery every bit as breathtaking as she is in her wedding dress . . . But that perfect wedding doesn’t have to be just another fairy tale. Getting married in Cartagena can turn a vanilla destination wedding into an amazing and unforgettable event.
Cartagena is a passionate Spanish city in the heart of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. You get the gorgeous Spanish Colonial architecture with its larger-than-life facades and ornate statuary in some of the most historic churches and cathedrals in The New World. You also get amazing weather and Caribbean honeymoon destinations within walking distance!
Plus, as the city continues to grow and embrace world culture, the choices for food, entertainment, and wedding reception venues that brides have at their fingertips is becoming almost overwhelming.
You can entertain the entire wedding party in Cartagena’s vibrant old city and sample a world of cuisines within walking distance from your vacation home away from home. There really is no place on earth quite like Cartagena.
Wedding Venues in Cartagena
When you’re getting married in Cartagena, you want a wedding venue that is simply beyond compare. Thankfully, in a city that’s almost 500 years old, it’s not hard to find amazing venues that will put that perfect finishing touch on your dream ceremony. From historic and impressive Catholic churches and cathedrals to flower-filled plazas and iconic mansions, Cartagena has it all.
Don’t believe it? Where else can you get married in front of the relics of a true Catholic Saint then slip off for a weekend Rosario islands or on the pristine white sand beaches of Isla Baru?
Catedral de Cartagena (Santa Catalina de Alejandría Cathedral)
Affectionately known as The Cathedral of Cartagena, this amazing church features one of the most iconic (and photographed) bell towers in the city. Declared a national monument in 1995, this church boasts brilliant yellow walls, a gilded altar dating from the 1700s, and beautiful religious statuary throughout. It is one of the most iconic churches in Colombia and also one of the most amazing wedding venues in Cartagena. You can simple feel the history when you walk under its domed tower and into a building that’s stood in the same place since 1577.
(A bit of history: Famous privateer Sir Francis Drake laid siege to Cartagena in 1585 and actually fired a cannonball into the church itself. The cannon ball is still there on display.)
Catedral San Pedro Claver
There’s nothing small about this massive cathedral dedicated to Saint Peter Claver. It’s one of the largest churches in Cartagena and sits just steps from Plaza de la Aduana. It’s perfect for that bride who loves to make a grand statement.
Imagine stepping down out of a horse drawn carriage with a long white train flowing behind you. Stop for a moment to gaze up at the twin towers stretching high into the bright blue Caribbean sky before stepping into through the grand entryway and awing your friends and family with the spectacle of your beauty!
Catedral San Pedro Claver actually houses the relics of Saint Pedro Claver and has played host to visiting dignitaries from all over the world including Pope Francis during his historic journey to Colombia in 2017. And it’s not hard to see why. While the ornate Spanish colonial architecture creates romantic Old World ambiance outside, the intricate statuary, gorgeous marble altar, and glowing woodwork combine to craft an awe-inspiring interior as well.
Santo Domingo Church
This “little” church is actually the oldest standing in Cartagena. It was built in 1552. Imagine the history this place has witnessed including all the unforgettable weddings! While many of the churches in Cartagena feature Spanish Colonial architecture, Santo Domingo Church was actually finished in the Baroque school—which features many more embellishments, places a greater importance on ornamentation, and uses natural light to breathe beauty and life into inanimate objects.
The sculptures inside this church are absolutely amazing. From the massive meters-high altar featuring Jesus Christ tending to his flock to a Madonna whose crown is laden with real gold and emeralds. If you’re looking for a wedding venue in Cartagena that’s both “flashy and classy” Santo Domingo Church is it.
Iglesia de Santo Toribio
Santo Toribio Church is the smallest Catholic wedding venue inside Cartagena’s Old City—perfect for brides planning on getting married with only a few family and close friends. But just because this church is small, doesn’t mean the builders skimped on the luxuries. In fact the hand-carved wooden alter in this church is one of the most gorgeous in the city. Plus this is the only church inside the city that actually has air conditioning in the public areas—important to consider when you’re getting married in Cartagena’s Caribbean heat.
Wedding Reception Venues in Cartagena
If you’re planning on getting married in Cartagena, the ceremony is only a part of the entire experience. When your wedding venue is so exquisite, how can you top it for the reception?
While Cartagena has a ton of great wedding reception venues (including restaurants and dance clubs that are available for rental) many of the best locations are under the Caribbean sky. One of the best is El Baluarte San Francisco Javier.
This trendy and popular location actually sits high atop the wall that surrounds Cartagena’s Old City. From here you can gaze out into the harbor and feel the gentle sea breeze on your face. It’s a great place for an afternoon cocktail and the view is utterly unique—perfect for wedding photo ops.
On a regular night you’ll find excellent cocktails, tasty bites to nosh, and maybe even some live entertainment. On your wedding night you can turn El Baluarte into anything you want. The venue is available for rent and they even have an in-house event planner!
Requirements getting Married in Cartagena