I am changing my name when PBear and I get married. It’s something that I have always assumed I was going to do, and though I admittedly don’t follow many of the other traditions following a wedding, the name change has always been a sure thing.
I am doing a bit of a weird name change, though. I’m going to go from Firstname Lastname to Nickname Lastname PBear’s-lastname. It’s a bit weird, I admit, but I am really excited.
Though my first name is beautiful in Chinese, it doesn’t translate very well into English. Having a very Chinese first name has always been a problem growing up. No one knows how to say it correctly (it often gets mistaken for a male name), and I haven’t used it since I was four. It’s frankly a name that I don’t associate myself with very much. If getting a name change wasn’t so complicated outside of getting married, I would have changed my name legally years ago.
My nickname, on the other hand, is a name that I actually chose. Granted, I’m not completely sure why my four-year-old self would pick it, but I did, and it stuck. I cannot wait until it’s legally my name. I’m hoping that it’s a lot more convenient, and I don’t have to deal with more blank awkward stares at my name from the nurse at the doctor’s office before she butchers my name.
Also as a child with a last name at the end of the alphabet and also having a last name that gets butchered constantly, I have always looked forward to being higher up in the alphabet. Hopefully, it will make my children less impulse shoppers than I am.
In fact, my name change and how I wanted to change it was such a nondecision that I reserved the Gmail account in my new name about a year before we got engaged. What can I say? I didn’t want someone else to steal my (admittedly still fairly unique) new name’s email account.
That being said, now that we’re getting closer to the date, I’m realizing how much changing your name sucks, especially for someone who has a lot of stuff established already. I already have a couple of papers written with my maiden name, and I’m concerned that changing my professional email will mean that half of my important emails will get lost to the abyss, and I just can’t afford to have a committee member suddenly not be able to contact me.
Also, I admit (and I am a little embarrassed about this), I really have no idea how to go about changing my name in Massachusetts. All the information I see is typically focused on changing the last name, but I want to change my entire name. I can’t seem to find much information about whether I can do that on the marriage certificate, and the information I do find is very contradictory. My officiant doesn’t seem to think that I can change my entire name on the wedding forms and thinks I will still have to change my name twice—sigh. I should have just bitten the bullet and done this years ago if that’s the case.
Anyone done this before? Am I over-complicating this? Does anyone know who I can actually ask about this?