Here’s how I used one simple technology to save time and money when planning my wedding

Samsung are so confident in the new Galaxy Note8, they’ve gifted one to a lifelong Apple iPhone user – Kate, Business Insider Australia’s Commercial Editor. This is the third story in her journey from having never touched a Samsung, to being a Galaxy Note8 advocate.
Picture: New Line Cinemas

Planning a wedding is hard. And time consuming. And expensive.

It’s easy to see why many people opt for a professional to do the heavy lifting, but it’s not a luxury everyone can afford.

These days, some wedding planners will charge by the hour, a service fee of more than $10,000 or a percentage of the overall cost of the wedding.

With the average cost of Australian weddings coming in at around $35,000, it is one of the biggest investments a couple will make in a single payment, behind a house deposit or a new car.

The big things are relatively easy: venue and clothing.

It’s all the little things that take up more time than you realise, and if you and your partner are both working full time, it can be hard to make progress on your to-do list. And of course the costs creep up if you don’t keep track of your budget.

The easiest way to keep control of the planning is to have everything in one place.

I was lucky enough to be trialing the new Galaxy Note8 while planning my wedding and engagement party.

Here are some of the ways I saved time and money that a regular smartphone couldn’t have done.

Designing Wedding materials

If you Google “wedding invitations”, there are 48,200,000 results. If you want to get invites printed locally, you can obviously filter by location, but there are still thousands of options.

I had a good idea of what I wanted my invites to look like, so it was more important to find a good printer with design options included.

On the Galaxy Note8, I drafted my invite in notes, and used the S Pen to add flourishes and scripting. This was so much easier than designing by hand on paper, because I could quickly undo errors and change up the colour and pen thickness to mock up different styles. There are several graphic design apps also available that let you use the S Pen, but that involved more drawing talent than I had available…

Editing creative materials

My design in the second round, and final edits with the printers. I also used the S Pen to explain potential dress alterations to my bridesmaids, but I’m not publishing those before the big day – sorry!

After mocking up the invites, my designer could turn them around quickly, and almost perfectly. Purchasing an overall design can be upwards of $500, but the design edits also add up. It cost $35 per round of changes, so it was much more effective — in terms of both time and financial costs — being able to mark my changes up clearly, and all without having to print and re-scan.

Here is an example of the menu for my engagement party that I sent as a text message back to the venue for confirmation.

Keeping track of notes, changes and options

As I decided on menus, beverage lists, accessories and music, I started finding it hard to keep track of everything.

Although filtering through Outlook is usually my go-to hack to figure out what I said last, on the Galaxy Note8 I found taking a screenshot of each task and making a note of any changes I’d requested or ideas I had was easier.

I just created a new album in my Gallery to store these images.

Web design

We decided to go with the (like, so millennial) option of having a wedding website to collect RSVPs and keep guests updated on logistical details.

Designing the site was relatively straight forward once I’d chosen a template, but I needed to include event details, photos, videos and maps. Having everything ready to go on the one device meant I could spend my lunch hour editing the website, without having to cart around my Galaxy Book.

I set the RSVPs to come straight through to my email address, built an excel sheet for them, and then created an app pair for the two on my Edge Screen (a neat feature that allows you to pull a small group of selected apps into view at any point). This way, I could open Outlook and the Excel sheet at the same time to check off RSVPs as they come through.

My Edge shortcut, and how it pops up (Excel and Outlook).

Signing PDFs (contracts)

Like any event that requires multiple vendors and service providers, weddings involve a lot of contracts. The wedding industry is also more competitive than you’d realise – once a good photographer is booked for the day, they’re booked. There’s no second sitting at good venues. Once you make a decision, you want it locked in immediately.

On the Galaxy Note8, the screenwrite tool was a godsend. I could open contracts, pop out the S Pen, sign them, and send them back. I didn’t have to wait until I was near a printer and scanner, and I could keep copies of the contracts in my wedding folder in the Gallery.

In all, I’ve discovered a slew of organisational features that have helped me stay on top of all the many moving parts that need monitoring as we progress towards the big day. Right now, everything is on track… except my diet.

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