A bridal registry is a service provided by retail stores to assist engaged couples in the communication of gift preferences to wedding guests. Selecting items from store stock, the couple lists desired items and files this list with the chosen merchant. The list is then made available to wedding guests, either by the couple's family or the merchant. Upon the purchase of a listed item, the registry is updated accordingly. In addition to providing valuable information for the buyer, the system helps prevent the receipt of duplicate or unwanted gifts, potentially saving time for both giver and recipient.
The practice of a bridal registry was first instituted by Chicago-founded department store Marshall Field's in 1924 at its Marshall Field and Company Building as a means for the engaged couple to indicate chosen china, silver and crystal patterns to family and friends. Marshall Field's ( Marshall Field & Company) was an iconic Chicago Illinois, Department store that grew to become a major chain before being acquired Marshall Field and Company Building or Macy's at State Street is the former flagship location of the former Marshall Field's Department store and the current US-based Target stores were the first to introduce an electronic gift registry in 1993, using a service provided by The Gift Certificate Center, Minneapolis, MN.  The technology was invented and subsequently patented by William J. Veeneman et al, the founder and CEO of The Gift Certificate Center.