The Name Game: To Change or Not to Change?

Oh, look, a poem!

A long, long time ago
In a classroom far away
A child hated her last name
And she hoped that, some way,
She’d meet a man who’d save the day
And her surname would finally change.

But instead she met someone
Whose last name was a conundrum
She married him despite it
Now her last name, she can’t decide it

And everyone keeps saying go
To change her name to match her beau
But her mind keeps swaying to and fro
Should she be a Roach or Hublou?

(That should be sung to the tune of American Pie by Don McLean OR The Saga Begins by Weird Al Yankovic. And hopefully you now know how to pronounce “Hublou.”

In case the poem wasn’t clear enough, here I am, four months after marriage, still debating whether I should change my surname. For many a girl, this is an easy choice: either she chooses her spouse’s last name or she keeps her own (because her spouse’s name is terrible and her name is significantly better, or because she is famous).

If I were 8-year-old me (8YOM), my answer to “Should I change my last name” would be an emphatic YES. 8YOM would be like, “Girl, are you crazy? We have waited YEARS to be rid of the Roach, and now you’re having an existential dilemma!?!”

But while jokes like, “Is your dad Papa Roach?” and “Oh, look, I stepped on your cousin!” bothered me in second grade, I actually relish them now, because most adults are too afraid to be little kids again and it’s refreshing when I meet someone who is fearless (or ballsy…either one).

To make matters worse, my sister (onto whom the universe never ceases to bestow its luck and fortune) wormed her way into a perfectly spell-able, pronounce-able, quite frankly beautiful Italian surname. For her, there was no debate; as she put it, she couldn’t get to the Social Security office fast enough.

But my choice is complicated by the fact that both names are terrible!

So I’m reaching out to my blog readers (the few, the proud) for advice.

Let’s play the name game! I’ll present you with the facts, and you can vote for what you would do if you were me.

Last-Name-Change Facts

Hublou Pros:

  • Originality. Google “Carly Hublou” (with the “”) and you will discover that only two results return, both of which are me! (I locked down as soon as we were engaged. Some of the many other Carly Roaches claimed and before I could, and I wanted to make damn sure that that couldn’t happen again!) Same for Kevin. Everywhere I go, I will always be the only Carly Hublou.

    I could be the one and only.

  • Memorable. Even if you can’t spell it or pronounce it, you will remember that girl Carly with the funny last name.
  • Conversation Starter. There is a lot you can talk about here: How to say it, relationship to the watchmaking Hublots (please, please, please can we be related to that empire??), origins of the name (Belgium/Germany), Belgian waffles are yummy, etc.

Hublou Cons:

  • Originality. I might be the only Carly Hublou, but maybe I don’t want to be found so easily. Even though there aren’t that many Carly Roaches, I can at least hide behind the few that exist and retain some anonymity. There is no such veil as Carly Hublou.
  • Tons of Work. Come on! No one gets excited about going to the DMV and/or the Social Security office, calling all of the credit-card and insurance companies, etc. And yes, there are companies that will make the changes for you for about $28, but I’m not the type of girl who pays someone to do something that I can begrudgingly do myself.
  • Potential to Become a Joke. While some people may remember it for its originality, others may be so frustrated with saying/spelling it that it becomes a joke. When I first met Kevin, I called him Kevin Hullabaloo. If I am to be a professional female who is taken seriously, I don’t want people referring to me as Hullabaloo or any of the other potential bastardizations of the last name.
  • Potential to Become a Distraction. Let’s say I’m in a professional setting, like an interview. I can pretty much guarantee you that every interview will begin with, “How do you pronounce your last name?” followed by various iterations of “Oh, wow, I feel sorry for your daughter(s)!” This already annoys me; I cannot imagine how much it will annoy me 20 years from now.
  • My Children Will Hate Themselves. Roach was bad to grow up with, but at least it didn’t sound like “you blow”….

Roach Pros:

  • Semi-Originality. Original enough to be memorable yet common enough to retain some anonymity.
  • Easy. Everyone (except one substitute I had in 9th grade) can pronounce and spell Roach, and if they can’t, I follow up with, “Just like the bug.” (For the record, the sub pronounced it RO-ATCH.) This would not work with Hublou, at least until someone invents or discovers the hublou, whatever that may be.
  • Nothing to Do. No paperwork to fill out because I wouldn’t be changing my name!
  • Credibility. I’m already known as Carly Roach, and everything that I’ve ever done is under this name — from academics to blog posts written here and for other sites.
  • I’m the Last One. My dad and all of his brothers created girls, all of whom have changed their last names. Like the Mohicans, I’m the last of my people! (But, as my sister said, why is Roach worth saving? I guess I’ve lived with it and its jokes for so long that it has become a sort of warm, comfy blanket to me.)

Roach Cons:

  • Tradition. Most women change their names, and people raise eyebrows (yes, even in 2015) if your last name doesn’t match your husband’s, no matter how much bling is on your ring fing to prove you’re married.
  • My Children Will Hate Themselves. Either their last name will not match mine (because they will take Kevin’s) and they will hate explaining the whole story to their friends, or their last name will be hyphenated, in which case I should just count on them never speaking to me again and hiding their emotions behind heavy eyeliner and trench coats. (Can you imagine going through middle school as “Child1 Roach-Hublou”? This is why hyphenating is out of the question for me, too.)
  • Kevin Might Care. He says he wouldn’t, but I think he would care (but just a smidge) that I chose to forgo his family name.

Some women wait months or years to change their names, but I feel particularly rushed. As I approach the start of my graduate school years (during which I will be figuratively building a name for myself as well as interacting with professionals and professors with whom staying in contact could be beneficial to me), I feel obligated to decide on a name immediately. I don’t want to switch names halfway through and then have to explain myself to everyone who met me before the change. I don’t want my emails to be signed “Carly Hublou (née Roach).”

So, here’s your chance to play the name game:

[poll closed]

Have more to say than this poll allowed for? Leave a comment below!


We Did: Snippets from Our Guestbook

As I mentioned in another post, Kevin and I decided to create an electronic guestbook for our wedding. We used Google Forms to create it and one of our many old laptops to collect answers, and the data we received can be saved forever (until the sun blows up) without having to be on display in our house. We loved being able to create our own questions, and it was free to create, but the downside—at least for our house-party wedding—was that not a lot of people saw it, or if they did see it, they didn’t know what it was (despite me hanging a sign above it that read, “Sign our guestbook!”). Still, we received 17 very humorous responses. Below are the questions we asked and some of our favorite responses (as-written, so the typos are not mine).

Carly AND Kevin

The first section included questions that asked for answers relating to both of us.

1. Who are you? [No funny answers to this one.]

2. How do you know us?

  • I’ve known your inner most selves for eternity. This is merely one version of our lives in which we meet and eventually take over the world. Unfortunately, in every version of these events, Carl dies a horrible painful death. Just like when she mids [video-game reference].
  • Kevin: Gin and tonic. On a shed roof. While on the clock. Carly: Gasparilla photos. Frozen yogurt. Ceviche.
  • I went through the bowels of hell to give birth to Carly, all 10 pounds 13 and 1/2 ounces of her! Believe it or not, this wisp of a young woman was the biggest baby in the nursery that day. I know Kevin from the infamous first date when he kidnapped my daughter and kept her for hours and hours, worrying me to death! [Hmm, wonder whose response that is!]
  • Reddit!
  • Friends and shit (literally).

3. What’s your favorite and/or funniest memory of us?

  • When you got me that air mattress and stared at me while it inflated like it was the most wonderful thing in the history of mankind.
  • For both of you, certainly the air bed which you had to sleep on post-FLGA. I mean, really, people in Gulags had better beds. That looked miserable. Go Gators.
  • Poop.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

  • If you don’t feel well or need to think deeply, poop then shower.
  • When you get Cass poison on someone the best way to dps is by spamming E [video-game reference].
  • “Don’t work a job you don’t enjoy to buy things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like.” -Ancient Proverb attributed to Some Bullshit Greek Philosopher Which No One Gives a F*ck About
  • C.R.E.A.M.: Cash Rules Everything Around Me [What??]
  • Keep it simple.
  • Go with the flow. And, Life is like an EKG machine. If it’s flat, you’re not living.

5. Where do you see us in 25 years?

  • Honduras
  • At a restaurant with a table of your own screaming loud kids.
  • Older
  • Iceland?
  • As co-owners of a decent goat farm.
  • Wherever you are.

6. When did you know we were meant for each other?

  • I’ve known Kevin was meant for me since the moment we met. Carl is just a distraction to both of us.
  • When you started arguing over LoL [video-game reference].
  • Carly needed a strong older sibling to continually ridicule and mock her and Kevin is an older sibling with plenty of experience. Also as I’m writing this I hear Kevin discussing dungeons & dragons and larping…right up Carly’s alley. He was proudly showing off a game closet…
  • We didn’t know that Carly could find someone that could compete with her wit and keep up with her in a debate. She met her match with Kevin. He truly gave her a run for her money. I knew he was going to be around for a while.
  • When you mutually agreed that poop was okay.

7. Free space! [We told people they could write whatever they wanted, and most responses were very heartwarming.]

Carly OR Kevin

The second section included multiple-choice questions. Guests were given various scenarios and had to choose one answer.

1. Who would you rather remain friends with if we got divorced?










2. Who wears the pants?









3. Who has better hair?









4. Who has a better butt?









5. Who could win in an argument against you?









6. Who would be a better president?








7. Who would you rather be stuck in an airport with?









8. Who would you rather date?









9. Who would survive the longest during the zombie apocalypse?









10. Who would you rather be murdered by during the zombie apocalypse when we’re the last three people alive and we’ve decided to eat you?








We Did

Almost exactly one-point-five years ago, I started this blog and discussed our intentions to plan our wedding, and exactly one year ago (and, ironically, on our third anniversary), I wrote about our decision to be indefinitely engaged.

Today, on the fourth anniversary of our first date, I get to write about our wedding.

(So, I did write the introduction and half of this post when the above was true, but then I put off writing the rest, and so technically none of that is true now.)

Sometime in December 2014, Kevin and I finally agreed that A) we needed to get married (for financial reasons, of course), B) we wanted to get married (for love reasons), and C) we wanted to keep it simple.

We went through several iterations of what “simple” meant and finally landed on a three-course wedding format—one that would please our family, friends, and financials.

And, when we discovered that 2015 would include a Super Pi Day, and also that this day fell on a Saturday, we knew we had to get married on that date.

But it was December, and no one knew of our plans but us.

On January 4, 2015, while lunching with some of our friends at Bangkok Square (best Thai in GNV!), we discussed our wedding date and were disappointed to learn that half of the people at the table were busy on Pi Day. Dismayed, we realized that, if we wanted people to attend, we had to get to work right away. Since I don’t believe in save-the-dates, and since paper invitations would have taken too long (oh yeah, and would have been ridiculously expensive), we used Facebook to invite our friends and an email blast to invite our family and non-Facebook-using friends. Imperfect? Maybe, but we didn’t care; it was cost-effective, and it allowed us to easily track who could come.

Part 1: The Ceremony

Having been to many weddings, I knew that the ceremony was not something that everyone would want to attend, no matter how short we made it. Also—and this is just me being weird—it felt arrogant to expect people to come watch me parade around in a pretty dress and say some fancy things. So, while we told our friends about the ceremony, we let them know that it was 100% optional. To our surprise, many of our friends still came, which truly warmed my heart.

Covered pavilion at Bivens Arm looking toward the seating area.

We held the ceremony at Bivens Arm Nature Park, a gorgeous, free park near downtown Gainesville. Originally, I wanted to get married at Cellon Oak Park, which is about 20 minutes north of Gainesville and boasts the largest oak tree in Florida (though when I drove Kevin there in 2014, the park was closed because one of the tree’s largest limbs had fallen, so who knows if it’s still the grand champion), but it’s devoid of seating, which meant we would have had to rent chairs and truck them out to the site. Since we planned to have a very short ceremony, it didn’t seem worth the cost to do this. While I had been to Bivens Arm before, it had been several years since my last visit. When I Googled it and saw that it provided comfortable seating and a pavilion perfect for a ceremony, I knew it was perfect for our event.

While I was content with the decorous natural setting, Kevin and his friend from work, Lina (who graciously volunteered to be our day-of ceremony coordinator), thought the site could use a bit of sprucing. Together, we scoured Michael’s for cheap wedding decor. I found some amazing owl vases (50% off!), which we planned to rest on our newly purchased bar stools (a gift from Kevin’s parents) from our bar, white tulle (buy one, get one 50% off), and blue and white fake flowers (50% off)—just enough decoration to add a personal touch without detracting from the rustic beauty of the park. And, better yet, after the big day, we had so much tulle left over that I returned one of the rolls to Michael’s, and while we did keep the owl vases and some of the fake flowers as decorations in our house, I sold the used tulle and half of the flowers on Craigslist for $20!

As for the colors, my preference would have been seafoam green (my oddly specific favorite color), but since my sister was my only bridesmaid (actually, my matrón of honor), and since she also had to buy a flower-girl dress and a ring-bearer suit, I told her to pick any dress she wanted in any color (except red) and that would be my color. I wanted the dress to be something she would actually wear again (and not something the bride tells you you could actually wear again but then never do), and though she chose a super fancy floor-length gown, I think she goes on enough cruises to reuse that baby at least once on those fancy-schmancy dinner nights.

For the officiant, well, that’s a funny story that involves me and the Internet and being creepy (or really good at the Google, depending on how you look at it), but we ended up finding the fiance of our wedding photographer, who happened to be a notary and who happened to have never officiated a wedding. But, he did have a lovely baritone voice, and I had no problem gambling on his ability to read words from a piece of paper and sign his name nicely. In the end, he did a great job, and now we’re actually friends in real life.

As for the ceremony itself, it was really important to Kevin and me to write it ourselves and make it meaningful to us, even if it did not adhere to customs or the religious beliefs of anyone other than us. We loved what we came up with; it was traditional enough to follow but uniquely us. Lina, who is from India, told us that in traditional Indian weddings, people close to the bride and groom speak during the ceremony to honor the couple. Kevin really latched on to this idea, so we asked his dad and brother and my sister and aunt to prepare a little something. At first, I wasn’t fond of the idea, but I’m glad Kevin insisted on it, because I think it turned out well and made the ceremony even more personal.

Wide shot of the site.

Our beautiful ceremony venue.

I know everyone says this, but the ceremony really did go by in a blur. Though we spent hours writing our wedding ceremony, it took only a few minutes to complete, and it felt like a surreal, out-of-body experience. But it happened and, in under 15 minutes, we were husband and wife.

After the ceremony, we spent a few minutes chatting with our friends and taking family photos before we headed into the woods for a brief photo shoot of just us. The one thing I regret is not budgeting more time here, as we felt very rushed to get photographs in before heading to our next event, but in the end, our photographer (Tyler K. Reed Photography) got plenty of great shots. (I mean, let’s be honest; how many photos does anyone really need of their wedding day? The answer is not that many.)

Part 2: Family Luncheon

Because all of our family came from other cities (and some from other states), we wanted to do something nice and a little fancy for them as a thank-you (which is why this event was called a luncheon and not simply a lunch). We decided to treat our family to a meal at Francesca’s Trattoria, my favorite Italian restaurant in GNV and one of the first restaurants Kevin and I visited for a date.

This turned out to be the single most expensive transaction for the entire wedding, but it was worth it. The food was great and we had the chance to hang out with our families before the chaos of the party began.

Part 3: House Party

Homemade fire pit and wood benches.

While we always knew we wanted to host a party in lieu of the traditional, formal reception, we originally planned to rent a house or venue and throw the party there. In the end, however, we decided that it would be more advantageous to host it at our house. We had never thrown a housewarming party when we purchased the house, and we thought we could make better use of the money we would have needed to rent a place to make some small improvements to our own abode, like building the bar and adding a permanent, homemade fire pit with benches.

When we first started dating, Kevin (though he swore he never wanted to get married) told me that the best wedding he had ever attended was one that was held in a park and included hot dogs and beer. Having been to many weddings myself, I knew that the real recipe for success/fun was not how cute and clever the table centerpieces and party favors could be (and the last thing I wanted to do was throw the same uninspired, “look what I found on Pinterest,” rustic-chic wedding that every other female human is throwing these days); all we really needed was alcohol and food.

So we rented a keg, picked up some handles of liquor and mixers, concocted a red sangria, and made lime-infused water for the DDs. In honor of Pi Day, we ordered 25+ pizzas from Domino’s and 8 freshly made pies from Publix, and we also served some appetizers/finger foods.

We converted most of the rooms in our house into seating areas to give people different areas to roam. We set up dual beer pong tables on the side of the house, and we had a bonfire going (at least for a little bit) in the backyard. We put up minimal decorations but enough to feel festive, and we had a diverse playlist (curated by yours truly) going while Darren Aronofsky’s film Pi played on our TV in the background. (Looking back, I should have played Life of Pi instead, as Pi ended up being an obscure choice.)

For our guest book, we agreed that we did not want a framed photo, painting, or other physical object that we would then feel obligated to tote around with us for the rest of our lives. Instead, I used Google Forms to create a fun survey, the results from which are more fun than signatures and will last until the sun blows up and destroys the Earth (and thus the Internet). We were also then able to email a link to the guest book to everyone subscribed to the Facebook event for those that missed their opportunity to fill it out at the party.

What I loved most about our party, though, was how generous people were. We had asked our guests to not bring gifts (since we were not throwing a traditional, costly reception); we just wanted people to come have fun with us. Though several of our friends still contributed to our honeymoon fund, others brought us homemade gifts, like a giant jug of cherry-infused kombucha, a pitcher of white sangria, and fried chicken. Kevin’s aunts took it upon themselves to purchase all of our paper decorations and even lit up our driveway with luminaries. These were unexpected surprises and made us feel very loved.

The downside of the party was that only a few people took photos, so I don’t have much to show for it. But the experience was a blast and exactly what we had hoped it would be. Everyone seemed to have a good time, and most of the food and beer disappeared. I’d call that a success.

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The Rundown

Here’s a breakdown of everything we spent money on and our grand total for our wedding. While we missed our $1,000 goal, I’m satisfied with what we spent. In the end, we both agree that it was exactly what we wanted: our friends and family hanging out, having some drinks, and being merry. In truth, I can’t imagine the evening being anything else other than what is was: perfect for us.

  • Marriage license: Alachua County, $94
  • Invitations/guest book: Facebook/Google Forms, free
  • Music: Various playlists curated by us using Google Play All Access, free (though we did pay $30 for a Bluetooth player to have music at the ceremony, and we pay a monthly subscription fee of $8 for Google Play)
  • Ceremony:
    • Venue: Bivens Arm Nature Park, free
    • Photography: Tyler K. Reed Photography, $188
    • Notary: Kody Latham, free
    • Planner: Lina Khan, free
    • Decorations (tulle, owl vases, flowers): Michael’s, $60 – $20 resale on Craigslist – $7 returned tulle = $33 net
    • Bouquets and boutonnieres: Alix Mathia, free
    • Flower girl basket: Amazon, $10
    • Flower girl flowers: Random person’s hibiscus bush on my way to the ceremony, free 😀
  • Attire:
    • Kevin’s suit: Already owned, free
    • Wedding dress: David’s Bridal, $212
    • Shoes: Amazon, free (generously gifted by my mom)
    • Jewelery: Amazon, $35
    • Hair & Makeup: Did my own, free
  • Lunch venue: Francesca’s Trattoria, $351
  • Reception:
    • Venue: Our house, free
    • Snacks and accessories: Sam’s Club/Dollar Store, $160
    • Liquor, wine, and keg: Sam’s Club/Publix, $180 (and we had extra beer, which we delivered to local friends the next day, and tons of extra liquor, which we will just keep for future use :D)
    • Dinner: Domino’s Pizza, $190 (and we had extra, which we donated to a few friends but mostly to our little brother, Tim, who is in college and lives off of pizza)
    • Dessert: Publix pies, $57
    • Decorations, plates/cups, favors: Oriental Trading, free (generously gifted by Kevin’s parents and aunts)
    • Serving dishes: TJMaxx/Goodwill, $50

Total: $1,615

How We Saved Money

Obviously, our style of wedding isn’t for everyone, and I know a lot of brides spend years dreaming up their perfect day, no expense spared. But here are the major ways that we saved money, and maybe future brides will find just one or two of these (rather than all of them) helpful in planning their own weddings.

  • We held the party at our house (instead of renting a venue).
  • We served pizza and pie (instead of serving an elaborate, multi-course meal).
  • We used electronic resources for our invitations and guest book (instead of using paper, stamps, knick-knacks, etc.).
  • We made our own playlist and used our own sound system (instead of booking a DJ).
  • We scoured the Internet for a talented but flexible photographer and then booked her only for the amount of time (and photos) we really needed (instead of booking an all-day, thousands-of-photos affair).
  • We used a notary to marry us (instead of using an officiant). (By Florida law, notaries cannot charge more than $30 for marriage ceremonies, though many do them for free.)
  • We used minimal decorations and fake flowers that we arranged ourselves (instead of buying real flowers and maximum decorations).
  • We used paper flowers for the bouquets/boutonnieres (which we still have and will have forever), and we stole a few petals from a random bush for the flower girl basket (instead of paying for real flower arrangements that die in a few days).
  • We used what we already had (when appropriate) for our attire, hair, and makeup (instead of renting tuxes or having a professional stylist slather my face and hair with products).
  • We uses paper plates and cups, and we raided Goodwill for serving dishes and then filled in the gaps with inexpensive items from TJMaxx (instead of buying high-end dishes that no one would notice).

To wrap up this post, Kevin and I would like to extend a very humble thank-you to everyone who helped make our day special. We couldn’t have done it without the love and support of our family and friends, and we are very grateful to all of you. Thank you!!

We Did: Photos from Our Wedding

Here is a gallery of photos (click to enlarge) from our wedding ceremony, held March 14, 2015 (Pi Day!). Photography provided by Tyler K. Reed Photography.

Say “Meh” to the Dress: What I Wore

In my previous wedding-dress post, written before the wedding, I expressed my dissatisfaction with wedding-dress shopping and my hope that Kevin would love my dress. I’m happy to report that he did, indeed, love what I picked and my makeup—which is saying a lot because, usually, he complains that I don’t wear enough makeup. As I arrived next to him at the end of the aisle, his eyes lit up and he told me I looked beautiful. Mission accomplished.

My dress was from David’s Bridal (hell on Earth), but it was from the store’s party-dress section and is technically not a wedding dress. But when I tried it on and found that it fit perfectly and would require no alterations, and that it was affordable and flattering for my body type, I didn’t care; it was a good-enough dress for me. (You can see even more photos of my dress and our wedding here on the blog.)

Straight-on shot of my dress.


Front detail and accessories.

All of my accessories (except for my earrings, which I already owned) were from Amazon. Since the dress had a Grecian/gold theme, I bought a snake armband, though I had difficulty finding one that was more decorative than terrifying. For the plunging neckline, I needed something delicate yet long, so I went with a simple chevron necklace. I wanted a little bit of bling for my hair, so I thought I would try a gold headband. I discovered, however, that this particular headband looked terrible on my forehead (where it was supposed to go) and did not provide the subtle effect I had hoped it would. My mom suggested wearing it on the back of my head and pinning it into place, which looked much less obtrusive, so we went with that.

For shoes, my mom purchased me some appropriately themed gladiator heels that we didn’t know until the last minute were the perfect height for the dress. They were annoying to snap in place, and the heels kept getting stuck in the grooves of the wood planks at the ceremony site, but they were fun and Kevin loved them.

My shoes, which were hidden by my dress but I wore them nonetheless.

Early on, I had decided that my mother and I could take care of my hair and makeup ourselves. Having put one daughter through competitive baton twirling and one daughter through musical theater and competitive dance, she had made up her fair share of faces. Plus, she spent years styling our hair into up-dos for proms and homecomings, so she’s no novice. In the end, I did most of my makeup and hair myself, but she provided guidance and a helping hand for pinning in my headpiece.

Since I had jewelery in my hair, I wanted to keep my mane simple; I just straightened it and pinned the front back into the headpiece. The humidity of the morning caused my hair to frizz a little, but that’s life.

As for makeup, I spent some time watching YouTube videos on wedding-makeup ideas and techniques. Most videos advocated for piling tons of concealer and goop on one’s face to be the epitome of perfection on one’s wedding day. I, however, wanted to keep it simple and real, though I did follow the basic advice and color combinations of this makeup tutorial. I wanted a natural, light look, since we were having a daytime, spring wedding. For my entire face, I started with the present by Philosophy (a clear makeup) and topped that with a CoverGirl foundation + sunscreen in “classic ivory” (which is a nice way of saying, “you’re so pale you’re almost clear”). For my eyes, I used my E.L.F. box of a bajillion eyeshadow colors (OK, so there are only like 50 colors, but it’s more eyeshadow than I’ll ever need), Tattoo Liner (the best eyeliner ever and probably the single most expensive makeup item I own), and some random mascara. For an amateur, I was proud of how it turned out; Kevin was surprised that I did it myself!

Since I was going natural, and because I know how much Kevin loves a girl with lipstick, I decided to have some fun with my lips and chose a “British Red” lipstick.

Here you can see my eyeshadow colors.

Close-up of makeup and hair.

And that’s that! In all, it took me about an hour and a half to get ready, plus about ten minutes the night before when my sister, niece, and I painted our toes and fingernails together. Not having to rush around to a hair stylist and a makeup artist made the morning more enjoyable and less chaotic—and, of course, much less expensive!