Hello lovely brides!
I wanted to post some info that I thought might help future brides. I recently returned from my wedding at Azul Fives this month. The thing my husband and I keep thinking about is how happy we are with where we put our money into. We were a couple on a budget but of course wanted a beautiful wedding. For those just starting out in their planning process, I know how daunting it feels hunting for the perfect resort. The number crunching is stressful and it starts to feel like it is all adding up way too quickly.
This is just my experience and how we went about it and I'm sure there are a lot of other brides who have other tips and tricks we didn't think of. Hopefully this thread starts a dialogue and we can help the future upcoming brides save some money!
Karisma properties are gorgeous but with an a la carte type of wedding the bill can really add without you realizing it. As my TA warned me "just be careful they will woo you but if you keep an eye on what your adding to your wedding you can still have a beautiful wedding on a budget". She was totally right!
*prioritize what areas you want to focus on
-Choose free locations (I love the sky deck but it just didn't fit in our budget based on where we were putting our money for other areas of the wedding)
--Choose a set menu (it was cheaper than family style. they were good portions, no one was hungry, they will still accommodate dietary restrictions)
-Make your own playlist (consider apps like DJ app or QLAB)
-Consider skipping the wedding cake or maybe just getting one tier to do a ceremonial cutting of the cake
-want to broadcast your wedding for those that can't make it? Looking into apps like Zoom that allow you to have multiple people on one link and all you need is wifi
(keep in mind prices are in USD as that is how your Karisma bill will appear and this only includes resort costs. I wish my entire wedding cost this much! haha!)
Total Resort Bill $3375.00
Karisma Bill (paid in advance) $2990.00
Onsite Set up fee (paid in cash) $250.00
Spa (paid onsite cash or credit) $135.00
# of Guests 50 adults & 9 kids (including bride and groom)
Always and Forever Package (everyone has to start off with this basic package) $950.00
GIVC Perk (free hair & make up with trials for both, mani/pedi PLUS mani/pedi for a friend. You do have to pay for the tax and tip) $135.00
Semi-Private Dinner (included in the A&F package. Up to 40 people, set menu at Flavours. Kids not counted in numbers if they are ordering from the children's menu) FREE
-Menu- smoked salmon, nut crusted chicken breast, apple crisp
Rehearsal Ceremony (time and date TBD onsite - we did this the day before the wedding at 1pm) FREE
Location - Zky Terrace - FREE (one level below the Sky Deck, smaller but still private. It fit our size of group very comfortably)
Flowers - HC08 (floral vase, tall vase) x2 $80 (each)
- BC14 (table floral arrangement) $70
(*seeing the size I probably would have not added this or maybe would have added another HC08 for the price)
Aisle Runner $40
Cocktail Hour FREE
Location - Zky Terrace/Bar (came with hor d'oeuvres, sparkling wine post ceremony and a signature drink. We had "Tequila Party". Cocktail tables with ribbon in our wedding colour)
**We got lucky on this one...not sure how but we qualified for a free cocktail hour. If we didn't we would have just done an informal cocktail hour in the Zky Bar**
Location - Garden - FREE
Decor - we brought our own and then asked for all of the flowers from the HC08 arrangements to be divided among the tables to add to the centrepieces
Set Up Fee - $250 (this included candles, books, vases, signs, favours and string lights)
Menu - Set Menu 2 (Beef Carpaccio, Pork Rib Eye, Creme Brulee - No wedding cake)
Originally $20/pp ...somehow we qualified for a discount and paid $14.40/pp (x50)
Kids FREE (if ordering from children's menu)
Sound Equipment - Amplifier and microphone $250 (for 4 hours. We brought our own playlist and plugged it in - no DJ)
Outside Vendor Fee - $800 (photographers)
2 for 1 massages (A&F package) - transferred to our honeymoon at El Dorado Casitas Royale (they gave us 2 for FREE)
Honeymoon Breakfast in Bed (A&F package) FREE
Candlelight Dinner on the beach - transferred to El Dorado as well FREE
It really is possible to do it on a budget and we have absolutely no regrets or feel like we missed out on something.
Let me know if there are any questions!! Happy planning!