“Web Site Looks To ‘Green” Nuptials

From the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

By Diana Sholley


When Kate Baker started planning her wedding, the 30-something Rancho Cucamonga resident had definite ideas about what she wanted – and what she didn’t.


“I wanted to be environmentally conscious,” said Baker, who exchanges vows Aug. 9. “Not a lot of waste. It seems everything ends up in landfills.”


She also didn’t want to pay thousands of dollars on a dress she’d wear only once.


Baker found a place to buy some wedding necessities that fit her ethics as well as her pocketbook: the auction Web site www.recycleyourwedding.com.


It was at that site that Baker won her Oleg Cassini designer wedding gown for her final bid of $100.


The dress features spaghetti straps and a beaded bodice. It retailed new for $900, and even after paying for the dress, its shipping and dry cleaning, Baker paid less than $200 for what will likely be the centerpiece of her wedding.


“It’s like new,” she said. “Simple, absolutely gorgeous and fits perfectly.”


Baker recommends www.recycleyourwedding.com and vows anything left over from her wedding is going back on the site for sale.


Recycle Your Wedding was created by Jeff Williams and Rob Baily, two friends who met about 10 years ago while working together in a San Diego insurance office.


The pair clicked instantly. They both shared the dream of owning their own business and were always trying to come up with that one big idea.


No matter how hard they tried, their future perfect business venture wasn’t materializing. Then one day, it dropped in their laps.


“It was after Rob’s wedding,” said Williams, who still lives in San Diego. “They had paid for a lot of it on their own and purchased things bit by bit. After the wedding there was so much stuff left over sitting in their garage.”


The duo started talking about the extravagance of weddings, the expense and indulgence, and “wouldn’t it be nice if…”


About six months ago, that “if” became a reality and www.recycleyourwedding.com was born.


“We thought it would be great for people to have a place like this site, dedicated to weddings,” Williams said. “We were nervous, but more excited. We didn’t know how easy it would be to market. We had never done anything like this before.”


With their wives’ blessings they started their business. Its inventory included about 12 items from Baily’s wedding.


Mentioning their new venture to family and friends started to fill the site, which was getting about 100 hits a day.


As word of mouth spread, the business grew. It now averages about 1,000 hits a day, mainly from those searching for such wedding needs as bridesmaid dresses, tuxedos for all ages, decorations, invitations, save the date cards, wedding favors, head pieces and so much more.


Signup is free and so is listing items for sale on the site – with a picture.


“We want to encourage people to recycle, helping the cycle of life for those items that have just been laying around,” Williams said. “I hate the idea of wasting things.


The site revenue comes from a percentage taken from each sale, between 4 percent and 5.5 percent. There also are upgrades available including preferred placement and extra photos of the item.


The site has become so popular that its founders are expanding. Beginning this fall, look for http://www.recycleyournursery.com.


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