I wanted to thank all of you for your advice and help through our wedding planning process! We had a wonderful wedding, thanks in part to ideas I got on this forum!
Here is my super long review!
Overall we are very happy with our experience at the Azul Sensatori. Some photos of our wedding can be found here:
We chose the Azul Sensatori because we had a large group coming from all over the world that included a whole bunch of kids. There are direct flights to Cancun from almost everywhere, and the resort is truly and excellent place to vacation for all ages.
The wedding planning was quite frustrating at times. Our coordinator was Brigitte in the Miami office. She was always polite and professional. She actually had a lot of good ideas and advice throughout the planning process. However, we usually had to wait a week to hear back from her, and sometimes more. She also occasionally mixed up our details. I think the main issue is that they are overloaded with weddings and there aren't enough staff in the office. This irritated us, as they make a TON of money off us wedding couples, Karisma should be able to afford a few more staff.
One of the most frustrating things about the planning process is that Canadian couples are excluded from all wedding promotions. The official reason for this is that Canadian guests generally purchase their rooms through a package and so get a discounted rate. That was not the case for our group, we had guests booking directly through Karisma coming from the US, and just because we were Canadian we were not given the perks an American couple would have received.
Also, our wedding bill was in USD, which was a huge disadvantage for us.
We attended the BDR in November 2014 and I would highly recommend this. It was so helpful, and fun! If possible plan to go before you book your wedding. They were far more likely to accommodate requests from couples who had not yet booked their weddings than those who had already signed on.
The resort is fantastic. The grounds, food, activities and rooms are all wonderful. The best part of the resort is truly the people who work there. They are all very customer-focused.
The resort mixed up the room bookings for quite a few of our guests. We had singles staying in a room with two beds, and groups of platonic friends staying in a room with one bed. We also had guests who paid extra to stay in the adults only section, and ocean views, who did not get the type of room they paid extra for. We also had guests who requested "guaranteed connecting rooms" and were not even in the same building!
We checked in late on a Sunday night, but still the wedding concierge Laura was there to welcome us and make sure we were taken care of. She confirmed our numbers and menu for our welcome lunch and made sure we were feeling comfortable with our plans.
Our package came with a 40 person lunch or dinner at Spoons, and we used it for a welcome lunch. As always, the food was excellent and the staff was very helpful. We had guests with dietary restrictions and they were all served food they could eat, and enjoyed!
The staff at Spoons was fabulous, as always. Our guests were well taken care of during our lunch, which we appreciated. We could focus on visiting with them instead of taking care of them. The wedding concierge Laura also present for our lunch making sure it all went well.
Janet, the Lomas wedding coordinator facilitated our rehearsal the day before the wedding. She is always professional and can multi-task like I've never seen. If you have Janet taking care of your wedding rest assured every detail will be perfect!
I went to the Vassa Spa for my hair and makeup, as did the two Moms and one of my bridesmaids. Everyone looked gorgeous and were very happy with both the hair and makeup services. The front desk staff at the spa are also really helpful.
Angeles did my hair and makeup and it looked great and lasted all day, even in the heat. I paid extra for the airbrush makeup, and I'm not sure it was worth it. My bridesmaid who had regular makeup done looked great and hers lasted as long as mine did.
We ordered flowers through Lomas. We got two hanging corsages for the ceremony arch, a bridal bouquet, two bridesmaids bouquets, five boutonnières, and two corsages. They were all lovely. The boutonnières wilted quickly. If I had to do it again I would skip them or use an option that is not a real flower. The corsages and bouquets looked great the entire day!
We ordered a few decor items from Lomas but they were so incredibly overpriced we ended up bringing most of our decor ourselves and renting some from Love&Lace Decor. We were charged a set up fee of $250 but that was WAY less than we would have spent ordering our decorations from Lomas.
Our ceremony was on the Rooftop Garden (which is not a garden, nor is it on the rooftop). Janet did a great job of overseeing the set up, and it looked wonderful. It was hot, they turned on the fans and served our guests drinks which really helped. Luckily the ceremony was quick!
It only took one Google search for us to decide we were not using the "approved" Photographers. Caribe has a terrible reputation, and Matias Cano is so overpriced it was more economical for us to pay the ridiculous outside vendor fee of $800USD!!!! We negotiated that down to $500USD. Our photographer was PhotoStudioAB and we are so happy with our photos.
Our reception was at the Plaza Zavas. Janet, Berenice and Laura did a great job of setting everything up, and they were there throughout the reception to make sure all was well. It looked wonderful and we had a great time.
The staff at the reception was so amazing. All of our guests were so well taken care of. This was wonderful for us, as we could focus on enjoying the party! The service staff asked before taking the buffet away, and also made sure our Photographers had enough to eat and drink.
We used DJ AllMusic. Our DJ's name was Vulcan (I think). He did an excellent job. We bought the package that includes MC services and he kept things organized throughout the party. The package also included a bubble machine, glow sticks, and balloons.
We ordered the petite gourmet buffet for our guests, and everyone loved the food.
I wish I had ordered plated meals for my guests with dietary restrictions. There wasn't really a good entrée option for my vegetarian guest, and my guest with a seafood allergy was concerned because the tongs used for the fish were also used for other items.
The food was labelled clearly, and so most of our guests with dietary restrictions/preferences were fine with the buffet. If I could go back I would just order a few plated meals for those who needed them.
We also ordered a cake, we chose chocolate and vanilla. It was beautiful and delicious!
One final note, we were planning to use the "anniversary voucher" included in our package to return to a Karima resort but we never received it! We emailed Customer Service about that when we got home, but no one has gotten back to us.
We are so grateful to the entire team at the Azul Sensatori for making our wedding wonderful. All of our complaints have to do with Karismas prices and/or policies, not the people who work at the resort.
Thank you so much for your incredible review. This was so helpful! We are getting married in September and I was slightly worried about decorations and such. Karisma also wants to charge us extra for one of the free events we are supposed to have, and our budget almost doubled!
Your pictures are absolutely beautiful!! If you don't mind my asking, how did you negotiate the vendor fee? For the same reasons you listed, we are going with an outside photographer, but the $800 fee is really killing our budget.
We are also having some trouble with our coordinator in Miami. She never has any good input, and forgets the things we've already discussed.
As for decorations, did you have any issues with customs? What did you use for centerpieces? Any advice would be appreciated!
Thanks so much for taking the time to post this review!