We are trying to plan an overnight trip from Paris to Bruges 10-29-19 to 10-30-2019, from Paris. I'm having trouble deciphering the trains. Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.
You can take the Thalys train from Paris Gare Du Nord train station to Brussels
Get off and then take a train to Brugge
The Thalys site allows you to search in English and sales it as one ticket roundtrip
Do you mean you are trying to avoid paying for a hotel that night by being on a train to sleep? Or do you mean you're spending one night in Bruges? Your problem may be in assuming that the Belgian train needs genuine "booking".
The connection in Brussels is very easy, because the very frequent local, unreserved trains to Brugge stop at all three stations in downtown Brussels. If you want to avoid buying a second ticket, either buy the full route online, or see if Thalys has an "Any Belgian Station" option. I don't remember if that's only a Eurostar option, and it isn't necessarily the cheapest, but it can save time and walking energy.
I'm sure the trip can be done for less money (and more stops and time) on ordinary trains, rather than Thalys. I imagine Thalys tickets are for one specific Paris-Brussels departure only, unless you pay extra for flexibility.
I just looked at oui.sncf and I don't find the suggested trains confusing. If you click on "2 changes" or "1 change", it shows you what they consist of.