Typically, when a recipient compiles a list of items they wish to receive and then distributes it to family and friends, they have created a wish list. A registry, on the other hand, is made public, and the retailer or registry system provider removes items from the list as they are purchased. Registry managers will often not divulge who has purchased the registered items. In the United Kingdom, a gift registry is frequently referred to as a “gift list” and has become an established part of British weddings, with the service often provided by most department stores.
Gift registries are often used for a variety of occasions, such as anniversaries, baby showers, birthdays, civil ceremonies, graduations, and housewarming parties.
For example, engaged couples use a bridal registry to indicate the pattern(s) and item(s) they desire for such product lines as china and silverware, so gift-givers will know which items to buy as wedding gifts.
Similarly, those purchasing a new home may register the furniture and domestic items, such as appliances, they desire for their housewarming.