5 Essential Chicago Outdoor/Rooftop Spots to Visit this Season

We seriously can’t believe it’s finally warm again. This lengthy transition into spring/summer in Chicago was rough to say the least. To celebrate, we put together a list of our top 5 essential spots in Chicago with outdoor or rooftop seating so we can soak up the sun while eating all the things.

The Dawson

Open Table

Let’s start off strong with the large outdoor patio of The Dawson. Complete with delicate string lights and generous amounts of greenery, this space is perfect for those cozy summer nights.



Celeste’s rooftop garden should definitely make your list of where to visit this season. The marble tabletops, overflowing greenery, and decorative seating, this charming rooftop is quaint, sophisticated, and a must-see!


Chicago Magazine

We couldn’t put together this list and not include Parson’s Chicken & Fish. It’s forever going to be a staple of our summertime eating spots. They have some of the best spicy fried chicken that we’ve ever had and don’t even get us started on their fish.. 😍

Big Star

Choose Chicago

You obviously can’t go wrong with Big Star tacos on their popular patio. But we just had to put it in because they make a one-of-a-kind La Paloma.


Cindy’s Rooftop

This terrace on top of Chicago Athletic Association overlooks Millennium Park. If that’s not enough to get you in the door did we mention they have outdoor fire pits for chilly nights?

Homestead on the Roof

Time Out

You may recall we put on a surprise brunch wedding at this restaurant just last year. We highly recommend the quaint rooftop patio of Homestead on the Roof. They have greenery and plants growing on the walls, twinkly lights strung across the entire roof, and plenty of seating. Oh and did we mention they’re farm-to-table? Win win!


Inspiring Bridesmaid Looks

When it comes to your bridesmaids, there’s so many different items to consider. What type of dress? What color should the dresses be? Should they even wear dresses? Should they match? Should they complement each other? Sometimes it helps to get inspired by what’s been done before. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite bridesmaids looks throughout the years to help you make sure your ladies are well taken care of!

Nicole + Richie

Nicole gave each of her bridesmaids a satin, blush robe and gorgeous floral crowns to wear during their morning hair and makeup. We love the usual floral robes but there’s something about these satin blush tones that feel so feminine and romantic.

Codrean Photography

For their gowns, each dress is a slightly different shade of blush but each have a similar cut and length.

Allison + Dave


Pen Carlson Photography

Allison went for total glam with these sparkly, sequin dresses for her bridesmaids. While they are all the same short length, each has their own unique color and style. This is perfect for brides who want to give their bridesmaids guidelines but ultimately allow them to choose the fit and color that is best for them!

Eryn + Jim

Julia Fransoza Photo

Instead of switching up the color or style of the dresses, why not switch up the shoes and accessories!? Eryn’s bright, fun, and colorful wedding wouldn’t have been complete without her bridesmaids rocking neon shoes with mis-matched belts.

Jess + Brandon

Amanda Naylor Photo

Another amazing idea for the bride who want their bridesmaids to have more freedom is to choose the color of the dress but let your girls choose their favorite style. This way, each of your bridesmaids feel comfortable and matches the group! Throwing in a different color for your maid of honor is a lovely way to make sure she gets the attention she deserves for being your right-hand gal!

Molly + Timmy

Johnathan Crawford Photography

One of our faves as Team Jayne loves anything bright, bold, and playful. Our bride, Molly, decided to skip the flowers for her bridesmaids and instead gave each of them gold, sparkly pom poms! This is the perfect way to add a fun, unexpected element to your bridal party.

Mary + Hugh


Studio Finch

Many brides shy away from black dresses but looking at Mary’s bridesmaids has us wondering why anyone ever doubts black. The bold black dresses with small lace details pop so beautifully again those bright white florals and pops of purple. Again, matching dress color with each dress given it’s own bit of flair.

Caitlin + George

Sean Cook Wedding Photography

And sometimes grooms have their very own grooms-woman! A great way to help your groomsman feel like part of the party is to have her wear an awesome (and perfectly tailored) suit to match the other groomsmen. We love the ankle-high tailored pant on George’s groosmwoman and those strappy, sophisticated heels are the perfect feminine touch.


Say Hello to Spring with 6 Fresh Cocktails

With it just starting to feel like spring around here we want to do everything we can to embrace the warm weather and springtime vibes. We can’t think of a better way to get in the spring spirit than with a refreshing cocktail. We’ve pulled together a list of some of our favorite fresh drinks infused with delicious combinations of floral, mint, fruit, and, of course, refreshing spirits.

Apple Bee’s Knees


This classic gin cocktail with a honey-apple twist is perfect for those brisk spring afternoons. It’s th eperfect amount of tartness with the sweetness of honey and apple slices.


Honey Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 springs rosemary
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce apple juice
  • 1 ounce honey syrup
  • rosemary and/ or apple slices for garnish

The Bordello


There’s nothing more refreshing thank coconut and lime, but cherry blossom syrup too? This will surely liven up your taste buds and put you in a refreshing, spring mood!


2 oz Vodka
7/8 oz Cherry blossom syrup
1 oz Lime juice
2 coins Cucumber
Cherry Blossom (garnish)

Cherry Blossom


Maybe you love cherry blossom but cucumber isn’t your thing? Try this cherry blossom cocktail with sparkling lemonade, gin, and grenadine for a sweeter spring drink!


  • Cherry brandy (Kirsch)
  • Gin
  • Sparkling lemonade
  • Grenadine
  • Cherry or other edible (organic) blossom for decor

Peach & Mint Frappe


Give us anything peach flavored and we’re in heaven. This peach and mint frozen cocktail is no exception! The mint lifts up the sweetness of the peach for a perfectly sweet, refreshing frozen drink.


  • 5 ounces vodka, preferably Tito’s
  • 3 tablespoons light agave nectar
  • 1 pound ripe peaches, sliced and frozen, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons peach nectar
  • 1 tablespoon packed mint leaves, plus sprigs for serving

Sparkling Pomegranate Mimosas


Pomegranate isn’t only for fall/winter! Give this sparkling pomegranate cocktail and try if you want something a little deeper in flavor but lighter in liquor.


  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 6-8 sprigs of rosemary
  • pomegranate juice
  • 1 bottle of champagne


Fresh Violet Cocktail



We think it’s only fitting to include a violet cocktail as the color of the year is Ultra Violet! This cocktail’s beautiful color comes from fresh-picked violets so if you need us,  we’ll be out hunting for some gorgeous fresh violets. :)

Ingredients (makes 8 servings)

  • 1 cup fresh-picked violets, rinsed clean
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup sugar (you can substitute honey or any sweetener of your choice)
  • Club soda
  • Vodka or gin


Make Your Springtime in Chicago Count

Springtime in Chi is one of our favorite times as it’s packed full of fun activities and festivals to get us ready for the summertime weather. With that in mind, here’s a handful of amazing events you can attend this spring to get in that warm weather mood. We hope to see you at at least one!

Macy’s Flower Show

Starting off with one of our very favorites as we designed and installed an amazing backdrop for a special photo-op with a mermaid! The flower show ends this weekend so be sure to stop by sometime this week. If you want to sit with and have a photo taken with the mermaid she will be at Macy’s on State St. on Friday from 12pm-2pm.


Chicago Food Truck Festival (it’s free!)

Chicago Music

Chicagoans love their food truck and if you’re included in that group this event is for you. This festival will be packed full with 20 amazing food truck, live music, and a Sangria garden!  It takes place on April 21, will we see you there? Tickets are free so there’s no reason not to!

Cinco de Mayo Parade


Happening on the lower west side, this parade is held to remember the victory the Mexican forces had over the invading French army in the Battle of Puebla on 5 May, 1862. This family-friendly parade is full of food, beverages, crafts, and more! This year the parade is actually being on Sunday, May 6th.

Chicago Beer Classic

Chicago Beer Classic

If you’re a beer drinker this event is definitely up your alley. Complete with tailgate activities, master brewers, informative beer trivia, build your own pretzel necklace (you’ll find us here crafting our perfect new accessory) and you can even vote for your favorite brew! Tickets are on sale now but the even is on May 5th.

Lincoln Square Wine Stroll

Lincoln Square

Maybe beer isn’t your thing and that’s ok because Chicago has something special for all your wine drinkers out there as well. The Lincoln Square Wine Stroll is the perfect opportunity to visit some of your favorites and learn about new local businesses too! With over 40 businesses participating, this event is huge and has multiple route options from Lincoln Square to Ravenswood. Tickets available now for this April 26th event.

Should We Have a First Look?

Whether you and your future spouse decide to have a First Look or not is entirely up to you, but we wanted to share a few key reasons why we love them that we’ve learned throughout the years of seeing them first-hand. While the obvious reason is of course to have the opportunity to capture those gorgeous photos, we think there are a few other pros to First Looks that may help tip the scale if you’re on the fence.

Blake + Nicole | Janelle Elise Photo

It’s a beautiful, intimate moment between you both.

With all the moving pieces and craziness that comes with your wedding day, you’ll want to embrace any moment you can sneak away and just be together. The First Look is the perfect opportunity to do just that! Once the ceremony starts, the rest of the night will likely be spent running around for photos, socializing with your guests, or dancing so there’s not much time to be alone together once the day gets going.

Nicole + Richie | Codrean Photography

It will calm your nerves.

With all the planning and preparing for this day, your nerves can really start to show themselves the day-of. One way to help counteract them is to have a First Look and shake out all the nervousness of seeing your future hubby for the first time in front of all of your guests. Instead, you’ll be able to have a quiet moment together to collect your thoughts and get ready for this next big step you’re taking together!

Jess + Brandon | Amanda Naylor Photo

The photos are priceless.

Some of our favorite pictures of our couples have been during their First Look. After your wedding day is over you’ll be so happy you took every opportunity for more photos and trust us, the First Look is full of emotions (and sometimes tears!) and it really is so touching to look back on.

Allison + Dave | Pen Carlson Photography

It’s better for the timeline.

If you’re still on the fence about doing a First Look, maybe we can help sway you by letting you know that couples who do a First Look are much less pressed for time between the ceremony and reception. Usually this time is used for couples photos, bridal party photos, family photos, etc. This can all add up into a lot of time and cause a bit of rushing around on the photographers part. If you do a First Look before the ceremony, that time can also be used for photos together or with your bridal party. Not to mention, the more time spent with your photographer, the more creative they get to be with their shots.

Sarah + George | Let’s Frolic Together




Brunch, Anyone? | Our Fave Brunch Spots in Chicago

There’s nothing better than Sunday brunch, especially in the winter time! It really helps you forget how long and arduous this Chicago winter has been. You may be thinking “But there are so many restaurants, how do I know where to go??” Luckily for you, Team Jayne is in full brunch mode all the time and we’re here to share some of our favorite spots in the city with you.

Lula Cafe 

Located in the heart of Logan Square, this eccentric cafe is a go-to brunch spot for many, Team Jayne included. Their menu is full of creative takes on a variety of American dishes and are one of the first to hone the concept of ‘farm-to-table’.

M. Henry

Let’s start with an old favorite: M. Henry will always be one of our top picks. They menu is packed with a variety of comfort foods and anything you choose is likely to brighten your day! Just be ready to get there early—this place gets packed quick, especially on a Sunday!

The Delta

For a more unconventional brunch spot, The Delta is known for their tamales and cocktails, but the brunch doesn’t stop there! Their ‘Chick N’ Waffle’ is the perfect combination of salty and sweet and  their Fried Green Tomato Sandwich is to die for. Not to mention this place is seriously cute (are we’re total suckers for cute!)


One of the best (and cutest!) brunch spots to hit has to be Tweet. Not only do they offer the most delicious comfort food but they are known for their incredible gluten-free options! Though it is cash-only, this actually gives it even more charm. They also hook you up with treats the moment you sit down, and have many fancy brunchy cocktails, so even if you have to wait for a little, its still fun!

Mott Street

Mott Street

Another gluten-free fave! Seriously, this is our go-to spot for pancakes in the city but you honestly can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. Most of the items are so far out of the breakfast box, but then you order them, love them and think – “WHY ISNT THIS WHAT IM EATING EVERYDAY?!” Also they have something called the “bowl of awesome” just order that, trust us.

Big Jones

Another classic—and perfect if you’re looking for some seriously hearty southern cuisine. From Shrimp & Grits to Peach French Toast to Popovers, Big Jones will surely fill your brunch appetite and leave you wanting more of their coastal-inspired plates.


Longman & Eagle

Taking it up a notch with another Logan Square favorite: Longman & Eagle. Not only is the food totally incredible, but the lively, hip atmosphere has us coming back time and time again. Don’t let it’s Michelin Star rating deter you, this is actually one of the more casual restaurants with a star rating.


Stay Warm With Our Top 7 Hot Winter Cocktails

If you’re anything like us, with the Chicago winter in full force, you’ve been curled up under a blanket wondering when the sunny rays of summer will show themselves again. As we’ve got a bit more of wintertime to get through, we wanted to share a handful of our favorite hot cocktails that get us through those frigid winter nights.

Chai Hot Toddy

Brit + Co

Starting off by giving our classic chai tea a makeover by adding a few special ingredients.  Spiced rum and cinnamon give this classic a kick that will warm you all the way through to the last sip. Oh, and you can even add a shot of espresso if you need an extra boost!


  • 6 cups of water
  • 8 chai tea bags (make your own or use a high quality brand of black tea and spices
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus a bit more for sprinkling on top
  • 6-8 ounces spiced rum (more or less according to your taste)

Bourbon Spiked Hot Apple Cider

Another favorite with an exciting twist! Spike your hot apple cider with bourbon, finish it off with a cinnamon stick and orange juice for the perfectly spiced, perfectly spiked, warm apple cider.

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • Bourbon (recommend Bulleit or Basil Hayden’s)

Black Cherry Bourbon Hot Chocolate

Sugar and Soul

Been looking for a way to step up your hot chocolate game? We may have the answer: Black Cherry bourbon! The deep, oaky bourbon paired with black cherry give this hot chocolate a vibrant flavor that’ll leave your craving this treat every winter.

  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 5 tbsp Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix Or mix of your choice
  • 2 oz. Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon by Jim Beam
  • Whipped Cream I like homemade
  • Chocolate Shavings

Hot Ward 8 Cocktail

Serious Eats

If you’ve never had a classic Ward 8 cocktail, just know that it is full of deep notes of pomegranate and a citrus-y after taste. This recipe has everything that’s great about the classic Ward 8 with the twist of making it warm—the perfect end to a day in the cold.

  • 8 ounces (235ml) boiling water, plus more for preheating thermos
  • 16 ounces (475ml) rye whiskey, such as Bulleit 95
  • 4 ounces (120ml) unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 2 ounces (60ml) dry orange curaçao, such as Pierre Ferrand
  • 8 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 8 lemon zest strips, for garnish (optional)


Cranberry Orange Mulled Wine

Kitchen Treaty

Mulled Wine will always be a favorite of ours as it’s just so smooth and drinkable. Did we mention it’s also super easy to make? Throw it all in a slow cooker and forget about it until you’re ready to enjoy your delicious, warm winter treat.


  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of Merlot or another fruity (but not too sweet!) red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel
  • 2 cups orange juice (I either like squeezing my own or buying a 100% pure fresh-squeezed version)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries, rinsed and picked through
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar plus more to taste
  • 1 medium orange (I like to use an organic orange for recipes like this because it will be soaking in the beverage, peel and all)
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • Garnishes, if desired: cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and/or fresh cranberries threaded onto a cocktail pick

Spiked Coconut Vanilla Steamer

Sugar and Soul
This steamer is very similar to a latte but with spiced rum in place of espresso. Imagine being curled up under a blanket with a good book on a snowy afternoon. We can’t think of anything better!
  • 3 oz. Spiced rum
  • 1 1/2 whole milk
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Toasted coconut for garnish
  • You will also need a frother.

Spiced Vanilla Pear Apple Cider

My Baking Addiction

Yes, another apple cider! We just couldn’t resist this lovely take on the classic. Pear AND Vanilla? We’re sold. The sweetness from the vanilla and pear make it seem like you’re having dessert. To make this a bit stronger (like for a cocktail party), just add a shot of Rum or Bourbon.


  • 2 quarts fresh apple cider
  • 2 quarts pear juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • Rum or Bourbon (optional)

7 Cozy Spots to Visit in Chicago This Winter

Whether you’re out starting your Christmas shopping or wandering the Chicago streets admiring the gorgeous holiday lights, you’re bound to want a nice, cozy spot to warm up and relax with a nice cup of coffee or maybe even a specialty cocktail. We’re sharing 5 of our favorite spots we cozy up in during these brutal Chicago winters. Hit them all or just a couple, but stay warm this winter!

C.C. Ferns

This coffee shop in Humboldt Park is a must visit for those who want a comfy, cozy, and quaint spot to lounge in after being out in the Chicago weather. It’s the perfect storm of rustic, inviting, and warm. Oh, not the mention they have an amazing selection of delicious offerings: everything from lattes to macchiatos and they even serve Doughnut Vault treats!



Located on the north side of the city in Andersonville, Hopleaf has an extensive beer list and a surprisingly hearty (and delicious) food menu. Their Reuben with steak frites can’t be beat! So grab a beer and a menu and take a seat in the dining room next to their wood-burning fireplace and you’ll be sure to warm up this winter.

Lost Lake

Similar to its brother bar Three Dots & a Dash (actually, Paul McGee ran Three Dots before venturing out to open Lost Lake), there are some striking differences that will convince you to visit if we haven’t already. If you’ve been to Three Dots & a Dash, perhaps you can guess what Lost Lake’s decor will look like: a tiki, neon, leafy heaven (if Jayne Weddings owned a bar, this would be it). This is where the similarities stop as Lost Lake’s list of cocktails is full of deeper, darker tiki cocktails that are a little less accessible, though they do have the signature fruit skewers, crazy straws and umbrellas with each drink.

The Library (located beneath Gilt Bar)


You’ll find this next spot hidden below Gilt Bar giving it an almost speakeasy-esque vibe. Filled with quaint lounge areas (and velvet couches!), vintage library decor, and upscale menu. The candlelit lighting and 20+ specialty cocktails will certainly warm you up on those cold Chicago nights.

Cherry Circle Room

Clayton Hauck for Land and Sea Dept.

Located on the 2nd floor of Chicago Athletic Association, Cherry Circle Room is the place to be for a refined, rustic food menu and rotating menu of specialty cocktails (with a focus on American and Scotch whiskey. Not to mention the space itself is so inviting. It’s intimate decor and combination of historic and modern elements is why it’s made our list of cozy places.



With 3 locations (Fulton Market, River North, and Streeterville), Beatrix should be a must visit this winter even if it’s only to try their incredible lemon pancakes. What’s great about Beatrix is that they’ve combined a bakery/cafe with a modern american eatery and wine bar, so you’ll be able to satisfy all of your cravings no matter when you visit!

Gaslight Coffee Roasters



If you find yourself in Logan Square and in need of a coffee fix, check out Gaslight Coffee Roasters. Known for their always rotating selection of house-roasted coffee but they have some incredible pastries and cookies as well! So stop in for a warm cup and enjoy this quaint, cozy neighborhood coffee shop.


Our 6 Favorite Fall Cocktails

As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, Team Jayne loves their boozy cocktails, but this time of year, we like to warm up our palettes with some delicious fall-inspired cocktails. Get ready for some of our very favorite recipes featuring dark liquors, fresh fruits, and only the best fall spices. Do you have a favorite fall cocktail? Share it with us!

Cranberry Cinnamon Whiskey Sour

Baker by Nature

Ingredients (makes 4):

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3/4 cup bourbon or whiskey
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • Ice cubes & cocktail shaker for mixing


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan add cranberries, water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have burst open and can easily be stirred into the syrup, resulting in a smooth consistency. This will take about 10 minutes. Once done, remove syrup from heat. Fit a large bowl with a fine mesh strainer and strain the simple syrup, leaving all of the large chunks and skin behind. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before using.
  2. When ready to make your cocktails, add 3/4 cup simple syrup, whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice, lime juice, and a large handful of ice to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Divide into 4 glasses and serve at once

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice

Revae Schneider // Shannon Sturgis


  • 1 oz Bailey’s Pumpkin Spice
  • 1 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • 1.5 scoops Vanilla ice cream
  • Cola
  • Mint


Combine Baileys Pumpkin Spice, Captain Morgan, and vanilla ice cream in a highball glass. Top with cola and stir. Garnish with mint.

The Harvest

Celeste Chicago


  • 1.5 oz cognac
  • .5 oz cinnamon syrup
  • 1 large spoonful of apple butter or apple syrup


Shake ingredients before pouring into a sophisticated coupe glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.


Fresh Pear Cocktail

FreshPearCocktailSweet Life Bake


  • 1 medium Bosc pear
  • 2 tablespoons citrus-infused vodka
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup (or sugar syrup)
  • 3 tablespoons hard apple cider
  • Pear slices, shredded pear (optional)
  • sparkling water (optional)


Shred pear; place shredded pear pulp on several layers of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together, and squeeze over a glass measuring cup to yield 1/3 cup fresh pear juice. Discard solids. Combine pear juice, vodka, pomegranate juice, lime juice, and agave syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice; shake. Strain about 3 tablespoons of the vodka mixture into each of glass. Add cider and top with sparkling water. Garnish with pear slices, if desired.

Apple Pumpkin Beer Cocktail

ApplePumpkinBeerCooking and Beer


  • 8 ounces good-quality bourbon
  • 9 ounces apple cider
  • 2 1/2 ounces lemon juice
  • 12 ounces pumpkin ale
  • ice
  • cinnamon sticks and cranberries for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, shake together the bourbon, apple cider and lemon juice. Pour into 4 glasses filled with ice.
  2. Pour the beer evenly into each glass.
  3. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and cranberries. Serve immediately and enjoy!

The Maple Leaf



  • 1.5 oz Hennessy V.S
  • 3.5 oz Maple water
  • Garnish: Orange twist (discard). Top with a maple leaf or punched out orange twist in the shape of a maple leaf
  • Glass: Rocks


Pour all ingredients into a rocks glass, stir to combine. Express orange twist over the glass, discard twist, and garnish with a maple leaf.


Gift Giving at Weddings | Do’s & Don’ts


Attending a wedding soon and not sure what is appropriate or expected when it comes to a wedding gift? Not sure whether to give cash or stick the registry? What if you’re not attending the wedding? How much do you need to spend? Don’t stress, we’ve got you covered!  Here’s a list of our top do’s and don’ts when it comes to wedding gift etiquette.

Don’t: Be Afraid to Give Cash
When it comes to giving cash as a wedding gift some people feel it’s a bit too impersonal, but that is absolutely not true. In fact, a lot of couples prefer cash as it let’s them spend it on something they need that they may not be able to register for or something fun and unexpected, like a cooking class on their honeymoon!

Do: Ship the Gift
So you’ve bought your gift, now what? You could bring it to the wedding (and many do!), but consider shipping the gift directly to the couple instead. Not only is it simpler for you, but it’s less stress for the couple on their big day. Now they won’t have to worry about transporting it or have the risk of losing it during the shuffle. We’ve done our fair share of carting wedding gifts to and from venues and take it from us, it’s easier to ship direct!

Do: Stick to the Registry
If you decide to go with a physical gift, stick to the registry! While the couple may end up loving your rogue gift, it’s a risky move and unless you know the couple very well or are in the wedding party, keep it simple and stick to the registry. **If you just got engaged and are looking to start your registry soon, skip to the bottom for our quick tips and recommendations!

Don’t: Overspend
The average wedding gift these days is around $150, but before you pull the trigger take into consideration other factors. How well do you know the couple, what is your budget, are you traveling to the wedding? All of these answers will help determine what the appropriate amount to spend will be.

Don’t: Wait!
Always try to your best to send your gift before the wedding day, especially if you aren’t attending the actual celebration. The old belief is that you have up to a year after the wedding day to deliver you gift, but times have changed! A year is a long time and while ‘better late than never’ is definitely true in this case, try not to wait longer than 3 months after the wedding.

Building your Registry
Are you currently engaged and trying to create your wedding registry? There’s so much to consider when starting your registry and it can be really overwhelming. The most important things to remember are to build it together with your partner, take your time, and have a large variety of items. If you’re not sure where to start, try to find an all-in-one registry that has a wide variety of items. Zola is one of our faves and we’d highly recommend it! They have pre-built Gift Collections that are a great starting point to get an idea of what you’d to register for. And if you want to register for cash, there’s an option for guests to pay for your airfare or renovations or whatever you like, so tasteful!