Chicago Gift Bags for Out-of-Town Guests

Put Chicago-themed items in your hotel guests’ welcome bags

By Patti Herioux

Cubs cupcake
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After traveling many miles to be with you on your wedding day in Chicago, your guests deserve a little thank you. There is no better way to show your gratitude than with a welcome bag upon checking in to the hotel. When booking a block of rooms for your traveling guests, ask about the procedure for distributing the welcome bags as they arrive. Then leave your guests a goodie bag chock-full of your choice of these Chicago-centric items.

Chicago Maps

Visitors to Chicago can find this vast metropolis a bit intimidating. A map can be a helpful tool to navigating the city streets. You can make it more useful by making sure it has local attractions on it, such as the Field Museum, Alder Planetarium, Navy Pier, Grant Park or any Chicago locale that you think your guests would enjoy visiting. Include a list of the hours of operation, fees and modes of transportation to get there — the El system, buses or taxicabs.

Restaurant Gift Cards or Coupons

Chicago is known for its food – deep-dish pizza, hot dogs, Italian beef – and after a long day of travel, your guests will need a good meal. A gift card or discount coupons for one of the pizzerias or some of your favorite local fare can steer them in the direction of a delicious meal.

Chicago Sweet Treats

When you hear about Fannie May candy and Garrett’s popcorn, many think of Chicago. For a distinctly Chicago mix as eclectic as the city itself, consider Garrett’s Popcorn’s “Chicago Mix,” combining cheese and caramel popcorn. Fannie May boasts Chicago sports-themed wrappers on many of their candy bars. Some other Chicago-made taste bud temptations are Mrs. Fields Gourmet Cookies and caramel apples from Affy Tapple.

Chicago Postcards

Put a few picturesque Chicago postcards in your gift bags for your guests to keep or to send. If you were engaged at a well-known site in Chicago or you have a favorite city locale, be sure to include a postcard of that site.

Chicago Home Grown Items

Local Chicago farmers' markets can be unique places to find Chicago-made products that can help your guests unwind after stressful travels. Vendors at the markets carry an assortment of aromatherapy products, candles, bath salts and other items that can offer a relaxing experience for your guests.

Chicago Sports Themes

Chicagoans are into sports. Our teams – the Cubs, Sox, Bears, Blackhawks and Bulls – are a huge source of pride to our city. Out-of-town guests can get some Chicago flavor with a sports-themed item, such as a baseball, beach ball or Frisbee that can also be used at one of our city’s parks and recreational areas. Or sate guests' sweet tooth with a boxed cupcake frosted to represent a Chicago sports team.

About the Author

Patti Herioux is an event planner for With Love, Weddings and Events. She resides in Chicago.

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That special something

Sometimes new spouses celebrate by exchanging gifts. This can be as big or as small a gift as you'd like it to be. But be sure to tell your fiance you'd like to exchange gifts in advance, so they're not caught off-guard and empty-handed when you present your token of affection.

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Wedding Glossary


A wrap of fine cashmere wool that women drape over their shoulders to keep warm when wearing formal attire. A common bridesmaids gift.

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