What’s In A (Last) Name?

Hey Readers!

Now that I’m engaged, the fun and the planning of this wedding have (slowly) begun. There are so many little moving parts to this shindig that we have to consider.  There’s the venue, the invitee list, the decor, the dress, but there is also one matter that nags at me from time to time: my name. My last name to be exact. For some brides-to-be, this is a no-brainer solution, but for others, it’s one to be considered carefully. Would I want to change my last name or should I just keep it as it is?

When I was younger, there was no doubt in my mind that I would keep it as it was. Why change what was perfect? As I grew up, I had begun to flip-flop with the notion of changing my name. Why not be know as Mrs. Jones or Mrs. Smith? Of course, I turned to my friends for guidance.  Just about all of my friends are married, or have been married, and they were a wealth on knowledge and opinions.  They were also split down the middle between Team Change or Team Keep It. Here are the reasons they gave me on both sides of the situation.

Team Change

  1. Spirituality – The union of marriage unites two people, making them a singular unit. Since you are now “one,” why not complete our union by sharing a last name.
  2. Tradition – This is how some people were brought up, and they want to carry on this tradition of taking the name of their partner.  It also ties in nicely to my first point in this section. I have heard of both women and men changing their names to become a family unit.
  3. Confusion – Oh, the explaining I would have to go through when people ask why I didn’t take my other half’s last name! No one will be able to call us “The Smiths” or “Mrs. Smith” because, quite literally, I wouldn’t be! I would also have to be constantly correcting people when, with the family, I am refered to as “Mrs. Smith”


Team Keep It

  1. Professional – If I have done work under one name, then it may become a bit confusing to those following you if I changed my name.  I could change it legally, but professionally, it may just be easier to keep it as it is.
  2. Financial – It costs money to have my name. I’m not a cheap person, but I would have a lot amount of documentation  to change to be known as Mrs. So-And-So. I know, it takes away form the romance and the family unity, but it is not an overnight change, either.
  3. Identity – Why should have to change my last name to become a family? Does changing my name automatically bond us together as a family? No, so then why make this change?

After mulling over all of the points of view my friends had on this subject, I made a decision. I will be keeping my last name. What made me decide to keep my last name the same? It had to do with the identity factor. I just could not see myself being called by anything else than my last name. I tried hearing what my last name would be if I changed it, and it just didn’t sound right in my ears. As well, I just wouldn’t feel like me with any other last name. As much as I do like keeping certain traditions, but not this one. Besides, with my mindset, my last name suits my somewhat stubborn nature, lending more support to Team Keep It side of the question at hand.

Now that one of the million of decisions has been made about this wedding, it can be crossed off of the “Wedding To-Do” list. Whew!  😛

Would you change your last name? What helped you make this decision?

Until my next post, Readers!


8 thoughts on “What’s In A (Last) Name?

  1. Firstly big Congratulations!! Okay the name, I changed mine simply because I didn’t really like my last name. Plus I’ve never associated my name with my identity, I’ve actually never given “identity” any real thought. I just think of me as me. Maybe that is identity.

    • Hi Catherine! Thanks for popping by my blog and commenting, as well as for your congrats! We’re really excited, and can’t wait for this day to actually happen!

      I understand if you didn’t like your last name before you married your husband and wanting to change it to his. You brought up a good point of some people not associating their name with their identity. Thanks for sharing this point of view. for me, I have always seen my name as being a part of who I am. It just wouldn’t feel right.

  2. Congratulations on your engagement! I did change my name when I got married, mostly because I like the idea of how it makes us sound like a unit, or a team. I certainly understand why some women choose to keep their maiden name!

  3. I ended up making this decision by not making this decision. I actually planned to change my name and then kept putting it off and putting it off. Then I realized there was a reason for that. It is part of my identity so I kept it. I do sometimes go by Madame Diotte informally though – that’s also part of my identity know. I also joke that if I ever formally took my husband’s last name I could probably convince the Public Service I was francophone and never have to be tested on my French again (but even that didn’t get me doing the paperwork – so I listened to my inaction).

    It’s a personal choice – with good reasons for both. Well done on thinking it through to a choice that works well for you.

    • Thanks, Louise! I’m glad that your decision/lack of decision was right for you. Like you said, my last name is a part of who I am. I couldn’t imagine being called byany other last name. If they did try to call my by my other half’s last name, I would be looking around to see who they were speaking to! Thanks for always popping by my blog and showing your support! 🙂

  4. I changed my name three years after getting married. My wife and I – well she started it – decided to take both names – unhyphenated so that we can use either or both and our kids will be free to take whichever they prefer when they are older and if they choose to get married or change their names. I wrote a post about it last summer on the tenth anniversary of my new identity. http://dadgoesround.com/2014/08/this-womens-lib-thing-has-gone-too-far/

    • DadGoesRound, I think that both you and your wife changing your last names is a another option people should consider in this situation. It’s sweet and both sides are happy. Thanks for sharing what you did and your post! I will be sure to check it out.

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