Home >> Our Terrible Wedding Planner >> I Do, Guatemala review : 8 reasons why you shouldn’t use them.
I Do, Guatemala review : 8 reasons why you shouldn’t use them.

I Do, Guatemala review : 8 reasons why you shouldn’t use them.

Hiring I, Do Guatemala meant that I literally had to DO all of the work when planning our wedding…

If you’re planning your dream wedding in Antigua, Guatemala it can be a dream … but, we strongly recommend that you do your research before hiring I Do, Guatemala and Diana. When we originally began the search process to find a planner, I simply found one beautiful wedding featured on a bridal site, saw the planners name and thought “Wow! She must have been good if she pulled this wedding off” – and that was the single biggest assumption I made. In retrospect, I now know that that wedding was so beautiful, not because of the planner in particular, but because of the amount of prep work that bride did on her own in combination with hiring a very talented decorator/florist (whom we also hired-more to come in our “great contacts in Antigua” page). We have no idea how they work for locally organized weddings, but if you’re not from Guatemala, then you need a wedding planner who is honest, on schedule and communicates effectively.

Top three reasons why we wanted to create this board:

  1. To ensure that NO bride will have to go through what we did when planning a wedding.
  2. To share some of the wonderful vendor contacts we made along the way.
  3. To share important lessons learned about planning a destination wedding! (It can actually be fun and rewarding!)

When searching for information on Diana’s services, we couldn’t find a single review. (and trust me, I tried…I’m a good detective like that) It wasn’t until after we hired her, and things started going wrong, that I really did some digging and found other unhappy brides who had already gone through the same thing I was.

If there was a detailed review, we definitely would NOT have hired them for our wedding.

Here’s 8 reasons why I wouldn’t use Diana Sciarillo or I Do, Guatemala!

  1. Never accepts accountability or accepts that she made a mistake.
  2. Completely disorganized.
    1. One bride who hired her said that the major hotel in Antigua (Santo Domingo) where she had her wedding do not work with her because of the way she works.
    2. Has staff that are completely ineffective.
    3. Important things like budget for our wedding was still not confirmed as late as the week prior to the wedding!
    4. I went two weeks before the wedding to book, plan, order, and set up many little pieces that were still not complete. (Thankfully, I had two Guatemalan friends who were kind enough to take me around and complete all of this!)
  3. Horrible remote communicator.
    1. She is excellent in person, but doesn’t follow through on promises, dates, or actions. (two months after the wedding, I am still waiting to get the digital pictures from our photo booth…I assume I will never get those)
  4. Cannot manage emergencies
    1. I (the bride) was left stranded on the wedding day…(the shuttle she arranged wasn’t allowed into the housing compound where I was waiting (first fail)…they were also given the wrong address (second fail)…) It wasn’t until I was already 10 minutes late for the ceremony, that I tossed my bouquet and purse into a bag, hiked my dress over my shoulder and started marching down the street during a thunderstorm, that I found my ride banging on the wrong house! Diana kept telling concerned guests that I was on my way for over 35 minutes (I was less than a 10 minute drive away)…not once did she try to sort the situation out…or try to get me as she was the only on with a car. (third fail)
    2. Unable to organize seating at the post wedding brunch as planned.
      1. Brunch was at Westin Camino Real hotel (which was awesome btw…more to come on our “great contacts” page)- we reserved tables ahead of time so that guests would be together. This was not done and Diana was simply standing around telling everyone that we will just have to spread out.
      2. Groom discussed with Abel Murga (Hotel GM) and seating was arranged in 5 minutes!!!
  5. The head wedding planner Diana Sciarillo was completely dishonest with us on multiple occasions. (also see #6 on suspicious mark-ups)
    1. Made us change scheduled flights and time off because of “last minute” change by another bride. We later found out that she double booked us and made us pay the flight change costs and completely inconvenienced us as we also had to change our holiday time.
    2. Completely lied about the other bride’s emergency … there was no last minute change – which we confirmed with the other bride. They had a website clearly stating their dates.
    3. This was huge … since it destroyed any trust we could have in her.
  6. Creates suspicious markups-despite the fact that our contract clearly stated that, “I Do, Guatemala will, negotiate in the client’s best interest.”

    1. The prices on most items or services she was responsible for procurement or tried to procure had unreasonable markups
      • e.g. Liquor prices quoted were 25% -40% higher than what we got at distributors in the city (depending on the alcohol)
    2. Quoted a price for bartenders from TGIF Guatemala City of $700 USD for two bartenders. We hired the exact bartenders directly and paid $150 USD total! …and they brought a third bartender for no extra cost.
    3. Was quoting us $700 for a day after brunch for 45 guests. Another bride paid $300 for 60 people at the same location.
    4. Quoted us $144 for 12 sky lanterns to be used at the end of the evening. Purchased 20 online for $13 total.
    5. Quoted us $855 for a salsa night out for our guests…we arranged it ourselves and paid a total of $600 including three alcoholic drinks per person, food, a private space in the bar, DJ and salsa instructors.
    6. Quoted $65 per person for make up only. I found an amazing Canadian stylist…and paid, $20 per person.

    These are a few of the examples which is often why I just ended up booking things on my own…I saved money and didn’t trust her to find the “best price” for me. (How could I after seeing continuous gaps?) This made me feel like she was lining her own pockets.

  7. Has ineffective/sloppy and unaccountable staff
    1. We delegated 5 room bookings at the Westin Camino Real to one of her staff … she forgot one of those. Thankfully I was in charge of the other 40 guests housing!
    2. Her staff aren’t very strong English communicators – which makes delegation completely impossible
    3. Staff failed to confirm the wedding night after party at Monoloco’s.
      • We showed up after the wedding to no reservation
      • One of her staff was there waiting and couldn’t resolve the issue.
      • Groom had to successfully resolve this with Monoloco management. Complete and utter scheduling and communication failure.
    4. Wrong entrance song for the reception (despite communicating this with Diana and her team multiple times).
    5. Wrong father/daughter song despite communication.
    6. Wedding rehearsal wasn’t even in the ceremony location!! How does that even happen? Of course, this wasn’t communicated until the afternoon of.
  8. Almost a complete no-show the day of the wedding before the ceremony/reception.

    1. Nothing was setup at San Jose el Viejo until 30 minutes prior to the wedding ceremony
    2. Guests came to San Jose el Viejo with no food, drinks or anything setup … they had to wait while staff setup everything.

This is just a high level collection of failures we experienced when dealing with I Do, Guatemala! So many more to discuss… plus other horror stories from other brides.

Of course you must be wondering, “Why didn’t you just fire her?”

Here’s the answer…we chose Antigua because of the ruins we could hold our venues in. San Jose el Viejo for the ceremony and Las Capuchinas for the reception. The very first thing Diana did for us was book the venues…even before we officially hired her. When we did hire her, I pressed for the receipts (proof of booking) and she didn’t provide those until months after we had the transaction completed. When I finally got the receipts, I realized that they were not in my name. I was terrified that if I fired her, I would essentially lose my venues. The thought of losing my venues and her holding onto them after letting her go, scared me to the point of simply keeping her around and putting up with her.

HUGE LESSON: Make sure that every venue, booking, reservation made is in the bride or grooms name!!!!!

In the end … our wedding as spectacular and all that my wife wanted but hopefully this article …. “I Do, Guatemala review : 8 reasons why you shouldn’t use them” will provide another angle to your decision making.

  • Melissa

    Hi

    I loved all your feedback about the wedding plannner, thank you so much for sharing all the specifics! Like you said it can get kinda overwhelming with all there is to do! I just wanted to see i can´t find on your website the info on the bartenders and the contacts you mentioned you made. Coudl you please share those, they are valuable!!! Thanks a lot!!!

    • rishianddiane

      Hi Melissa
      Did I ever reply back. The comments on the website haven’t been working as well as I thought!
      Let me know
      Thanks
      RIshi