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Destination Weddings

What's the best way to transport decorations/decor for a wedding abroad?

edited February 2014 in Destination Weddings
I have a pretty simple question that I was curious about. 

For anyone who got married abroad (or is planning to), how did you bring any extra decorations for the wedding? I'm thinking just some relatively small things for the reception tables, welcome bags for guests, etc. Did you pack an extra suitcase and check the bag? Ship them to your destination earlier? Order them and have them directly sent to a hotel/house/business? I've read that some people had things get stuck in customs when they went the mailing route, and others said they had to pay fines at customs at the airport (maybe for not declaring the items?), so I'd like to hear people's personal experiences and what you think is the best option!

As for the dress,  it seems the consensus is to definitely carry it on. Don't want that getting lost! 

(Tried searching for this topic but had no luck, so if there's another thread, please let me know!)

Re: What's the best way to transport decorations/decor for a wedding abroad?

  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    There are pros & cons to every method.

    The only thing I've heard people have problems with carrying through customs is guest welcome bags.  You are only allowed to bring a limited value of "gifts" across border (I think it's $300, but you should check on that).  But, it sounds like most people get through it okay, since usually welcome bags typically aren't high value.  I have heard it's good idea to bring receipts for those items with you, just in case, although most people I've heard get through without any questions or just explain that its wedding items and don't usually need the receipts. But, its a good idea to have them available just in case. But, if there are high value gifts, over the minimum allowed, you may want to consider declaring them or risk a fine.

    I've also seen that it may be a good idea to assemble welcome bags after you arrive at your destination.  That way they don't necessarily look like gifts and are less likely to be questioned.  Or spread the items out over multiple bags, since they often won't check all of your bags. 

     

    I've also seen people use those large plastic tote bins or cardboard boxes and checked it as luggage on the plane.  That way you can just dispose of the bin/box there and not need to worry about carrying it back home after its empty.  I've actually even heard of people buying cheap used suitcases from thrift shop that they didn't mind leaving behind.  There are a lot of cheap container options that could work for this.

    The other problem with shipping is the cost to send large items like that.  It would be probably be much cheaper to check on the airplane, and you have better chance or control of them getting there on time.  And if there is an issue with customs, at least if having them as luggage at airport, you will be there to explain things to customs agent, rather then them having guess.

     

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  • Thanks @nicoann! All very good ideas. I do need to check into what the limit is for "gifts" (I think you're right, it's pretty low). Seems probably taking things on the flight (in whatever manner) is the best way to do things. Your answer helps so now I can at least begin ordering some of the items I'll need rather than just waiting around twiddling my thumbs! 
  • We're buying a $20 (or less) cheapo suitcase from goodwill and bringing our stuff as checked baggage on our flight down. We'll give the empty suitcase away or ditch it before we come home.


  • We're buying a $20 (or less) cheapo suitcase from goodwill and bringing our stuff as checked baggage on our flight down. We'll give the empty suitcase away or ditch it before we come home.

    That's the perfect idea. No need to lug so many suitcases there and back, especially when some will be empty!
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    If your "gift" items are over the allowed value, you may want to split them up between bags and have your FI or some of your family/guests check it for you.  That way you can spread that value over multiple people.  So, if your gifts value is $500, and there is $300 max. allowed, just split the items up between 2 peoples luggage.  Just make sure to split them based on receipts, so they can have the receipts for the items in their bag and you have the receipts for items in your bag, then just assemble the bags when you get there.  I'm sure your FI, parents, or closest friends would be willing to count your bags in their luggage (as long as you carry it for them or pay any baggage fees).

    My FMIL has offered to bring some of my bags with her if I need to, since she has 5 people flying with her, so she can check up to 10 bags if needed, although I REALLY don't intent to take that many bags. But, it is good to know I have that option if needed.

    image 

    [Deleted User]
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