The average wedding these days costs, depending on whom you ask, somewhere between $19,000 and $29,000. Those outrageous numbers, we recently learned from this AOL WalletPop video, you can blame at least in part on Marshall Field’s.  
 
The Chicago department store that is now history (it was acquired by Macy’s, Inc. in 2005) played a big part in the history of weddings in the United States — and how they evolved to become the retail extravaganzas we are accustomed to today.  
 
In 1924, Marshall Field’s became the first department store to launch a bridal registry. It was also the first to start catering to middle-class brides by introducing low-cost knock-offs of high-fashion garments, according to Timothy Long, the costume curator of the Chicago History Museum, where wedding gowns from the 19th century through present are now on exhibit.  
 
Today, bridal registries have become a staple of wedding planning — and, let’s face it, plenty of brides dream of a designer gown that likely carries a price tag higher than anything they ever have or will spend on a garment to be worn just once.