Any chance you can ship some things? Customs is going to try to rip you off. Make sure you have we're receipt. The max you are allowed to bring in without paying taxes is $300.
I'm not sure how much the official tax rate is for everything above that. But they will try to rip you off, lie, etc... So do the research, being the receipts, and be prepared to be assertive (not aggressive).
Good luck hon!
Thanks for the advice about the receipts. It's really not that much stuff, it's just these stupid cups take up so much space. I will definitely be under $300 in "gifts". The cups were only about 45$ and the BM gifts were a max of $200. I don't expect that we will have any excess baggage... I think I am more stressed about actually packing everything and not forgetting anything. I'm making a big deal out of something that I really shouldn't. Just stressed all around.
Lastminbride: have you had a previous bad experience with customs?
Great to hear you are under $300 and that you'll take the receipts. You'll be covered then.
I have not had a bad experience, but I know well how the customs officials work in Latin America. Also, goods are sometimes more expensive there than that we find online here, and so they don't believe the price of things (specially those that come from the $ star). If they see people with lots of baggage, they don't do the random check system (red/green light button - you'll see when you're there), they just pass you to inspection directly because it's likely you are brining in more than $300. Without the receipts, they can assign any amount they want to your merchandise.
Anyway, good luck with the packing. The list sounds like a great idea!
Sending good juju your way Dina!
What items are they focusing on? I'm assuming it doesn't include clothing, or else all of our wedding dresses would be over. Same goes for shoes, jewelry, accessories. I have receipts for the stuff we got for the OOT bags, except for now I see I may have lost a few dollar store receipts!
Hey ladies. Just to calm your minds, the customs officers down here are not that bad, at least not in my experience. My now husband and I moved down here two years ago with FIVE large suitcases and two carry ons. Since then we've been back and forth to Canada and the US about 9 times, and each time I bring back a TON of stuff for our wedding and our house down here, at least three suitcases each time, if not more. I've brought 80 tumbler mugs, 60 tote bags for welcome kits, lots of new clothes (tags off though), housewares, bottles of craft beer, my wedding dress, 50 lbs of aloe vera gel, even 72 yards of burlap for my table runners, and much more.
They only look through your bags if you get the red light, after they X-Ray your bags. It is totally random which light you get, and we've gotten both the red and green light on different occasions. They just open your bags, ask what all the stuff is for, you say "Para nuestras boda" or "For our wedding", smile sweetly, and you are on your way. It is a very good idea to bring receipts just in case, but I wouldn't be too worried. I've never had to show any receipts in all my trips through customs down here over the last couple years (knock on wood).
The Mayan Riviera is a wedding factory, and they see hundreds of brides coming through every day with all kinds of decor, dresses and welcome kit items. It is a huge part of tourism and they won't give you a hard time because of that. At least not in my experience!