If you debated changing your name before the wedding, what did you eventually decide and how has it worked out for you thus far? If you could go back and do it differently, would you have?
I had a hard time with the name change, but eventually we both agreed to change our names. The process was a bit involved, which made it an even harder time. But, for me, most of the angst came from the middle stage—after deciding and after the wedding, but before everything was official. I hated feeling like I was “in between” names, and I was kind of a jerk about it. (For example, my passport came back with the wrong name. I was a raging turd and all-around horrible for a few hours afterward, a la the cliched maternity-ward “THIS IS YOUR FAULT!” outburst.)
But once it was “done” (and I say “done” because I just realized a few weeks ago that I’d never changed my name on my vehicle registration, which, as it turns out, is another huge pain and small expense), it really didn’t bother me anymore. After almost a full year, I’m getting used to being a “Spaniel.” I don’t think I’ve even accidentally given the wrong name yet. Well, once.
I can’t recall if I ever wrote about changing my name or not, but growing up I always figured I’d change my name when I got married. I know this is so childish and petty (well, I was a child), but I was embarrassed growing up that I had a unique last name. For one, it wasn’t Johnson, Smith, or Williams, but for another, it was obviously ethnic sounding because, you know, I’m Asian. I grew up in a Caucasian town (I was one of four Asians at my high school) and being different as a child is always hard. Not until I reached high school did I really embrace my last name. It’s unique—when my grandfather immigrated here to the US, he gave himself an American first name, and took his full Chinese name (first and last) and combined it into one word for his surname. There are currently only seven of us (my family and my uncle’s family) that have the name and, sadly, because my cousins on my dad’s side and I are all girls, it will die with us (if none of us chooses to keep it and pass it along). With maturity comes acceptance of yourself, of course, and I really do love my last name, mostly because if you see it out there, you know it comes from MY family. No one confuses us with others, and no one in the world shares my name with me.
Ironically, I married a Schroeckenstein—and the only people that have that name (in that spelling…silent “o”? Reallllly? Whyyyyy?) are my husband’s immediate family and first cousins. There aren’t many of them, either. So even if I did abandon my last name for my married name, I’d still maintain being the only one in the world with my name.
I never ended up legally changing my name, although I do go by my married name socially. In the end I didn’t change it out of convenience. Testing my new last name out was a headache—everyone that comes in contact with my married last name ogles it: “FIFTEENLETTERSOMG!” and sometimes you just want to live your life not having to discuss the origin of your name. I got tired of it really quick and decided to keep my maiden name, at least on paper.
At first I thought changing my name was super cool, and then the time came to do it. Then it became more of an “I’m losing my history, it seems.” It started making me really sad, moving my last name to my middle. It’s not that I had any particular attachment to my middle, so that part was OK, but it was moving my last name—as the last girl in our family to have my last name—that made it life changing. I knew it was still there, but since I had such a cool maiden name (two colors), I felt like a different, more boring person after I changed it. Not that I didn’t love my new married name, it just took me a long time to feel like that new last name was ME. Funny thing is, I JUST removed my maiden name from my Facebook profile last week—after having it as the full three names for three-plus years!
Of course, the struggle I had to endure to change from my maiden to my married didn’t make it any easier!
I’ve been married for over a year and had every intention of changing my name. Even with wanting to change my name, it was harder than I thought it would be to make the adjustment. It’s a real pain to remember every thing that has my name attached to it, and all of the requirements are different. My work made me send a copy of my Social Security card with the new name before they would change my email address and HR documents. Credit cards just took my word for it. I’m still halfsies, with my financials and Social Security number under my married name and then my driver’s license and travel programs under my maiden name. The process of changing everything over is harder in practice than in theory. If I had to do it all over again, I would just keep my maiden name legally and use my married name socially.
Before the wedding, I had every intention of changing my last name to Mr. Socks’s. In the four months since the wedding, Mr. Socks and I have decided to put those plans on hold. Neither of us is particularly keen on his last name, and we’ve been toying with the idea of changing both of our names to something different altogether, like Mr. and Mrs. Star did when they got married. We’ll probably wait a little while longer before we make the decision because we want to be sure of what we want.
I’ve gotten raised eyebrows from my family on not changing my name, but actually Mr. Socks is the one who is more strongly against me taking his name. Some of it has to do with the fact that his family has basically cast us off—why would I want to take the name of the people who hate us? Another part of it is just that it’s a funny sounding last name that neither of us is particularly attached to.
Either way, we want to be positive about our decision before we make it, so we’re giving ourselves plenty of time to think about it.
I didn’t debate changing my name at all. While I don’t regret taking my husband’s name, I think I would have felt differently about the whole process of it post-marriage if I had thought about it more pre-marriage. I blogged about it here.
I’m not sure if this counts (Do I matter? Do I matter?) because I didn’t debate changing my name. But because I like to listen to myself:
I didn’t debate whether to change my name. Not so much because of principles or well-considered opinions—it more stemmed from laziness (whee!!). I didn’t really want to change my name because the process sounded like a big ol’ hassle. Of course, if I had felt strongly about taking Mr. Pug’s last name, then I would have gone through the effort (with a pointed “this is for YOU!” thrown in here and there), but neither of us cared that much. Admittedly, I’m also attached to my last name and would probably be sad if I were to change it but, again, would have done it if either of us felt strongly about it. Nevertheless, the issue hasn’t come up because we’re avoidant. (That’s a joke.)
It really wasn’t a debate for me. I think the only reason I might have kept my own last name would have been if my intended husband had a really really terrible one. Even though I was the last person in my family to carry my maiden name, it’s also one of the most common in the United States. So I didn’t feel very guilty leaving it behind.
My new last name is longer and harder for people to spell, but it gives my entire name a sort of exotic ring I think is neat. We’ve now been married a little over a year and a half, and I’m still completely happy with my choice to change my name. It’s fun and cozy to be Mr. and Mrs.!
It’s been nearly a year since Mr. SD and I legally wed, and I’m still not used to writing my married name. Having been through this thing before, then getting my maiden name back, I was hesitant to lose it again. I had a sort of “homecoming” when my annulment papers were stamped and I officially had my maiden name back. It was amazing—I was alive again! Yet it was all short lived. I had to go and meet this crazy redneck that stole my heart and asked for my hand. When I mentioned wanting to keep my maiden name, he had a bit of a tear in his eye, I could totally tell. He told me that it would really mean a lot to him if I took his name, and we would start our own little family. Well, fine, play the “family” card! Since it didn’t mean all that much to me to keep my old name, and it meant a heckuva lot to him for me to change it, I went ahead and changed it. And now I have a ridiculously unwieldy last name that everybody now has to ask me to spell. Oh well, at least he still gets a goofy grin when I sign Mrs. Hislastname on everything!
The Dude and I have been married for about a year and a half. Before we got married, I kinda sorta debated changing my name, but ultimately decided I just felt like keeping it. End of story. The Dude didn’t care one way or the other, and it just felt like the right thing to do, for me.
Oddly enough, a couple of months after the wedding, I started to get sad that I hadn’t taken his name. I went through a period where I almost wished I would have changed my name to his. (I can remember sitting at my cubicle and fantasizing about signing my name as Firstname Hislastname. WTF??) But, really, it’s not like it was too late. Hell, I could still change my name now if I wanted to. Eventually that wistful feeling went away, and now I know I made the right choice. Losing my dad in 2008 strengthened my attachment to my last name. I have two brothers, so it’s not like I’m worried about our name dying out, but it makes me feel closer to my dad to still have his name. We still haven’t decided what name our kids will take, but we’ve got some time.
Now my only regret about not changing my name? If I’d changed it, I would have the same initials as Harry Potter!
I talked about my choice to compromise on taking Mr E’s last name here. I was going to keep my maiden name for work and study, and take his name for everything else. Oh, if only it were so easy…
We have been married a little over a month now, and I’m going to be honest with you: I cringe every time I hear my name with his last name attached. It isn’t that it isn’t a nice name and all, it just isn’t mine. I have been taking baby steps to try and overcome this feeling. I changed it at the doctor last week (and didn’t recognise my name when they called it), and this week I’m tackling the bank. Our name-change process isn’t as complicated in New Zealand as it is in the States, so I guess I am lucky in that respect. Something that annoyed me the most straight after our wedding was the amount of people just assuming that I was changing my name (*cough* annoying Facebook comments *cough*). Call me contrary, but maybe those comments are another reason why I have become so resistent to the idea. I’m not giving up yet; I’m going to keep trying my baby-step approach, but I would love to hear from other newlyweds out there—is it normal to feel this way about your name, or am I just plain bad with change?
I never wrote about changing my name because I always knew that I would. My maiden name is 10 letters long, and no one can spell or pronounce it. I’ve been looking forward to ditching my name basically my entire life (sorry Dad—love you!); I have a brother who will carry on the name with his kids. 🙂
Burger’s name is totally awesome, and I love my new identity. So, yes, this was a totally superficial decision. Don’t judge me until you spend 25 years having people destroy the spelling and pronounciation of your first AND last name! 🙂
Had I gotten married after graduating from medical school, I may have considered keeping my maiden name permanently (I definitely would have kept it professionally).
I was reluctant to change my name because we’ve only got one other person in the family to carry on the family name, and he’s still young, so who knows what’ll happen. In the end, though, I changed my name because I wanted to show Mr. G’s family that I was in their family for the long haul. I was for real. Mr. G made a big sacrifice by moving to America to be with me, and in a way I felt like his family might appreciate the gesture. Although we are a continent apart, I am a part of them!
I talked awhile ago about how I was looking forward to changing my name. Within a week of getting back from our honeymoon, I had changed my name at the Social Security office and the DMV, and I was SO EXCITED.
To be honest, it’s still really weird to me to think that my last name is different. I started a teaching job shortly after we got married and, even though I get to hear my students call me Mrs. Hislastname about a million times a day, it still hasn’t sunk in. I still have to concentrate greatly anytime I am writing my name. But you know what? I love it! I don’t feel like I’ve lost my identity—I just feel like I’ve added to it. I’m so excited to share Mr. Cardy’s last name, and I’m looking forward to the day when I suddenly realize that it’s become second nature to think of myself as Mrs. Hislastname and I don’t find it weird anymore!
Like Pug, I never debated changing my name. I like my name, I am lazy, and it’s a (non)decision I feel good about. (I wrote about it here.)
I’m happy with my choice, Mr. PH’s happy about my choice and, even better, I’ve found that no one around us cares at all! No drama, no questioning, no askance glances or hairy eyeballs. This story is pretty boring. Win-win-win!
For me it was an easier choice than I’d thought it would be. I wanted a family name and to have the same name as our children, and Mr. Onion’s last name was easy to spell and pronounce, so I was sold. I know many women struggle with this, and it’s a personal choice, but I didn’t feel like my identity was wrapped up in my maiden name. We have been married for three-and-a-half years now, and I love having the same name as my husband. I wrote about this at the time, with some details about actually changing your name on your Social Security card here.
I’ll admit to being old fashioned and traditional in a lot of ways, so I had no issue with changing my last name after we got married. It wasn’t even something that was up for debate. I love the idea of sharing your name with your husband. I know it’s not for everyone, but changing my name was most definitely for me. In doing so, I didn’t feel like I lost my identity. I love my new one!
I figured the best way to do it was quickly, like ripping off a Band-Aid. If you are going to change it, I think doing it right away is best. I knew my family would catch on pretty fast, and they did. I figured I might have some challenges professionally, so I had my new email address set up and ready to go for my return before I left work for the wedding/honeymoon. This really helped with the transition since everyone at work, and most of my clients, knew I was getting married. I just started emailing them from the new address and changed my voicemail message to include my new last name. It was weird answering the phone and leaving messages with my new name at first, but saying it over and over was the best way for me to get used to it. I legally changed my name within the next month. It wasn’t as big of a pain in the butt as I thought it would be. And no one butchers the pronounciation of the new last name, which was a little annoying with my maiden name.
Of course, there are certain things I miss about my maiden name. It was short. Four letters short. And, it took a while to get used to signing my new name because of the length. Now, I often run out of room when I sign the the electronic pad at Target. (Having a short name makes you write bigger, apparently.) Another thing is that, as far as I knew, I was the only one with my first name / maiden name combo. A quick Google search tells me there are more than a few with my name now. And this is silly, but the last thing I liked about my maiden name was that my initials were in alphabetical order—JKL. They are all on the same button on a phone, and they are in line on my keyboard. Now, I am JKR, which just isn’t as fun to me. I told you it was silly!
I always wanted a different last name, and as soon as I had the chance to change it, I decided against it. So far, I’m happy with the decision, but I do think I would change it if we had kids.
We spent a long time debating what we would do about the whole name-change thing before we got married. I needed a name that sounded good for my profession, we both wanted to share a last name, and his wasn’t gonna cut it, unfortunately.
So we both decided to change our names legally and, a year-and-a-half into our marriage, we’re both so thrilled with our decision. We love our new last name, we love that we created it together, and (except for the huge pain-in-the-butt hassle of having to go to court several times to satisfy all the legal requirements), the change wasn’t all that hard for us or our families to get used to.
I wrote more extensively about why we made the decision we did here.
And about the whole legal process here.
So, yeah…other than that, I just think it makes my husband like the coolest guy ever that he was totally gung-ho about it!
Before the wedding, I blogged about the fact that Mr. R and I decided that we’d both take each other’s names, so we would officially be Mr. & Mrs. Mylastname Hislastname (no hyphen). Here’s a link to the post.
Now that we’re married, things have changed a little.
Socially, we go by Mr. & Mrs. Mylastname Hislastname, but legally we really didn’t care to go through the hassle. We’re both in the “meh, why bother” camp. It doesn’t matter to us that we don’t legally have the same name, so we decided to forgo the paperwork. If we decide to have kids in the future, we’ll more than likely make it legal so we’ll all have the same name, but until then, no thank you!
Before I got married, I had the world’s most awkward-sounding hyphenated last name (thanks, Mom and Dad), so I’ve been looking forward to changing my last name since before I knew what it would change to. It’s pretty ironic, since both my parents are big ol’ liberal hippies (hence the hyphen) and I was a women’s studies major in college; you’d think I’d be offended by the idea of a woman changing her last name, but I just hated my clunky last name so much that I always knew I’d change it once I got married.
I also lucked out big time because my husband has this lovely, simple, two-syllable, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy last name, and I now revel every time someone asks me for my full name. The only downside? I have no middle name. (Again, thanks to the hyphen, Mom and Dad thought two last names were enough. Although, now that I think about it, my little brother has a middle name—WTF sibling favoritism??)
I always assumed that I would change my name as soon as possible, especially given how excellent of a last name it is. After we got married, I adopted it in all of the superficial places—email, Twitter, Facebook, and socially. Here we are eight months after our wedding, and I still haven’t officially changed it. Why? The county’s probate court has been slow, messed up twice in sending the correct documents, and is just a general pain in the butt. I finally received one copy of our marriage certificate a month ago after ordering and paying for three copies. With that copy, I could easily go to the Social Security office and get it changed. But I haven’t. I keep putting it off for one weak reason or another—busy schedules, irritating parking situation, downtown hobos, not wanting to give up a very rare blip of free time, and heck, just being lazy.
I’ll change it. I will. I’ll take his last name and have my maiden name as a new middle. When? Soon, I swear!
Growing up, there was no question in my mind that I would change my name. I don’t mind Mr. HC’s last name, but all of a sudden, when we got engaged and the name-change game was a reality, boom! Indecision! I wrote about that here.
Well, I wasted no time changing my name. Totally dropped my maiden name and took on Mr. HC’s last name (I mean, our last name). Within weeks of returning from our honeymoon, I had changed everything except for the lease on our apartment and my passport (getting to it). How does it feel? Totally weird. This summer, starting a new job, and then this fall, starting a grad program, no one knew that this had not always been my name. It was super weird hearing people say it. I am almost always used to it by now but, to be honest, it doesn’t seem to identify me in my mind like my maiden name did. Neither name does, right now, to be honest. But in time, I am sure it will be my identity. Oh, and all those things that I was worried about before—not an issue. Sharing a last name makes me feel like we are our own family now, and certainly not less or more a part of either one of our families!
Mr. Buttons and I have been married for nine months now, and I still haven’t changed my name. Did I intend to? Absolutely. However, intention has not exactly become a reality as of yet.
The culprit for me in this situation is the fact that I am lazy. In social situations, I go by his last name, so it isn’t that I don’t want to share the same name with Mr. Buttons. It is just that there are so many different places I’d have to go to change my name legally…not to mention how much I would have to update other little things. My maiden name is everywhere, and it just seems like a never-ending task to change it. And, to top it all off I am currently looking for a job. My resume is in my maiden name, as is all of my previous work information. I figured that it would be much less stress on myself to maintain my “original” name for these reasons. Keep it simple. Also—Mr. Buttons and I are still waiting to go on our honeymoon; my passport is in my maiden name. I definitely do not want to bother with it, so my maiden name remains!!! I keep telling myself that I will go through the name-change process AFTER the honeymoon, which we hope to be scheduling for this fall. So, maybe for Christmas this year I’ll change my name to match Mr. Buttons’s! 😉
On another note: I changed my name on Facebook a day or two after the wedding was over. That IS where it really counts, right???
Um…eight months later, and I still haven’t legally changed my name!
But I’m planning on doing an easy change, just hyphenating my last name with Mr. Cola’s, because there are a few issues with his last name. Partly because my first name and his last together are rather inappropriate in German, and also because I actually call my husband by his last name, so it’s kinda weird to straight take what feels like his first name as my last name. I know it’s odd, but that’s the way it’s always been, so the hyphen is just easiest.
BUT, I still haven’t gotten around to making the official change because the California DMV is having all kinds of delays with new licenses since they updated the design. My husband was supposed to get his renewal in early November and still hasn’t received his license, so I’m holding off until the state gets things under control. I don’t want to have to go months and months in limbo, without an updated license, because I won’t be able to make the change in so many other places without the license.
So other than on my email signature, I’m pretty much still going by my old last name. Occasionally I’ll remember to give Mr. Cola’s last name when making dinner reservations, but I’m still pretty forgetful. And funny story—we recently had a meeting with someone we’d never met before, and he knew that we were married, but my maiden name was on his paperwork, and so he called Mr. Cola Mr. Mylastname! Oops! Maybe once I make the official change, I’ll remember to write my new, hyphenated name on things. Maybe.
Self mandate! I’ll change my name in late April. I have plane tickets in my maiden name for mid April, and we’ll probably buy more tickets for a fall trip by late spring / early summer.
That said, it’s on the marriage license as:
First Name, Maiden as Middle, Married Name as Last
My first and married names are incredibly common and all over the internets, so I’d like to continue using my middle name professionally, just to set myself apart.
My maiden name is SUPER German, and I hated it growing up because I constantly had to correct people when they mispronounced it. My brother even started saying it the way everyone else mispronounced it because he said it was just easier. So partially for that reason I never even contemplated not changing my name. Also, there were very few people I knew that chose to keep their maiden names, so it was just what I thought you were supposed to do. As I got older and more cultured, I realized it was a choice that I could make to take (or not take) my husband’s last name. In the end, I decided that I wanted to share a last name with Mr. Fro Yo, so I changed it. There are still a few places where I’ve failed to change it, like our joint account that we didn’t get until after we were married, but for the most part I have fully embraced my new last name. It’s still weird when I get introduced in meetings, though, and sometimes I stumble over my name. But, I imagine it will get easier. 🙂
I wrote about wanting to change our names here, and we did ultimately end up doing it. We were both really attached to our names, but mine was already hyphenated. Neither of us was willing to give our name up altogether, so I dropped my former middle name and just bumped it all over. I was Seahorse Middle Last1-Last2 and she was Fancee Middle Herlast; now we are Seahorse Last2 & Fancee Middle Last2-Herlast. I’m sure that’s confusing without actual names.
I absolutely love having the same last name. I love that we are the Last2-Herlast Family, or the Last2-Herlasts. It feels like it makes our (illegitimate in some states) marriage more real, and it helps us to really feel like a family. I find a lot of strength and comfort in our shared last name, not to mention that I like how it sounds. The first time I heard her voicemail message at work, I giggled. Thrilling.
It’s been four months since our wedding, and I haven’t legally changed my name. Maybe I’ll get around to it when we move back to the mainland, but for now I’ve changed it socially. And by socially I mean on social media and our Christmas cards. That seems good enough for now! I do love my “H” tattoo on my arm so I always feel like I’ll have my maiden name with me.
So, remember that post where I bragged about how excited I was over changing my name? Well, it’s funny how things change after you’re married. While I still believe at some point I will change my name, I haven’t. (It has been nearly five months since our wedding day.) I have adopted his last name socially, but legally my name is the same as it was before.
My real plan is to keep my maiden name and take his name as a second name. No hyphen.
I just found that I was a little too attached to my maiden name—which came as a complete surprise. Funny how things can easily change in the course of (less than) a year.
The name change was never something I thought about. One reason is because in the province of Quebec it actually costs money to do so ($300, I believe), and that doesn’t include the fees for all the documents you need to update. I guess the provincial government sees it as their way of “promoting the individual and independence,” whereas I think it’s their way to make money and to avoid extra work for the failed marriages. Obviously, I am presuming.
On a personal level, I never considered changing my name because 1.) I love my name and wouldn’t want to change it; 2.) my father had only girls, and I wanted to keep his name going for a little longer; and 3.) my future kids would have my husband’s last name, so to me that’s more important than changing mine.
Some people refer to me as “Mrs. Hislastname” and, as much as I cringe (mostly because I’m not used to it or because it isn’t my name), I don’t correct them. Techinically I am that. Mrs. Hislastname. No need to have papers to prove it.
I could not decide whether to hyphenate or just take Mr. Taffy’s last name before (or after!) the wedding. Just a few months after we were married, I accepted a job outside of the US. I still hadn’t made a decision on the name, and had to immediately jump into immigration paperwork for my visa. Now I am pretty much stuck, as I am applying for permanent residency. I’m hoping that once that goes through (probably in a year), I will somehow be able to change my name on this crazy list of documents, without having any confusion at the border or with immigration! I have been using his name socially. My name + my last name + his last name. I have to admit, the legal side is very overwhelming!!!
I did not change my name, and wrote about it here. Nearly three years out, I have no regrets. It took awhile for people to figure out that I didn’t change my name—to this day, we still get Christmas cards addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Hislastname—but, overall, it hasn’t really been a big deal. And I am very happy that I did not change my name.
I hyphenated my last name (see here). Like many of you, I was on the fence about whether or not I should take his name, keep my name, or combine them. In the end I decided to hyphenate because 1.) I love my full name and didn’t want to drop any part of it, and 2.) since there are no males in our family to carry it on, I felt it important to incorporate it into my married name. I’ve been married for about a year and a half, and I changed my name to the hyphenated version almost immediately after we were married. So far, I’m happy with my decision; although, sometimes I have an internal debate about what I should actually go by. Professionally, unless I’m writing my full name out, I usually just introduce myself as “Firstname Maidenname” (to keep it short and simple and hope people can remember it). On a personal level, I really don’t mind if people refer to me as “Mrs. ‘Mr. Beagle’s last name.'”
I wrote about how I hadn’t decided what to do about my name, and I still haven’t completely decided, but I suspect I might never change my name. I still reserve the right to change my mind, but I really like my last name and I don’t feel any less married for not changing it. I’m also not the slightest bit interested in doing all the work required to do so.
I had always planned to change my name when we got married. As I wrote here, though, immediately after the wedding I realized that I just wasn’t ready yet. I was pretty sure I still wanted to change my name, but I needed some time to think about it, feel it out, and get used to it. I continued to go by my last name for two months or so after our wedding but, with some time, I’ve gotten more and more comfortable with the use of his last name. Five months after our wedding, I feel ready (and even eager!) to make the switch. My goal is to have the process finished up by the end of March. Wish me luck!
I’m content with my decision to change my name. I wrote about my thoughts, as well as how I grappled with the decision, as I am a proud feminist, here. In the end, I’m still glad I did it. I like sharing a name with Mr. Pencils, and I like our new little family, shared last initial and all.
What’s interesting now (and kind of perplexing) is that everyone assumes I kept my former last name as my middle name. I’ve had to correct coworkers who introduce me with the wrong name, or assume I hyphenated, and I got a gift for Christmas with my wrong initials.
It was a heck of a hassle, but I wrote about all the steps here, which you can check out if you’re in the process or about to begin!
There wasn’t much of a debate to change my name. Mr. Ducky said it was completely up to me and even offered to make up a new last name so we both had to go through the process. It was important to me to share a last name with him and one day with our children. Also, from a professional standpoint his is easier to pronounce, and that was a benefit. Even though I looked forward to sharing a last name, it was bittersweet when I switched. But, I know it doesn’t change anything for me and my ties to my family. I still catch myself signing my old last name, though! Probably the hardest part was all the paperwork to change it!
Once I get something in my head I MUST DO IT. This means the minute I received our marriage certificate I was at the DMV/Social Security office the next day. I’m kind of intense like that. The decision to change my name was an easy one—I always knew I wanted to have the same last name as my husband and children. My only hesitation was if it was truly a horrible name.
The only piece of changing my name that was hard for me was that after it was done I grew hopelessly sentimental about my maiden name. It is a great name, and I found myself really attached to that piece of my past. The emotional component was a total surprise, but after nearly five months it has eased quite a bit.
Mr. Hot Wings never cared what I did with my name. I wrote about my decision here. We’ve been married for six months, and I still feel the same way about my name. I like it, and I won’t change it anytime soon. When we have kids, we’ll return to the issue of a family name (for both of us). Until then, both our names will remain as is. This is fine for both of us, but there are definitely people who refuse to accept our decision and insist on calling me Mrs. Hislastname. THAT is what bugs the heck out of me.
I kept my name; Mr. Moonbeam and I both liked it that way. I was used to my name as a part of my identity, and he liked that I was remaining true to myself. We might revisit the issue when we contemplate children, but I don’t think it’s going to change. Most of the people who “don’t remember” and still call me Mrs. Hislastname are part of the older set; no one else has expressed negative opinions to me.
Mr. Quiche left the decision up to me, but I’ve never felt strongly about keeping my maiden name so I changed it a few months after the wedding. (The wait period was due to sheer laziness, not indecision.) It’s now been almost two years, and I love my new name! My signature hasn’t changed, though—oops! Luckily, it’s pretty illegible, so it hasn’t been a problem.
I was torn on the name-change decision (I blogged about it here, but ultimately decided to legally change my name to Myfirst Mylast Hislast. (Or “the Jennifer Love Hewitt,” as I called it. Though technically I realize Love is her middle name and not her maiden name, so it’s more like the Hilary Rodham Clinton.) I really love going by all three names, but I realized that my middle name would get dropped a lot, so I decided to keep my maiden name professionally. It was important to me to practice law under the name that is on my diplomas and publications—after all, I did all that work, not Mr. Jelly! And turns out, the State of California will let you get sworn in to its bar under your maiden name even if you have legally changed your name, so it wasn’t a problem to practice under my non-legal name. However, it has caused some confusion with the payroll and benefits departments at my job (because those things do have to be in my legal name). Sometimes I think that if I could go back, I would probably just keep my maiden name legally and professionally to avoid all the hassle and paperwork, and go by Myfirst Mylast Hislast socially. That being said, I do love legally sharing a last name—it makes me feel like we’re more united. So I guess I made the right choice for me. Keeping my maiden name professionally makes me feel like I get the best of both worlds!
I am still Jenna Andersen and plan to always be Jenna Andersen. I didn’t change my name because his is difficult to say and spell, and while we are living in the United States it’s much more convenient to have an American-sounding last name.
We have a son, and he has Mr. Avo’s Polish last name, as will all of our children.
What about you? How did you handle your name change when you got married? If you could go back and do it differently, would you?