The Name Change.

You ladies have always been so helpful in doling out wedding tips, experiences, advice. I thought I’d bring a topic to the table: THE GREAT NAME CHANGE.

I bring this up purely out of curiosity and a love of a good discussion. Hopefully this is a given, but let’s put it in writing anyway: I in no way think one choice or another is better/more or less valid! I’m just very interested in how people make this very personal decision.

As for me? I’m taking Adam’s name. Some backstory on my own decision-making process: My dad is from Jordan, and had his name massively Americanized upon coming  here (only the first letter remains the same). He was not happy about this change. So, while I have enjoyed having this last name o’ mine for 25 years, there’s no great family history behind it. And I think it has great baby-boy-first-name potential down the line. I love the idea of passing down my name somehow. The big thing for me really is that sharing a name feels like part of what will define us as a “family” in my mind. One of my friends shared that she only ever plans to take a husband’s last name when/if they have children together. While we both want kids someday, to me that is not what defines us as a family unit. I want us to be one long before any kids come along. So…taking the name. Plus, Adam’s last name is all Scottish and historic and I kind of dig jumping up to the beginning of the alphabet 😉 And hearing Adam say how he’s looked forward to sharing his last name with me and making it ours kiiind of sealed the deal.

So, how about you? Did you/would you change your name? If you kept it, how did you decide? How did your husband feel about your decision, one way or the other?

Photo by Tim Tab Studios

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~ by Elena Marie on June 22, 2011.

17 Responses to “The Name Change.”

  1. I took my husband’s name. There was no question! (Even though I really liked my last name and kind of hated my first name plus his last name…kinda sounds like a rare disease! 😉 )

    The hard part for me was deciding which name to keep as my middle name. I ended up keeping my middle and last, and using his surname as mine. I figured he had 4 names, so I could too!

  2. I didn’t change my last name. Mostly because of the family history associated with my last name (my Jewish grandparents survived Nazi Europe), and I was very proud of that and wanted to keep it, I hope to associate it into my children’s names somehow. There are a few times though when I felt like I really would like to have taken his and be a Mrs., but in general I think I made the right choice for me.

  3. I took my husband’s last name and made my maiden name my middle name. Sometimes I’m sad that I changed my name because the only people with the last name in the WORLD are related to me, but on the other hand.. my new last name is so common, I no longer have to spell out my first name AND my last name. 🙂

  4. i had no idea your dad was from Jordan! i haaate hearing about last name americanized butchering – mostly because mine is as well! it was originally “Burbach”, but was changed to “Burback”….not TOO bad, but still.

    kind of a long story, but – mark’s dad is adopted and he no longer has a relationship with his adopted fam, who he has the last name of (Anderson). so there is no attachment to that name. yet, it still lives on in the family! it’s a pretty average, last name, too right? i’ve thought about it some, and while i am all for changing names, i dont think i can take on a name with little heritage/meaning to it (other than it being his last name). i totally respect and understand you reasoning!!! 🙂

  5. I always said the reason I’d GET married was to get a new last name. Mine was H0uk (zero to discourage searching, sorry!) which no one could say OR spell. (I was fond of saying “It’s like HOUSE with a K!”) I actually didn’t even keep it as my maiden name – my legal name is Taylor Alexis [Husband’s Last Name]. I did end up having two boys but H0uk isn’t such a good first name either, ha.

    I don’t think there’s anything anti-feminist about keeping “tradition” by taking your husband’s last name. To me it simplifies things – why would I want to have a different last name than not only my husband but my children too? I know a woman who kept her maiden name, she has two kids and one of them has her last name and the other has his. To me that’s just STUPID. I also know someone who changed her last name when she got married to Maiden Name-New Last Name – as did her husband! That’s different.

  6. I’m with Taylor on this one. I couldn’t wait to get rid of my maiden name.

    A friend of mine (who has a kid) kept her last name–her last name is very Irish, and her husband’s is very French, so I’m assuming she wanted to keep that Irish heritage. I’m pretty sure their kid is using the husband’s last name.

    So yeah, I could see both sides.

  7. I surely changed my name voluntarily because my maiden name, Bitanga, was just as hard to spell as my first. Having Green is a blessing!

  8. oh man, this is a good one. i took paul’s name and now my maiden name is my middle name. i feel similarly that it just kinda sealed us as a family unit. it almost sounds silly that a name would do that but it kinda does?? i know a few ladies who have kept their maiden names as either a stand against “the man” (whatever) or who feel so strongly that a name shouldn’t define their marriage that they’ve made it their own little battleground. but on that note, if you’re willing to let a name BE a battleground, then it is defining the relationship, isn’t it? and then i also sometimes feel like… “who cares?” haha…

  9. I hyphenated my name when I got married and I regret that, and not just because I’m, divorced now! Now, to me, my name is more than a word, it’s part of my identity, and I would never change that part of myself again.

  10. Well. I am from a minuscule country smacked in the middle of Eurpe and here it is pretty much a given that the wife takes the husband’s name. It is kind of a way to start that official “us” thing that marriage is. Adam’s words (making his name yours) say exactly what I mean.

    Some women take both names after getting married, but I personally never liked that idea very much. Although, marriage itself is not that meaningful to me. But…If I ever get married, I would either keep my name (which I love and means A LOT to me) or take the husband’s ( which I would love just as much as I would love him) and thus giving up mine.

    I guess keeping your name while having children taking the father’s name can be kind of awkward sometimes (not to mention all the hassle with documents etc. for traveling when the kids are small).

    Anyway, I adore your blog and I really look forward to seeing the two of you married (of course, seeing the dress is totally unimportant…ehm…not really 🙂
    Best wishes!

  11. I have been thinking about this a lot lately too — so many mixed feelings!! On the one hand, I agree with you on the whole one-family / one-name thing, but on the other hand, my inner feminist thinks it’s silly that the woman always has to take the man’s name. And then there’s the family issues — Shaun is the ‘last’ of his family line, so we’d like to carry it forward, plus my parents divorced last year and I am feeling a lot of disconnect from my own family these days. And then there is the practical aspect of the fact that Shaun’s name is easier to spell and pronounce. It’s a tough call, but I think I will PROBABLY take his name. That’s the way I’m leaning right now anyway. But like you said, I feel like it’s a totally personal decision for each couple, and there’s no right or wrong answer.

  12. Name should always reflect identity. If one feels that her identity is defined by her marriage to her husband, the last name should change to her husband’s. If one feels her identity is in her current last name, there should be no pressure to change it. Having the same last name does not make you more or less of a family in any circumstance. There are married couples with different last names that have outlasted divorced couple and of course vice versa. Everyone should feel they can do what is right for their circumstance regardless of what the historical norm has been.

    In my own decision process, I reflected on my attachment to my current name that reflects my strong German heritage and also the fact that my sister and I are the last of that family name in this area. I also am an academic and want my current work to be linked with future work. I don’t believe the same last name would tie me to my partner in a way that I am not already feeling, so my last name will remain the same.

  13. So, legally I didn’t change my name, but I did change it for work! I teach Spanish and my husband’s last name gives me a bit more “authenticity”! We joke about the fact that I married him just for professional reasons. Personally, I go between my last name when I’m doing something solo and using his last name when it’s a joint venture – if that makes sense. It is funny at times because if I have a hotel or dinner reservation under my last name, Bell, people will refer to him as “Mr. Bell” which makes us laugh. I really don’t care one way or the other nor does my husband. I think it came down to the fact that I was just lazy and didn’t feel like getting all of my documents changed. Five years later, we’ve more or less figured it out!

  14. […] I get to tonight’s excellent sister date, just wanted to thank everyone who chimed in on the “name change” post. I loved reading every response and hearing why you’d choose one path or the other. I know I […]

  15. When I got married, we made a deal…I changed my name and got 100% first child naming rights and 50% second child naming rights! I wont lie, I cried outside of city hall after we finished the paperwork, but I’m getting more attached to the name now. Also, we’re both getting doctorates, so I thought the idea of being Drs. ____ was funny.
    He was really positive about the idea of me changing my name because he liked the idea of us being a unit, but he let me make my choice and was not at all pushy about it. I sort of surprised him when we were getting the marriage license.

  16. Deciding to take my husband’s name wasn’t a big deal to me, BUT getting my maiden name erased from all my personal information is a tedious and laborious task. I didn’t realize just how many things had to be changed over (drivers license, SS card, ordering new checks, mail, taxes, credit cards, and changing all the auto payments over to the new credit card). It was sad watching my old name disappear. I am no longer that person in a way. I am coming up on my one year anniversary and on task to have everything changed by then. It’s a lot of work.

  17. I’m pretty sure that I blogged about this back in the old days of my former blog, but I did not change my name for both personal and professional reasons. And my husband never expected that I would. We are not planning on having children, but if we change our minds and do they will probably end up with my last name and his last name as a second middle name.

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