Rishi Sankar: Ah Trini Travelogue

  • Blog Stats

    • 21,019 hits

I Do Guatemala review follow-up : Questions and Answers

Posted by Rishiray on July 4, 2014


It’s been almost a year since our epic wedding in Antigua, Guatemala. It’s also been almost since our exorcism from the wedding planning outfit of “I Do, Guatemala” … we’re still not over how upset we were with them. Based on the number of e-mail responses from other brides who had WORSE experiences than us … I think enough time has passed and enough responses gathered to ascertain that we were not the only ones who were completely screwed by the lack of planning, preparation and care exhibited by “I Do, Guatemala”.

Here’s a sample list of questions from one

  • Could you possibly give me a rough idea of what you did yourself and/or what was provided? For example, you had gorgeous little notes with your wedding favours, and I love the fans that doubled up as programs. Were those provided by you or I Do Guatemala?

    Done by Diane … in fact, because of “I Do”, she made ALL of the favours. The lessons she learned from the wedding translated into a thriving little side business at handstampology.com (Good things can happen from bad people)

    https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/HandStampOlogy/

    The fans are not available right now, since Diane’s been inundated with orders and she’s at capacity because of wedding season. However she can send you a private listing of the fans that she’s sold … or you can see fan pics at

    https://www.facebook.com/handstampology

  • What did you decide to do on your own because it was cheaper?
    We organized the liquor, the food, the housing, the transport … it was all cheaper and easier to do on our own. A lot of the props like antique boxes and the old school bell, we bought in the craft markets prior. We stored all of our stuff with friends who live in Guatemala City.
  • How was the food? What did they provide?
    The food was catered by Hotel Camino Real (The best hotel in Antigua) … the food was amazing, however we did many tastings – I’m very specific about the food. The hotel catered the servers, food, and transport along with cutlery etc.
  • Was the quote for flowers, etc., enough? Or were there lots of hidden extras?
    The quote for flowers was worked out with Escencia. Not many hidden extras to speak about.
  • You talk in your blog about a contact list, but I couldn’t see it – would you be able to send this to me?
    I didn’t ever publish the contact list – since there were too many emails to go through and I just haven’t had the time to collate this. Invariably … it got pushed to the wayside.

    What I do have to publish are the other horror stories from other brides who have emailed me based on their experiences with I Do. It’s not pretty.

  • I may try to do the whole thing without a planner. Is that possible???
    • Only attempt this with the following parameters
      • If you’re from Guatemala or speak Spanish AND
      • If you have a network of friends there who are willing to go back and forth between Guatemala City and Antigua AND
      • If you have a husband with unlimited airmiles who can fly you there 3-4 times between now and your wedding for tastings, meetings and shopping AND
      • If you have friends who understand the Guatemalan way of booking things, permits and doing business
I Do has business and can keep screwing people because as beautiful as the place is, they know that people will pay a premium not having to deal with all the BS on having to do business in Guatemala.
  • Do you have a trusted friend or person that you can refer me to, that can help with my wedding??
    If you’re looking for someone to help you, we have a friend who also got into the business after going through this with another friend. I’d be happy to pass along the information to you. Please e-mail me directly for this.
  • You’re scaring me … so you’re saying that I should have a planner, but you can’t recommend “I Do” … can you recommend someone else?
    No … read our story again. Multi-level failure by Diana at I Do … that scares anyone from using another planner.
  • How many events did you have in your wedding week?
    We had four days of events
  1. Day One: We had an Antigua tour which we rented the hop on-hop off buses and they provided a really great Antigua tour, followed by a meet and greet with traditional Guatemalan food, drinks and music (marimba) at the houses we rented.
  2. Day Two: we had the rehearsal and dinner for immediate family followed by a salsa night out where we provided nachos, drinks, salsa lessons, etc.
  3. Day Three: the wedding day.  The lanterns, table decor, flowers, etc. were all done by our designer/decor guy who’s name is Mario Ayala from Escensia
  4. Day Four: the day after brunch was held at Hotel Camino Real-they have a beautiful outdoor area, and a delicious buffet.  We also priced out the terrace at Trocolli. I gave up on that idea because I kept getting different prices and the quotes just never seemed to work out.
  • How did you find a hairdresser there?
    We lucked out … we had an amazing hair/makeup artist … Melissa Collins, she’s a Canadian woman who lives in Antigua – she was phenomenal. Unless you’re Latina or Guatemalan, don’t go with the Guatemalan makeup girls … we had a number of trials. The makeup artists were either late, no-shows or put on clown make up for Diane. I don’t get the whole Latina, overdone make up BS.
  • I loved your videos & photos but couldn’t you have hired a Guatemalan video/photographer
    We previewed many wedding videos … most of them were just not great. You get what you pay for and what you research. I suggest that you put a LOT of time into picking our your videographer. It’s probably the single most expensive item you’ll pay for and probably the item that will be shared the most.http://vimeo.com/81519327 : This one looked like a Mexican telenovela – there’s a lot of this. It wasn’t our style.
  • Your officiant was great … how did you find him?
    He was amazing! In fact, he was one of the only good things that Diana did. We’re both not very religious and he completely understood what we wanted our ceremony to be about.httpsvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ejRqOF4Cco
  • Are you sure you’re not making this stuff up?
    It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? Well I’m posting a couple emails I’ve received from readers who had similar experiences – I’ve taken full names out and masked the email addresses.

    • From: Alissa Jo******* <alissa******@gmail.com>
      Date: Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM
      Subject: The “I do” review!
      To: rishi@rishiray.comHi Rishi (and Diane),

      First, thanks for posting your review of I Do Guatemala.  I’m getting married in Antigua with Diana in a little over a month and experiencing nearly everyone of these issues!  So frustrating!  So at least this validates my frustrations! I luckily do have some really great friends and contacts living in Guatemala that have been able to help… but still…! Will also set up some sort of review when this is all said and done!
      I’m writing as it being too late for me to fire her… I’m wondering if you can pass along the contact sheet you mention in your review.  I’m also interested in knowing where you got your lanterns, as that is a line item that seemed really pricey for what it was!  And flowers- how did she end up charging you for them?  She just has this arbitrary number no matter what I say I like that is confusing me and she won’t give me any more details about it…
      I guess any other tidbits you have that helped you manage are appreciated too!
      Again, thanks for posting.  Your wedding was beautiful and I’m sure everyone had an amazing time!  This whole process has made me want to move to Guatemala and be a wedding planner… I could do SUCH a better job… clearly, you could too:)
      best,
      Alissa
    • Name*:    veronica Gom****
      Email*:    carleal_*****@msn.com
      Subject*:    Antigua Guate. WeddingMy fiancé and I are planning our wedding in Antigua Guatemala for 2015. It scares me to read your review of I Do Guatemala, because we have already put a down payment for the venue and I Do’s service. Like you I’ve yet to see our receipt and have not heard back on some items that I needed information on. I’ve thought of doing everything myself, but because I don’t live there I wouldn’t have a clue where to even begin.I’m wondering if you can provide me with a list of the contacts you used (i.e. make up, flowers, vendors…) I would greatly appreciate it. This whole process has caused me so much stress, that I have even thought of cancelling it all together and see our deposit as a loss. I just think of how beautiful it all can be, that I almost have talk myself back into having it there.
      Gratefully yours
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: