Wedding Gift Giving Tips

Essential Guide to Giving

Wedding Gifts


how to give the perfect wedding gift?


We all run ask the same questions when buying wedding gifts for your fav wedding couples.  It is hard to navigate all the rules! And it seems they change all the time.  Here are our top few staple rules to abide by when giving wedding gifts.


  • Never, EVER EVER bring a wrapped gift to the wedding.  Please never do this. I don't know why this trend started in the 80's and it never seemed to die off.  It is incredibly rude to bring a gift. Think about how the "just married" blissful couple will ever figure out how to get your huge wrapped Lobster Pot home or back to the hotel.  We promise you it's the last thing they or anyone in their wedding party wants to think about at 12am.  Always ship wrapped gifts before the wedding to the couples home address or up to a year after the wedding.  Don't forget to include a meaningful card.


  • Try to buy a gift off their registry. They spent a lot of time putting together this curated list of special items they need to start their lives together.  Please don't buy something off their list you "think" they will love.  They really want the items they picked out in their style and taste.



  • Most modern couples are not only registering for household items, but also on amazing websites like where they can register for furniture, electronics, experiences, weekend get aways and cash funds all in one easy location. Their tag line is "Ask for Everything!"  Really truly anything they really want.  We love this concept as it gives the buyer so many great options. It's never fun buying someone their last set of pillowcases and forks from Target right?  I would much rather buy them dinner and a bottle of amazing wine for their next little weekend holiday!



  • We always get asked, "How much are you really supposed to spend on the shower and wedding gifts".  The age old rule of giving the couple the price of their reception meal - is just that, an old saying.  There really is no true rule here.  Just give what you can afford and think about your own relationship and let that guide your price.  You would give a different amount for a work associate rather than your best friend.  One great rule of thumb is the 20/20/60 rule.  If you are invited to 2 showers and the wedding, spend 20% on the shower gift, 20% on the second shower or party and 60% on the wedding gift.  Set your budget ahead of time so you are fully prepared.  And YES, if you get invited, you must send something.  Doesn't have to be a big something, but needs to be something.


  • Wedding guests always want to know where you are registered.  If it is not listed on their wedding website, just ask around. Text someone in the wedding party or a family member.  Or try a quick search on popular wedding registries like Williams-Sonoma or Crate & Barrel.  

happy gift giving! xoxo

Top 5 Favorite Chicago Wedding Venues

chicago wedding venues

We have so many favorite wedding venues in Chicago, but we thought it would be helpful to put together a list of our top 5.  Let the party planning begin!

All events below Planned and Designed by Bliss Weddings & Events.


morgan manufacturing

If you are looking for an incredibly flexible space that will host up 400 guests comfortably, has room for ceremony, cocktails, dinner and afterparty in separate spaces, that is super urban and polished, open until 2am (for your rockin after party crowd!) you've found a great option.  Whether you envision a elegant ceremony with hundreds of guests, or an intimate reception with your closest family and friends, or a casual, dance party celebration, Morgan Manufacturing offers impeccable service and the most exceptional backdrop for your unique vision. Morgan Manufacturing offers over 32,000 square feet of world-class space with Chicago swagger, designed around a concept of modularity and industrial elegance. Say "I Do," in a romantic ceremony in the Distillery. The Distillery space features soaring ceiling heights, exposed concrete, glass, and steel to create the industrial elegance Morgan is known for. Then, dine and dance the night away in the expansive Production space.  


the field museum


The iconic Field Museum is not only a stunning choice for a wedding reception, but It is also a huge showstopper, in a perfect location and incredibly flexible.   Host an unforgettable evening in one of their beautiful event spaces where guests can explore exhibitions and dine among elephants and dinosaurs.

Ceremony outside on their gorgeous grass lawn with the most incredible view of the city. Cocktails outside on their patio or inside if weather doesn't cooperate.   Dining and Dancing inside the historic  Stanley Field Hall,  2 levels of reception and dining space as well as access to SUE, our world famous T. rex. And the Afterparty in the architecturally elegant and sky-lit East Atrium Pavilion until 2am!


19 east

19 East is located at 19 East 21st Street in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood. This venue is entirely managed by Food for Thought, special events and catering company that has been providing the best memorable experiences and hosting the finest special events in the city of Chicago for more than 30 years. This incredible, eclectic venue provides 10,000 square feet of event space that is completely flexible to your needs. 19 East’s four different rooms offer hardwood floors, steel beams, mosaic tile, built-in marble bars and high ceilings throughout- it is a sight to see.

Each room can be designed to be different to accommodate your special event or meeting to your exact specifications. In the front of the venue, you will find the Alumina Room, which a large open space that is commonly used for gorgeous wedding ceremonies. The next room you will enter is the Bridgestone Room, another open floor plan ready to offer endless possibilities. From there, you’ll enter the Commonwealth Room, which provides access to the balcony and entry to the Hideaway, a modern loft space that is perfect for smaller groups or meetings. At 19 East, no two events are alike. Special events held have included, but are not limited to:

  • Wedding Ceremony & Seated Dinner: Up to 150 guests
  • Seated Dinners: Up to 250 guests
  • Wedding Receptions: Up to 500 guests

bridgeport art center


Housed in the former Spiegel Catalog warehouse, the Bridgeport Art Center’s “Skyline Loft” and "Sculpture Garden" defines raw urban elegance. The architectural elements from this historic 1911 building include timber construction, exposed brick, soaring ceilings, an amazing elevator that holds 50 guests at a time, sit-down dining and dancing for up to 500 guests and an unparalleled view of the Chicago skyline.

Whether planning an intimate gathering for close friends and family or an extravagant gala, the open loft space on the top floor of the Bridgeport Art Center is a blank canvas that we ADORE transforming for any occasion that demands an exceptional setting.  

chicago botanic gardens

The Chicago Botanic Garden, with event sites nestled amid enchanting gardens, peaceful lakes and native woodlands, is a spectacular site for a special event. It is truly a dream land of opportunities in which we love to transform and enhance.

At the Chicago Botanic Garden, your event springs to life amid a backdrop of pure beauty and serenity. This world-renowned cultural destination is the perfect venue for your wedding, reception, and rehearsal dinner. From the simple to the sublime, they have something for every taste! 

All photos above are weddings planned and designed by Bliss Weddings & Events

happy venue selecting! xoxo



Field Museum Wedding


at the field museum

Chicago, IL

We had the true pleasure of working with the most amazing couple and family on a lovely wedding at the Chicago Field Museum.  

The bride loved preppy and glam, so we created a chic and sophisticated evening with the colors coral, poppy, navy and gold! We carpeted Stanley Field Hall with lush Navy carpet to soften and define the space. 
Guests were greeted with pedicabs to carry them into cocktail hour on the terrace. The after party in the East Atrium included a dueling piano bar, whiskey and pizza cart, cigar lounge and custom beer pong.

Planning and Design:  Bliss Weddings & Events  / Photography:  Liz Banfield 

© Liz Banfield .252.D710.046.2016.15..Med_Res.JPG
© Liz Banfield .498.8141.16.2016.15..Med_Res.JPG

Lake Geneva Wedding

Private Estate Wedding in Lake Geneva


We could not be more thrilled to share this dreamy wedding designed by our always amazing Bliss Beau Jesse Deckard! He spent months working with this sweet couple, who could not have been more in love, planning each and every detail to absolute perfection. From the cocktails served to guests as they arrived to the fireworks show at the end of the night this entire day was pure bliss for our amazing couple.

See the full feature and his 5 tips on wedding design on Strictly Weddings.




Morgan Manufacturing Wedding

Winter Wedding at Morgan Manufacturing


We have been dying to share this winter wedding! Bliss and the beautiful couple created a warm and romantic setting in the midst of a cold Chicago winter. The glowing candles, floral branches, gold sequins, and blush tones mixed together for one dreamy tablescape! A memorable day was capped off with a surprise visit- the Doughnut Vault van pulled right into Morgan Manufacturing to serve guests late-night snacks. How fun is that?! See the full feature in Bride’s magazine!

Planning:, Bliss Weddings & Events / Venue: Morgan Manufacturing / Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie / Videography: Poetic Productions  / Decor: HMR Designs  / Catering: Blue Plate  / Band: The Party Faithful, Great Life Music / Late Night Snacks: Doughnut Vault




Winter Wedding at the Chicago Cultural Center


We are very excited to share this gorgeous winter wedding design by the wonderful Bliss Beau, Jesse Deckard! Jesse and the couple incorporated emerald and gold accents throughout the room to mirror the stunning mosaic tiles inside The Chicago Cultural Center. To top it off, the night of this wedding was Chicago’s first snowfall of the year! A beautiful finishing touch that this winter-loving couple could have only dreamed of!

Venue: The Chicago Cultural Center / Full-Service Planner & Designer: Bliss Weddings & Events / Photographer: Artisan Events / Floral + Decor: HMR Designs / Linens: Tailored Elements / Music: Larry King Orchestra / Lighting: Frost Lighting / Catering: Food For Thought



chicago map.jpg
green centerpiece.jpg

Garden Wedding at the Chicago Botanic Gardens


We are delighted to share this bright, bold, and beautiful wedding with you today! Our Bliss Beau Jesse Deckard designed an amazing wedding for this special couple. Maggie and Joe wanted an organic and intimate outdoor wedding with lots of color and textures. The eco conscious couple also wanted the wedding to be as local and sustainable as possible. The couples personality and values were noticeable in every aspect of the day!

Ceremony- Set in the middle of the Chicago Botanic Rose Garden, Jesse created a vibrant yet classic garden setting. Custom printed fabric, matching the floral pattern created for the unique inner envelope of the invitation, was used for cushions on reclaimed wooden benches. Seating circled around a wrought iron arch and matching chandelier that were covered in vibrant jewel toned floral and textured foliage. Ushers handed out programs made of seed paper, printed in deep blue to coordinate with Maggie’s dress, that could be planted when guests returned home. A dusting of fresh white rose petals signified the start of the ceremony.

Cocktail Hour- Maggie and Joe loved margaritas so the Bliss team created a custom margarita bar named after their signature: Moe’s Margarita Bar. Recycled hand made white tissue Mexican Flags were suspended from tree branches and a vintage hand painted mirror welcomed guests to the bar to order their margarita of choice. White hemstitch napkins were passed with hors d’oeuvres to create less waste than paper napkins.

Reception- Maggie did not like the white ceiling of the tent where dinner and dancing were to take place. So Jesse turned it into a lush garden canopy composed of wild green smilax and dripping white wisteria. Throughout the entire tent, over 14,000 stems of white wisteria were suspended from a cabling grid structure that was then covered in smilax. Guests arrived to dinner to find eclectic petite budvases each filled with varieties of single stems blossoms and their calligraphed escort card tied to them. Reclaimed wooded tables were draped with vintage white lace runners and then layered with both textural floral and various candlelight in organic and vintage eclectic vessels. Square tables draped in white linen cloths and featured bold floral arrangements and vintage mix and max china and flatware. Guests danced the night away as cold lemon scented towels were passed on the dance floor for a refreshing summer touch.

The Bride’s most memorable moments? “The paper goods by Liz Dixon – they still make me happy to look at and I love that they were printed on seed paper. We liked how the wedding represented our values of being sustainable and not wasting – details like the linen cocktail napkins and composting all food leftovers were a lovely touch. And seeing the escort cards displayed as little vases with single stem floral was a beautiful entrance to the reception!”

Check out more from this day in the current issue of The Knot Magazine– on stands now!

Planning & Design: Jesse Deckard, Bliss Weddings & Events / Venue: Chicago Botanic Garden / Photography: Jen Lynne Photography / Paperie: EJD Design LLC / Floral & Decor: HMR Designs / Lighting: Frost Lighting / Custom Linens: Tailored Elements / Cake: CAKE Chicago / Rentals: A La Crate Vintage / Photo Booth: 312 Photo Booth / Filmography: I Do Films / Hair: RC Beauty / Make-up: Make-up By Rosie

Cafe Brauer Summer Wedding


We absolutely adore this bride’s passion for pops of color!  The couples’ sophisticated yet fun loving personalities inspired this captivating and vivid design. Using confetti as a major source for inspiration, We balanced the playful look with neutral tones to keep the design unique but not overwhelming. Gold prisms and geometric shapes add an unexpected texture and shine to the tablescape. We hope you enjoy looking through the photos as much as we do!

A big thank you to Modern Luxury Brides Magazine for featuring these breathtaking details in their latest issue!

Full Service Wedding Planner: Bliss Weddings & Events / Photographer: Image is Found / Venue: Cafe Brauer / Floral and Tabletop Decor: Kehoe Designs / Runner: BBJ Linen / Furniture Rentals: Tablescapes / Table Rentals: Hall’s

xoxo Bliss Team

Tented Chicago Wedding at Harris Rooftop Theater


We could click through these photos all day. Talk about dreamy! Renny & Jesse worked with this sweet couple to create a intimate and elegant atmosphere. One that would make guests feel as if they were at a fabulous dinner party in their own home. They designed a warm and inviting space by draping and lowering the ceiling, lining the tables with deep colored florals and glowing candles, and including cozy decor pieces like lanterns, potted herbs, and burlap runners. 

Want to see more of this gorgeous celebration? Check out the feature on Style Me Pretty

Planning & Design: Bliss Weddings & Events / Venue: Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace / Photography: Tec Petaja / Floral & Decor: Kehoe Designs / Lighting: Frost Chicago / Catering: Food For Thought / Band: The Party Faithful / Transportation: VIP Valet Services

xoxo The Bliss Team


Fall Wedding Inspiration

Magnolia leaf garlands, dozens of lanterns, crisp Autumn leaves, this wedding is fall perfection! Our planners Renny and Jesse worked with the lovely couple to make their vision and design come to life! The couple wanted to create a beautiful and cozy atmosphere for their family and friends to enjoy. And that they did! Lounge furniture, feasting tables, and family-style dining made guests feel right at home. Our favorite part? The fall muddling bar. Party-goers were able to concoct their very own cocktail treats!


Planning & DesignBliss Weddings & Events / Photography: Artisan Events / VenueArchitectual Artifacts / Floral & Decor: Kehoe Designs /  Catering: Blue Plate / Paper Products: Cheree Berry


Gift Wrapping Party- Ladies Night In!


We recently designed an oh-so-fun Holiday photoshoot with Studio This Is Photography and Cheree Berry Paper! We wanted it to be cozy and welcoming, with a bit of glamour (got to have a bit of glam!). A holiday party that you could throw in your own home. We styled the shoot in our owner and creative director, Renny’s dining room, her kiddos helped us wrap the presents, and afterwards we celebrated with champagne and appetizers! We used items from Sugar Paper LA, Target, West Elm, & Restoration Hardware- all holiday goodies we are currently coveting for our own homes! We are so tickled with the happy, homey, and feminine party we were able to create.


Floral Design: Bliss Weddings & Events / Photography: Studio This Is / Paper Goods: Cheree Berry Paper

We hope you found a bit of fun and inspiration in this shoot! 

Happiest Holidays, The Bliss Team

Gift wrapping party invite