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Outside Vendors Shut Out of RIU?

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#1 Bradley Fraser

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    Posted 19 March 2008 - 11:22 AM

    I don't want to trip the alarm without all the information but something has come up. I am wondering for those brides that have booked (or those considering) either of the RIU hotels (Palace or Santa Fe) here in Cabo if there was an issue with outside vendors, in particular photographers.

    In the past I have photographed weddings at RIU without problems. A couple of months ago I went to RIU Palace to photograph a great couple from Denver and gate security DEMANDED a $100 'day fee' if I was going to be there longer than 20 minutes. The situation escalated to the lobby of the hotel where the manager on duty reiterated the extortion policy. The wedding planner at the time who was at the front desk heard everything and did nothing but walk away. I took the couple from Denver off-site to a fantastic beach nearby where we did all our photography and had a great time. I never once mentioned the problem I had with the hotel to them.

    Recently I received this from another RIU bride...

    "Thank you for getting back to me. I have inquired with the Riu and they will not let me hire an outside vender. I was thinking of..."

    I photograph at many locations and with most of the hotels here in Cabo so my immediate concern is not that local photographers and other vendors have lost a venue but that guests (weddings) of RIU have been denied their right of choice.

    Does no outside vendors include; hair, make-up, flowers, videographer, cakes, deejay, etc...? Can anyone confirm this awful policy or has there been a communication disconnect at both the RIU's here in Cabo?

    #2 A10CalGal

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      Posted 19 March 2008 - 11:36 AM

      Hi Bradley - this sounds awfully familiar...

      #3 Bride010101

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        Posted 19 March 2008 - 11:59 AM

        I'm not 100% sure of the policy or anything... but I know brides have been having issues with Riu Ocho Rios in Jamaica.

        I have yet to hear anyone try and bring in an outside cake or flowers. But the issue of photographers have defintely came up. I have heard of charges for breach of contact along with day pass fees along with some quotes saying outside photographers (even if guests of the resort) are not allowed.

        #4 Aarica

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          Posted 19 March 2008 - 12:08 PM

          I am getting married at the RIU Palace Riviera Maya in October and I was told in order for me to bring an outside photographer, they have to be a paying guest at the hotel. They do not allow photographers to come in with a day pass. That puts a damper on the photography budget when you have to pay extra $$ for the photographer's room! I really don't think it is a fair policy.

          #5 cabobridey

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            Posted 19 March 2008 - 12:53 PM

            Hm..... When I asked my WC what the day pass fee was for photographer and videographer and she told me 75 per person. (I am getting married at the Riu Santa Fe)
            I am assuming since she told me the price and didn't sound concerned, I should be OK. BUT I am about to pay my deposit on my photographer and videographer.... maybe I should get it it writing that they are allowed to be there!

            #6 Helland Photographs

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              Posted 19 March 2008 - 01:21 PM

              Hey Bradley...

              Thank you for posting this. I'm not surprized at all. More and more, people want a piece of the wedding action. This is not going in a good direction. I've been shooting in Cabo for ten years. I'm surprized it took this long to start extorting money from vendors.

              BTW... the Riu is not on my list of "best Cabo resorts" for weddings. They do them OK, but thats about it!! No great loss if you go somewhere else!

              #7 Celina

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                Posted 19 March 2008 - 03:28 PM

                I am getting married at RIU Vallarta and was told that we could not have outside vendors.

                The cost for mariachi's for 45 minutes is $650 so I wanted to look around for a cheaper mariach and they told me that it was not allowed.

                They really haven't told me anything regarding the cake. They gave me the name of 1 vendor that they work with. Otherwise their baker can "try" to make it work. I think if I brought something in they wouldn't care.

                As far as photography, they have a contract with someone, so I didn't look elsewhere.

                As far as flowers I am only buying a few for reception tables (from Sam's or a florist there) and the WC knows and didn't seem to have a problem with it. However, we ARE buying the majority of the flowers from them.

                Their day passes are $100 full day and $60 half day.
                "Love is not who you live with...it's who you can't live without"

                #8 Maura


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                Posted 19 March 2008 - 03:52 PM

                someone else has mentioned this on another thread, but one way around their bullshit rule of no outside vendors, is to put the vendor on your guest list. they cant tell any of your "guests" that they can't take photos, no matter what kind of camera equipment they have!

                #9 AllureEventDesign

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                  Posted 21 March 2008 - 02:51 AM

                  I have done only a few events at this hotel (by choice) and although the events always turn out great, I find that it's extremely hard to work with during the planning stages and always find myself having to be extra vigilant the day of. I am currently planning a wedding on May 17th at the Riu and have run into all sorts of issues with the weddings/group department, luckily nothing major...

                  We are having the ceremony at the San JosĀ© Church and then heading back to the hotel for the reception so we were able to forgo the wedding package and are no longer working with the weddings department but with the groups department instead..same story, different name!

                  So far we have been able to bring in all vendors except wedding cake and I have to be honest, it really pays to suck up! Still, the couple is paying for daypasses ($75 each) for ALL their outside vendors though.. 5 total.

                  #10 Helland Photographs

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                    Posted 21 March 2008 - 01:12 PM

                    ... This last comment is exactly what I've been saying on other posts... mainly that even though all the Cabo hotels want to CASH IN on gringo weddings, in NO WAY does it mean that they really WANT to do them, or that they actually KNOW what they're doing... one hotel in particular... over on the Pacific side is a nightmare...

                    True story... at my LAST wedding at this one hotel, the ENTIRE wait staff was taken away so that only BUS BOYS were left to work the wedding reception. It seems the owner of the hotel was having A PRIVATE PARTY for his rich friends at his beach side mansion next door. He pulled the ENTIRE service staff to do his party, leaving my bride and groom with truly lousy service. Before they checked out the next day my clients read the riot act to the hotel management and WP.

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