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How we hacked our budget, how much it cost us in the end, and a budget template for you to use for your wedding.

I am learning that I love to operationalize things, as you can tell from my Wedding Spreadsheets post. Budget was something I was really laser-focused on ‘hacking’ (as much as I hate that term). It was so disheartening starting our planning process and learning the reality of wedding industry price inflation. Across the board, every detail can get out of hand and really blow your budget if you don’t keep on top of it. You’ve got to have the mindset of trimming every single expense where you can.

I started the budgeting process by finding a template online, and then immediately nixed a bunch of stuff from it (like ceremony programs, videographer, officiant fee, ring pillow, limo rental and a planning binder). Anything that wasn’t important to us was gone. I then did a bit of research and started to estimate what I think each expense should/would cost. From this, we could look over the first draft together and agree on a budget for our wedding. …

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While everyone lovingly rolled their eyes, my spreadsheets kept the lid on everything we had to remember, organize, and choose between.

📈 UPDATE: You guys are amazing!

Due to popular demand, I’ve made all of these spreadsheets available at 🙏 Enjoy!

Let’s start at the end

First and foremost, my husband and I loved our wedding. We put so much effort into it and it was a wonderful feeling making our family and friends feel loved and excited to come to New York and celebrate with us. We look back on it so fondly. A day we’ll never forget.

We hosted a fully-custom, 64 person rooftop wedding above our apartment. When we started, there were no tables and chairs. No plates and silverware. No heaters. We brought everything in, and cared about every detail. I even designed my own dress. …

This is part one of my story about landing on the product design team at DigitalOcean. I started work at DO in March 2016 after three months of getting to know the design team. I’ve been really impressed since the first day I toured the office and wanted to share the story of how I got the job and how DO has kept me pretty stoked since.

The backstory
DigitalOcean was one of the first companies I talked to when I got to New York at the end of 2015. Joel, DO’s Product Design Manager, reached out to tell me that he’d been using his Swipies (😁!) and that we should chat about product design. I came by the office and was really impressed by the space (namely, the badass oceanic illustrations on the walls), the way the design team was genuinely excited to meet me, and the fact that every person I met was noticeably enjoying life at DigitalOcean. …

You can only make a first impression once. How DigitalOcean puts lots of love into theirs.

This article continues from Part 1 in a series about joining the product design team at DigitalOcean. I’m now 3 months into employment and want to share the unique onboarding experience that I think a lot of companies can learn from.

Welcome to DigitalOcean. You’re family now.
Onboarding at DO begins before your first day. I started receiving Parklet (now part of Greenhouse) tasks like “Complete I-9 Form” or “Fill out Parklet profile” and I was able to read ahead to tasks as far as 90 days out. Many were HR-related, but a lot of them were specific to the design or product teams, like introducing myself to key co-workers or determining goals for my first 30, 60 and 90 days. I finished all my pre-boarding tasks and hopped on a video call with Katie Birch, DO’s Employee Experience Specialist, to talk about my first day. …


Caylee Betts

Entrepreneurial product designer into startups, sports, sleeping outside, dogs, travel and mezcal old fashioneds.

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