A bridal registry or wedding registryis a service provided by a website or retail store that assists 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 by the merchant.
Upon the purchase of a listed item, the merchant updates the gift registry 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 Chicago-founded department store Marshall Field's first instituted the practice of a bridal registry in 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.
US-based Target stores pioneered the electronic self-service gift registry inusing a service provided by The Gift Certificate Center of Minneapolis.
Since the turn of the 21st centurythe traditional concept of the bridal registry has evolved. As of [update] there are now more specialized versions such as the honeymoon registrybaby registry, house registry and charity registry.