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Customs and Traditions

Name changing - why or why not?

So, I'm wondering is there any real reason why either of us should change our last name? 

I don't actually have any strong feelings about whether we hyphenate, I take his last name, or we don't change our names at all, so I'm trying to get a better idea of pros and cons. For what it's worth, we have established that my fiancee will not take my last name because he already shares a first name with my cousin and them having the same first and last name would just be a little weird.

So basically, if there are any issues, troubles, annoyances, or difficulties, minor or major when it comes to hyphenating or not changing your last name I am curious about them because it may very well be worth it to me to change my last name in order to avoid that.  



Re: Name changing - why or why not?

  • I changed mine because I didn't have a strong attachment to my maiden name & it was a PITA to pronounce and spell. H has a pretty basic (but not super common) last name. I also figured that way any kids we have will have the same last name as both of us. It's gotten more common for parents to have two different last names, but I know it used to be kind of a hassle for whatever parent had the different last name from the kids. I did struggle a little bit with letting go of the "family name," but then I figured my parents didn't choose my last name; they chose my first & middle names and I felt good keeping those names the same. 

    Changing my name was a bit of a hassle; going to the SSI office & the DMV (at least in NC) was a bit of a hassle, and they have to be done on separate days. One of my banks gave me a stupidly hard time about changing it (the one with our joint checking account, go figure), so my name is correct on the account but my debit card still has my maiden name. I'm still finding things that should be updated, but it's mostly minor things at this point that weren't a big deal. 
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    So, I'm wondering is there any real reason why either of us should change our last name? 

    I don't actually have any strong feelings about whether we hyphenate, I take his last name, or we don't change our names at all, so I'm trying to get a better idea of pros and cons. For what it's worth, we have established that my fiancee will not take my last name because he already shares a first name with my cousin and them having the same first and last name would just be a little weird.

    So basically, if there are any issues, troubles, annoyances, or difficulties, minor or major when it comes to hyphenating or not changing your last name I am curious about them because it may very well be worth it to me to change my last name in order to avoid that.  



    Mysterious box.

    This is such a personal thing that no one else can answer for you. I took my husband's name because it was important to him. Sure the name change process was a slight headache (going to SS office, then DMV, calling every account I've ever had) but it wasn't a big deal for me.

    I've never heard of anyone having issues with not changing their name. And I would think that hyphenating would have the same minor inconveniences as changing completely. 

    You sound very indifferent on this and for that reason, personally, if I were you, I wouldn't change my name. I've been married four years and I still see myself as Shesso MaidenName. It's still really weird to me to be Shesso MarriedName. 
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    charlotte989875
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited August 6
    Neither of us changed ours. Neither of us felt any compelling reason to change it, and it seemed like a pretty drastic move just for the sake of "tradition." 

    We've had no hassles or negative drawbacks by having different last names. It was really easy to not have to mess with the DMV, bank and all that jazz. We did receive a few checks made out to Mr. and Mrs. Hisname as wedding gifts, and I expected it may be an issue. It wasn't. We just deposited them in our joint account, no problem. We've traveled abroad, filed taxes, bought property, etc. It has never mattered that our names aren't the same.

    I will say, we don't have kids so I can't really speak to that, but having worked in juvenile court, families with multiple last names are the norm more than the exception these days. It's really not weird for your children to only share a name with one parent, or even neither. I recently met a family where both children have their (separate) bio father's names, but were being raised by their mother and step father. Mother had her birth name. So the four of them each had a different last name. They're still a family. 

    charlotte989875
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This is really a personal preference. No one can decide this for you. 

    The first time I married in my early 20s, I did not change my name. When I married for the second time 4 years ago, I did change my name. The second time around, I wanted to share a last name with my husband, and I was not attached to my maiden name. 

    charlotte989875
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I changed my name because I wanted to have the same last name as my husband and our children. I was also looking forward to having a different last name. 

    Changing my name was no hassle at all. The DMV was easy and relatively quick. SS was as well. No long lines. I had gotten a new passport less than a year prior, so I was able to get a new one with my new name at no cost. Other stuff, I just changed as it came up. The bank just needed to see a copy of the marriage certificate. 


  • I use my H's last name socially, but never changed it legally.  If I could snap my fingers and do it, I would.  And maybe someday I'll go through all that hoopla.  But, at least to me, it sounded like too much hassle.

    Like some other PPs have mentioned.  It's a trip to the SS office...which is a good half-day of waiting in line where I live.  Then it's another half-day at the DMV.  Oh!  And that needs to be on a DIFFERENT day.  And I would need to take vacation time off work for all of that.

    Then, I own multiple properties in my maiden name.  Maybe that wouldn't be a big deal, but I'm not so sure.  I do a lot of gig work, ie independent contracting with dozens of companies.  All of it in my maiden name.

    Credit cards.  Utilities.  Probably a bunch of other stuff I'm not even thinking of.

    As for hyphenating, my cousin did that and really regretted it.  She married a man from Spain.  They both travel internationally all the time.  Except her hyphenated name is too long to fit on her passport.  And, although she's never been barred from getting on a flight, it's always a big song/dance/explanation as to why the name on her passport doesn't EXACTLY match her ID.  That's the biggest hassle for her.  But, in general, she also doesn't like having such a long last name now.

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  • In my country, children traveling with an adult with a different last name need to carry a No Objection Certificate, even if that person is a parent. Idk how frequently they are asked for but it has stopped people before.

    I should mention, this is for international travel.
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I changed my name for two reasons. 1) I hated my maiden name. 2) I feel more like a "family" with the same name as my husband, and now our daughter sharing that name. 
    (That's not to say that people with different names in the same family is a problem to me. It's very common, and no judgement at all; it's just how I feel. To each their own!)
    I have friends who are teachers who get a little frustrated keeping track of parents for children when the names don't match. Members of couples without matching names risk being called the wrong name. These are minor inconveniences. If neither you or your betrothed mind correcting people occasionally who goof on your last name, then cool. 

    Changing the name is kind of a pain, but these days there are lists online to help you remember. Heck, I've been married nearly 4 years now and only recently got my last name adjusted on an account I use to sign up for road races. If you get the important stuff done, like drivers license, passport, insurance and other work stuff, banking info, the rest can follow as you think to use the accounts. 

    Sidenote- there was a recent article from a guy who changed his last name to match his wife's, and how uncommon it is and how people were really surprised he did it. He didn't appear to face any judgement, just surprise, because that's not traditional. 
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    ahoyweddingshort+sassy
  • I took my H's. I don't regret it at all. My maiden name was hard to pronounce and H's is very common. It was incredibly easy to change and the only inconvenience is that there are like 10 of us at work (I work for the provincial health authority) so occasionally I get someone else's emails.

    For traveling, having the same last name was easier to get all of H's perks and I didn't hyphenate as that would have not fit on a passport/boarding pass and would have been an issue.

    IMHO, it is a very personal decision and there is no right or wrong answer.

  • I kept mine for a couple of reasons. First off, while I don't exactly have the prettiest last name, H's is worse and I hated how it sounded with my first name. Second, I don't think women should feel obligated to change their names solely for the sake of tradition, which would have been the only reason I would have changed mine; it truly wouldn't have had any other meaning for me. I also knew that my husband didn't see much meaning in it either and had no problem with me not having his last name. In light of how we both felt, I just didn't see the point in going to the trouble of changing it. 

    I've been married for almost 3 years, and I've only had to correct people occasionally. Overall it really hasn't been a problem, and I have no regrets about it.
    image
    charlotte989875
  • I changed my name but wish that I hadn't only because I didn't really have a good reason TO change it. I liked my maiden name a lot, but kind of panicked when we applied for the marriage license and I had to make a decision about what my name would be post-marriage.  I thought about it for less than 30 seconds. 

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    This is so personal it has to be up to you. I personally don't want to change my name. I've spent three decades as maiden-name and it feels weird to all of a sudden change to something else. There's also another levioosa SIL in the family and it feels weird that two of us would have the same exact name. 


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    charlotte989875
  • I changed my name because I chose my husband and didn't have the greatest relationship with my father. Also, although my maiden name looks simple (and is English), people still mispronounced it all the time and it really bugged me.  I used both names in my byline at work. Now I just use my married name.

    I know a couple who hated their abusive families of origin, so made up an entirely new last name for themselves when they married. A friend of my daughter's kept her maiden name when she married last summer, and her husband took her name. Another friend kept her maiden name, her H kept his, and their children were given her last name. My SIL made up a new last name for herself after she recovered from an illness, but before she met my brother. She kept that name when they married, and their kids use it as a middle name.

    There are lots of ways to do this!
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • based on my opinion, i think it is okay not to change our name after marriage. I personally didn't change my last name after marriage and Sam agreed. It's basically up to you guys, but maybe some man still prefers their wives to change their name because they may find it more appropriate
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