Ok... so prepare yourself for a lot of information...
I haven't gotten everything yet... still doing research, but so far I've picked up small bottles of hand sanitizer (2 for $1), mini lint rollers (2 for $1), playing cards (2 for $1) and match boxes (10 for $1) at Dollar Tree... I also purchased chewable pepto bismol tablets $12.98 for a box of 25 packets (2 tablets in each packet), Blistex Lipbalm with SPF 15 $17.82 for a pack of 24 from Amazon with free shipping. These are the cheapest I've been able to find anywhere so far.
I will also be purchasing medi-lyte tablets (100 tablets for $7.05), shout wipes (pack of 36 for $12.99) and Tylenol (100 caplets for $13.95), also from Amazon. I haven't found these cheaper anywhere else so far...
I'm getting travel thermo mugs for $1.10 a piece from dollaritem.com, sunglasses (for men and women) for $0.89 for men and $1.04 for women, also from dollaritem.com
these are the sunglasses... http://dollaritem.co...ED-TYPE-SPS.cfm
I also purchased a bunch of bobby pins and hair-ties to put in the bags for the women from Dollaritem.com. Their shipping is a little expensive, but even with the shipping it's cheaper than I've found anywhere else.
I ordered 72 stainless thermo mugs, 24 womens glasses, 24 mens glasses, 3000 bobby pins, 360 hair-ties and after shipping I will be paying $219.23 for everything. $70 of which is shipping... Even though their first aid kits are cheaper than even the dollar store, after shipping it worked out to being more expensive, so I just decided to get the kits at DollarTree.
I'm also going to be getting pashminas (12 for $30) for the women from http://www.pioneergr...CookieSupport=1
and cigars for the men from famous smoke shop (50 for $47.99).
I haven't figured out where I'm getting my bags yet, but will update the thread once I do. And of course will post pictures as I work on personalizing everything! I'm so excited that I'm finally getting to the fun stuff... I don't know about you ladies, but the whole wedding planning part sucked for me... BUT I was able to get amazing deals for both myself and my guests, so it worked out in the end.
I've got tons of information that can be helpful on that part as well! I've done sooo much research on this... My fiance and I are getting married May 2014 at Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace in Bayahibe, La Romana, DR. My fiance and I will arrive May 11 and leave May 24. Our guests will arrive May 17 and leave May 24. The cost per person is $650.00 which includes a 7 night, 8 day stay at an all-inclusive (all food, liquor, taxes, fees and gratuity included) resort, transport to and from the airport, and a day long group excursion on a private catamaran with a private lunch and snorkeling. We are renting a catamaran the day of the rehearsal for a sunset cruise with our wedding party for appetizers and cocktails before the dinner. We are also paying for our parents to attend (not getting any help from them for our wedding), flying in a photographer and videographer, hiring a dj, buying my dress and all of the other things that go along with a wedding and anticipate coming out of pocket around $5 or $6k total.
Jamaica has cheaper flights, but DR has better/cheaper resorts... Also, just a heads up, the greatest discount any airline will give you is about 5%. It really just isn't worth the hastle... Also, no point in even looking into flights until about 6-9 months before hand as no airlines list them before then. Onetravel.com is a great resource for cheap flights, I recommend seeing who the cheapest carrier is and then going to their actual website and comparing the prices as they will sometimes be cheaper.
May is the beginning of hurricane season and the beginning of their offseason... it isn't likely that you will have any weather issues since it is so early in the season, but you will get deeply discounted rates on resorts and all the other fun stuff.
For resorts, the earliest you can get a good answer is about a year out and it's best to have an idea of the number of people that will be going, even a general idea is better than nothing (we just told all the vendors it was somewhere between 50 and 150 people).