Customs and Traditions

Last name?

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Re: Last name?

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    I didn't change mine. After nearly 8 years of marriage, I still haven't had a moment of regret. For me, I just never had any good reason to change it. I wasn't going to do something as drastic as change my name without a reason. "Tradition" is not reason enough for me.

    If you don't want to change it, don't change it. You don't need any reason and you don't need to explain yourself to anyone. 


    Greenjinjo CharmedPam
  • I hyphenated, which for me was a huge compromise.  I like it and I hate it at the same time.  My maiden name is very common, short and easy.  His is Hungarian and a PITA.  Socially, I stick to my maiden, but I've been trying to work in the hyphenated name and it's not as easy as I thought it would be.  When spelling it out do I pause after my name and then say his, should I say them together, should I pick one or the other?  I don't know!
    My maiden name was hyphenated. When spelling it out, I spelled out the first half, said the word "hyphen" and spelled out the second half. For example "De-Bourgh. That's dee ee hyphen bee oh you arr..."

    Be prepared for people to address you only by the second half of your name. I don't know why, but they always seem to skip the first half and the hyphen. Also, If you haven't already come across it, you may notice that not all computer systems accept hyphens as a character. This is especially obnoxious with airlines.

    Both my maiden and married name contain Apostrophes.  Some computers take them, some don't.  Sometimes I would fill in an entire form, hit submit and the apostrophe would cause an error and reset everything.  This is why I didn't hyphenate...although I did consider it for a time just to be *that person* that would be L'name-L'Name...

    Also I would bet that many times the hyphen is not used and is replaced with a space, so when people call to follow-up it is likely they think the first name is a middle name instead of being part of your last name :)

  • LD1970LD1970
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
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    100% personal choice.

    For me, I got married at 38 (almost 39, really), and was happy to change my name, even though I was going from 4 letters to 9 and no one can spell it even though it's phonetic.  It wasn't even a question for me.  It's wasn't H; he was shocked I wanted to change it.  Has nothing to do with kids, I've never wanted those.  It's just that H & I were becoming family, and I wanted the same last name as my family.  Now if anyone uses my maiden name, it sounds weird and takes me a minute to realize they're talking to me.  As far as I'm concerned, my married name IS my name.

    I don't see my name as part of my identity.  My identity is who I am as a person, not the name my father handed down to me by happenstance.  As I told my bosses at the time, who gave me a closed-door lecture to tell me how horrible I was for intending to change my name, "You could call me Bob, and I'd still be me."

    In NJ, in order to change my name at any time not in conjunction with marriage or divorce, I'd have to file a petition, pay a filing fee, publish in papers, wait months, and then go to court to have it approved by the judge after a hearing.  So, yeah, very different in different jurisdictions.

    Still, 100% your choice.  If you're not comfortable changing it, don't let anyone pressure you to do it.
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
    charlotte989875cowgirl8238SP29
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    Definitely not an age thing. I got married for the first time when I was 23, and I did not want to change my name. I kept my maiden name and did not hyphenate. 

    This time around, I was 34 on my wedding day, and I was happy and excited to change my last name. 

    It's such a personal choice. I wanted to share a last name with my husband, and I was happy to give up my name. Bonus, it's easier to spell and pronounce. 

    charlotte989875lyndausvicowgirl8238SP29
  • Your last names is also a feminist issue. The change of your name would have come originally from you being (for want of a better word) sold from your father to your husband. 

    I'm keeping mine and my FI is thinking of it because he likes it. but also in many European countries (where we live), it isn't the cultural norm to change one's name. 

    I guess I'm not so worried because were not planning on having children so that won't matter - and I'm not sure I care what people think about whether I had the same name as hypothetical children.

    I think you should talk to your FI about it though. He might also have strong ideas and it's important to hear them. But ultimately it's about what you will be happy with. 

    It looks like from this post that many women nowadays are not changing their name so you can choose whats best for you.

    :smile: good luck. 
    JediElizabeth
  • I am astounded by the number of women who DO change their name. I recently spoke to a woman who actually had to talk her fiance into her taking his name. I feel like changing your name from one man's (your father's, usually) to another man's name (your husband) somehow feels like you are property or the child of the person whose hame you take. I know lots of people who are excited to do it and everyone has the right to choose their own path, but I just can't get over the feeling that it is outdated. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    Speaking of outdated, this post was from February!  Why dig it up now?

    I realize that this is your first post on the Knot, but please check the date of the post before commenting.  It is considered bad manners to comment on a post that is more than three  months old.

    @emmaaa, please close this thread.


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  • edited May 18
    Unless she's already made the decision and changed her name, she may be interested in other's perspectives. Also, please link to the manners guidelines of this community. I wasn't aware that three months was the expiration. 
    knottiec9d9a8992a69c629
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    Unless she's already made the decision and changed her name, she may be interested in other's perspectives. Also, please link to the manners guidelines of this community. I wasn't aware that three months was the expiration. 


    It's not. I think threads are generally considered definitely dead at 6 months by the mods. But this discussion was essentially over. Maybe now it's not. We usually don't continue it if it's been more than a couple months. The mod CMG tagged will have to decide.

    As to your perspective, since you mention that it's the difference between your dad's name and your husband's, I don't see anything inherently better about keeping the maiden name. I chose to change my name because I intended to have kids, I wanted the kids and parents to all have the same name within that nuclear family, and I didn't want that to get crazy unwieldy with hyphenation, etc. (because then what do the grandkids do when they come to the same choice)? If DH had liked my last name better, we could have all been that, but since neither was really a better name, we just went with the default. I did keep my maiden name as a second middle name legally, though. I really don't think a truly equitable solution has yet been found to names and marriage that hits all those buttons.

    Anniversary

  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    @JamesOAngelaB, you are always welcome to start a new thread if an older topic interests you.
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  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary
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    Generally, threads are not closed until they are at least 6 months old. Since this thread is about 3 months old, I will leave it open for now.

    @JamesOAngelaB Typically, if a thread hasn't been active in over a month or two, it is best to just start a new thread! 

    Thanks!

    DrillSergeantCatSP29
  • I think the equitable solution is to keep the name you were given (or, if having the same name is super important, both change to something new--the mayor of LA was Villar, his wife, Raigosa, became Villaraigosa--a pretty awesome name merge. Some extended relatives have even taken on the new name.) I know plenty of families where the parents don't share a last name and there isn't any problem in life--except the longer list of names when someone is addressing a Christmas card or invitation. 

    And, I totally get it. It's romantic to be The Johnsons. Writing "Mrs. Johnson" hearkens to 7th grade when you practiced writing the name you'd be called if you married your crush. Many of our parents have the same last name. We probably want that kind of family tradition with our own families. It's really sweet to have that "The Johnsons, Est. 2017" on the front door. Or the family tee shirts at Disneyland. 

    For me, I feel like changing my name makes me part of my husband's brand. I have my own brand. Sure, it's an offshoot of my dad but I don't need to be gobbled up by another brand and lose the identity I've embraced. And I feel like it contributes to the imbalance in equality for everyone. 

    Think about it this way. What if your husband took your name. Your first gut reaction is probably either, "That's wrong/weird" or "How very modern." Women taking on their husband's name is so entrenched that NOT changing seems "modern".  

    The woman who started this post wanted some perspective. Ultimately, we all have each other's back. Community members here are reading this conversation rather than starting a new post. And everyone will make their decisions and have wonderful weddings!
  • kwiksilverkwiksilver
    500 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
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    edited May 19
    Since the post has been resurrected, might as well use it

    ANNNNND it ate the rest of what I wrote. UGH

    Edited to re-add:

    On one hand I am really excited about changing my last name.  I never liked my maiden name.  When I got divorced, I kept my ex's last name, because we have kiddos together and they were little and it was just easier.  Even though my ex's last name is long, French, and people are forever butchering the pronunciation.  I also have a weirdo first name (thanks mom) and so I am forever spelling the whole disaster out.  Although sometimes letting telemarketers/callers from companies struggle through pronouncing it all is entertaining.

    My FI has a simple and short last name.  It's pretty common/plain, so that will be novel.

    I did suggest maybe we both could change our last name, but no matter how I tried, I couldn't sell him on us becoming Mr. & Mrs. Dragonwagon.  Shame really.
    emmaaa[Deleted User]DrillSergeantCatlevioosa


  • I think the equitable solution is to keep the name you were given (or, if having the same name is super important, both change to something new--the mayor of LA was Villar, his wife, Raigosa, became Villaraigosa--a pretty awesome name merge. Some extended relatives have even taken on the new name.) I know plenty of families where the parents don't share a last name and there isn't any problem in life--except the longer list of names when someone is addressing a Christmas card or invitation. 

    And, I totally get it. It's romantic to be The Johnsons. Writing "Mrs. Johnson" hearkens to 7th grade when you practiced writing the name you'd be called if you married your crush. Many of our parents have the same last name. We probably want that kind of family tradition with our own families. It's really sweet to have that "The Johnsons, Est. 2017" on the front door. Or the family tee shirts at Disneyland. 

    For me, I feel like changing my name makes me part of my husband's brand. I have my own brand. Sure, it's an offshoot of my dad but I don't need to be gobbled up by another brand and lose the identity I've embraced. And I feel like it contributes to the imbalance in equality for everyone. 

    Think about it this way. What if your husband took your name. Your first gut reaction is probably either, "That's wrong/weird" or "How very modern." Women taking on their husband's name is so entrenched that NOT changing seems "modern".  

    The woman who started this post wanted some perspective. Ultimately, we all have each other's back. Community members here are reading this conversation rather than starting a new post. And everyone will make their decisions and have wonderful weddings!


    Yeah, no. Women change their names for all kinds of reasons as you can read through the thread. 

    My one brother and I are the only ones with the same last name in our family. My mother never changed hers, my stepmom never changed hers and my little brother has her last name. My FI and I decided to give our son his last name for a number of very personal reasons. I'm still not changing my name. I am resigned to the fact that people will address me as Mrs. DS Last Name and I'm fine with that, I will decide to gently correct or not.
    atomicblonde[Deleted User]
  • edited May 25
    When I went to the community front page this morning, many of the featured conversations were old. Some back to 2014. I'm not thinking the Knot folks have time to go close all the links but it is a reason why older posts get resurrected. 
    Australian_girl_in_Parisknottiec9d9a8992a69c629
  • Also, I think it's a good conversation to have. In some ways, it's annoying that name changing is even a topic but, because it is a significant step that many brides take, I like that we can kick it around. Make an informed decision, to be clique. 






  • I think the equitable solution is to keep the name you were given (or, if having the same name is super important, both change to something new--the mayor of LA was Villar, his wife, Raigosa, became Villaraigosa--a pretty awesome name merge. Some extended relatives have even taken on the new name.) I know plenty of families where the parents don't share a last name and there isn't any problem in life--except the longer list of names when someone is addressing a Christmas card or invitation. 

    And, I totally get it. It's romantic to be The Johnsons. Writing "Mrs. Johnson" hearkens to 7th grade when you practiced writing the name you'd be called if you married your crush. Many of our parents have the same last name. We probably want that kind of family tradition with our own families. It's really sweet to have that "The Johnsons, Est. 2017" on the front door. Or the family tee shirts at Disneyland. 

    For me, I feel like changing my name makes me part of my husband's brand. I have my own brand. Sure, it's an offshoot of my dad but I don't need to be gobbled up by another brand and lose the identity I've embraced. And I feel like it contributes to the imbalance in equality for everyone. 

    Think about it this way. What if your husband took your name. Your first gut reaction is probably either, "That's wrong/weird" or "How very modern." Women taking on their husband's name is so entrenched that NOT changing seems "modern".  

    The woman who started this post wanted some perspective. Ultimately, we all have each other's back. Community members here are reading this conversation rather than starting a new post. And everyone will make their decisions and have wonderful weddings!





    Thank you for letting me know how I think.


    I was talking about the hypothetical/general "you". I know, my English teacher would scold me and tell me that's not proper usage. For this very reaction. 
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
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    I think the equitable solution is to keep the name you were given (or, if having the same name is super important, both change to something new--the mayor of LA was Villar, his wife, Raigosa, became Villaraigosa--a pretty awesome name merge. Some extended relatives have even taken on the new name.) I know plenty of families where the parents don't share a last name and there isn't any problem in life--except the longer list of names when someone is addressing a Christmas card or invitation. 

    And, I totally get it. It's romantic to be The Johnsons. Writing "Mrs. Johnson" hearkens to 7th grade when you practiced writing the name you'd be called if you married your crush. Many of our parents have the same last name. We probably want that kind of family tradition with our own families. It's really sweet to have that "The Johnsons, Est. 2017" on the front door. Or the family tee shirts at Disneyland. 

    For me, I feel like changing my name makes me part of my husband's brand. I have my own brand. Sure, it's an offshoot of my dad but I don't need to be gobbled up by another brand and lose the identity I've embraced. And I feel like it contributes to the imbalance in equality for everyone. 

    Think about it this way. What if your husband took your name. Your first gut reaction is probably either, "That's wrong/weird" or "How very modern." Women taking on their husband's name is so entrenched that NOT changing seems "modern".  

    The woman who started this post wanted some perspective. Ultimately, we all have each other's back. Community members here are reading this conversation rather than starting a new post. And everyone will make their decisions and have wonderful weddings!







    Thank you for letting me know how I think.




    I was talking about the hypothetical/general "you". I know, my English teacher would scold me and tell me that's not proper usage. For this very reaction. 


    I think we all know that you meant the hypothetical/general you. I didn't post that, but I did "love it." If you had said "If a guy took his wife's last name, people's first gut reaction would be ...," I expect people would still have had an issue with it because you are stereotyping and putting words in other people's mouths. I accept that people have different opinions on whether or not to change their name, but it really bugs me when people post stuff like you did, which acts like there is one right decision.

    ILoveBeachMusicflantastic
  • Since I got called out already I'm sending this with a disclaimer: YES I REALISE THIS IS AN OLDER THREAD... but I am commenting anyway because I have something to say.

    I changed my name during my first marriage. It took a long time and it was expensive and a hassle. Then I changed it back. 3 years later I am getting married again. I don't want to change it. It was also, as OP said, hard for me to accept it... my last name I have had my whole life, it's me, I love it and it's the name I'm known in my work industry by.

    My fiancé wants me to change it. I don't really want to. I don't really like the connotation of being someone else's property. I like his last name. I just feel like no other name suits me better than my own.

    Also my dad only had 2 girls (my sister and I)... my sister is married and changed her name. My parents and I are the only ones left with this last name. If I change it and god forbid my parents pass away, the last name dies along with it. I want this name to last as long as possible.

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  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
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    Since I got called out already I'm sending this with a disclaimer: YES I REALISE THIS IS AN OLDER THREAD... but I am commenting anyway because I have something to say.

    I changed my name during my first marriage. It took a long time and it was expensive and a hassle. Then I changed it back. 3 years later I am getting married again. I don't want to change it. It was also, as OP said, hard for me to accept it... my last name I have had my whole life, it's me, I love it and it's the name I'm known in my work industry by.

    My fiancé wants me to change it. I don't really want to. I don't really like the connotation of being someone else's property. I like his last name. I just feel like no other name suits me better than my own.

    Also my dad only had 2 girls (my sister and I)... my sister is married and changed her name. My parents and I are the only ones left with this last name. If I change it and god forbid my parents pass away, the last name dies along with it. I want this name to last as long as possible.



    This thread is older, but the last comment was just a few days ago. You're not resurrecting a dead thread. That's the difference there.

    Why did it cost you to change your name? I'm really curious about that. I only had to pay for a new driver's license. Getting the name changed was as easy as taking my marriage certificate to the social security office. 
    emmaaa






  • Since I got called out already I'm sending this with a disclaimer: YES I REALISE THIS IS AN OLDER THREAD... but I am commenting anyway because I have something to say.

    I changed my name during my first marriage. It took a long time and it was expensive and a hassle. Then I changed it back. 3 years later I am getting married again. I don't want to change it. It was also, as OP said, hard for me to accept it... my last name I have had my whole life, it's me, I love it and it's the name I'm known in my work industry by.

    My fiancé wants me to change it. I don't really want to. I don't really like the connotation of being someone else's property. I like his last name. I just feel like no other name suits me better than my own.

    Also my dad only had 2 girls (my sister and I)... my sister is married and changed her name. My parents and I are the only ones left with this last name. If I change it and god forbid my parents pass away, the last name dies along with it. I want this name to last as long as possible.





    This thread is older, but the last comment was just a few days ago. You're not resurrecting a dead thread. That's the difference there.

    Why did it cost you to change your name? I'm really curious about that. I only had to pay for a new driver's license. Getting the name changed was as easy as taking my marriage certificate to the social security office. 



    Passport costs $110 & Drivers license. Something else costs some $$ too. Each state is different.
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  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
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    Passport costs $110 & Drivers license. Something else costs some $$ too. Each state is different.


    Gotcha. My passport expired so I forgot about that. 








  • Passport costs $110 & Drivers license. Something else costs some $$ too. Each state is different.




    Gotcha. My passport expired so I forgot about that. 



    I've changed my passport 3 times in 4 years & not because I went anywhere cool
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  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
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    Passport costs $110 & Drivers license. Something else costs some $$ too. Each state is different.






    Gotcha. My passport expired so I forgot about that. 





    I've changed my passport 3 times in 4 years & not because I went anywhere cool


    I don't know if you fall under this, but it sounds like you would with this frequent of changes. If you change your name within one year of the passport's issuance, the fee is waived. That's what I did, so there was no charge for me to get an updated passport. 

    https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/services/correction.html

    OurWildKingdom
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
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    edited July 10




    I didn't change mine. After nearly 8 years of marriage, I still haven't had a moment of regret. For me, I just never had any good reason to change it. I wasn't going to do something as drastic as change my name without a reason. "Tradition" is not reason enough for me.

    If you don't want to change it, don't change it. You don't need any reason and you don't need to explain yourself to anyone. 






    Thank you for writing this.  I didn't change mine either for the exact same reason.  Why? We're not going to have kids and I had this name for 38 years.

    edit:  I did not see the age of this post.  Sorry.  I clicked on it since it said 'new' and only saw page 2 on (which is still pretty old).  my bad.

  • As other posters have said you could change it in social situations etc. My plan is to change it legally but keep my maiden name at work which 
    1. Would be the main place of my "importance" and "making a name for myself" 
    2. Both my parents worked at the place I work now and my dad really made a name for himself there. Most people know me as "John's daughter" (not my dad's name) and when I applied for the job the reply was "we have to hire the Smith girl" (again not my last name.) So my maiden last name helped get me my job that I love. And being "the smith girl" has pushed me even more to do my job the best I can.
    So at work I'm keeping my maiden name. Plus my maiden name is way easier to spell and say.

    But I'm looking forward to being called "Mrs. crazy-spelled name." Outside of work. Plus it's way easier IMO once we have kids. 

    Another suggestion is ask if he'd like to take your name? Its your name and your family do what you want and not what society says you should do.  

     

  • I am also struggling with it. My fiance loves my last name. he said if it's a girl, she should follow my last name, as it is so beautiful. He's last name, is a little weird. But he's family is very traditional and they would not agree to it. My future parents-in-law have talked to me how their son's idea have offended them. But they have a very stubborn son. They said the only way to force him to give up his idea is for me to change my last name after the wedding, and they asked me "you will do that, do you?" I said yes, because in front of parents, I am always a yes person. I surely know how you feel. Love is not a business of your own, it involves your fiance, their family, and your family, because you don't want to upset them.
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