What you need to know about Off-Resort Vendor Fees

Photo Cred: Eden Roc at Cap Cana

Photo Cred: Eden Roc at Cap Cana


You've been thinking about your destination wedding for what seems like ages and you have finally picked your all-inclusive resort! You are overwhelmed with excitement as you sign the papers to make your reservation and start planning. As time passes, you learn that the resort you picked charges a fee if you are bringing your own vendors from outside the resort. So why not arm yourself with some information about off-site vendor fees now before you make your ultimate resort decision?

Over the past few years, the rise of vendor fees at all-inclusive resorts has put a damper on many couples vision of hiring their own photographer, videographer, makeup artist, DJ, mariachi band… basically any vendor that is not part of the resort. Yes, that’s right, if you plan on bringing your own photographer, for example, who is not the contracted resort photographer, you could get slapped with a vendor fee. How much is this fee, you ask? The exact cost to bring a vendor from off site onto the resort varies by resort. It could be as simple as paying the cost of a day pass for your vendor or it could be as costly as upwards of $1,000 per vendor! Yes, that's per vendor. 

Why are the resorts doing this? There's a lot of debate in the industry as to why resorts are increasing their vendor fees every year. One consensus is that the resorts have hired their own vendors who have been contracted by the resort to work for them. Resort vendors don't tend to book outside their regular job too often, so if you decide to bring a different vendor - that puts them out of work for the night. As destination weddings get more popular, resort vendors are missing out on more opportunities because they are contracted to work at their resort. 

So what can you do about it? Unfortunately this article is not going to provide any ground breaking advice or solutions. It seems like vendor fees are here to stay and only getting higher. The good news is that not all resorts are quite so rigid with their vendor fees, so if you have your heart set on bringing your own team of make up artists, just make sure to run it by your resort wedding coordinator before you commit to that resort. Get them to cost it out and, as I always say, get it in writing! 

Another alternative is to look into destination wedding venues that are not all-inclusive resorts. There are tons of options for off resort weddings - to start, read about some off resort venues in Punta Cana and if you need more info contact a Coral Tide Destination Wedding Specialist at info@coraltidetravel.com


There are so many resort options available to fit your unique style and needs. With such a variety of locations for your wedding, it can feel overwhelming to start researching all the different venues by yourself. Contact a Coral Tide Destination Wedding Specialist to get a full list of options! We have visited so many resorts and wedding locations and we are here to help you to find your perfect fit! Contact info@coraltidetravel.com for details.