The Name Game

It was Mr. Wellies’s idea to take my last name after we got married.

When he first suggested it, I was bemused. I didn’t understand why he would want to take my name. I had never thought of it before, mainly because I had never heard of it before. The only options I knew of were the woman taking the man’s name; the woman keeping her name; the couple hyphenating their names; or, more recently, the couple blending their names. But a man taking a woman’s name? Outrageous!

Then Mr. Wellies explained his reasoning. He knows how much my last name means to me. I had previously expressed my worry about carrying on the family name, since I only have one male cousin who might continue it. Mr. Wellies saw taking my last name as a way to honor my dad and my grandfather, two of the most important men in my life.

Furthermore, as I mentioned in my post on proposing, Mr. Wellies and I are feminists. We believe women should have equal rights and the same opportunities as men. Just as I had asked myself, “Why can’t I propose to him?” Mr. Wellies had asked himself, “Why can’t I take her name?” He wanted us to share a name as a family, and he didn’t want to do it by hyphenating, or creating a new name, like Princess Consuela Banana Hammock. His last name wasn’t important to him. For Mr. Wellies, taking my name just made sense.

The more I thought about it, the more I grew to love the idea. I was deeply touched by his motivation, as well as his unwavering determination. I kept asking him, “Are you sure this is what you want?” The answer was always yes. “I just want to make you happy,” he’d say, “and I would give up anything for that.” Including his name.

What do you think of a man taking a woman’s last name?

BLOGGER

Miss Wellies

Location:
Philadelphia
Wedding Date:
February 2014

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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Samantha, Guest @ 3:33 pm

    I love it. I’ve asked my fiancé if he would take my name. Not surprisingly he said no. His family has not been happy about having a “new person” in the family and have done nothing but make me miserable and cause damage to our relationship so I don’t want his family name. But I really want to share a name with him. I don’t know what to do:-/ I’m so glad your fiancé has such an open view about it. That’s great for you!

  2. Member
    bunni0929 498 posts, Helper bee @ 3:44 pm

    I think thats very sweet and open minded…I have asked my fiance if he would take my last name and he also said yes…although I plan on taking his..its great to have an open minded man who just wants to make you happy! Best wishes to you :)

  3. Member
    aamyfisher 262 posts, Helper bee @ 3:46 pm

    That is so sweet that he suggested it. That makes my heart melt. I am pretty traditional so I am going to take my fiance’s last name, but I think what you two are doing is awesome. So sweet!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Kayleen, Guest @ 3:54 pm

    My husband took my last name and it was his idea too! He just always hated his last name and mine was easier to say/spell and more common. Most people were kind of shocked at first (I think his parents still aren’t super happy about it) but some thought it was very cool. We both think it’s no big deal. :)

  5. Member
    mrszynxy 418 posts, Helper bee @ 3:55 pm

    That is so wonderful! Your fiance sounds like a strong, confident man who is comfortable with himself and loves you more than anything. I too am worried about losing my family name, but unfortunately my significant other is not as open-minded as yours!

  6. Member
    jordyanna 476 posts, Helper bee @ 3:58 pm

    That is FREAKIN’ AWESOME!!

  7. Member
    scottishmrs 3213 posts, Sugar bee @ 4:11 pm

    That’s so cool! I’ve heard it was possible but never actually heard of anyone doing it. When you do that, are you “allowed” to use the title “Mrs.”? I know that it’s supposed to be “Ms.” when you keep your last name and you both have different last names. Of course, feminist type people tend to use the Ms. rather than Mrs. anyways, so it might not matter. Just curious.

  8. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:36 pm

    @Samantha: I’m so sorry his family is giving you a hard time. :( Are either of you open to the idea of hyphenating (or another compromise)?
    @jordyanna: I’m glad you think so! :D
    @ScottishMrs: We plan to be Mr. and Mrs. after we get married. :)

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Jessica, Guest @ 4:44 pm

    Love this! I have totally heard of this, but not nearly often enough – and I commend you both for doing what is right for your family!!

  10. Member
    luluvohn 1194 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:30 pm

    I’ve talked to FI about blending our last name because our names would be quite a mouthful if we hyphenated. So, as an example, instead of being the Smith-Johnsons we’d just be the Smithsons. FI isn’t super into the idea, and thought I was joking when I first brought it up, but we have kicked the idea around a little bit.

  11. Member
    lolalyn 13 posts, Newbee @ 5:40 pm

    That is sweet. An article you might want to look into http://www.salon.com/2013/01/29/man_who_adopted_his_wifes_last_name_is_accused_of_fraud/

    some states require additional paper work and time for this. Just an FYI

  12. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:42 pm

    @Jessica: Thank you very much! :D
    @luluvohn: At least he’s open to the idea! I hope things work out. :)
    @lolalyn: Thank you for the heads up! We will definitely look into the process ahead of time.

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Samantha, Guest @ 6:10 pm

    @Miss Wellies:Thanks. We’re working the family issue out with a counselor which has been so helpful. As for names, hyphenating or name blending is something we are thinking about. Although, my predicted outcome is that I won’t change my name (neither will he) but socially I’ll be Mrs. Hisname Or I might be firstname middle his mine. Only time will tell.

  14. Member
    geekchic 2530 posts, Sugar bee @ 6:19 pm

    Love this!

  15. Member
    authorgroupie 193 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:35 pm

    This is really lovely. It may be of interest to you that in Japanese culture it is customary for the wife to take the husbands name, but it is also quite normal for the husband to take the wife’s name. Circumstances where this happens is if there is no one available to carry on the wife’s name, or if the husband comes from a large family, or it is the couples decision! So it is not unprecedented! And it’s a lovely sentiment.

  16. Member
    miss narwhal 1291 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:09 pm

    My FI and I are thinking about doing this. Does your state make it completely difficult for him to do this though? I heard that it is very difficult for men to change their names verses females.

  17. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:45 pm

    @Bunni0929: That’s awesome! The world could use more open-minded men. ;)
    @aamyfisher: Thank you! The fact that he suggested it makes it even better. :)
    @Kayleen: *high fives* I think it’s badass. :D

  18. Member
    sinfoniaxid 62 posts, Worker bee @ 7:48 pm

    Love this! Reminds me of Doctor Who and the Ponds. “It doesn’t work like that!” “….yeah, yeah it does.”

  19. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:50 pm

    @MrsZynxy: Thank you so much! Your statement about Mr. Wellies is entirely accurate. :D (Mr. Wellies: “Uh huh. It’s absolutely accurate.”) Could you maybe keep your family name as your middle name, or use it professionally?
    @Samantha: I’m glad counseling is helping. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you! :)
    @GeekChic: Thank you! :)

  20. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:01 pm

    @authorgroupie: Thank you so much for sharing that! We both found it very interesting, especially since Mr. Wellies is fascinated with everything related to Japan. All three of those circumstances apply to us. :) (Mr. Wellies: “Yay, we’re being Japanese!”)
    @miss narwhal: Apparently it takes several months and requires paperwork and fees. I found this helpful article on changing your name in PA, after lolalyn recommended another article earlier.
    @SinfoniAXiD: Yes it does! ;)

  21. Member
    parasol 2955 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:29 pm

    You and Mr. Wellies are officially my favorite. I want to hang out with you forward-thinking feminists all the time. You two really seem to have such a beautiful partnership, and I’m so glad you were able to resolve this (potentially explosive) issue with so much grace, love, and understanding.

  22. Member
    ladyamalthea 1400 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:43 pm

    Aww that’s adorable! My fiancé’s name would sound far too silly if he took my last name, his first practically rhymes, and he’s too traditional for that anyways, but I think it’s great that Mr. Wellies wanted to do that for you when he saw how much you cared about your name :)

  23. Member
    lynnielou33193 714 posts, Busy bee @ 8:58 pm

    this is really cool :)

  24. Member
    Nijntje 251 posts, Helper bee @ 11:35 pm

    Interesting to read how it differs between countries. I live in Sweden and I never thought that it should be strange for a man to take the woman’s last name. Here it’s rather normal; nobody cares if a married couple takes the man’s or woman’s last name. When we get married, my fiancé will take my last name,because he doesn’t like his last name. I see it as that you have two names to choose from, so you choose the one you like the most.

  25. Member
    jazzygemini 173 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:21 am

    That is so great! The only time I’ve heard of the guy taking the girl’s last name is when Jack White took Meg White’s last name; And, I love the White Stripes so I think this is even more awesome! :D I think it’s a wonderful spin on tradition.

  26. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:33 am

    I love this. While Mr. P wouldn’t take my name (I don’t blame him, it’s twelve letters to his four), he is completely supportive of doing what makes me happy.

  27. Member
    mswaterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:34 am

    I love that he’s taking your name, especially since it means a lot to you.
    Princess consuela is my favourite ;)

  28. Member
    msscooter 110 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:50 am

    What a loving suggestion! You have yourself a keeper! I know most men wouldn’t dare go against the societal norm (Mr. Scooter included) so the fact that Mr. Wellies suggested such a thoughtful idea is great! I am happy for you!

  29. Member
    roadtrip 803 posts, Busy bee @ 5:51 am

    I think it’s very cool that he wanted to do this.

  30. Member
    jetsetter 535 posts, Busy bee @ 6:16 am

    LOL @ Princess Consuela. Better than Crap Bag. ;)

    I’ll be taking Mr. Jet’s last name – but I’m glad there are so many options out there!

  31. Member
    cosmo_gmr 946 posts, Busy bee @ 7:26 am

    Such a refreshing point of view from a man! I kinda love your fiance!

    I have to say, you guys blow me away… I love reading your posts, every time there’s something new and a perspective I’d love to see more often in the world.

  32. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:27 am

    @Mrs. Parasol: Aw, thank you so much! :D@ladyamalthea: Thank you! Fortunately, my last name sounds great with his first name. ;)
    @lynnielou33193: Thank you! :)
    @Mrs. Pony: I’m glad Mr. P is so supportive! :) It’s such an important characteristic to have in a partner.
    @Mrs. Waterfall: Yay, someone got the reference! :D

  33. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:31 am

    @Miss Scooter: Thank you! Mr. Wellies definitely is a keeper. :D
    @Miss Road Trip: Thank you! :)
    @Miss Jet Setter: Much better than Crap Bag. ;) I’m glad there are so many options, too!
    @cosmo_gmr: Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I’m thrilled you enjoy my posts. :D

  34. Member
    krislynn_sd 72 posts, Worker bee @ 8:04 am

    That is so interesting! I guess I’ve never really thought about it either. I completely understand Mr. Wellie’s thought process on it, and while me taking my FI last name is pretty common – I am also choosing to ditch my last name so we can carry on his last name with our children. (He is the last male in the family to carry on the name)

  35. Member
    cakeyp 2562 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:38 am

    My fiance loves his name and wouldn’t change it for anyone, I think. He is a Jr., and I think he became very attached to his name after his father passed away, which is very understandable.

    I feel that our surnames are equal in a sense – same syllables, same difficulty for others to spell, both sound equally awkward with my given name. :)

    I’m taking my fiance’s name, in part because I’d like a second chance at loving my surname.

    I am not very attached to my surname, and while I’m not particularly keen on the process of changing it (who is??), I hope that my future/new surname will become something that I cherish someday.

  36. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:26 pm

    @JazzyGemini: Thank you! Being associated with “Seven Nation Army” is cool in my book. ;)
    @krislynn_sd: It’s great that you’re carrying on his family name! :)
    @CakeyP: Mr. Wellies isn’t very attached to his surname, either. If your fiancé’s name is important to him, I think it will become important to you, too. Unfortunately, Mr. Wellies never met my grandfather; yet, given how much I speak about him, having his last name now means a lot to Mr. Wellies. :)

  37. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:26 pm

    I love that he’s taking your name! What I don’t love is that a lot of states require a man taking his wife’s name to go through the courts, when women can change theirs for free through paperwork.

  38. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:35 am

    @Mrs. Treasure: Sad but true. While it will be a hassle, it will definitely be worth it! :)

  39. Member
    Miss_Mimosa 190 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:44 pm

    I think it’s wonderful that he is not only willing to take your last name, but also that it was his idea. I will most likely take my boyfriends last name when the time comes, but only for the fact that his name is just much easier to spell and give to people. I too believe he will be willing to take my name if it meant something too me. You sound like you have a winner though!

  40. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:36 am

    @Miss_Mimosa: Thank you! Mr. Wellies is a winner, hands down. ;)

  41. Member
    prairiedog 455 posts, Helper bee @ 7:28 am

    this is awesome. glad to have more out-and-proud feminist couples on the ‘bee :)

  42. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:52 pm

    @Mrs. Prairie Dog: Glad to be one! ;)

  43. Member
    rachel631 6430 posts, Bee Keeper @ 8:35 pm

    This is pretty awesome. I suggested that DH took my name, seeing as he wanted us to have the same name, and my last name is more practical for various reasons.

    … he said no!

  44. Member
    missslipper 55 posts, Worker bee @ 10:58 pm

    Wow! That’s so amazing that he would do that for you! I am astounded!
    I would love for him to hyphenate his last name with mine…. but as far as him taking my last name; let’s just say that won’t be happening in a super Hispanic family… which just happens to be our family…
    But I am so happy for you, sounds like an amazing Fiance you have there!

  45. Member
    mrspitcher8 286 posts, Helper bee @ 8:13 am

    I love hearing of other amazing, feminist, men! My husband is the same, but he did want me to change my name. I originally kept my maiden and added his, but it was a serious hassle. A year later I changed to Mrs. hislastname.

    My parents are divorced and my mom’s entire generation are females, so the family name will be lost. I am not extremely close with my father’s family. I decided that, if I was going to have a man’s name, there’s no better man in this world whose name I would take than his. :)

  46. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:30 am

    @Rachel631: I’m sorry he said no! :( Did you end up taking his name?
    @MissSlipper: Thank you! He is absolutely amazing. :) I hope you’re able to hyphenate!
    @mrspitcher8: I decided that, if I was going to have a man’s name, there’s no better man in this world whose name I would take than his. Such a sweet way of looking at it! :D

  47. Member
    demi-chan 290 posts, Helper bee @ 10:45 am

    My FI and I are also feminists and knew that me simply taking his name just because I’m the woman wouldn’t ever happen, especially since I’m the only person in the family who has my dads surname. Since he has two separate surnames and I have one, we decided that he would lose one of his names and take mine in its place while I would add the name he keeps to my own name. So it’s like Mr. Smith Smitherson and Ms. Anderson become Mr and Ms Smith Anderson. I’m very pleased with this :)

    @Moonlight_Densetsu: I don’t see it as an ownership thing when both people are treated equally like this – though I do see it that way if the woman mindlessly takes the guys name, even if she doesn’t want to, because that’s ‘just how it is’. For myself and my FI, it’s about creating a family name, uniting our lives and having a name that our children will share with us as they grow up.

  48. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:19 pm

    @Demi-chan: That’s a great way to use both your names! :)

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