Originally Posted by maridr2012
TishaJules: I was able to get out of the $1,000 for external photographer only because I booked my wedding in 2011, prior to this policy which went into effect this year. I was lucky to get grandfathered in. But I'll tell you, I also haven't been overly impressed by Arrecife's work - I guess I just don't like their style for my personal preference. I was prepared to fly in my own photographer and pay for his flight and give him one of the free rooms I'm getting comp'd as a kickback and save a few bucks. By the way...ask your DestinationWeddings agent about that if she hasn't brought it up to you. My FI's brother works with a fabulous photographer who wouldve done it for free if we would pay his flight and room..and like i said, with the free room it wouldve turned out pretty cheap and he'd get a great vacation (I would've flown him in for the weekend). But I didn't have to go that route luckily Anyway, I have read posts by other brides saying that they were able to get out of the fee by making the photographer a "guest" at the wedding...meaning paying for that headcount and also paying for a day pass which is $120. It still works out cheaper than $1,000. Hope that works for you!
That trick doesn't work. If you say the photographer is a "guest" and they see the person photographing you, they will smack you with the fee. A bride who tried that posted in one of the forums that they said he had to put the camera away. I was prepared to try it but she said they watched over her wedding like a hawk and anyone who took out a camera they questions. She ended up with very few pictures. Not worth the risk if you ask me. Either roll with Arrecife or pay the fee and you won't have to worry about it. I tried a few tricks with my WC and she was sick- she kept saying "as long as you are aware any outside photography will incur a $1,000 fee." I think maybe too many people have used this trick in the past and they are privy to it now.
It sucks- its a shitty policy. I almost didn't have my wedding at Paradisus because of it.