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Changing your last name

ChloeTheGreat

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 25, 2009
Messages
682
I'm sure the topic has been discussed here before, but now that our weddings are approaching it is something we should all be considering...

What are your plans for changing your name? Will you keep your name? Will you hyphenate?
Is it something you have had to think about? Is it a given? Have you not thought about it at all?

I'm pretty sure I'm going to take his name. I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I like my last name and I don't really want to give it up. SO would like me to take his name, but is ok with hyphenating. I think hyphenating would be a pain. I don't think Chloe Hisname sounds as good as Chloe Myname...but maybe that's just because I've been Chloe Myname for my whole life.

Anyone else having name change dilemmas?
 

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snoopkat

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
203
i'm double barrelling mine and mr snoopkat's last name. I want the world to know I'm married to him but I don't want to give up my own name either. This way, I have the best of both worlds :appl:
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
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He insisted that I change my name, but I was adamant about not changing it. We had some pretty serious conflict over the issue. I ended up hyphenating as a compromise, but I go by my maiden name pretty much exclusively. I cringe when I hear myself referred to as "Mrs. Hisname" because it just doesn't feel like who I am. That doesn't mean I'm any less happy to be married to him, just that keeping my name is crucially important to me and my identity.

The poor hyphen seems to be getting a bad rap these days! I think hyphenating would be a perfect compromise for you, as it was for us. I don't see how it's any more of a pain than changing your name to his...any name change in any direction is a HUGE pain. Trust me; it's still coming back to bite me 2+ years later. It's quite versatile, as you can choose to go by your maiden name or his name in any given situation (say you'd like to use your name professionally and his name socially...you could easily do that and nobody would blink an eye).
 

gem_anemone

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Jun 21, 2011
Messages
682
I will be taking FI's lastname. He's one of those guys who would insist his wife take his name. It could be a point of contention in our relationship if I wanted to keep mine or hyphenate. Luckily for him (and me I suppose ;-) ) I'm looking forward to being a Mrs. Hisname :D
 

blacksand

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Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
889
I never really thought of my name as being a crucial part of my identity, I guess. I like my last name and my family history, but I wouldn't feel any less connected to that history if I were to change my name. Oddly, I think changing my name will make me feel more connected to his family, however. I adore his family and can't wait to be a part of it. They are a very small family. In fact, FI and one second cousin of his are the only males of child-bearing age with his last name, so there are very few chances to carry on that name. I'm glad our children will have that name, and I will happily take it as well. But our children will be just as much a part of my family tradition as they are his. I am certainly not abandoning my heritage, just adding to it.
 

ladypirate

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Messages
4,553
I was perfectly happy to keep my name but it meant a lot to DH for us to have one name together. I told him that was fine but I was not changing mine unless he changed his as well. Also I really like my last name and didn't particularly just want to change to something else. We went back and forth over several options but ended up both hyphenating to MyLast-Hislast. They sound good together (actually kind of rhyme, weirdly enough, but not so much that it sounds strange) and since he's really close to my family he likes sharing a last name with them as well. At first he was worried that people would give him crap about it but everyone has been really positive and now a year and a half later he is really glad we went this way.
 

mrscushion

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Messages
3,309
I took DH's name. I know he likes that I have his name now, but he told me to do whatever felt right to me. In fact, I would have not reacted well to it at all if he had insisted I take his name.
 

slg47

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Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
I plan on taking FI's name. I want everyone in our new family to have the same name :)
 

chemgirl

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Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
1,895
I kept my name. DH said there was no way he would change his name, so he didn't see why should I have to change mine. He was 100% on board with my keeping my name.

I always thought I would take my husband's name, but I seriously don't like DH's last name, so that changed things a bit.

And I'm not just a horrible witch, his sister changed her name because she hates it so much. I anticipate our children being made fun of in the future.
 

Clairitek

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
4,881
I cringed when I saw the thread title because this has been a hotly debated topic for a long time over here in BWW and I often find myself bristling at the comments. This time it's different, though.

I can echo Jstarfireb's sentiments pretty much exactly, except for the part about insistence from my spouse about a name change. Mine didn't mind either way (at least thats what he told me). I waffled for 5 months before making a choice. First I wasn't going to do anything. Then I was going to change my name entirely to his. Then hyphenate. Wash, rinse, repeat. Finally I decided to make my last my middle (didn't have one before) and take his. THEN I went to the SS office and starting having a breakdown in the waiting area while I was filling out the form. I sat there and stared at the "New Last Name" section of the form, started to write in his last name and just lost it. I knew that if I was having such a visceral reaction to that change, it wasn't the right choice for me. However, I really wanted to share something with him and our future kids. Another issue for me was that I knew my dad was going to be sad if I dropped our family name entirely. So I got in the car, called DH and verified that A) he didn't want to hyphenate himself and B) he was OK with our kids having a hyphenated name. He didn't want to make a change (probably why he didn't insist that I make a change) and he was OK with our kids being hyphenated.

So I went to a different SS office closer to my work and happily hyphenated my name and got a freebie middle name change out of it (now my mother's maiden name, I'm very close to her side of the family). I love my name and I love that I am perfectly content with spitting out his last name for stuff that involves us both (but isn't official... like a dinner reservation).

When I found out that Ladypirate's DH was going to hyphenate with her I got so jealous! I really wish my DH had opted to do that, but I didn't pressure him about it. Knowing LP personally, I can attest to the fact that her new last name really rocks and it does roll off the tongue quite easily.

As for acceptance by others of my name choice- DH's parents address stuff to me as Mrs Clairitek HisLast. If it is something for us both, it is addressed to Mr and Mrs DHFirst HisLast. THAT makes me cringe (like jstar). I moaned about it to my mother once and she, as a joke, sent something to us both addressed as Dr and Mr Clairitek HerLast-HisLast. DH laughed.
I've had a couple of friends give me grief about it. One of them told me she "wasn't surprised" that I was the one of her friends who hyphenated (which, as far as I can tell, is the same as not changing anything at all in her book). Followed up with how she feels like more of a family sharing a last name with her DH. I have wondered over the last couple of years if she realized how that sounded to me, almost as if I was less of a family with DH because I didn't 100% switch to his name. :rolleyes: :???: ETA: Had she said this in two different conversations I would have done my best to not take it personally, but one statement after the next stung a bit. She also told me how I'm not a Mrs. since I didn't change to only his name (I've researched this online, can't find a definitive answer).

So after this long rambling post (sorry!), it seems like most of the people who have posted ahead of me all have personal reasons as to why they chose to do what they did. I think name changes are just that- a personal choice. I'm glad my DH stayed out of it and didn't even tell me his opinion one way or another. He understood that my maiden name was part of my identity for 27 years, just as I understood that his last name was part of his and he didn't want to change it.
 

Blackpaw

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
2,469
Im not going to change mine...i have no attachment to it, in fact id kinda like to take my mother's maiden name...but that seems like a pain, and might offend my father.

As for my FI's last name, awhile ago i thought id take it, but now the idea seems a bit of an anachronism to me. FI wont change his thats for sure, he has a bit of an attachment to the heritage that comes with it which is fair enough. I cant pretend to have that attachment so it would seem a waste of time to change it!

Clairitek thats interesting about whether or not you're a 'Mrs' if you dont change your name! id be happy to be a miss i think, it makes me sound younger =)
 

sillyberry

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Messages
1,792
I'm literally trying to make a final decision today, as I start work in 2 weeks and my employer needs to know what name I will be using.

Gah.

It changes every damn day what I want to do. How am I supposed to know who I want for the rest of my life? Other than a rockstar, of course. That's not changing.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
sillyberry said:
I'm literally trying to make a final decision today, as I start work in 2 weeks and my employer needs to know what name I will be using.

Gah.

It changes every damn day what I want to do. How am I supposed to know who I want for the rest of my life? Other than a rockstar, of course. That's not changing.
:)
 

swingirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,652
I know it's old fashioned but I like the tradition of parents and kids having the same last name. Mr and Mrs His-Last-Name and Family.
 

blacksand

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
889
That is a really good question about the "Mrs." title. One of my good friends opted not to change her name, and I always hesitate when addressing mail to her. Is it Mrs. Herlastname and Mr. Hislastname? Miss? Ms.? I usually go with Mrs., since I feel like your title should change when you are married, even if your name doesn't, but I have no idea if that's correct, I just arbitrarily decided that's how it should be. But then, I know some people object to the possessive implications of "Mrs." as well, so it's always tough to call.

I finally asked my friend how she likes to be addressed last weekend. To my surprise, she responded that she wasn't really sure either, and since she was tired of wondering, she had decided to go ahead and change her name to her husband's after five years of marriage. So I may never have an answer to my question, but at least their mail will be a little easier to address now!
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
blacksand|1316627977|3022265 said:
That is a really good question about the "Mrs." title. One of my good friends opted not to change her name, and I always hesitate when addressing mail to her. Is it Mrs. Herlastname and Mr. Hislastname? Miss? Ms.? I usually go with Mrs., since I feel like your title should change when you are married, even if your name doesn't, but I have no idea if that's correct, I just arbitrarily decided that's how it should be. But then, I know some people object to the possessive implications of "Mrs." as well, so it's always tough to call.

I finally asked my friend how she likes to be addressed last weekend. To my surprise, she responded that she wasn't really sure either, and since she was tired of wondering, she had decided to go ahead and change her name to her husband's after five years of marriage. So I may never have an answer to my question, but at least their mail will be a little easier to address now!
I looked this up when we were addressing wedding invitations...technically it should be "Mr. HisFirst HisLast and Ms. HerFirst HerLast". So if she keeps her maiden name, she is Ms.

I tried googling hyphenated names and could not find a good answer...
 

blacksand

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
889
Fair enough. "Ms." is a good bet anyway, when in doubt. I just thought there should be some sort of post-marriage title change, but I guess it's tied to the name change. Hyphenated names are tricky, I'm never sure what to do title-wise. I tend to default to "Mrs.," but maybe I should use "Ms." to be safe.
 

Novel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
1,199
We're planning on me not changing my name. For me, personally, I can't imagine taking his name. This is partially because I'm one ethnicity and he is another, and I don't like the idea of having seemingly erasing my ethnicity from part of my name. What is hardest for me right now is the idea of what we'll do when we have kids, because I want them to feel connected to both of us, but I don't love the idea of them having a last name that doesn't have my ethnicity in it at all.

It is so interesting to hear everyone's perspectives on this! I love how non-judgmental this has been so far.
 

ChloeTheGreat

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 25, 2009
Messages
682
So today I tried signing my name a few different ways to see what I thought...

We (SO has been helpful in sharing his thought and supporting me in my decision making process) decided that Chloe Myname Hisname sounds the best. That way, I don't have to deal with hyphenating (which sounds funny and seems so confusing to me) I get to take his name, which is what he wanted and I get to keep the sound of Chloe Myname. I'm ditching my middle name, which doesn't really have significant meaning (not my mother's maiden name or anything) and I feel that I don't even ever really use it.

I told SO that when I change my name I will need a piece of jewelry monogrammed with my new initials. Good excuse for some jewelry, right?!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I didn't do it initially. But it's funny I want to do it now.

I had a HUGE issue with Gypsy HisLastName being someone I didn't know. With the wedding and the marriage looming it seemed like way too much to deal with.

So I didn't deal with it. Today is our 3 year marriage anniversary. I can honestly say that with everything wedding behind me... I can finally separate the emotion from the reality... and THINK instead of just feeling.

So... the result is... FOR ME, my last name doesn't redefine me and I'm still the same person regardless of my last name. But the last name is a way of declaring how much I LOVE BEING HIS WIFE. So I think that as soon as I get my lazy arse in gear I'll change it.

So the take away. It's NOT IRREVERSIBLE or TIME SENSITIVE.

RELAX, take a few steps back. Just breathe until you can think.

You don't have to decide right now. IF you want to change your name... you can do it later. When you are planning a wedding you are making so many decisions and THIS ONE is a very hard one, for some.

There's nothing wrong with waiting to decide.
 

jstarfireb

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Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,231
Gypsy, about the time-sensitive part, I heard a disturbing bit on another thread about certain locations requiring your name change to happen within 30 days of the date on your marriage certificate. Not sure how true that is, but in fact it might be time-sensitive for some people.

As for the Mrs./Ms. stuff, I have a different title anyway (Dr.), so it doesn't matter to me. Professionally, people call me Dr. Lastname (either hyphenated or maiden), or even Dr. Firstname since my last name is hard to pronounce. Personally I like being known as Dr. Firstname anyway! My mom changed her name, though, and she still goes by Ms. rather than Mrs. I don't know that there's a hard and fast rule. She doesn't like Mrs. because it gives away your marital status in a way that has no equivalency among men. A little odd, but kind of a double standard.

The talk about middle names brings up something I forgot to mention. My middle name is something of a family heirloom. Almost all the women on my mom's side of the family have some version of it in their names. So it was important to me not to give up my middle name, plus I love how it sounds. And there's also the fact that if I would have replaced my middle name with my maiden name, my last name would still be his and not mine. But I understand the idea of making your maiden name a middle name if you aren't attached to your middle name and don't mind being called by and officially known as his last name.
 

sillyberry

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Jul 28, 2009
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jstarfireb|1316665259|3022680 said:
Gypsy, about the time-sensitive part, I heard a disturbing bit on another thread about certain locations requiring your name change to happen within 30 days of the date on your marriage certificate. Not sure how true that is, but in fact it might be time-sensitive for some people.

As for the Mrs./Ms. stuff, I have a different title anyway (Dr.), so it doesn't matter to me. Professionally, people call me Dr. Lastname (either hyphenated or maiden), or even Dr. Firstname since my last name is hard to pronounce. Personally I like being known as Dr. Firstname anyway! My mom changed her name, though, and she still goes by Ms. rather than Mrs. I don't know that there's a hard and fast rule. She doesn't like Mrs. because it gives away your marital status in a way that has no equivalency among men. A little odd, but kind of a double standard.

The talk about middle names brings up something I forgot to mention. My middle name is something of a family heirloom. Almost all the women on my mom's side of the family have some version of it in their names. So it was important to me not to give up my middle name, plus I love how it sounds. And there's also the fact that if I would have replaced my middle name with my maiden name, my last name would still be his and not mine. But I understand the idea of making your maiden name a middle name if you aren't attached to your middle name and don't mind being called by and officially known as his last name.
For some states, it is within X days of deciding to change your name, not X days of marriage. The exact timeframe depends on the state. Essentially if you are going to go by a name, you have to legally change it within a certain amount of time. A vaguely related analogy would be how some states don't allow common law marriage - if you want to be married, you have to do it legally. Same for if you want to go by a certain name, you have to do it legally (as opposed to just using it openly and notoriously).

Just didn't want to perpetuate that bit of misinformation!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Jstar, if Prince can change his name to a symbol without any wedding... you can figure out a way to change your name at anytime. And if you can't in your state PLEASE tell me where you are so I can move there and sue the state for such a ridiculous rule. I'd love to get MY NAME on a big court case like that.

I get the 30 days from YOUR DECISION totally. I do not at all get 30 days from your wedding date.

I would double check things Jstar, sillyberry's post makes much more sense.
 

jstarfireb

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
6,231
Thanks for the clarification, was just repeating what I heard in another thread. I was on a break at work while I posted, so I didn't have time to verify things.
 

Echidna

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Oct 26, 2009
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723
jstarfireb|1316665259|3022680 said:
As for the Mrs./Ms. stuff, I have a different title anyway (Dr.), so it doesn't matter to me.
Jstar, this has been my BIGGEST sore point. I'm a postdoc with a couple of pubs, but I decided I'd change my professional name anyway.

Getting letters to MRS NewLastName, however, just gets up my nose in the worst way. I was never a Mrs, just went from Dr K to Dr G. My title is just as important a part of my identity as my last name, it was hard won, and dammit I want it used!

Interestingly, when I went to change my name and title at the bank, they wanted proof of the PhD as well as the marriage :rolleyes:

*end rant*
 

Bleed Burnt Orange

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Nov 22, 2009
Messages
765
My last name is cool, but my fiance's is cooler! I will take his name legally. I would like to hyphenate, but, his is 8 characters, and mine is 7, that's too much of a hassle.

My last name is certainly not my identity. I'll sign the hyphenated version.
 

kateydid05

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
248
I have no idea what I am going to do. I have always been hell bent on keeping my last name especially because I do not plan on having children and it wouldn't make me any less married. One day before we got engaged I talked to my SO about this and he expressed that he would be hurt if I did not. So I started thinking about it. After we got engaged his sister jokingly said "why would you want to be a HisLastName" and I lost it. To me, my name is my heritage and identity. I had such a raw reaction to not being who I've been for the last 26 years that I actually started to cry. I was not expecting the reaction I had.

My last name is 6 letters and very Italian. My SO's last name is 11 letters and unbelievably German (and I hate it). Hyphenating is clearly not an option and I like my current middle name too; it all flows. Erasing that and putting my maiden name there sounds so weird to me. His name sounds good on him but it does not sound good with mine and the nicknames he gets associated with his last name drive me insane. I would not be offended if legally I kept my last name name but socially I was Mrs. HisLastName. That's fine with me.

I have no idea what I will do when we get married. I expect many more conversations about it though, that's for sure.
 

amc80

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Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
For the Ms./Mrs. debate, I found this:


Should one adult member of a household have a hyphenated last name, the address should begin with that person's last name. For example, it should read: Ms. Jane Jones-Smith and Mr. John Smith. It is important to point out that the title "Mrs." is not used when the wife chooses to hyphenate her last name--Ms. is used on all formal correspondence.
Read more: Wedding Invitation Etiquette for Hyphenated Names | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6865797_wedding-invitation-etiquette-hyphenated-names.html#ixzz1Yj2KiNMK

I will be taking my fiance's last name. Honestly, it wasn't even something I really had to think about, I just always knew that when I got married I'd be changing my name. I'm actually pretty excited about it.
 

sillyberry

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Jul 28, 2009
Messages
1,792
sillyberry|1316624604|3022217 said:
I'm literally trying to make a final decision today, as I start work in 2 weeks and my employer needs to know what name I will be using.

Gah.

It changes every damn day what I want to do. How am I supposed to know who I want for the rest of my life? Other than a rockstar, of course. That's not changing.
Update - as of now, I've kept my name. Given that I'm about to start my career, it will probably stay that way (provided I'm successful, you know, which is definitely suspect!), but I'm also never saying never.
 
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