Guide to Hiring a Destination Wedding Photographer and Videographer at an All-Inclusive Resort

There are a ton of things to consider when you’re planning a destination wedding to an all-inclusive resort and the wedding photography and videography element is one of the most important choices you’ll need to make.

Your wedding day will be amazing and filled with beautiful moments and precious memories, but the most lasting element (besides your love, of course) will be your wedding photos. Because there are so many options this can be a really tough decision. It can also be somewhat confusing since every resort has its own rules and policies regarding in house and outside vendors.
All-inclusive resorts in Mexico typically have their own in house photographers they recommend and/or require that you use for your destination wedding photography. Some all-inclusive resorts even include some small photography element in their basic or premium wedding packages.
If they do include photography services in the wedding package, it may include something as little as 1 hour of wedding photography and maybe up to 10 images but will give you the option to add more coverage and additional images. Some destination wedding packages may even include a small video of your ceremony.
The resorts want you to use their in-house photographer. They have more control over this vendor, already have contracts in place directly with that company, and earn a portion of what the photographer charges you. It’s in the best interest of the hotel if you choose their in-house photographer(s).

Julie Roman Photo at the beach of Hotel Xcaret for Yellow Umbrella Events

Here are some pros to using your resort's in house photographer(s) and videographer(s).

1. You don’t have to worry about finding and vetting a destination wedding photography and videography team. They’ve already done the work for you.
2. They know the ins and outs of the venue and all the great photo spots.
3. They know the resort wedding staff so they can easily communicate their (and your) photography and videography wants and needs.
4. They may have special permission from the resort to use their drone. Some resorts will only allow the in house photography and videography team to use a drone at their property or they may have a longer process for granting approval to an outside vendor.
5. No outside vendor fee is charged when you book the resort’s in-house photography and videography team.

Julie Roman Photo at the beach of Hotel Xcaret for Yellow Umbrella Events

There are also some cons to choosing the resort's in house photography and videography teams.

1. The in-house photography and videography team may not match the style of photography and/or videography that you prefer.
2. Their prices can be a bit steep. Oftentimes, the in-house photography and videography pricing are quite a bit more than hiring a local photographer to your destination or bringing one from the US with you.
3. They may not be as easily accessible to you. Often, when you choose an in house photography and/or videography team you will communicate with them through the resort staff, so response times may be delayed and it may be a little harder to establish a rapport with them through this method of communication.

Hotel Xcaret Arte Diego Ballrooom by yellow umbrella events

Hiring an outside Photographer and Videographer:

So, what happens when you don’t want to hire the resort’s in-house photography and videography team for your destination wedding?
In almost all cases, you do have some options! Most resorts will allow you to hire this vendor outside the resort but there are things you’ll want to consider.

Julie Roman Photo at the beach of Hotel Xcaret for Yellow Umbrella Events

Bringing a Photographer and Videographer with you from the US.

Some couples have a team they love at home and may already feel comfortable with them. They may have even shot their engagement session, so there’s a great relationship that has already been established. Some couples simply feel more at ease contracting a US vendor that they can easily access at home after the wedding.

If you choose this route most properties will not charge an outside vendor fee so long as your photographer and videographer stay at the resort in your wedding room block for at least 3 nights.

However, some resorts will still charge you an outside vendor fee. We normally see this range anywhere from $500 – $1,000. If you’re planning on bringing an outside photographer and/or videographer with you to your destination wedding it’s best to ask the resort about their policy on this upfront, before you sign your wedding contract. Once you’ve signed the wedding contract your choices are limited to what you’ve contractually agreed to.