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Originally Posted by beaz2be View Post
I think it has to do with the different tour operators that book the trips from the 2 different countries. But seriously, why would they be almost identical packages but only the USA one was available at AS?!
Hmmmm, very frustrating and I'm sorry to hear they are excluding AS from your options. Not cool...... :-(

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Originally Posted by KittenHeart View Post
This is the thing with this... it's not even really that true. Their policy is fluff and each WC for Karisma says a different thing. Amy Frommert (Afrommert) was told she couldn't have a DJ from Mexico, I hired DJ Mannia from Mexico and there was no issue and our weddings were months apart. I was nervous when I told the onsite coordinators about him but they accommodated him with no question and even let him onsite for a few hours the day prior to pick out his spot at my reception and he was treated wonderfully. I did pay the $500 outside vendor fee, but I'm POSITIVE after having been there now that you could hire a Mexican photographer, whoever you wanted for that matter. Do you really think that your photographer is going to show up at your resort ON your wedding day and they are going to say, “Oh youâ€re Mexican, sorry leave.†No way, thatâ€s just not going to happen.

Know this AS/AB ladies, when you work with your coordinator whoever they are, never ASK, never! Just tell them, "I'm bringing an outside DJ & Photographer, please make note on my details sheet" they don't need details they donâ€t need names or the color of your vendorâ€s skin.

Another example, I wanted chiavari chairs, they quoted me and I said, "no, that's too pricey" and Kiara negotiated them down twice for me to an actual reasonable price for the chairs and pads on them. I got my cake negotiated cheaper as well. We negotiated my manzanita branch down 4 times as well. Managed to get my reception area approved regardless of the fact that didn't meet the minimum requirement of guests.

Just know that the outside WC's jobs are to control and coerce you into using their vendors since they make more money that way but once you get to the resort, they pretty much won't say no and they truly bend over backwards for you.

My whole philosophy while planning my wedding was to not really pay too much attention to the offsite WC, I knew if I was told something couldn't be done, I'd hold my tongue and mention it onsite, I got everything I wanted and more. So chin up girls, if you want it, know that it can be done!
Great advice! Question I just checked to see if you did a Review post cut couldn't find it. Can you tell me how DJ Mannia was? I have been emailing them.


Also did anyone select any of the bands offered through LOMAS?

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Here's another promotion to ask your TAs about....mine just emailed me and told me that we qualified for a free room upgrade because we booked within 10 days of the Karisma webinar that we took. We are saving a little over $1000 on our room...PLUS...TA and Kiara are working to see if we can qualify for the Free Sweet Wedding Package...1 of the qualifications is 7 days in the Premium Suites...we are doing 14 days in the swim up junior and they are trying to get that approved...so..that would be another $2500 saved....This is a good day :)

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Originally Posted by cjb0arder13 View Post
This is exactly why you need to become a wedding planner in Mexico! Can you imagine? You and hubby could live on the beach and you could spend all day planning fantastic weddings for all us DW brides. I need you on my team!!!

thewave.gif
HAHA! I hope I didnâ€t come off too pushy, these freakin†people sometimes are just so rote about the rules and nothing seems contiguous so I figured, eff it, Iâ€m spending a lot, Iâ€m bringing them a ton of business, Iâ€m gonna get what I want. The key was being vague and overly nice. Iâ€d love to plan your weddings, I want to get into it, just donâ€t know where to start! I think you need someone to fight for you and work out the logistics, how fabulous would it be if all you brides could just sit at home crafting and creating your beautiful day instead of having to argue with the rules and whatnot.

Thanks Amy! I used to love those shows too and they too used to have me sucked in. :-) I can't watch too many of them though because I become overly cynical and make all these pessimistic comments during the show. LOL I sit there and dissect every little thing and I make comments like, "That's so fake or That is not real!" It drives FI nuts to listen to my commentary when he's trying to watch TV! LOL For instance, I can't watch any CSI's AT ALL! When they take a fingerprint and pull up a person's location and personal history on a large screen pc in 10 seconds, I always laugh! But I do dig Locked Up and I am a First 48 groupie!!! LOL

Oh and thanks for the info on the hurricane season, how naive of me to not research this. :-( All will be wonderful though!


Youâ€re welcome! Haha, man Iâ€d do the same thing if I were you! CSI is totally unrealistic but back in the day, good stuff! I love the First 48 too, I get so frustrated when they donâ€t catch them =/

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigboponthebeach View Post
Okay help me understand the process here please.....I thought we had to finalize all of our details and payments with the Miami WC's prior to arriving? Is Kiara at AS or in Miami? I thought AS WC's had no say about prices and that was all solidified prior to our arrival. Help me understand here please, because I'm ready to start negotiating! ;-)
Kiara is a WC in Miami, offsite, you do have to finalize everything with your offsite coordinator, basically filling out the spreadsheet which you can ask them to send you at any time. I saw like 50 different version of my spreadsheet. Kiara in Miami negotiated with Lomas for all the stuff I mentioned before. The onsite wedding coordinator canâ€t change prices but know youâ€ll be working with people from Lomas as your onsite coordinator. So work it all out with your offsite coordinator BEFORE you get there.

Be vague and know that they are working for you. Tell them what you want. I told them I wanted the free wedding package and they gave it to me no questions asked. Donâ€t ask their opinion too much, theyâ€re opinion isnâ€t the cheapest route. Iâ€d trust Kiara because she was amazing and really gave it to me straight and worked hard for me. I didnâ€t tell her details and she didnâ€t ask. Iâ€m also pretty sure that anyone could just walk onto the property and no one would stop them and ask for a day pass. For restaurants they just ask for a room number and your name, no wristband or anything, pretty laid back there. For integrity purposes I donâ€t recommend cheating them persay, I was honest and paid my vendor fees but they donâ€t need to know any more than that. I was quoted $250 for my Manzanita branch, I could have bought a Manzanita TREE for that price. I told Kiara, “no way, write them back and tell them I just bought one in downtown LA for $10â€

Quote:
Originally Posted by beaz2be View Post
I think it has to do with the different tour operators that book the trips from the 2 different countries. But seriously, why would they be almost identical packages but only the USA one was available at AS?!
Thatâ€s SOOO stupid… ugh.

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Originally Posted by gingerlover36 View Post
Great advice! Question I just checked to see if you did a Review post cut couldn't find it. Can you tell me how DJ Mannia was? I have been emailing them.
Iâ€m behind, I need to do my review! DJ Mannia was good, he played a few songs I asked not to but it really wasnâ€t a big deal. They brought lights and set everything up and even brought a separate MC for announcements. I even found an expired promo for them and asked them if theyâ€d extend it to me, which they didnâ€t but they discounted me a little just for asking, never hurts to ask :)

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Originally Posted by beaz2be View Post
Argh! I'm so frustrated (sorry if this is a bit of a rant). I've been going back and forth with Carolina about what wedding package we would qualify for, as well as promotions (since you ladies all mentioned the bride & groom stay free).

So, she sends me the link. But it's only for USA brides. (I'm Canadian and although my fiance is American he lives here in Vancouver w/ me - but 1/2 our guests are coming from the USA... so I don't understand if we could still qualify). So... she sends me the link to Canadian promotions. And there's a GREAT Canadian bride & groom stay free promotion - - it applies to every Karisma hotel EXCEPT AS!!! aaaargh. I'm hoping that we might be able to negotiate out some kind of combo of the two promotions or something?!?

Anyone around here had any luck with their negotiations with the WC's at Karisma? I just want what I think is fair - since it seems to be offered to almost every other bride. And I'm in kind of a bizarre situation with the Canadian/American stuff. Suggestions anyone? TIA
That sucks..I wish I had advice for you. All I can say is keep asking and wear them down. They want your business and since only being booked for less than a week...I've qualified for extras I didn't even know about. Make sure your TA is willing to speak with the WC...mine seem to have a good relationship so that makes me even more excited. Just keep asking and hopefully you get to take part in the promotions too...it isn't fair to be excluded from both.

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Oh oh oh and didn't someone mention that you can't switch packages? I don't know how I managed this but when I booked, I originally booked the Silver Package (as a pre-requisite to getting the Sky Deck) and then switched to the free package with no problem at all, I just told them I'd rather build my own wedding and boom, done. That all may have changed by now, anything's possible I'm tellin' ya!

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Originally Posted by KittenHeart View Post
Oh oh oh and didn't someone mention that you can't switch packages? I don't know how I managed this but when I booked, I originally booked the Silver Package (as a pre-requisite to getting the Sky Deck) and then switched to the free package with no problem at all, I just told them I'd rather build my own wedding and boom, done. That all may have changed by now, anything's possible I'm tellin' ya!

I'm pretty sure they changed that...because I think I was told that I was able to change my wedding package up until final payment was due.


Were you able to do build your own AND still do the Sky Deck?

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Originally Posted by msmarmar123 View Post
Here's another promotion to ask your TAs about....mine just emailed me and told me that we qualified for a free room upgrade because we booked within 10 days of the Karisma webinar that we took. We are saving a little over $1000 on our room...PLUS...TA and Kiara are working to see if we can qualify for the Free Sweet Wedding Package...1 of the qualifications is 7 days in the Premium Suites...we are doing 14 days in the swim up junior and they are trying to get that approved...so..that would be another $2500 saved....This is a good day :)
Thanks for reminding me of this! During the webinar I took a print screen shot of the webinar with the date and such so that I could keep it in my file in case the room upgrade ever became an issue. Great suggestion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenHeart View Post
HAHA! I hope I didnâ€t come off too pushy, these freakin†people sometimes are just so rote about the rules and nothing seems contiguous so I figured, eff it, Iâ€m spending a lot, Iâ€m bringing them a ton of business, Iâ€m gonna get what I want. The key was being vague and overly nice. Iâ€d love to plan your weddings, I want to get into it, just donâ€t know where to start! I think you need someone to fight for you and work out the logistics, how fabulous would it be if all you brides could just sit at home crafting and creating your beautiful day instead of having to argue with the rules and whatnot.

Youâ€re welcome! Haha, man Iâ€d do the same thing if I were you! CSI is totally unrealistic but back in the day, good stuff! I love the First 48 too, I get so frustrated when they donâ€t catch them =/


Kiara is a WC in Miami, offsite, you do have to finalize everything with your offsite coordinator, basically filling out the spreadsheet which you can ask them to send you at any time. I saw like 50 different version of my spreadsheet. Kiara in Miami negotiated with Lomas for all the stuff I mentioned before. The onsite wedding coordinator canâ€t change prices but know youâ€ll be working with people from Lomas as your onsite coordinator. So work it all out with your offsite coordinator BEFORE you get there.

Be vague and know that they are working for you. Tell them what you want. I told them I wanted the free wedding package and they gave it to me no questions asked. Donâ€t ask their opinion too much, theyâ€re opinion isnâ€t the cheapest route. Iâ€d trust Kiara because she was amazing and really gave it to me straight and worked hard for me. I didnâ€t tell her details and she didnâ€t ask. Iâ€m also pretty sure that anyone could just walk onto the property and no one would stop them and ask for a day pass. For restaurants they just ask for a room number and your name, no wristband or anything, pretty laid back there. For integrity purposes I donâ€t recommend cheating them persay, I was honest and paid my vendor fees but they donâ€t need to know any more than that. I was quoted $250 for my Manzanita branch, I could have bought a Manzanita TREE for that price. I told Kiara, “no way, write them back and tell them I just bought one in downtown LA for $10â€

Iâ€m behind, I need to do my review! DJ Mannia was good, he played a few songs I asked not to but it really wasnâ€t a big deal. They brought lights and set everything up and even brought a separate MC for announcements. I even found an expired promo for them and asked them if theyâ€d extend it to me, which they didnâ€t but they discounted me a little just for asking, never hurts to ask :)
Thanks for this advice. I didn't want to become pushy, but I will become politely pushy to save money and contribute those funds to other wedding related expenses. I have been quite timid throughout this process thus far because I didn't know what to expect and this truly feels like unchartered waters. I'm taking copious notes to get these plans all right. I just wish everything was more fluid and consistant and their answers were solid. But I digress, it will all work out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmarmar123 View Post
I'm pretty sure they changed that...because I think I was told that I was able to change my wedding package up until final payment was due.
Thanks for sharing this! I will be using this sentence as I downgrade my way into the free sweet wedding package. :-)

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Originally Posted by ~Nicole~ View Post
Wondering if you ladies can help me out? I'm in a photocontest. To win you have to get the most votes on fb. Here's the link: Moments that Matter Photography's Photos - 2010 $100 Favorite Photo Contest | Facebook. Click like on my pic (Nicole & Curt). Or if you don't like it, don't vote for me!!! Thanks ladies!!! xoxo
Liked it, and added you as a friend on FB please accept smile123.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenHeart View Post
This is the thing with this... it's not even really that true. Their policy is fluff and each WC for Karisma says a different thing. Amy Frommert (Afrommert) was told she couldn't have a DJ from Mexico, I hired DJ Mannia from Mexico and there was no issue and our weddings were months apart. I was nervous when I told the onsite coordinators about him but they accommodated him with no question and even let him onsite for a few hours the day prior to pick out his spot at my reception and he was treated wonderfully. I did pay the $500 outside vendor fee, but I'm POSITIVE after having been there now that you could hire a Mexican photographer, whoever you wanted for that matter. Do you really think that your photographer is going to show up at your resort ON your wedding day and they are going to say, “Oh youâ€re Mexican, sorry leave.†No way, thatâ€s just not going to happen.

Know this AS/AB ladies, when you work with your coordinator whoever they are, never ASK, never! Just tell them, "I'm bringing an outside DJ & Photographer, please make note on my details sheet" they don't need details they donâ€t need names or the color of your vendorâ€s skin.

Another example, I wanted chiavari chairs, they quoted me and I said, "no, that's too pricey" and Kiara negotiated them down twice for me to an actual reasonable price for the chairs and pads on them. I got my cake negotiated cheaper as well. We negotiated my manzanita branch down 4 times as well. Managed to get my reception area approved regardless of the fact that didn't meet the minimum requirement of guests.

Just know that the outside WC's jobs are to control and coerce you into using their vendors since they make more money that way but once you get to the resort, they pretty much won't say no and they truly bend over backwards for you.

My whole philosophy while planning my wedding was to not really pay too much attention to the offsite WC, I knew if I was told something couldn't be done, I'd hold my tongue and mention it onsite, I got everything I wanted and more. So chin up girls, if you want it, know that it can be done!
Thanks. This is a great reminder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigboponthebeach View Post
Yes, Beaz.....our wedding weekend will RAWK! drum.gif I love that word for some odd reason! LOL You are on a ROLL with your group! That is wonderful and I'm sure you will have the best time! You don't have to worry about us taking up many rooms and I assume we are one of the smaller wedding groups that weekend. We only have 21 confirmed as of today, so you are packing 'em in! smile123.gif
OH YES IT WILL!! As for the largeness of my group - I blame FI and FMIL... he figured that since it was in Mexico "no one would come... invite them anyway just to show the gesture that we'd like them to be there" hahahahah!! No one would come!!! raaaaaaaight. Seriously tho' I am excited about our large group - it suits us to have all our family and friends with us - and having a wedding that suits your personality is what it's all about right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmarmar123 View Post
That sucks..I wish I had advice for you. All I can say is keep asking and wear them down. They want your business and since only being booked for less than a week...I've qualified for extras I didn't even know about. Make sure your TA is willing to speak with the WC...mine seem to have a good relationship so that makes me even more excited. Just keep asking and hopefully you get to take part in the promotions too...it isn't fair to be excluded from both.
oh gosh - don't get me started on my TA... she is NOT going to get my recommendations after this I don't think. She is not going above and beyond by ANY stretch. (grr. Sorry ladies; I'm trying really hard not to have a crusty day... not much luck tho)

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Originally Posted by msmarmar123 View Post
I'm pretty sure they changed that...because I think I was told that I was able to change my wedding package up until final payment was due.

Were you able to do build your own AND still do the Sky Deck?
Oh thatâ€s good!

Yes I was, I had the free sweet wedding package and the Sky Deck, it was ideal! Do they still require you to get the Silver Package for the SkyDeck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigboponthebeach View Post
Thanks for this advice. I didn't want to become pushy, but I will become politely pushy to save money and contribute those funds to other wedding related expenses. I have been quite timid throughout this process thus far because I didn't know what to expect and this truly feels like unchartered waters. I'm taking copious notes to get these plans all right. I just wish everything was more fluid and consistant and their answers were solid. But I digress, it will all work out!

Thanks for sharing this! I will be using this sentence as I downgrade my way into the free sweet wedding package. :-)
Just try not to get frustrated and treat your WC like sheâ€s on your side and youâ€re both together battling Lomaâ€s (thatâ€s how it ended up with Kiara & I) she helped me out SO much I invited her to my wedding, LOL  If you can get the two of you teamed up against them, they donâ€t stand a chance, so to speak. Be very polite, clear and determined with your wishes to your WC, just know that that is the person that speaks to your vendors on your behalf. Lots of photos help and follow up with stuff, ask for dimensions and photos etc. I asked for months to get the dimensions of the vases I was renting, only to get them a few months before my wedding to find out that they were FAR too small. Iâ€m glad I persisted heavily on this or else I would have been very disappointed that my orchids stems would be shooting out of the vase, not submerged and no floating candle because the opening was too small.

Toss any replies up here or PM them to me and Iâ€ll give you examples of what I would say back if you want :)

Also, you wonâ€t have any trouble with hurricanes at the end of May, I promise, youâ€re in the clear!

Quote:
Originally Posted by beaz2be View Post
Thanks. This is a great reminder.

oh gosh - don't get me started on my TA... she is NOT going to get my recommendations after this I don't think. She is not going above and beyond by ANY stretch. (grr. Sorry ladies; I'm trying really hard not to have a crusty day... not much luck tho)
Youâ€re welcome :)

If you donâ€t like your TA now, it only gets worse. My biggest regrets was not switching TAâ€s when I originally wanted to and gave him “another chance†like my DH suggested. So if youâ€re unhappy, switch now!

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