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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Marriage Do or Don’t: Changing your name

This past summer, I read a New York Times wedding announcement that made my eyes pop...

A couple named Annie Ma and Jacob Weaver were BOTH changing their last names to Ma-Weaver. What a cool idea!

Honestly, when Alex and I got married, it didn't even occur to me to change my name. Alex's last name is Williams, but I kept Goddard. My name is part of my identity, and because we got married when I was 30, my last name was already part of my career. When we have parties or send letters, we call ourselves the "Goddard-Williams household." My one concern was whether our future children would have a different name from mine, but when Toby came along, we just gave him a hyphenated last name.

My sister changed her name to Kalanithi when she got married. She and her husband sometimes sign cards "Team Kalanithi," which I think is really cute.

Have you seen The Last Name Project? Men and women write short posts explaining their decisions to change, keep or combine their names. (This one was especially fascinating!)

So, I'm curious: Will (or did) you change your last name after getting married? Or hyphenate or combine them? (If you are going to change your name, the site Hitch Switch helps you do it easily.) What's the last name you were born with? Do you like the way your partner's name sounds with yours? What about your future kids' last names? I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts...

(Photo by The Sartorialist)

703 comments:

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Mary Giordano Brackett said...

I changed my name from Mary Elizabeth Giordano, to Mary Giordano Brackett (Giordano became my middle name). But, my husband and I (who are a little zany) threw the idea around to change both our names to Brackedano (Brackett + Giordano = Brackedano, or Giorackett.. not as catchy) - a totally new, original last name. I couldn't actually go through with it, but whenever we have parties or send cards it's always signed "The Brackedano's". It makes me smile. :)

Side note, I really like your last name - Goddard, it has a certain old school class to it.

Maddie said...

I changed my last name. Why? Because it wasn't really my last name to begin with, it was my father's, and his father's, and my great grandfather's. The patriarchy and male dominance is already implied and inherent in a woman's last name, so why bother keeping one for the other? At least if my husband and I have the same last name we feel like a set unit. It does sort of seem like I'm property and ownership was simply switched from my father to my husband...butt that's really an anachronistic stretch (especially for someone who eloped). It would be ideal, however, if we both just made up and adopted a NEW family name.

sian said...

we're not married but i wouldn't change my name even if we did decide to tie the knot. i like my name, i've have 34 years worth of adventures with my name, i love it. our sons both have m's surname. we didn't even consider hyphenating, it would have been a right royal mouthful of a moniker if we had. i don't worry about having a different surname from my kiddos - i have a friend who is icelandic, she and her partner have two kids and there are four different surnames in their household.

candice said...

funny timing. I just got back from the social security office to begin the name-changing process. I'm 29, so my name has been with me for a while. I'm quite excited to take his name and start a new chapter in my life. It almost makes the whole thing seem a little more official. :)
-the soon-to-be-official Mrs. Robinson

Ashley said...

It took me a year to change my name after I got married. My husbands parents did'nt like that I had kept my last name (they are pretty old fashioned) so I changed it. It did'nt really matter either way with me. But to cut down on bickering I did it.

Stella said...

We're traditional. I changed my name and it meant a lot to my husband. I liked the idea of being completely unified after marriage and changing my last name was a tangible reflection of that. My husband is the only male child in his family (and his dad is the only son in his family with kids), so it made sense to switch to my husband's last name. It wasn't a huge deal for me, but I knew it meant a lot to my husband.

Sarah said...

I made my maiden name my middle name when I got married, and if we have a boy, I plan to do the same for him.

Mary DelaCruz said...

My boyfriend and I welcomed our baby girl this year. I went back and forth on whether or not I wanted to hyphenate her name but in the end, opted not to. She has her father's last name. Call me crazy but I'm not sure I ever want to get married. In the event that I change my mind in the future, I don't think I'll change my last name. I actually really like my last name.

Translated in English my last name means "Of the Cross" and my first name happens to be Mary (no pressure there, thanks mom & dad).

My grandfather's last name is actually Cruz but after my grandmother and him married, she became "of him" and therefore "of the Cruz" = De La Cruz. An old Spanish tradition. Why change a last name that includes an explanation? :)

Marisol said...

Wow. Now I'm confused. Ha ha. I have planned on changing my name. It's important to my guy and both of us for future children. But, as I get closer to the big day and sounding out my new Anglo last name with my very Spanish first name...it's just weird. :) I like my middle name but I can't imagine having another middle name and having a very long name. To be continued...

Sarah said...

I'd also considered hyphenating, but when you take my maiden name (7 letters) and my married name (8 letters). . .it was just too much.

Elle said...

i plan on taking his name. i feel much more connected to his family than i do mine. i would be proud to be part of their family and carry on the family name. i like it more than i do mine as well. it is much easier to spell, pronounce and is shorter. it seems no one can ever spell or say my last name correctly.

Meadow said...

I plan on changing my name to my future husband's. I have to laugh when feminists say "but you're taking the man's name". News flash - most maiden names are a man's name - they belong to the girl's father. I am changing my name for several reasons. First, my father is not a good person... we've been estranged 10+ years. I don't want his name. I also think it's kinda romantic to take your husband's name. I am not published or anything so I have no career reasons to keep my last name like you did, Joanna. I also want our future kid to have the same name and I'm just not into hyphenated names.

raynette said...

What an interesting post for me to read today, especially since I will be getting married in two months and this has been a topic of discussion. I have always wanted to keep my last name, Quel. When Ro and I first got together I shared with him my beliefs on some major tie breakers, i.e I didn't want to change my last name, and I may not want to have a family. At the time he said he understood.... flash forward 5 years later, he doesn't "recall" telling me he was ok with me not changing my last name. I am sure he remembers saying that but I digress. I have warmed up to changing my last name. It also helped (a lot) that it would make my future business name have an awesome acronym.

Smile, Emily said...

Well! My mother kept her name so I always thought I'd do the same thing. However, my sister is dating my boyfriend's sister (that's a sister sister pairing and a brother sister pairing). We're both planning to marry. My sister will keep our last name, his sister will take it. I will take my boyfriend's last name. That way we'll keep all the names in the family (and no one's last name will go extinct!)

Mia Stizzo said...

my last name is stizzo, my boyfriend's is eddlemon. our son is stizzo-eddlemon and i won't change my name when i get married. i couldn't not have my name in our son's last name. it's a cooler sounding name and his dad's family has lots off issues with divorces and dead-beat dads with tons of kids all over the place with that last name. some related by blood, some not. i guess if our son wants to drop a name in the future he can, but i hope he chooses to keep the stizzo!

Annie said...

Annie Ma-Weaver here. My husband's coworker saw this blog post and shared it with us. Glad that you liked our idea of combining and changing our surnames together! We're so thrilled to be Team Ma-Weaver.

We are strong proponents of gender equality and see our combined surname as a means of communicating that we are partners and equals in our marriage. We're planning to give our children our hyphenated surname and then support them in whatever surname-related choices they make when it's their turn to marry.

I was fortunate to have supportive in-laws and parents who understood and cheered on our unorthodox decision. Although, to be honest, we would have done this without their support, but it was nice not to experience friction there.

Sarah said...

Good for you!

I'm surprised at all the anti-taking husband's last name I've seen in this comment section. I kept my maiden name as my middle name and happily took my husband's name. I'd always wanted to do that.

Mia Stizzo said...

that's awesome!

from two to one said...

If anyone is interested in submitting their story to The Last Name Project, check out the details here: http://www.fromtwotoone.com/p/the-last-name-project.html. Thanks again, Joanna, for highlighting the project!

Leah said...

It was important to my husband that I take his last name when we got married (I still don’t understand why) however, I didn’t have any emotional ties to my last name so I was fine with taking his, but for the fact that I had been using my maiden name professionally for many years. To further complicate things, his last name was Booker and mine was Bauer, and the thought of hyphenating Bauer-Booker made my skin crawl, so I came up with an ingenious compromise (if I do say so myself): I dropped my last name and added it as a second middle name and then took his last name. It’s true that my name is now (First Name) (Middle Name) Bauer Booker, but I can legally use Bauer professionally when I want to and drop it when I don’t. And, as the years go by, my clients are getting more used to Booker, so eventually I can drop the Bauer all together. Voila!

Tamara Watson said...

Changing my name was never even considered when I got married (both times). The name I was given at birth will be the name I have forever...unless I need to go into witness protection. Ha ha ha! The name changing is silly to me. I'll admit, (many won't like this) when I meet women my age or younger who have changed their name, I tend to think, "Oh, you're one of those," and they probably think the same about me. Ha ha ha!

Shan said...

This is such an interesting discussion! I agree that last names are part of a patriarchal structure--traditionally you either had your father's last name or your husbands. However, I don't think it's "oppressive" to take your husband's name. It's totally a personal choice. My last name (like so many others'!) is Smith, a name that I have never been too attached to. If my boyfriend and I decided to get married, I would be happy to take his name because it's steeped in a rich family history I would be happy to be apart of! I don't believe that makes me any less of a feminist.

If my last name were something I was more attached to, however, I might go for a joint name or a new name. I think it is a nice symbol, because when you get married you become a family :)

If I have children, I also hope to use my mom maiden's name, which I love, as a middle name, to honor my family's side as well!

doyouwantapotato said...

I'm in two minds about it, but I think I'll, most likely, keep my name when I get married. I don't really like the way my boyfriend's surname sounds with my name but mainly, as you said, my name is part of my identity.
If we have children, they will have both our surnames, no hyphen. That's the way the Portuguese do (I'm Portuguese), and my English boyfriend likes the idea.
The portuguese have both surnames, usually first the mother's and then the father's surname.
Personally I'm not a big fan of hyphenated names because it's neither the mother's or father's surname but a new different one.

Sarah said...

I've been married for 11 months and took my husband's name. . .and I signed the wrong name to a receipt the other day.

It just takes time. It also doesn't help that my old name and my new name both start with the letter B, so it's really easy to launch into the old B-E- instead of the new B-U-.

Vanessa Chris said...

My maiden name is Chris, which I always thought was pretty cool...even though it gets a little confusing at times with the whole first name/last name thing. I was really sad to part with it, because it's a huge part of my identity.

I'm also a writer, so I decided to keep "Chris" for professional purposes. For personal purposes (and occasions that involve our daughter) I use the combination of Chris Cameron (no hyphen). I thought this was cool-sounding (and kinda movie star-ish). Turns out it's just really confusing.

I can never remember if I'm making reservations under "Chris" or "Chris Cameron". And the absence of a hyphen always throws people through a loop. Doh.

halfasleepstudio.com said...

My boyfriend has a very, very long hyphenated last name and he absolutely hates it. We are planning to marry someday, and when we do, we're both going to take his mother's maiden name, Sanders, because he was much closer to his mother. But seriously, his whole last name (Sanders-Greenberg) won't even fit on his credit cards and a lot of places are very confused by it. This is why I don't think hyphens are the best idea, but I guess you gotta do what feels right to you! Also, I've hated my last name my whole life and will be very happy to change it. :x

CLP said...

I didn't change my name when I got married. I never really planned to. I guess if I had ended up with a guy with a really rad last night I might have thought about it. My mom kept her maiden name and my husband's parents were never married.
He has a hyphenated name and he felt weird droppping one of his last names, I felt like it was weird to take both of his parent's names and drop my own. If I only took one of his names we would still have different names so I just kept mine. Plus my last name and his second last name are really similar "Peterson" and "Nicholson" so it just seemed pointless. When we have kids it will be a total mess, everyone with a different name.

Leah said...

It was important to my husband that I take his last name when we got married (I still don’t understand why) however, I didn’t have any emotional ties to my last name so I was fine with taking his, but for the fact that I had been using my maiden name professionally for many years. To further complicate things, his last name was Booker and mine was Bauer, and the thought of hyphenating Bauer-Booker made my skin crawl, so I came up with an ingenious compromise (if I do say so myself): I dropped my last name and added it as a second middle name and then took his last name. It’s true that my name is now (First Name) (Middle Name) Bauer Booker, but I can legally use Bauer professionally when I want to and drop it when I don’t. And, as the years go by, my clients are getting more used to Booker, so eventually I can drop the Bauer all together. Voila!

dearlittleone said...

I changed my name, but I didn't want to. I went from having a very unique name to a very common one. A year later it still feels weird. I explained it to my husband like this: It feels like I'm wearing your Letterman's jacket. It's obviously not mine, and it doesn't quite fit, but it tells the world that I'm "yours" (for lack of a better phrase.) That's all.

My maiden name is now my middle name, his last is my last. I would have even hyphenated, but my maiden name is Polish and 9 letters long. It's impossible to spell on its own, much less with another name tacked on.

I actually delayed changing my name for six months after we got married, to the point where people were pestering me to change it. I feel like it's not necessary, but where I live it's expected; people were calling me Mrs. His Name even when it wasn't *my* name. I figure, I'm going to be called Mrs. His Name by teachers, coworkers, etc for my whole life anyway. Might as well make it official. I tried to find another solution that worked, but just couldn't come up with a better way.

The best compromise I could come up with is: I'll be known by his last name in my personal life, but as I'm a writer, anything I publish will be under my maiden name. So I'd get the best of both worlds, hopefully.

I really want to include my maiden name in my future kids' names, but I'm not sure how. I wish it were simpler, as I didn't want to lose the link to my heritage just because I got married. :/

Kirsten said...

We're married and I'm pretty sure my name has been changed but I have been semi resisting. All my accounts still say my old last name and I sign that last name right now.... maybe I'll warm up to it.

AmandaB. said...

I took my husband's last name which is Berg. I wanted to move my maiden name to my middle name but it didn't flow, it actually sounds like you are stuttering Fauber Berg (pronounced fall brr). A lot of times we refer to ourselves as the Faubergs.

Olivia said...

I was just thinking about this today! I was a firm no when we got married, then I wobbled a bit (the Team XX thing definitely was in my mind) but my husband had no intention of changing (and didn't see why I should have to) which got me all riled up about the patriachy aspect of it. I worry a little about future babies (I have visions of me being turned away at the school gate!) but I am still me, not this new made-up person

jenni said...

I think my married name is much more beautiful and musical than my maiden name. I honestly couldn't wait to change it. My maiden name was "Lange" but, for some reason, my family insists that it should be pronounced so that it rhymes with "flange" and not the way most people say it, to rhyme with "pang." I hated corrected people and I'm grateful to have had such a lovely, uncomplicated name for the past seven years.

Kristin said...

I think I'm a little old fashioned too. I looked forward to taking my husband's last name :) Plus, it's Irish, so it's fun to celebrate St. Patrick's day in a new light.

igotsapoodle said...

This is definitely a tough one, and something I've been thinking about a lot lately!

My last name is Lithuanian and very long and nearly unpronouncable. It's something I'm very proud of, but it has resulted in a lot of difficulty my entire life having to explain how to pronounce it to people who by and large don't care to remember how (and I don't really expect them to). I tend to be pretty forgiving about it, but I was valedictorian of my high school and when they introduced me at graduation, my principal completely butchered my name which upset my parents. There are just some settings where I'd love to get a break sometime and have someone actually pronounce my name right!

However, my boyfriend has an Arabic last name that I like a lot and sounds elegant with my first name. We've spoken about getting married, though it's still quite a bit in the future.

The thing is though, I'm starting a PhD program this year and whatever I publish my dissertation under will certainly be cemented as my professional last name. So my choices are 1) keep my unpronouncable last name for life, or 2) if I do want my boyfriend's last name, we have to get married in no less than the next 4 years before I finish my dissertation. Eeeep!

ro-tastic said...

Oh my gosh, I just got engaged and I just don't know. My fiance is fine either way. I'll have to check out The Last Name Project, maybe it'll help me figure out how I feel.

Molly said...

I haven't legally done so, but in the world of facebook where changing your name is super easy, I put my last name as my middle name and believe that is what I will do when I change it legally. It flows well and Taylor is a real name. In fact, we have decided that instead of hyphenating for our kids, our daughter coming in February and any future kidlets will have Taylor as their middle name too.

Works for us! To each his own on such a personal choice though. Not everyone needs to do the same thing in our world anymore thankfully!

Michaela said...

I kept my last name when I married, in part because my mother had kept her name, and I couldn't imagine not being known by the name I had been called all my life. I do wonder how I will feel when we have kids and they have a different last name than I do. It isn't always clear that my mother and I are related, because our last names aren't the same. And my kids will be mixed-race, so it may be even less clear that we're related to each other. I'm not sure how that will play out, but it does seem like it could be problematic.

killforcreativity said...

I would definitely take the name of my boyfriend if he wouldn't want to take mine, actually the only reason I want to marry someday is because of the names, I really love sharing the same last name. Other than that, marriage isn't that important to me, I'm not religious so it's just a piece of paper to me and says nothing about the relationship itself.

I really hope though, that my husband to be would take my name, because it's a very rare last name and I'm the last one in the family to give it away to my children, otherwise it will die with me. (My brother took the name of his wife, that's why).

I don't like hyphenated names at all, because I love short names and that's just a last name overload to me and doesn't sound nice in most of the cases ;) Not really a fan of that.

Bird said...

I dated a guy that carried his mother's last name; his mom was Jewish by religious descent and he said it is a common thing to do to preserve Jewish family names when the father is not Jewish. Not sure how common but I always liked that he carried his mom's name. If I ever get married (I am 28 now) it will be hard to relinquish my name and I am likely to only do so if my husband feels it is important.

Brittany said...

My husband's last name and my maiden name do NOT go together. Imagine an "Ima Hogg" situation. It's actually a pretty dirty/sexual combination. So I didn't even do a wedding announcement in the paper or have any "Bridelastname/Groomlastname Wedding --->" signs on my wedding day. Honestly I think it would have been worthy of Jay Leno's headlines. So it was pretty much a no-brainer to dump mine, the worse one, and go with his, and there is definitely no talk of hyphenation. I think, had I had a last name I liked, I would have hyphenated. I once met a very successful businesswoman from Canada at a tradeshow and she was shocked I'd changed my name, she thought it was very old fashioned and anti-feminist. But when I told her exactly why, she was like "OMG I'm so glad you changed!" Ha!

Koru Kate {Koru Wedding} said...

I had a really tough time with the thought of changing my name for many reasons. I didn't change it, then about one & a half years into our marriage, something happened & it suddenly seemed & felt right to change my last name to his. I'm happy I changed my last name & I'm glad I waited until it felt right.

dinaclabaugh said...

I got married last month and changed my name…actually I'm still changing it! Ha ha. It can be a fairly complex process. I teach at a university and being called Mrs. Clabaugh has been the most surprising change. My husband works at the same university so we've sorta said goodbye to any anonymity on campus - we may be the only Clabaugh's in Minnesota!

Anny said...

Legally I changed my last name for the ease of things paperwork/children/etc in the future. But professionally I hyphenate my last name (both in grad school & now in the work force).

Ellen said...

I'm in Toby's situation - a hyphenated last name made up of both my parents last names. My sister and I are probably the only people with "Cobb-Friesen" as a last name in the world!

But... what do I do when I have kids with my partner?? This hyphenated thing can't go on forever...

Haley said...

I totally respect everyone's choice, but the hyphenated name always confused me a bit. If you want to teach your kid that that is the way to do it fairly, then you are expecting them to pass down an EVEN longer name. Because they will be hyphenating their already hyphenated name with someone else's name (which gets even tougher if that someone else has a hyphenated name!) It's forcing your kid to make a tougher decision. I love just choosing whoever's the couple likes more or is more comfortable with or choosing a new last name together (be it something new, or a combination fo the two).

.sa said...

I am not married, I am common-law, so the last name has never been an issue.
I like both my own and my husbands last name, but if I had a very common or boring last name I might have changed it to my husbands name.

I am a huge fan of what my parents did though. They decided to give all their daughters my mothers last name and all their sons my fathers last name.
I think it is a great idea!!
But my husband doesn't think so.
SO...we decided to give our kids my husbands last name and my last name as a middle name.

Vegan Diva said...

I messed that up; I meant that Toby's future daughter might end up as, say, "Jane Smith-Goddard-Williams" and then when she gets married, will she then become Jane Smith-Goddard-Williams-Franklin? I'm sure you get the point. It just seems kinda complicated. I am interested to see how future generations negotiate this!

NeatoKeen@Etsy said...

Me too! I've loved having an unusual middle name for the last 31 years :)

schreikm said...

It was a surprisingly clear-cut choice for me when I got married. I was actually undecided until it came time to get the marriage license- the county had to print my name on the license, which would either be my first name + my maiden name, or + my soon-to-be husband's last name. Well, obviously my name is my name- the one I grew up with and have always known. I don't know who Katherine Blumenstein is. Plus, my husband was marrying me, not that mystery person, and I wanted the license to reflect that. So they put my "maiden" name on the license because that's my name. Simple as that.

lindsay said...

The thing that bugs me about your professor's perspective is that it assumes a woman doesn't own her name like a man does. Why is your maiden name really your father's name, while your husband's name is *his* name? Seems like if your name is really your father's, then his name is also only his father's. By the same reasoning your professor used, shouldn't your husband want to use the name of the person he chose (i.e., you), not the name of the man his mother chose?

You're really choosing between your name and his name. Or, if you're going to refer to your name as your father's name, then you should do the same to his. That is, you're choosing between your father's name and his father's name.

traci nash said...

I took my husband's last name when we got married. There was never really a mental debate for me; my maiden name is Williamson, and I always hated signing it. Also, many people always left off the last 2 letters, so I found my maiden name more of an annoyance. My new last name is 4 letters, and I LOVE it. My name flows and is memorable. No regrets at all.
A good friend of mine has a family tradition of giving the first born child the mother's maiden name as a middle name, and I plan to do this with our first child. I love that it encourages a family cohesiveness, as well as making any future genealogical research easier.

Mina said...

I took my husband's last name and made my maiden name my new middle name. (Think Hillary Rodham Clinton.) I have never regretted it and it just felt right to me.

NeatoKeen@Etsy said...

Me too! I've loved having an unusual middle name for the last 31 years! :-)

kaitlin said...

He kept his name, I kept mine. Our plan is to give our kids my name. Our kids will have his middle name (James) as their middle name, regardless of gender, just because it works well.

Oh, and we have friends who use portmanteaus (er, portmanteaux?) as their last name in social situations. Sure, Joanna, you could become the Godilliams? Or the Willards? No?

Jenna said...

i decided to keep my last name when i got married. my last name represents my families (family's?) heritage, and i also work in a family business. my fiance was initially not happy about it, and neither were his parents. this upset me because they also have a daughter, and i felt they would have supported her if she wanted to keep her last name so why would they not support me? at first i was not so comfortable with my in laws, but hopefully time has shown that i am happy to be a part of their family and that they have forgotten about the last name thing.

i am still really happy that i kept my name. it was my personal decision, and i never advertised or discussed it, just quietly kept it the same. in fact, my own grandparents on my side of the family (paternal, so they have the same last name too) don't even know that i did not change my last name!-- they send me mail with "jenna smith." although some of my younger family members that see me on social media know that my name stayed the same. i don't mind if i kept invitations addressed to jenna smith and do not go out of my way to correct others or make it an issue. our children will have his last name, but i'm hoping that since his last name is a family name then their first or middle names should come from my family :)

melissa said...

I've been married twice and changed my last name both times. My maiden name was about as common as "Smith" so I never felt any particular attachment to it. Changing it didn't make me any less a part of my family. Both times my husband had a much cooler last name.

But if it had been something really terrible or annoying, I would have been just as happy to keep my maiden name. I'm incredibly indifferent about the whole thing; it's really just about what sounded the best. :)

Kara said...

When I got married, we each took each other's last names. I have an Italian last name, and his last name is Ashley. So we both have 2 last names! We left out the hyphen so that we could always just use one name or the other. Our daughter has both also, no hyphen. Some times people get confused and want to call me Ashley (at Dr's offices, etc). We're getting divorced, but I'm keeping both names so I have the same name as my daughter (I hated growing up w/ a diff last name as my mom after she got remarried). If/when I get remarried, I'll prob just drop Ashley and keep my Italian last name, so I'll at least have 1/2 the same name as my daughter.... future husband prob wouldn't mind me not taking yet another last name, but may mind if I kept ex-husband's name.
Ps: for what it's worth, if he had a name that was not as pretty as Ashley, I likely wouldn't have changed my name at all.

Unknown said...

I took my husbands last name. If you combined by last name Honeycutt and his last name Melton you get Honeymelt. It has become a new nickname for me and when I got married my wedding party got me a leather belt that says "HONEYMELT"

I love it.

Sarah Smith said...

This is what I did as well! I now have four names. :)

Kelly said...

If my current boyfriend and I get hitched (hoping!) I will definitely take his name. It is the best: Champagne. (Girls have been known to date him solely for this reason). ;-)

Anna Bazhaw-Hyscher said...

I love this post (my first comment). I'm not much of a commenter at all, but it applies this time. I have four names (that is, a first name and three middle names, yes, really), and then when I got married I hyphenated and became a Bazhaw-Hyscher. Neither of those names are common, needless to say, and they have to be spelled out every time. They also no longer all fit on my driver's license, and I'm continually called Mrs. Hyscher anyway (not so common in Oklahoma?). I noticed that some people struggle with it anyway - so this is how I prefer it - I go by Mrs, and I don't mind being called 'The Hyschers'. I am in the minority, after all. ;)

byk8154 said...

I've been struggling with this myself. My fiance would like me to change my name but has pretty much stayed mum on the subject b/c he knows my initial thoughts and feelings.

Overall I like my name too much - its me - its my identity and how people have always known me. I figure that I can keep my name on my license, professionally, and so on... but i would correct/mind it if people called me Mrs. G. I would also have my children take his name - just because they will have his name doesn't me that they aren't my child.

so to sum up - keep my name legally - and play the mrs. where need be.

Joy said...

My parents both hyphenated their last names when they married, so they and my brother and I were all Stark-Vancs. Then my parents divorced. My dad went back to Vancs, but my mother retained Stark-Vancs to match my brother and me.

I hated having a hyphenated last name growing up, and I feel strongly that parents should not impose that on their children. It's the trendy thing to do, but it's a royal pain, especially when one of the names needs to be spelled out. Believe it or not, half of the people taking down your name don't even know what a hyphen is. Beginning in high school, I started to go by Stark to simplify things, but haven't not legally changed my name.

Now I'm getting married this year, and my fiance's name is Smith. Over the years I've gotten attached to Stark, but I want to have the option to use my husband's last name. So I will probably change my name so that it's legally Stark Smith (no hyphen, perhaps Stark becomes a middle name), but keep Stark as my professional name. I've learned by now that you can easily pick and choose the name you want to use in casual settings.
Our children will be Smith, however.

ag. said...

Interesting thought! I definitely think it should be a decision made between both people, taking into account both POVs.

I wasn't overly stuck on changing or keeping my name but when talking to my husband, it was something that was very important to him. His family history and pride in his family name was something that he wanted to share with me - not because he wanted to 'own' me but more out of a desire to share that family feeling with him. Because it meant so much to him, and not so much to me either way, I was happy to take his last name. It really makes me feel like a family. Not to say you're not if you don't have the same last name!...but for me, it's been a really nice change. I don't feel like I have lost my identity at all, I'm still proud of my maiden name and my family and I feel such a sense of pride in the new family that I have started with my husband. Changing my name was a much easier emotional transition than I thought.

As much as it feels like a name 'defines' us, discussions like this often make me think of "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - I'm still me no matter what I'm called!

Minerella said...

I didn't change my name legally or professionally. However, on Facebook, and socially I use both my last name and his. Now that we have a daughter, I know it bothers my husband a little that we have different last names. But he doesn't pressure me. I love my name - it's my identity. I'm not ready to change it. Maybe someday.

Joy Osaka said...

for the love of all things twee, is this not just a recycled post? http://joannagoddard.blogspot.ca/2011/11/motherhood-mondays-would-you-hyphenate.html ???

Today: So, I'm curious: Will (or did) you change your last name after getting married? Or hyphenate or combine them? (If you are going to change your name, the site Hitch Switch helps you do it easily.) What's the last name you were born with? Do you like the way your partner's name sounds with yours? What about your future kids' last names? I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts...

Other post: I'm dying to know what you think: Would you (or did you) change your last name when you get married? Would you keep your maiden name? What's your full name? Would you ever consider hyphenating your baby's last name--or no way? I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear!

Caitlyn said...

This is the best solution I have ever seen. I love the name Lee (only kid's name my partner and I have agreed on so far) for a girl or a boy, but I love LOVE that you both had it as a middle and went for it. God I wish I had such a great solution for my partner and me!

ag. said...

So interesting! I've never thought of it like that!

sumslay said...

My friend is getting married next month, and we were JUST talking about this. She's changing hers... I really don't think I'll ever change mine: 1)I have a cool last name 2)it works well with my first name 3)my dad didn't have boys, so I'm it. I'd give kids his last name though, and socially (like w/ Christmas cards), I don't mind using his.

One of her other friends had kept her name, but she commented that kids had made it harder than she expected (apparently the mom having a different last name can be confusing with school stuff?). Also, I knoooow it means a lot to the male ego. I've actually had a guy say, "But since you were little, you knew as a girl you'd get married and change your name, so why would be be so attached to it?" BECAUSE IT'S BEEN MY NAME FOR 30 YEARS.

Mardle Made said...

When I got married I knew there was no way I could give up my surname.......It's Sadiwskyj! (Sad-eef-ski). My Grandad was taken to England as a POW WWII and I treasure my Ukrainian heritage.

But, I really wanted to take my Husbands name, as I was being welcomed into his family. So I figured I'd double barrel it Sadiwskyj-Frewer......and I LOVE it! Iasked him if he would do the same....he said no. I can't blame him, I had 26 years to figure out how to spell Sadiwskyj!

janis said...

okay here's the worst story i've ever heard regarding name changes. i know a couple who both changed their last name to "Forever". So they were (for example) "Peter and Tammy Forever". BUT THEN! They got a divorce... so they both had to change their names again. :(

amiechristo said...

I've honestly never thought about keeping my maiden name. For a lot of people, it seems, it's a big issue, but my last name is 14 characters and makes hyphenating a ridiculous option. I like the idea of a cohesive family unit, all under one name, all belonging with each other. There are families I know where mom has one name, dad has one name, and because of a previous relationship, two kids have a third name with kids four and five have another. And they all get very insulted if you can't remember which last name fits which person. No thank you.

As well, if there ever ends up being a longer name I want to give one of my future children, I don't want to not pick it because, oops, they have two last names. As it is, with my first and last name, it's already 21 characters and filling forms are hard, never mind a middle name. And thank goodness my mother didn't hyphenate. I have a sister and a brother that have 29 and 32 characters to their names as it is, tacking on another 8 would just be ridiculous.

Besides, I think there are other ways of bringing my side of the family to my future family. My parents chose French names to represent my mother's side and Scottish names to represent my father's side. We all speak some degree of French and we see family from both sides of the family very often. I have never once felt as if I've missed out on either of my parent's sides of the family because my mom didn't decide to make us all 'Brunelle-Christopherson's.

the obsessive imagist said...

What an appropriate post for me right now! I am actually smack dab in the middle of changing my name, after getting married a month ago. My parents got divorced when I was little but, for various complicated reasons, I stuck with my bio dad's name, even after my mom married my stepdad, who I know think of as my father, I kept that last name: Josephson. Are you still with me, ha?

Bottom line: I changed my last name post-marriage because I didn't feel the same familial allegiance to it that most people do. It was just my name and my only hesitation was that I was used to it and everyone I knew was used to it too. As an academic, though, like you I was worried about having published under my maiden name already. So I "pulled a Hillary" and moved my last name to my middle name and will publish with all three. And now, despite the laborious process of changing it, I am so so happy with my decision. I don't see it as a feminist thing at all (even though I consider myself a feminist), but rather a simple personal decision. I wanted to have the same name as my husband and, on a purely aesthetic level, I liked his surname better. After all, who wouldn't love being known as "Mrs. Wright"?

Rachel Powell said...

My husband has several middle names, the last of which is Thunder, which he gets lots of attention for. Before we got married, I made the joke that instead of taking just his last name, I wanted to take his last 2, and be the "Thunder-Powells" instead of just the Powells. My friends thought it was hilarious and now they jokingly call us both that. They even wrote it in window chalk on our getaway car! Haha.

I'm glad I changed my name- it gave me a sense of us becoming a "real" family and its also romantic :)

Sara said...

I just got married on the 14th, and I'm keeping my name. I'm 34 and professionally and personally, its just who I am! My husband was totally behind my decision. My last name is Mallory and it would be Shahidi if I changed it.

Sara said...

I actually know a Leigh Lowe (married name). Too funny!

Lindsay Meyer-Harley said...

When it was time to finally make the choice about last names it was an emotional one. My last name is Meyer, my husband's Harley (I mean really, could I inherit a cooler name?) we were driving to my parents house one weekend before the wedding (months before) and it came up, I would change my name right, he asked..... and like a ton of bricks it hit me. I wouldn't have the same name as my family anymore, as my sweet Papa. as my Mommy. Wow. I burst into tears that I never expected. I blurted out that I'd have to think about it. That I thought I was ok with it but that I couldn't bear to separate that way from my family.

Then he said it. "I'll change mine too, we'll both be Meyer-Harley" more tears... so yes, that is us now. We both changed it. We just celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary and though its been a few years, we both get mail to our old names, people are still shocked that my husband changed his too and many people still call me Mrs. Harley.

But we have a daughter now, and her last name is Meyer-Harley, just like her parents.

I say do what you like. this is what worked for us (and scored a bazillion additional brownie points for my husband with my Dad. Ha!)

Xx

Unknown said...

best ever discussion of feminist issues surrounding the topic of changing your name: http://apracticalwedding.com/tag/changing-your-name/

Joy said...

Sorry, Jo, but as someone who grew up with a hyphenated last name, I feel strongly that parents should not give their children hyphenated names. It seems trendy and cool, but it's really a royal pain. Believe it or not, half of the people who take down your name don't even know what a hyphen is. Every time someone asks me to spell my name, I have to first explain that it's hyphenated.

That said, I'm getting married this year and will likely keep my mother's maiden name and take my fiance's last name. But I won't hyphenate them, and I certainly won't give my children hyphenated last names.

Ali said...

It never occurred to me to change my name when I married. However, the upset look on my soon to be husband's face when I looked bewildered when someone mentioned changing my name made me rethink it. Mentioning it to dad, he was rather sad I'd be losing my maiden name. So now, I have the longest legal name (making my maiden name my 2nd middle name-my mother didn't want me to get rid of my middle name Marie). Now my dad is happy that there is still a link to his family and my husband is happy and, you know, I'm happy too. Now that we have our 1st child, I really like having the same last name as him. I never thought a name could make me feel so connected to other people, but taking my husband's name really helped me feel bonded with his family.

ladaisi said...

I actually have friends who've discussed picking a new name altogether, something for just the two of them. I kind of think that's sweet.

jacobithegreat said...

I love my last name. In fact, many people call me by my last name instead of my first name, leading to quite a few people learning well into the friendship that my name is actually jennifer.

When I get married in November, I'm planning to change my last name to a rather complicated 11-letter, 4-syllable last name. Despite all the jokes, I'm actually very excited and honored to take his last name. Good thing, because he'd be very hurt if I didn't.

Shannon of ** Happiness Is...** said...

We just got hitched and we're both going to change our names together! He wants to go back to his birth name, O'Keefe (he was adopted later in life) and I prefer his birth name because it makes me sound extra Irish. His adopted last name after mine sounds like a porn star: Shannon Shafton! So we're both on board with the mutual switch :)

jacobithegreat said...

Really curious to know what these names are!

sage said...

Thanks for bringing up this topic! I've identified as a feminist from a young age and always knew I would keep my name, like you said it's a large part of my identity, I love my name - I could never change it! I was surprised how many of my girlfriends changed their names after marriage, but I think there are many good reasons to change or not change (like many examples in the comments above), both equally "feminist" as the other.

eastcoastbird said...

I grew up knowing I would change my name, in the south, it's pretty traditional to do so. Honestly, before I got married I was so cognizant of this that I always asked boys I dated their last name...and if I didn't like the name well, as crazy as it sounds well, I took it as a sign that it wasn't meant to be. I secretly always dreamed of having a last name with the prefix Mac....or an O and would believe it...I found my soul mate and his last name happened to start with a Mac! I am now very happily signing my name Mac_________!

chic81.com said...

I have always hated that old-fashioned practice of making the wife Mrs. Husband'sfirstname Husband'slastname!!! It infuriated me even as a gradeschooler! I remember writing thank-you cards for birthday and Christmas gifts and my mother telling me to address the envelopes that way and I refused and needed to know the first names so I could write Mr. First name and Mr. First Name Last name (so, like Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Smith). Now, as an adult, I would probably just write "The Smith Family". As much as I love my grandmother, she only very recently stopped referring to herself on letters, documents and bank accounts as Mrs. Tom Stephens. It secretly drove me bananas, because I wanted to tell her "you are a person in your own right, grandma!"

Amanda said...

I personally can't wait to change my last name when that time comes. I already plan on using my first and middle name when my book is published.
But I also love that people are becoming so open to this because I had never thought of how changing your last name particularly effects women who get married later in life. I think as long as both parties are cool with the decision, that should be all that matters.

Grace Beauty Day Spa said...

I think I'll keep my last name. My father passed away this year and I feel my name is a piece of him that I'd like to keep with me always.

laurenfoode.com said...

I can't wait to change my name! Being a "Miller" has been so confusing for people my whole life and I like the idea of beginning the merge into one family at marriage, with a name stamp on it. Plus it's really traditional, and a bit old fashioned. And that appeals to me :)

brooklynash said...

i'm not married. while i am 30 and haven't really given my name change a lot of thought. it seems a long way off.

either way, my client is norwegian. when he and his wife committed (ps they're actually not married they're just domestic partners which as you know is a lot easier in norway), they adopted an old family name of his as their last name. so their little 4-member family has their own last name!

eastcoastbird said...

I grew up knowing I would change my name, in the south, it's pretty traditional to do so. Honestly, before I got married I was so cognizant of this that I always asked boys I dated their last name...and if I didn't like the name well, as crazy as it sounds well, I took it as a sign that it wasn't meant to be. I secretly always dreamed of having a last name with the prefix Mac....or an O and would believe it...I found my soul mate and his last name happened to start with a Mac! I am now very happily signing my name Mac_________!

mich ruby said...

I'm in a serious relationship, and will probably be getting engaged in the next year. I've thought about this so much, my last name dies after my sister and I get married, so it's really hard to not want to change my last name. I think I am going to hyphenate mine, but our children will have his. Since my boyfriend is a "III" our son will be the "IV", which I'm fine with, but I plan on splitting my last name in two and making them middles names for/if I have other kids.

Julia said...

I changed my last name when I got married. I thought it over beforehand and, in the end, it was more important to my husband that I change it than it was to me to keep my maiden name. Basically, he felt more strongly about it than I did. I also was fond of the idea of sharing the same name as him and it was important to me that I have the same last name as our kids. (Plus, I heard firsthand from a few friends with hyphened names that they found it to be a pain in the butt.)

I think you do what's best for you. That's the beauty of being a female in the year 2012. Am I any less of a feminist than someone who doesn't change their name? No! Is someone any less of a partner/team with their spouse if they don't change their name? No!

katie [the bright life] said...

Such an interesting topic. I changed my last name from Browning to Bright...Katie Bright was just too cheery of a name to turn down! And at least I got to keep the first two letters... :)

Amelia said...

Katherine Mellet IS lovely!

Amelia said...

I guess I changed my name because I am traditional. I don't think I am "owned" by my husband, but I do feel that my role will be primarily in the home, whereas his name will be out in the world. I've always planned on changing my name. When I was younger, I couldn't stand not knowing what my name would be for the majority of my life. It was an exciting thought! I went from a 4-letter name to a 12-letter German name!

My high school English teacher took on her husband's name as a gift to him on their 1-year anniversary. He was delighted!

Danielle said...

I didn't change my name, and what surprised me the most was how many people had strong opinions about this. One Christmas, I was with a group of ladies, including my MIL, SIL and a few family friends, and the discussion about me not taking my husbands name took on the tone of an intervention!

I always knew, even before I met my husband, that I would not be changing my name. I just like it the way it is. I'm not sure what we'll do if we have kids though. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

taylor said...

haha I love the image. I sometimes catch myself standing with my foot curled like this!

Sara said...

Whatever he wants. :) LOL

Mersey said...

My parents hyphenated their last names when they got married. I like having an unusual last name, but now that I already have a hyphenated last name, I don't have the option to do that with my husband when I get married! One thing that my boyfriend and I have discussed is possibly adopting his mother's maiden name as both of our last names if we get married. We like his mother's maiden name (Shannihan) because it's unusual and cultural, better than his current very common last name (Hughes).

Babs said...

I kept my last name. I never would have considered taking his. It's my name and it's who I was in the world before I met my husband and it's who I'll be when I die. I earned it, just like my husband earned his name. My husband never really thought about the issue too deeply before we were engaged, but then when I asked him if he'd want to change his last name, he understood. My last name is our son's middle name. We considered hyphenating but in the end decided not.

Alexandra Regnier said...

I didn't change my name, probably just because people so naturally expected me to! Should our names be shorter, I would have gone for a hyphenate name without hesitation, but this is not the case...

I like the idea of remaining an individual rather than diluting my identity in a "couple". And also: noone wants to think about divorces, but in a city with a 50% divorce rate (I live in Paris), one would be nuts to change its name! It basically means: one chance out of two of either living with your ex-husbands name forever, or informing your entire entourage (personal and professional) that you got divorced (this gets fun after a third marriage - I have colleagues in this case)...

Erin Reissig said...

It was a natural thing for me to change my last name to his. Personally, I saw it as a deeply romantic gesture in a time when we have the open-mindedness that we do with this topic. We did discuss the idea of me not changing names... But the hurt I saw in his face when the topic came up was more than enough to solidify my choice. I'll never regret taking his name. No matter how traditional and archaic it may seem.

April said...

I heard a funny story on NPR recently about how difficult it is when two people who both have hyphenated names get married and begin having children. What do you do - give the child 4 last names?! I'm all for hyphenating but it gets complicated fast once you go through a few generations of it. I think it makes sense to just choose one name.

Alexandra Regnier said...

I didn't change my name, probably just because people so naturally expected me to! Should our names be shorter, I would have gone for a hyphenate name without hesitation, but this is not the case...

I like the idea of remaining an individual rather than diluting my identity in a "couple". And also: noone wants to think about divorces, but in a city with a 50% divorce rate (I live in Paris), one would be nuts to change its name! It basically means: one chance out of two of either living with your ex-husbands name forever, or informing your entire entourage (personal and professional) that you got divorced (this gets fun after a third marriage - I have colleagues in this case)...

Tracy Fontaine said...

My husband and I were a couple for 15 years before we got married. While I understood the sensation of it being difficult to give up a name after living with it for so long, taking my husband's name made me feel like something had actually changed. It was also quite a traditional move in what has never been a very traditional relationship. I've never regretted it for a moment.

My childhood best friend's brother, the only son in their family, took his wife's name. This caused great conflict with their very traditional parents, but I thought it was both sweet and evolved. Another friend took the maiden part of her husband's hyphenated name in front of her own last name, so that now he is Mr. X-Y and she is Mrs. X-Z. A clever approach. And yet another couple we know created a completely new name by combining the letters of both their last names. I think it's fantastic that people are so creative in finding what suits them best.

Caitlin said...

I'm not close to engaged, but I know several people who have gotten married, and had this discussion multiple times. One thing that I find interesting is that some women I know change it because he feels very strongly about it. I've never really heard why exactly it's important to the man, so I'd love to hear more about that.

Personally, I think it depends on his last name. If it's a good one, I'd consider it. If not, I'm keeping mine.

One said...

Ooo. A fascinating topic! My dad's last name is unfortunate -- one of those nice old British names that has become a common euphimism for the penis :-P When my mom got married, she took her mother's maiden name and hyphenated it with dad's name (Dad, brave man that he was, just kept his). All us kids got the VEEEERY long hyphenated name, too. Now that we have jobs and spouses, it's interesting to see the different ways the last name has panned out: Two of my brothers have dropped the hyphen and Dad's name completely, and use ONLY grandma's maiden name; One brother uses the full hyphenated name, but his wife kept her maiden name; Both of my married sisters kept and use the full hyphenated name. I was inclined to keep my maiden name, too, but it was *reeaaally* important to my adorable, old-fashioned husband that I take his name. My preference would have been to hyphenate my maiden name with my husband's, but the pre-existing hyphen would have made that absurd, and I simply couldn't choose just one of my existing names. In the end, it mattered more to my husband than it did to me, so I took his name and made my own last name a second (and third?) middle name (I get some really strange looks at the DMV, etc.). Hubby capitulated on another issue that was more important to me, and I feel like it was a good, high-stakes initiation to the give-and-take that makes a happy marriage. I'm pretty happy with my choice, though I HATE it when people call me Mrs. HisName. It's been nearly eight years and I still think they're talking about my mother-in-law...

Joanna said...

I got married almost 2 months ago (2 months next Thursday!:) and I decided to change my name. I love my maiden name and my family but I wanted this change for me and my husband to become a team. I guess I never really thought about keeping my maiden name post marriage. But now that I'm married I wouldn't have it any other way. :) Now I just need to actually do it... ;)

Charlotte said...

I love my last name, so I wouldn't want to get rid of it. however, I do think there's something very romantic about taking the guys name, so I'll be a hyphenator when the time comes x

Amber said...

I have two middle names (Amber Jade Rose) and my last name is Kozo while my perspective husbands is Filipski. Both are unique but would be terrible to hyphenate, so depending on where I am in my career when I get married will determine if I change my name. I feel like it'd be easier having my children's last name, but who knows.

Stephanie said...

I didn't like my maiden name so I was fine to say goodbye to it. It's funny, after 5 years of marriage, the other day I finally asked my husband if it's weird or exciting to see me using his last name (we were reviewing some of my work stuff) and he said it was an honor. So sweet.

Bugsy said...

I just got married and changed my name to his, mostly out of excitement hah. But now that things have calmed down I realize how important my name is to me, it's Bugg which always got lots of attention and nicknames like "ladybug" which I miss a lot. Definitely thought about going back and hyphenating at least.

ms wendy said...

I never even considered changing my last name. A lot of women in my family kept or hyphenated their names when they got married, so it wasn't that weird. Funnily, at our wedding, one of my aunts gave us a check as a gift, and upon presenting it, she told me she wrote it to my maiden name, because she wasn't sure if I was changing it. I told her I wasn't and she said "Thank god! I would have been disappointed in you if you had." A bit extreme, but I understand the sentiment and where she was coming from. I have plenty of friends on either side of the debate, but for me, my name is a key part of my identity and neither my husband nor I felt it was necessary to change that. We thought about combining it into a new name, but that just didn't appeal. If we do decide to have children, we won't hyphenate (he has weird feelings about that) but they would have his last name and my last name as their middle name.

Rachel said...

I changed my name. But I was relatively young. I think if I had an established career I would think more about changing it. I would love to use my maiden name as a the first name of a future son. Mitchum is such a strong name.

sweetory said...

When I got married, I didn't even think about not changing my surname, as in Russian tradition it's a common thing and all women take automaticaly their husbands last name. But since I live in France it really is not important, because you keep both maiden name and your husband's name in all official documents and then you are free to choose which one you want to use or you can use both. I use my husband's last name and I like that it makes us one team.

anniecardi.com said...

I decided to change my last name, which is what my mother and grandmothers did, and keep my maiden name as my middle name, which is what my mother-in-law did. I actually really like the sound of it and I find the initials more aesthetically pleasing than my old ones. (I've got a thing about how words/letters look.) That said, I also decided to keep my maiden name as my professional name. If you Google my maiden name, you get my work information. If you Google my married name, you get about nine other people. It made more sense professionally, and I like having that balance between home and work in my name.

Liz said...

I hate my last name and am in the process of changing it to my new husband's name.

My cousin's husband decided to take her name after their wedding. It was a ton of paperwork but totally worth it, her name is awesome!

Two of my close couple friends both changed their names to be "firstname middlename herlastname hislastname" since our state allows a space to be a part of your last name.

Rachael {all things beautiful} said...

I actually dropped my maiden name all together and have my birth given middle name and my husband's last name. I love the traditional feel of it and I love the sound of it. Plus his last name is much easier for people to spell than my maiden so that has worked out well for me!

Mikaiya said...

I took my husband's last name when we married almost three years ago. I can see why people prefer not to, and think it's a personal choice- but for me there was no reason NOT to take his name. My last name was Cohen, which is just so common and yet surprisingly hard for people to spell correctly. His name is longer and more genuinely difficult to spell, but he comes from a very small family. To him it was important that we share a last name. I chose to just keep my middle name (which I like) and to drop my last name entirely. And I haven't really regretted it- we're a family unit, with one name. Our nearly-born son will share that name and keep it going into the future. And I'm still me, I'm just a me that happens to be married into a new family, with a new-to-me name. If my last name had been more unique, or I had been published... I may have considered keeping it. But for us, going with the traditional worked just fine. I am not sure that being a feminist means that you have to buck the traditional patriarchy... it just means that instead of doing the traditional without thought, you should consider the consequences and your own feelings on the matter. Whatever way you choose, or however you blend your name in the end, is the right answer for you!

Andie Reevsie said...

so why not your last name?

Bugsy said...

That's such a good point about a daughter and also the kids opinion on it. I struggled a lot changing my name but I like the idea of people knowing we are a family right away.

Emily said...

I just had this discussion with my boy yesterday! I am widowed, with two children, so he feels like it would be really tricky. When I was first married I didn't even question changing my name. I honestly felt like everyone just did it. I feel like a name is a name, and my personality makes it more than it makes me. I told him if someone felt strongly about me changing it, I would do it. But on the other hand, I'm pretty into my career now (I even have the URL of my current name) and changing it would make my name completely separate from my children. Guess I'll have to figure it out if the time comes!

bigapplesmallbites.com said...

I got married last month and decided not to change my name. I even bought a make-up bag from C Wonder and put my potential new initials on it, but I just coudn't give it up. I'm in the process of changing careers and because my name is Kerry O'Keefe, people often mistake it for karaoke (it is funny), so I have no good excuse other than I just really like my name. It seems so unnatural to change it.

Ms. Morgan said...

I know more and more people who are merging their last names (that both kept) for children that are born. I however (at almost 30 years old) still think I'll take my husbands last name. Not for antique patriarchal reasons but because I can only hope it'll be shorter and easier to spell! Haha. My last name is Chicarelli (yes, it's Italian) and so often its pronunciation is butchered or people don't even attempt to say it. And when it comes to spelling I try and tell people to spell it out but they still have the hardest time (I once had a hotel reservation "lost" because of how badly the person spelled it even with me giving it to them)!! What will this mean for work? Probably not much. I work in Higher Education and often am changing schools every few years. So if/when I get married we'll have to see what happens.

Lizzie Polish said...

As far as I am concerned, when you're married you want to share everything possible with your partner. I don't understand why you wouldn't want to share your name, especially if it is part of the tradition. My mother didn't change her name and it always irritated me when I was growing up. In the school directory all of the Families would be lined up Mr. & Mrs. George Washington (Martha) and my parents would stick out awkwardly. All invitations still came addressed to my mom as Mrs. Dadslastname anyways. I am happy that I changed mine.

Alexandria said...

Ha! This is a brilliant idea. Congrats to you and your husband.

Jasmin said...

That is an interesting topic!
I live in Germany and there a quite a few rules for last names. For instance, a family is not allowed to use both last names hyphernated and creating an own family name is simply not possible...
Therefore, I'll either convince my boyfriend to take my name or live with a last name that has two not so common letters in it (ä and ß.

FullHouse28 said...

I'm nowhere near having to change my name, but I would probably change my last name or hyphenate. I really like my last name (Fholer)- it's unique and only people related to me have it. My mom took my dad's last name and kept it, when they divorced, because of my brother and I. I've never heard of people switching their maiden name to their middle name until recently- I always assumed the names just got added on. First Middle Maiden Married.

KJM said...

I plan on taking my husbands last name...although it will be a process to change/lose an identity I have had for 26 years! I definitely want my kids and I to share that name and create a new family with a unified last name, but I have known couples who stay separate for your same reasons. To each his/her own!

JL said...

Actually, if you get married and don't change your name, you're a Ms. http://www.emilypost.com/communication-and-technology/notes-and-letters/96-guide-to-addressing-correspondence

lollingabout said...

I took my husband's last name and didn't even really pause to think about it! We both had rather German last names, but his is shorter and easier to spell than mine. After years and years of having mine butchered, I wasn't sad to see it go. Plus, due to some things with his family, us having the same last name meant a LOT to him, the notion that we were a family, a team. A hyphenated version would have seriously been a nightmare.
I have a little brother and two male cousins who can carry on the family name anyway.

Kari said...

I am not married, but my mother did not change her name to my father's until they had been married for nearly 25 years (by then everyone called by my dad's last name anyway so she just went ahead and made it official). As a kid, I always thought it was cool that she had a different last name than I did; it reminded me that she had an identity outside of our family and didn't just exist to be my mom. :)

Helgi said...

I'm Icelandic and we don't have family names here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_name). It can seem pretty strange to foreigners, for example my son was named after his paternal grandfather, Guðni, my husband name is Helgi so his full name is Helgi Guðnason and my son's name is Guðni Helgason. :)

Nancy Cavillones said...

I changed my last name from Brodsky to Cavillones. One, it just seemed natural to me to do it. My mom, even though she long ago divorced my dad, kept her married name. Two, I wanted all of us to have the same name, and our names together are too long to hyphenate (I think). Three, I knew that my daughters' religion would be Jewish so I felt that having a Puerto Rican last name would give them a stronger connection to their Latina roots.

Alexandria said...

It was nice to read that you are named after someone who meant so much. I wish to do the same when picking my children's names. I think my first name is beautiful but there is no sentimentality to it. You made me realize that is why giving up my last name is so hard. My names don't define who I am but are a part of my story. My last name comes from my father whom I adore.

Rachel said...

I love this! Even though I changed my last name, sometimes our friends refer to us as "the Wadkins", which is our last names combined. I think it's cute!

megan said...

My parents are divorced and my mom remarried and had 2 kids with my stepdad, so I was the only one in the house with a different last name. There was a part of me that felt like I was not a true part of the team having a different last name, different dad and a part of my life my brother and sister could not understand or be a big part of. It feels nice to be known as "The Flowers family" and with my husbands last name being Flowers, how do I turn that down!?!

Ash said...

i love the last name i was born with- it's my family's name, it's who i am.. but i also didn't want a different name than my husband or kids..

so

my old last name is now my new MIDDLE name, and i share a last name with my husband and (hopefully) future kids (:

i guess it helps that my original middle name didn't mean much...

Afterschool Oxford said...

I struggled with this topic for a long time and this is what I found worked best for me- I too got married later at 34 so I use my birth name for all my work and profession, but I legally have my husband's last name. Everyone calls me by my given name, but we have the same name as our son. It works great for us.

SD said...

In Spain we don't change the names, we all have 2 last names: the first one is the first last name from the father and the second one is the first last name from the mother. So both mother and father give their first last name to their children. It's easy for us, no changes, no decisions ;)

em see said...

Great post! My mom is the youngest of 11 children and wasn't given a middle name. So, she took on her maiden name as her middle name (which is now my middle name).

I never really thought about someday changing my name, until I became a teacher. And realized I would hear my name being called a hundred times a day. My last name is Clifford and my students love the connection to Clifford the Big Red Dog.

I would definitely have to think long and hard before taking on my husbands name. It'd have to be one I wouldn't mind hearing all day :)

Kristina said...

I think I'll probably change my name. My last name, Anderson, is extremely common, so if you try to Google me, there's no way you'd find the real me! I once went to summer camp, and out of 10 girls in the cabin, two had the same name as me! I also like the idea of my kids having the same last name as both me and my husband. The hyphenation thing is a nice idea, but it starts to get confusing. My favorite idea is combining the last names. My sister is thinking she and her husband should both change their name to "Shultzerson" when they get married. I preferr "Andershultz" ;)

Kristina

Kristina does the Internets

SD said...

We don't change our last names in Spain, we all have 2 last names: 1 from the father and 1 from the mother. So both men and women give their first last name to their children. It's easy for us, no changes, no decisions ;)

Mayela said...

I'm from Mexico, so we don't have to struggle with that. You have your first name, middle name, dad's last name and mom's last name. No hyphens here.
Legally you can not change your last names when you marry, the law doesn't recognize a women with a "married name". I think that's why it doesn't make sense to me the whole changing your name issue. My names is my names, I have lived all my life with this names.... It kind of feels that taking another last name is like denying you prior life.... who you were after you met your husband.
For social occasions some women (mostly women the age of my mom... in their 50's or 60's) they adopt a married name... like this:
My name is Mayela Reyes Puente and I marry Jon Smith, for social matters I can "adopt" the name of Mayela Reyes de Smith (which means of, coming from the idea that the wife belongs to the husband). But is not something very common with young people....
The invitations or correspondence are under the family name, for example "Happy holidays from the Smith Reyes Family".
And... there is not such thing as Mr and Mrs John Smith here in my country... I really dislike that costume....
I loved this topic :)

Yoga Susie said...

I actually dropped my middle name and took on my maiden name as my middle name when I married. So I went from Susanna Allison Heath to Susanna Heath F. I never felt that connected to the middle name my parents gave me but was having a bit of an identity crisis losing my last name - so I kept it in a fashion. We also gave my maiden last name to my son as a middle name so he and I have the same middle name. (We also have the same birthday so that worked out kind of fun!)

aeli said...

Since banks now allow women to legally have their own bank accounts, there is no point in the name change. Of course unless you hate your name and like the other person's better, but that should be able to go either way.

marion said...

I got married 22 years ago and it was lovely to share a name....I reckon a lot of brides today wonder - why are we expected to have his name?!! I've had a scroll through the comments because I was wondering - what do 2 brides do?

Anne and Alex [A Squared] said...

I did change mine. I went back and forth for a long time during our engagement and weighed all my options. A name change is a LOT of work, first of all. And in a communications job, a lot of people know me by my name so I considered changing it personally and keeping my maiden name professionally, but figured that would be even more confusing. Like you, my name was also my identity for almost 30 years and it was a really good last name that people remembered and loved to say.

Ultimately though, I thought about my future children and decided that I really want us all to have the same last name. I did find a happy medium though-- when I went to change my last name I also changed my middle from Elizabeth to McGee so that I could hold on to that part of my old life in my new one.

DeeJ said...

My surname is St John and My husbands is Jacobsen, so we were going to both change it to St Jacobsen. When we got married we just didnt get around to doing it we we both kept our own names. But when I got pregnant I used Jacobsen on all my medical/pregnancy records so by the time my daughter came around the surname had actually grown on me. I really liked how I just gradually changed it to my husbands surname and now our who family is Jacobsen. So I suggest for women who think they will never get used to their husbands last name, to just do it slowly and soon it will grow on you ;)

Trisha said...

Actually, no you're not. if you don't change your name you're a Ms not a Miss.

Kelsie Shonnard said...

I was just married in July and my maiden name is now my middle name.

Hyphenating your child's name is simple enough (if the bride keeps her maiden name like you did), I would just feel bad for possibly complicating it for future generation(s). If your son marries, and his wife (who also might have a hyphenated last name) also wants to keep her last name, how would they hyphenate their kid's name? Are there triple-quadruple-quintuple hyphens? I get not being traditional (I'm not), I just prefer simple. But to each their own, the kids will figure it out :)

ajc said...

This is funny because I grew up in another country with a very unusual (over there) name and I loved it because it was different. I thought I would never change it but surprisingly it was an issue for my husband so I decided It was less of a deal for me to change it than for him to have me keep my name. The issue for me was that his (now our) name was very common.
Well, couple years later we moved to the States and our name is unusual and almost impossible for people to pronounce, but my maiden name would have been very simple. I tease my husband about it but I got used to it. However, part of me still misses my maiden name, even after many years.

Jessica, 22, England said...

I don't have particularly strong feelings about my surname, either way. But my paternal great-grandfather was not my biological grandfather (oopsie, family not-so-secret) so I think I'd take my future husband's name as we're not really biologically "Ashdown"s at all anyway. Unless my future husband has a particularly objectionable surname of course... ha. Plus I like how my family unit all has the same name.

p S h A o R t A o said...

I love my last name but I plan to take my soon to be husband's last name which is short and sweet. I debated on whether to keep mine as a second middle name, especially since my mom kept her only because she didn't have a middle name to begin with. Yet I'm more satisfied with the idea of not keeping my last name at all. Regardless, I will still be proud of my name.

Another plus is people will have an easier time spelling my new name. All I have to say is shea, like shea butter. =)

Rachael said...

My now ex boyfriend asked after only 2 weeks (as soon as he realized the potential), "If we get that far, would you hyphenate with me?"
It would've been Harms-Cox.

K said...

I LOVE my last name, Cornelius. However, I like my husband's too... Prescott. I decided to switch because I like the cohesiveness of a single name for a family (which is what we want to start to piece together). I kind of think of it as an adventurous part of getting married.

However, I would have loved it if he would have taken my name, or if we could have created a new name (like Cornscott or Preselius)

So R. said...

if me and my boyfriend get married i will not change my name it is so much part of me i couldn't be any other name... but if we have a baby we would only use my boyfiend's last name. i like how short names sound and combining his and mine would be too long (johnson-ramirez? no please!)

Renee Nichol said...

My parents BOTH changed their last name - but to something different than either of them originally had!

My mom is Mexican and her last name was Aguilar, which means eagle in Spanish.

My dad's last name was Whiteley which, in Spanish, is "Blanco"

When they got married, they both changed their names to "Blanceagle" as a way to symbolize their union as well as a combining of cultures/backgrounds.

And I was born with the last name Blanceagle!

PS This all happened in the 70s and my parents were hippies ;)

Nina Leung said...

I took my husbands name for the children. When I worked in admissions at a preschool it was so confusing and even irritating to try to figure out who each child's parents were. It seemed to me that the Mom wasn't really part of the family when she had a different last name. I always knew I would change my name and luckily it's a nice name! Hyphenated last names bug me. Can't do it. Again, too confusing and often sounds terrible. I had a teacher in high school with the last name of Grustoff-Croddy. That sealed the deal for no hyphens!

Kate Harvey said...

I love this too!

M said...

I am Swedish and in Sweden it is common that the man takes the woman's name, especially if her name is more unusual than his. I have been married twice, changed my names both times, but kept my first husbands name as a middle name so I would have the same name as my children... But today they really don't see the point - their father's last name is a very ordinary name and they would like to change to my maiden name - that I don't use anymore! So it is a tricky question... Thansk for a lovely blog/ Regards from Sweden

Christina said...

I had a teacher with the last name Foxsmith- he and his wife had combined Fox and Smith. I thought it was cute and totally works for shorter names however, my last name is eight letters long and would be difficult to combine. We'll see when the time comes though ;)

Christina, bohemianwild.blogspot.com

Morgan said...

If I had had a cooler maiden name, I probably would have done some hyphenating or asked my husband to change, or just stayed with separate last names. However, as Brown is one of the most common last names in more than one country, I was excited to change to Donovan. Additionally there are emotional reasons to consider as well... I'd rather my name tie me to my husband than my father.

Ashley Brown said...

I am engaged and will be taking my partner's name. I don't want to end up hyphenating our kid's names because if they marry someone with a hyphenated last name, what will their kids be named? It could get exponentially out of control!

lonestarash.blogspot.com

ajm said...

My last name is Meares - I am getting married next week and have decided to wait until December to change my name (we're keeping our marriage a surprise until after our December honeymoon). His parents also both hyphenated to Knight-McKenna, where they just gave him Knight as a second middle name (which has been kind of a pain for him!) Based on the confusion, issues he and his family have had, we have decided to keep it simple with one name :) I definitely thought about keeping my own, but I'm new in my career and I get to keep my last initial!

Kerry said...

My cousing is getting married in three weeks, and her fiance has decided to take HER last name! I think it's awesome! Her last name is very unusual and she is one of three girls with a father who has no sisters, so the name would have stopped there.
They have come up against some very narrow minded comments, but they haven't let that get in the way of doing what they want.

ajm said...

My last name is Meares - I am getting married next week and have decided to wait until December to change my name (we're keeping our marriage a surprise until after our December honeymoon). His parents also both hyphenated to Knight-McKenna, where they just gave him Knight as a second middle name (which has been kind of a pain for him!) Based on the confusion, issues he and his family have had, we have decided to keep it simple with one name :) I definitely thought about keeping my own, but I'm new in my career and I get to keep my last initial!

Katie said...

I changed my name when we got married last summer. It was kinda weird to me at first, but I didn't ever think of not changing it. I knew I didn't want to hyphenate our name because it didn't sound right at all. I also knew I didn't want to keep my maiden name because when we have kids, all their friends would call me by my husband and kids' last name anyways...I remember doing this when I was growing up! I thought about using my maiden name as my middle name. However, I didn't want to get rid of my middle name, which is my mom's maiden name. Our solution? We have baby #1 on the way. If it's a boy {it's going to be a surprise!} we are going to use my maiden name for his first name. It's been a perfect solution for us. Now let's hope we have a boy at some point if this baby isn't a boy! :)

Kayde said...

I definitely changed my last name when I got married. My last name was Foote. I was so ready to ditch that bad boy. My nick name in high school with my friends was Harry. Get it? Harry Foote. They thought it was the funniest thing ever.

Purnima said...

This is amazingly perfect timing. My fiance and I were discussing this just yesterday. I am Indian and my fiance is Peruvian (he has his paternal grandfather and maternal grandfather's last names - common in Peru and other Latin cultures). We are getting married in India and it's quite common in the part of India that I'm from for women to take their husband's last name. So - long story short, because we are getting married Indian-style, he thinks we should follow the tradition and I should change my name. I really want to keep it - especially because we are from two different cultures. I'm 27 and my name hasn't meant that much professionally so I don't have a strong reason to say no, but I really don't want to change it. I offered to add his paternal grandfather's last name (Diaz) to mine but he wants it in between my middle name and last name, as opposed to the more common way of adding it at the end. I'm so confused and have no idea what to do.

Melkorka said...

I have a family name (rare in Iceland) - but in Icelandic tradition you do not have family name's - your name is a combination of your father's first name with son or dottier (daughter) amended to the end. You do not lose your 'given' name when you marry and your children get named the son of their father. It is amazingly helpful when tracing family trees :)

Personally I feel that my name is part of my identity(and history) - and that if someone would want to marry me they would want me wholly (my name intact.) I should note that both my mother and maternal grandmother kept their names so it also seems like a natural option.

However I do think that hyphenation can become difficult for children once they are adults themselves (I had a cousin who had a very difficult time deciding which name she should respect more in her own married hyphenated name - and it became a very emotional decision). Which is not to say you cannot adopt the Mother's name - I also know of a friend who took his wife's Japanese name because it was important to their family.

It might have to do a bit with age as well, I am 30 now and have been using my name professionally for quite sometime - so it seems too late to change it. Also I guess I am also attached to the ability of my last name to inform people of my cultural history, and because I live in America - losing my last name would sever one more tie with that identity.

j said...

So my fiance and I have come up with the perfect solution to this that we think would solve all of the problems in this area. We are each taking each others last names as our MIDDLE NAMES, and if we have kids, the girls will have my last name and his last name as a middle name and the boys will have his last name and my name as the middle name. Then we will be the "Smith-Jones" family, for example. Every single person on earth could do this with their names and never have to change them or hyphenate. The females just carry their mothers name and take their partners last name as the middle name and vice-versa, and the men would do the same. It is totally equal, and keeps family ties trendable, and it also creates a sense of family unity WITHOUT having to deal with hyphens. It is so utterly fair and logical that we cant understand why nobody else does this...it can be done in perpetuity.

Leah said...

My last name is Moeller and my fiancee's last name is Schwitau. When we were in Munich recently we saw a store named "Schmoeller". I joked that we should join our names and become the Schmoellers. He was not amused. I don't have a middle name because of a family tradition for the women. Moeller will become my middle name. Otherwise I don't know if I would take his last name. It is complicated by the fact that he really has a hyphenated last name and I don't really want to take all of that on. So I think I'll go by Schwitau since that is how people know him.

Suzanne Reginald said...

As a teacher I see a lot of kids coming through with hyphenated last names, and it always gets me thinking about THEIR future children... will they end up with three hyphenated last names? That just seems like crazy talk. My last name is a bit of a funny one (Hiscock ... no really, I'm serious) so I've always imagined changing it. I have friends who would never change their last name, but I don't have a huge attachment to mine so it doesn't seem like a huge deal. I actually kind of think of it as something fun to get a new name.
One of my retired co-workers, however, said that she kind of regrets not changing her last name because everyone in her family (her husband and kids) have a different last name than her and she kind of wishes that hers was the same now.

j said...

What your parents did is what me and my fiance are doing! All of the girls will have my last name and his as a middle and the boys will have his last name and mine as the middle. that is unfair of your husband to not think that is a great idea! its so fair.

j said...

this is awesome!

Emily @ ACanDoAttitude said...

I am probably going to be changing my name when I get married because my brother married another Emily. I am looking forward to the Christmas where I am not single or Sac(ramento) Emily.

officiallyobsessed.net said...

We took on a completely new name at marriage!

Seriously, when we got engaged, neither of us was comfortable with the idea of taking the other person's last name, but we wanted to have a shared family name. Aesthetically, our previous surnames didn't sound very good together, so we scrapped the option of just mashing them together, and started contemplating a *totally new* name.

Our close friends and family knew what it was, but for all our other wedding guests, they got quite the surprise when at the end of our ceremony, we were announced as the new "Abigail and Evan Phoenix."

Legally, it didn't take that much more legwork than when just one of you changes your name -- we both had to go to the court and swear before a judge that we weren't changing our names to evade justice, but that took less than an hour, and then it's just the standard DMV/Social Security visits.

It's been 6 1/2 years now, and I truly ADORE our choice and our name -- I wouldn't have it any other way!

Petunia Mae said...

I changed my name with my first marriage. I was 21; it never really occurred to me not to change it. I wanted to be part of that 'club' you know? I felt like it made me more married, more legit or something. When we split up when I was 25, I was really happy to change it back to my maiden name. I am one of those people who is often called my their first and last name, so it was really nice to hear that again. 4 years later, I got married again and I didn't change my name for awhile; I just recently hyphenated it because we are starting a family, and our children will have my husband's last name, so it just simplifies things a bit!

Megan said...

I never thought twice that I would change my name when I got married, but when the time came I was surprisingly sad that my last name was changing. It was hard giving up my given last name because it truly is a part of who I am. I am glad I changed though... Kane (my married name) is a lot easier for everyone else to pronounce than Boehme! :)

Cyndi Calhoun said...

I changed my name when I got married, but I was 22 - just getting started. In hindsight, I would have liked to have kept my last name - I'm Spanish and Italian and my hubby has a Scottish background. I'm not Scottish! I wanted to avoid the hyphenated last name, though, and I didn't want the questions, "well, are they married?" if I had kept my own name. I do like the mutual hyphenated idea. I wish I had thought of that when we got married!

Amanda Bost said...

My new sister-in-law is Turkish and really wanted to keep her last name as part of her heritage. My brother took her last name as his second middle name and then she did the same, so technically they are both named Kutay Bost and they each have 4 names, keeping her's in the family. They both just use our last name though (Bost). Their kids will also have 4 names, too, but will just go by Bost. Kind of neat and different.

Amanda Bost said...

My new sister-in-law is Turkish and really wanted to keep her last name as part of her heritage. My brother took her last name as his second middle name and then she did the same, so technically they are both named Kutay Bost and they each have 4 names, keeping her's in the family. They both just use our last name though (Bost). Their kids will also have 4 names, too, but will just go by Bost. Kind of neat and different.

ELeeds said...

I loved my maiden name, but the best wedding gift I could have ever gotten was my husband giving me his name. It signified our becoming one. I was no longer named as my father's daughter (which I will always still be proud to be), but I am my husband's WIFE.
My husband would have been crushed if I didn't want to take his name. To him, it would have meant that I only wanted part of him, and that I wasn't "all in".

freckle face said...

I am engaged and have had this talk. As much I would love to keep my last name (Ford) along with my nicknames of J.Fo and J.Ford, my fiance is basically the only one in his family who can carry on the name.. so I will be J.Banach or J.Ban :)

Nekes said...

Lucy I have the same thing: Moms-Dads. Where I grew up (VT) this was not uncommon and I've loved it. When my boyfriend and I get married we want to share a combined name but my having two names already really complicates things!

Kera Espinoza said...

I'm getting married soon and I will without hesitation change my last name to his. I've never really identified with my last name and his does rolls off the tongue a bit easier. ;) His last name has major significance within his family (even when his parents divorced, his mom kept the name). If/when we have kids it would be really important to me to share the same last name.

Veralynn said...

I made my maiden name my middle name when I got married. It's the best of both worlds to me! I really love my husband's last name and have never viewed taking his last name as giving up a part of myself or my identity.

Veralynn
joiedeveralynn.blogspot.com

Meg said...

I will happily change my name when the time comes. My first and last names very closely resemble a cartoon character name. Just last week someone said they tried to find me on facebook and they couldn't because there were so many cartoon characters with a profile! My poor parents didn't do anything wrong-the tv show started 2 years after I was born. Anyways, I will happily adopt another last name!

Jennifer Terry said...

I always thought I would keep/hyphenate my name when I got married. That is until I met my fiance. He already had children 3 from his first marriage (all with his last name), so when our little boy came along I decided wanted him to share his siblings' last name. Now I am the odd-man-out in our home. Hyphenating my name is also out of the question because our last names, when said together, sounds like "terrible itch" (Terry-Bulich)! So alas, I will be conforming to tradition and taking my fiance's last name. And to be honest, I can't wait! I think it's a great way to symbolize the uniting of our blended family.

Mirela said...

I did change my name after we got married, for 2 reasons: practicality and a sense of family. My maiden name was Azevedo which meant that I'd spell it out every time people needed to write it down - I already have a "could you spell that for me?" first name, so spelling my last name all the time was not fun. Then there was the hyphenated option, which to me was no option at all. Azevedo-Watson would be way too complicated. So I just added Watson. I've always loved that couples+kids have 1 last name, I think it helps on deepening the sense of family and knowing where you belong. As we walk through marriage, I think our last name does bring a sense of oneness for us.

13bees said...

I just don't understand the identity argument. my maiden name was as much a part of my past/present/future identity as my married name is. I'm not sure what I'd be holding onto or giving up by keeping it or not...I'm as much myself, ever changing, and carry a lifetime of my own experiences regardless of what my last name is. by all means, keep your last name! but nothing changes the experience of who you were, are, or will continue to be more than the actual act of getting married.

also, what will toby decide to do when he (hopefully one day?) wants to get married?

becca ann said...

I am very committed to my first and middle name, but not to my last name so I will probably change it if my boyfriend/fiance wants to keep his last name. I think that we also could compile a list of all of the last names in our families on both sides and pick the one that resonates the most. That way it reflects family and history, but we have more agency in deciding what we are called the rest of our lives.

girlseeksplace said...

I won't change my name. I am published under my current last name. My entire life is under my current last name. It would be a lot of work and hassle to change my name, beyond the usual driver's license, bank accounts, etc.

jessamine said...

I have two middle names too! I feel your pain, but I also love it, so I gave my daughter two middle names too!

The Hargraves said...

I took his last name, but I changed my middle name to my maiden name. I never liked my middle name, so it was a win-win. My parents were not offended because I replaced it with their last name.

Joanna said...

I'm getting married in two weeks, and I will be changing my name. Though I have to admit, it's totally weird to think of myself with any other last name. I'm having a mini identity crisis about the whole thing. My new last name is italian and since my middle name is italian as well, it actually goes together quite nicely (I already have the Rifle Paper Co stationary to prove it!). Still, it's something I'm sort of grappling with.

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