Two Names Enter, One Name Leaves

Is it the Thunderdome? Nope, it’s the ubiquitous name-change post. I guess I will just come out and say that I will not be changing my name after I get married.

I see my last name as part of my identity. When I think of myself in terms of my first name and Mr. C’s last name, I don’t see myself. That’s not me. That’s someone else. Actually it is literally someone else because Mr. C’s sister and I share the same first name. That means there would be two women with the same first and last names in the family. Talk about confusing! And weird. Imagine how that might make my future sister-in-law feel; suddenly a name that was originally uniquely hers is now someone else’s. If I were in her shoes, I have to admit it would make me feel a little weird.


Secondly, I don’t really find it fair that a woman has to run around town (sometimes taking a day off of work) just to get the paperwork she needs to legally change her name. It involves changing your driver’s license, Social Security card, passport, and all financial documents. Then there’s the possibility that there are confusions or mix-ups in the future. Maybe you forgot to change your insurance documents and now you can’t be reimbursed for a doctor’s visit because they can’t verify your identity. No thanks.

On a more superficial level, I would be trading a very easy to spell and pronounce last name for one that people consistently have difficulty pronouncing. Both my first and last names are easy to spell and pronounce. I’ve never had to deal with my name being verbally butchered, and at nearly 30 years old, I don’t want to start.

A woman’s decision to change her last name is a very personal one. I would never judge a woman for choosing to take her husband’s last name. I understand why many women are excited to change their names after marriage. It certainly makes life a lot easier if you plan to have children, and I’m sure it cuts down on confusion later in life. More importantly, it represents a very real transition from being an individual to starting a family unit. Sadly, it doesn’t hold the same meaning for me. My mother has had three different last names in her lifetime. Mr. C’s mother (who is divorced) recently changed her last name back to her maiden name. I have watched as the women in my life have changed names due to divorce or remarriage. I don’t think I could shed what I see as my identity so easily.

In short, I guess I feel jaded by the whole name-change prospect. Not that I plan to get divorced or remarried, but I hate the fact that society expects me, as a woman, to change my name based on changes in my marital status. And so I won’t be changing my name.

Will you be keeping or changing your last name after marriage?


Mrs. Camel

Athens, GA
Wedding Date:
May 2013
Puppy Love: Dance The Night Away
Certified to Marry
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  1. Member
    Perfpersnickety 665 posts, Busy bee @ 9:00 am

    While I am not torn on the decision to take my FH’s last name it does take a toll on certain days that I will no longer have my last name. I love my name in all of it’s glory. I got teased a lot as a kid for it, it’s Kitchens, and it took me a long time to come to appreciate it. I’m not so convinced that I’m ready to give it up. I feel much better that I have a little brother and he will carry the name on in to the future.

    My FH is insistent that I take his last name with no hyphenation. I don’t that I’d actually not take it but the hyphn was a major consideration. He’s very traditional in that sense. I love that there are so many of you who’s husbands took on your last name. That is awesome.

    @polkdotlacebride your parents are awesome too. I love the new twist they put on it.

  2. Member
    drmrscol 219 posts, Helper bee @ 8:40 am

    I, too, am not changing. I can understand the future simplicity of having everyone in the household having the same last name, but it just bothers me that it’s traditionally the woman because she becomes the property of her husband’s household. Dearest is in total agreement (and, given that this will be his third marriage and that his ex who abandoned him & the children STILL goes by his name, he recognizes that it will not make us any “less married”, as my mom says it will). In fact, we’ve talked about taking a name we have in common in our ancestries, but I do think that would be confusing. So I will be me with my name (which is a a nod to most of my ethnic origins), he will be his, and we will have a marriage based on equality in partnership. Should we have any children…I guess they’ll have his last name, but we’ve toyed with the idea that we should pay homage to my Spanish heritage and have two last names (not hyphenated). We shall see.

  3. Member
    justjade 778 posts, Busy bee @ 4:03 am

    I have a very very short and straightforward name. Both first and last names are four letters and I do not have a middle name. I myself am a twin so even though we are fraternal and have quite different first names with regards to the really personal attachment other bees have mentioned to their name being indicative of their personality/individuality/self definition I don’t feel that personally. I have always been referred to as ‘the twins’ or ‘the kids’ and while I didn’t like that when I was younger the sentiment that other bees have raised in saying there is something nice about grouping yourself with your husband via name resonates. I think I would keep my maiden name as a middle name and take a new surname.

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Miss Dove, Guest @ 8:06 pm

    This is a hard one for me. I will be taking his last name(I want to have the same last name as my husband and children), but I wrote the new one the other day, and I agree–it doesn’t feel like me. I also realize that, given my desires, one of us needs to change, and there is no less reason for me to change than him, but it bothers me that he won’t even consider changing yet doesn’t consider what I’m doing much of a sacrifice.

  5. Member
    LadyJenks 53 posts, Worker bee @ 2:50 am

    I am so impressed that there are FOUR responders whose husbands are taking their name (whether fully changing last names, or adding a new last name to their full name). That is seriously cool.

    My FH won’t even consider it, and considers me changing my name important enough to throw down an ultimatum. :( I had always planned on taking his name…but I’m really becoming torn about the idea of losing my name. I like my name – it’s mine, it’s a name with some history, and my Dad is an only child that had only daughters, so we’re the last three of the family with that name. Sigh. Luckily I still have some months to think about it.

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