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Karisma Bride's Dress Rehearsal - Feedback Please?

karisma Rehearsal Dinner el dorado

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#11 kmk2016

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 12:54 PM

@linaco80 - glad the info helps and is what you were looking for. 

 

Vendor Fee: We LOVED the photog so we have to pay the $800 vendor fee for him because he is not a Lomas vendor. Pictures are something we both agree is a "MUST" so my fiance is ok with paying the vendor fee for this.  However, he is NOT ok with paying another fee for video so we'll be going with a Lomas vendor. Some of the Lomas vendors (1 or 2 DJs, a photog and videographer I think) were at the Dress Rehearsal but I didn't make it over there because I was focused on getting decor info and tasting the cake since I'd read mixed reviews about the Karisma cakes. 

 

Family-Friendly Karisma:  We too are restricted to family friendly resorts because my 9 year old niece will be in the wedding. So we picked the Azuls, opting to stay at Azul Beach based on the reviews & pics. While we LOVED the sky deck, we didn't like that the size & fact that it was dominated by families with really small children.  We are getting married over a holiday weekend and know many if not all of our guests will be coming without their children (excluding my sister & brother-in-law who'll be bringing my niece) as a nice long weekend getaway.  Also, we know many (including our moms will want unobstructed views of the ocean).  Azul didn't have many rooms with such views because of the way it is set up.  We wanted a resort that would give guests the option of not being surrounded by kids.  We also learned it was actually the most expensive of the Karisma family-friendly resorts. 

 

Based on this, Azul Sensatori moved up on our list as did Generations. We were really torn but decided to go with Generations once we confirmed we could lock in at 2014 discounted rates.  We also felt Generations was truly the best fit for what we wanted because it offers oceanfront rooms (a huge "must" for our mother's want/would be expecting true oceanfront) and allows guests to have an all-adult experience at El Dorado Royale. Adult guests at Generations can also go over to El Dorado so we felt this gave us the maximum bang not only for us but our guests. 

 

Vendor Meetings - once I received confirmation from Karisma to attend the Dress Rehearsal, I reached out to the photo & video teams that were my front runners to set up meetings. I explained that I may need some flexibility because I wasn't sure about the timeline and they were ok with that.  We agreed that I would confirm the times once I arrived. I set up those appointments based on guestimates and info from another bride who attended the Dress Rehearsal and thankfully it worked out. I confirmed the appointment times with them via email once I got to the resort and saw the weekend itinerary.  When notifying the front desk (who informs security of your guests so they can come on property), I didn't get into details regarding who they were etc. It's none of their business LOL.  I just said I was expecting the following guests at the "x" and "y" times for a meeting in the lobby.  I then hung out in the lobby to greet them & assure anyone who asked that we were only meeting in the lobby. 

ok question!!! You mentioned the cakes... and your concerns after mixed reviews (which I noticed too)... what did you think? Were your fears put at ease? Not only am I concerned about how it tastes... but Im probably MORE concerned with how they look! HAHA... I have to admit, the ones I have seen from past bride posts have been pretty sad looking... kinda like one made by your oh so helpful but less than talented aunt who wants to bake it for you herself... they just looked so clunky and amateurish!!! When they launched the Magical Memories packages, the cakes they showed in the brochures were a BIG improvement from what I had seen, but still not sure if they are an accurate representation on what you actually get! They "say" they will do anything you want if you bring them a picture- but based on what I have seen, I just cant see them recreating some of the cakes I have fallen in love with in my zillion pinterest searches!

 

I was willing to forgo the cake all together, but it has become another "Must" for the FI... so I must oblige, I just dont want to be embarrassed of it sitting there at our reception!



#12 girlinthecity97

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 06:03 PM

@kmk2016 - Taste, texture and moisture perspective we liked the "Strawberry Cake" (yellow cake with cut up strawberries and a custard/cream (made me think of a strawberry shortcake sans whip cream icing), followed by the "red velvet" (which I initially thought was a "strawberry cake" because it was pink and very porous, kinda like the texture of a banana nut or apple spice muffin).  The red velvet didn't taste like a true red velvet but it was again, one of 2nd best in terms of moisture and taste.  The chocolate was really dry and in cupcake form almost had more of a fudge brownie like consistency.  The vanilla was just "ok".  They had several other flavors to sample but only the "strawberry" and red velvet stood out. 

 

My fiance did NOT like the cake pops.  I admit, they tasted like they weren't completely baked all the way and were a little on the gummy/grit of uncooked cake batter texture the more you bit into them. 

 

In terms of how it looked, the Chef did fondant on the sample wedding cake & cake pops.  He did buttercream (which was good) on the cupcakes. From what I have seen of the cakes posted, I agree with your spot on description. The pics I have seen were all icing (guessing they went with buttercream) which doesn't seem to hold up well in a warm/humid environment.  I'm not a huge fan of fondant but will definitely be going that route because it will hold up better - especially if we have an outdoor reception.  While my sweets loving picky fiance really liked the buttercream icing over the fondant, he agreed we should go that route and feels we risk the cake looking like my 9 year old niece & friends made it if we don't. :)


@MandM2014 - CONGRATS & enjoy!  My fiance & I both wish we could go again!  


Edited by girlinthecity97, 09 April 2014 - 06:02 PM.

~ i've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou ~

______________________________________

 

http://www.bestdesti...ng-games-begin/


#13 MandM2014

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 04:41 AM

Does anyone who has been to a BDR have any input on what all I should look at while there? Or anything you wish you would have looked at but didn't?  I feel like I'm going to forget to look at something and then wish I would have thought about it when I get home!

 

@girlinthecity97 Thanks so much! I'm so glad we are getting to do this.  Any advice?!



#14 girlinthecity97

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 08:10 AM

@MandM2014 - The one thing I regret is not being more organized. I didn't take my planning binder down with me that contains a zip pouch for putting brochures, business cards etc in.  We met a guy who makes wonderful cigars while we were there and he gave my fiance his card. We wanted to use him for either our welcome reception or wedding reception but can't find the card.  The other reason I wish I had my binder was because I made a spreadsheet to write notes down about things that were important to me about each resort (reception locations, backup ceremony sites, notes re the onsite wedding coordinator etc...).  This also would have come in handy during the actual Dress Rehearsal event because you meet people from Lomas, the onsite resort staff, get pricing on the decor options etc. 

 

Also, if you haven't already done so, make a list or small notebook for noting anything you think will be useful for guests. We noted things re getting through customs, things the pesky trip/timeshare people will say to try to get you to stop (they told us they needed to check our visa to ensure it was stamped!), etc... and visit places like Cancun, Playa, the WalMart etc...to note any shops you really liked and think guests will enjoy visiting. 

 

Initially my fiance thought I was being "extra" with the mini journal and frequently stopping to jot things down but it was helpful because we'd forgotten a lot of what we observed/chatted about while there. This also helped remind me of things I wanted to note when I did our website. 

 

Have fun! 


Edited by girlinthecity97, 10 April 2014 - 08:13 AM.

~ i've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou ~

______________________________________

 

http://www.bestdesti...ng-games-begin/


#15 kmk2016

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 08:14 AM

@MandM2014 - The one thing I regret is not being more organized. I didn't take my planning binder down with me that contains a zip pouch for putting brochures, business cards etc in.  We met a guy who makes wonderful cigars while we were there and he gave my fiance his card. We wanted to use him for either our welcome reception or wedding reception but can't find the card.  The other reason I wish I had my binder was because I made a spreadsheet to write notes down about things that were important to me about each resort (reception locations, backup ceremony sites, notes re the onsite wedding coordinator etc...).  This also would have come in handy during the actual Dress Rehearsal event because you meet people from Lomas, the onsite resort staff, get pricing on the decor options etc. 

 

Also, if you haven't already done so, make a list or small notebook for noting anything you think will be useful for guests. We noted things re getting through customs, things the pesky trip/timeshare people will say to try to get you to stop (they told us they needed to check our visa to ensure it was stamped!), etc... and visit places like Cancun, Playa, the WalMart etc...to note any shops you really liked and think guests will enjoy visiting etc....

 

Have fun! 

Great tips! I wasnt sure I was going to get a planning binder as I am doing most online through my website host (Wedshare.com)... but my MOH thought I was crazy not to have one. You have convinced me! I will find one and have it ready for my trip down for the rehearsal- this will ensure I can keep all my details/thoughts/notes in one place. I also LOVE your idea to keep a running list of tips for our guests pre-travel letter!



#16 AllieH

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 08:48 AM

one tip:  if you have a dinner or buffet, it will also come with a dessert. there may not be a reason to order a big cake, and perhaps just a small cake for cutting will work.

 

we did cupcakes, and most of them were wasted. the dessert that came with dinner (tres leches cake) was MUCH better than the cupcakes.

 

other brides who've done the BBQ buffet said it comes with so many desserts, the cake isn't needed either.

 

just a thought!

 

@kmk2016 - Taste, texture and moisture perspective we liked the "Strawberry Cake" (yellow cake with cut up strawberries and a custard/cream (made me think of a strawberry shortcake sans whip cream icing), followed by the "red velvet" (which I initially thought was a "strawberry cake" because it was pink and very porous, kinda like the texture of a banana nut or apple spice muffin).  The red velvet didn't taste like a true red velvet but it was again, one of 2nd best in terms of moisture and taste.  The chocolate was really dry and in cupcake form almost had more of a fudge brownie like consistency.  The vanilla was just "ok".  They had several other flavors to sample but only the "strawberry" and red velvet stood out. 

 

My fiance did NOT like the cake pops.  I admit, they tasted like they weren't completely baked all the way and were a little on the gummy/grit of uncooked cake batter texture the more you bit into them. 

 

In terms of how it looked, the Chef did fondant on the sample wedding cake & cake pops.  He did buttercream (which was good) on the cupcakes. From what I have seen of the cakes posted, I agree with your spot on description. The pics I have seen were all icing (guessing they went with buttercream) which doesn't seem to hold up well in a warm/humid environment.  I'm not a huge fan of fondant but will definitely be going that route because it will hold up better - especially if we have an outdoor reception.  While my sweets loving picky fiance really liked the buttercream icing over the fondant, he agreed we should go that route and feels we risk the cake looking like my 9 year old niece & friends made it if we don't. :)


@MandM2014 - CONGRATS & enjoy!  My fiance & I both wish we could go again!  


 

Official El Dorado Royale/El Dorado Casitas Royale Thread <---check here for all info about EDR/EDCR

Wright Travel Agency <--for all your Destination Wedding needs! Contact the experts and reduce your stress. 

El Dorado Royale Brides Thread <---come chat with other EDR brides

AllieH's EDR 11-5-2012 Planning Thread <--because it was so awesome


#17 girlinthecity97

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 08:51 AM

@kmk2016 - Thanks! yeah, initially I felt as if I should have listened to my fiance and skipped the whole planner (I purchased the Knot's Ultimate Planner) but have since made good use of it. I added a binder 3 whole punch so I could quickly put paperwork in there as I go along.  While it isn't a perfect "fit" for destination wedding planning, I tweaked it to make it work.  I purchased that one because I got "caught up" and was too lazy to make my own.   Initially, I thought keeping everything online would work but quickly found it was helpful to have "real" paper and help me better visualize all the moving parts.  Once I put things in the binder, I realized there was a lot of stuff I could get rid of and other stuff I needed to get and add. 


@AllieH - thanks for that tip re only doing a cutting cake!  It looks like we may have more people than we initially anticipated and are thinking of doing a beach BBQ reception rather than a sit down dinner. Thanks as always! 


~ i've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou ~

______________________________________

 

http://www.bestdesti...ng-games-begin/


#18 kmk2016

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 09:15 AM

I just found this link:
http://www.russellan...ingTemplate.pdf

 

which will be perfect for making my own wedding planning binder to use along side all of the online resources. It looks perfect since I can add the pages that are useful, and leave out the ones I don't need... and add a portable 3hole punch in the binder for any literature that I need along with a plastic zipper pouch in the back and business card holder pages. It will be cheaper than buying a pre-made binder and will probably be a lot more applicable!!!

 

Happy planning!



#19 AllieH

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 09:16 AM

@girlinthecity97 - yup, the beach BBQ is wildly popular, and comes with a whole table of dessert choices. Browse around the EDR thread - I know a few brides posted pics of their BBQ buffet in the last couple of months, and it looked AMAZING.

 

and so exciting that you'll have more guests!

 


@AllieH - thanks for that tip re only doing a cutting cake!  It looks like we may have more people than we initially anticipated and are thinking of doing a beach BBQ reception rather than a sit down dinner. Thanks as always! 


 

Official El Dorado Royale/El Dorado Casitas Royale Thread <---check here for all info about EDR/EDCR

Wright Travel Agency <--for all your Destination Wedding needs! Contact the experts and reduce your stress. 

El Dorado Royale Brides Thread <---come chat with other EDR brides

AllieH's EDR 11-5-2012 Planning Thread <--because it was so awesome


#20 MandM2014

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 10:06 AM

@girlinthecity97 Thanks so much!  I just want to make sure i'm as prepared as I can be. I didn't even think about writing down tips for my guests! Great idea!  Did you measure anything while you were down there?







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