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Customs and Traditions

Name Changing - After the Wedding

Hi everyone! I am getting married in November & really torn about whether or not to keep my maiden name. I was wondering if I could get some thoughts or advice from the community!
My maiden name is very, very common, which is great because it makes me almost un-google-able, and I love the internet privacy. My fiance's last name is a lot more unusual so I would be giving that up if I do change it, but I do really want to feel like we're a Real Married Couple, if you know what I mean. But back on the other hand again, it's kind of scary to think of myself having a whole different name, not to mention the headache of all the paperwork. (And both of us have long last names so I don't want to hyphenate... that's way too complicated for me!)
My main concern, though, is that if we decide to have children (which is sort of up in the air anyway), I just think it would be easier & less confusing for everyone if their mother has the same last name as they do. Just in terms of schooling and stuff.

A third option is to keep my name now and change it when/if I get pregnant. (Do they even let people do that? I assume that it's possible, but maybe that would be a huge hassle too.) Although that's really just avoiding the issue and it would be complicated to explain to people.

Of course, my fiance has told me that this is totally up to me and he's ok with whatever I decide to do. His mother & sisters kept their maiden names; my mother, sister, & sister-in-law all took their husbands' names. So whatever I decide to do, there's precedent on either side of the aisle, but that also makes it more complicated, because I start to worry about whether I'm following in the tradition of my family or of his?

I know I'm over-thinking this and being a bit of a baby about it, but I'd really love to hear other peoples' thoughts & opinions about it.

Thanks a million, everyone!

-Katie

Re: Name Changing - After the Wedding

  • spara0038spara0038 member
    10 Comments
    edited May 2014
    I'm taking my fiance's last name. To be honest, I don't think it's a "pretty" name, but I picked the man, not the name. To me, it's more important to identify as a family with my new hubby than to keep my last name. My last name is pretty common too (Moore). His is relatively uncommon (Bork). The only thing that was out of the question was hypenation (Moore-Bork) just because it sounds ridiculous. (I mean, come on- that made you giggle, didn't it?) If it matters, I also have a professional engineering license under my maiden name. If you have a profession (medicine, law, engineering, etc) before you're married, it can sometimes make more sense to keep your last name to make your professional achievements easier for others to find.
  • This has been talked about copiously on the boards. If you use the search feature, all the recent (and no-so-recent) threads will pop up:

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
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  • emmyg65emmyg65 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    I feel no less married to my husband or the mother of our child-to-be because I kept my own last name. Also, your kid can totally have the same last name as you, even if you don't take your husband's name. He can take your name, or you can both keep your own names and give the kid your name. You have lots of options! This is a personal decision and you have time yet to decide.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited May 2014
    You can always wait and change your name later. Plenty of people just don't get around to it for a while, wait until children are in the picture, or just want to think more before making a decision. Most states will let you change it with your marriage certificate at any time. (I have a friend that finally decided to change hers on her 10th anniversary last year). If your state won't let you change with your marriage licence after a certain amount of time, you could change with a name change procedure. It's more involved than doing it with a marriage license, but it's really not that big of a deal. It's well worth it to wait and spend $300 and two hours changing it 3 years from now than forcing yourself to make a decision now that you may regret.
  • My mom didn't take my dad's last name and so neither did I.

    I always got questions on why my brother and I have different last names, but whatever it is what it is. 

    Do what you feel comfortable doing.
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  • Does anybody ever change their name legally, but not professionally? I have worked hard at establishing a career for 15 years. I've, of course, used my maiden name. I'm planning on taking FI last name when we get married, but I don't want to undo all the work I've done making a name for myself professionally. 
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Gizmo813 said:
    Does anybody ever change their name legally, but not professionally? I have worked hard at establishing a career for 15 years. I've, of course, used my maiden name. I'm planning on taking FI last name when we get married, but I don't want to undo all the work I've done making a name for myself professionally. 
    For most people, this isn't really an option.  You'd have to talk to your HR department, but most companies are going to give you a hard time with putting one name on your paycheck and another on your business card.

    People do use separate social/professional names, but they usually leave the legal name and professional maiden, but then go by a married name socially and informally.  
  • Changing your name is not really that much of a headache. It was a lot easier and faster than I thought it would be. There are documents online that will explain the process step-by-step and the order in which you have to do everything. Of course you don't have to change your name, but it's really common where I am from to change it, and if it is common by you too, you may get a lot of questions about why you didn't change it. Maybe you don't care about that but I would be annoyed at having to explain/answer to people as to why I didn't change it. I'm very much of a traditionalist and always was of the notion that I would change it.. and I did. No right or wrong though :)
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