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Customs and Traditions

Stories from those who kept their last names

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Re: Stories from those who kept their last names

  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    3 weeks from my wedding and the decision still causes great anxiety.

    My mom kept her name. My sister kept her name. I have 2 middle names: a traditional and my mom's maiden. It's a long name and I'm not attached to my first middle name.

    My last name is very rare- only ~100 of us, mostly older. I'm far enough in my career that changing my name would be a huge hassle.

    FI claims not to care what I do but I suspect it would bother him. I originally planned to drop my middle name and take his, giving me 2 middle names again (which I hate having) but the idea of actually changing it makes me nauseous.

    Not sure what to do.
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  • edited September 2014
    My cousin was born into a hyphenated family. Here is an example of her name (same flow):  Mya Heather May Goodwin-Hulka . When she got married she decided to keep her last name and add his as well. So her name ended up being Mya Heather May Goodwin-Hulka-Vaughn 

    Its was pretty crazy but if she was happy then that's all that matters. Their children just took "Vaughn" 

    For me, I am probably going to let my children have my fiance's last name (which is really common much to my dismay) but give them a middle name from a family ancestor since I'm really into Ancestry and have access to a lot of awesome names. (Twins named Ebenezer and Ichabod?! Yes, Please)


    EDIT: Didn't realize I'd already posted on this thread. Oops. 
  • @wandajune6 - if you aren't 100% sure you want to do this, I would suggest waiting. It may cost a little more if you decide to change later, but it's WAY better that than regretting your choice.
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    MyNameIsNot
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    @wandajune6 - if you aren't 100% sure you want to do this, I would suggest waiting. It may cost a little more if you decide to change later, but it's WAY better that than regretting your choice.
    That's the conclusion I've come to as well. My sister reminded me that she waited to change her name because she wasn't 'ready' and just never did it. It might end up being the same for me too!
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  • I kept my last name and my husband kept his.  We're both established physicians with publications.  And changing your name on medical licensing is a real nightmare as you also have to notify all the exam boards and prove your name change every time you recertify.  Any children will have his last name.  I have a brother and 9 male cousins on my dad's side, so even with an unusual last name, it's not at risk of vanishing.  And I already have a mouthful that people stumble over, so I was not interested in hyphenating.  I usually make reservations in his name for hotels, etc as I don't mind being called Mrs. HisLastName but still find Mr. HerLastName silly.
  • I kept my last name and my husband kept his.  We're both established physicians with publications.  And changing your name on medical licensing is a real nightmare as you also have to notify all the exam boards and prove your name change every time you recertify.  Any children will have his last name.  I have a brother and 9 male cousins on my dad's side, so even with an unusual last name, it's not at risk of vanishing.  And I already have a mouthful that people stumble over, so I was not interested in hyphenating.  I usually make reservations in his name for hotels, etc as I don't mind being called Mrs. HisLastName but still find Mr. HerLastName silly.
    Why?
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  • Oh, I love it when DH gets called Mr. HerLast, and so does he.
    girleyeslightup
  • edited June 2015

    I'm out.
    runsonveggies
  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I'm keeping my last name. I already changed it once, I'm too lazy to do it again. FI hates her last name and is changing it to my last name because unlike me she didn't bother doing it when she turned 18. So we will have the same last name, it just won't be who is changing.
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  • frewinclairefrewinclaire member
    10 Comments
    edited March 2015

    I sort of kept my last name. I wound up having it as a middle name and use it for work as it was too much of a pain to change it...

    I wrote a whole blog post on changing your name actually. Have a read if it's of interest:

    Edited by mod to remove TOS violation
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited March 2015

    I sort of kept my last name. I wound up having it as a middle name and use it for work as it was too much of a pain to change it...

    Edited by mod to remove TOS violation.

    Seriously, knock off the blog whoring.



    MollyandDsouthernbelle0915ohannabelle
  • MollyandDMollyandD member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited March 2015
    Viczaesar said:

    I sort of kept my last name. I wound up having it as a middle name and use it for work as it was too much of a pain to change it...

    I wrote a whole blog post on changing your name actually. Edited by mod to remove TOS violation

    Seriously, knock off the blog whoring.
    For real!!

    If I wanted to read the blog, I would have done it 24 "read my blog" comments ago. 
  • I am keeping my name. I am 37, have established a very successful career under this name, have come to think of it as a part of my identity, and cannot imagine having any other. I'm slightly jealous of those who have a unifying family name, but I can really only see this having worked for us if I were 20 years old and/or a homemaker. As for children - if we're blessed with them then for simplicity they'll take his name. Personally, I don't like hyphenated names.

    I have many friends who kept their maiden name and have children with their husband's name - it seems to be the norm in my circle. They say the main thing they cannot avoid is being called "Mrs. Husband's-name" when called by the daycare or school. I think if this is the choice you make then you need to expect this sort of mistake from those who don't know better, and you can't let it bother you.

    Actually, my fiancee for a while has been introducing himself in professional circles as "Mr. Mylastname", which he says is easier so that people don't get confused. I think it's kind of funny but sweet, especially as we're not even married yet.
  • I'm from the south, so bear with me. At every wedding I've been to, the bride simply took her husband's last name. Traditionally, the bride would keep her maiden name as her middle name, and take her husband's last name as her new last name. This is what my mother did, and even after a divorce she kept my father's last name out of simplicity.

    One of my best friends already has a hyphenated last name because her mother didn't want to lose her last name. I've asked this friend before what she plans to do when she gets married (which has admittedly included some jokes about triple last name, or even quadruple last name if he already had a double last name too). She's said she would probably drop her mother's maiden name from the hyphenation and go by only her father's name.

    To go back to the original point heyyou made about losing her identity: I don't feel like I'm losing my identity my taking my future husband's last name. He and I will be making a new life together, so we'll also be creating a new dual identity. Sharing a last name, no matter how you do that, is part of your identity. Just like the prefix MRS says "I'm married", so does sharing a last name.

    BouxRadley
  • My cousin's husband actually changed his name to match our last name.  With respect to her dad that practically raised him.  (He came from an abusive household and spent most of his childhood at my cousin's house.   Childhood sweethearts.)


    Everyone else in my family has followed tradition and taken their husband's last name.


    My fiancé's family is the opposite.  His mom chose to keep her last name but they gave their children his dad's last name.  His sister also chose to keep her last name.  They expect me to do the same, but I decided years ago that I'll be changing. 


    I grew up with a different last name than both my parents (my mom got married when I was 9) and it made certain situations awkward. 

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  • emmyg65 said:
    Oh, I love it when DH gets called Mr. HerLast, and so does he.
    Same for us too!  We aren't married yet but we booked a trip to Mexico under my name for earlier this year and he got called Mr. MyLast the whole trip.  It was fun!
  • I'm not changing mine, but I may revisit this decision if/when we have kids. I'm not a fan of hyphenated last names. The older I get, the more I realize that a name doesn't matter (i.e. know people who hate their ex-husbands but still keep his last name). For me it's just more convenient career-wise to keep my last name. It's not so much that I love the name or the sentiment attached to it.
  • I'm keeping my name, he's keeping his, we're hyphenating our kid's names when we have them.

    My question is, for the women who kept their names, have any of you run into any legal trouble with having to prove that you're married to government entities? My aunt never changed her name, and when my uncle died she had quite a bit of stress from having to prove to social security that they had indeed been married and she was entitled to his benefits. For this reason alone, I'm considering changing my last name legally to my FI's, but in my personal and professional life continue going by my maiden name. Does anyone else have experience with this?


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  • edited June 2015

    I'm out.
  • I'm keeping my name, he's keeping his, we're hyphenating our kid's names when we have them.

    My question is, for the women who kept their names, have any of you run into any legal trouble with having to prove that you're married to government entities? My aunt never changed her name, and when my uncle died she had quite a bit of stress from having to prove to social security that they had indeed been married and she was entitled to his benefits. For this reason alone, I'm considering changing my last name legally to my FI's, but in my personal and professional life continue going by my maiden name. Does anyone else have experience with this?
    We haven't had to do this for any government entities. I imagine a marriage license would eliminate those problems... That's what we did for health insurance when I moved from my employer's plan to DH's plan. But we would have had to show this anyway, even if I did change my name.

    It sounds like there's more to your aunt's story. I know lots of people who do have to prove, they provide the marriage license and that's that.
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  • I'm keeping my name, he's keeping his, we're hyphenating our kid's names when we have them.

    My question is, for the women who kept their names, have any of you run into any legal trouble with having to prove that you're married to government entities? My aunt never changed her name, and when my uncle died she had quite a bit of stress from having to prove to social security that they had indeed been married and she was entitled to his benefits. For this reason alone, I'm considering changing my last name legally to my FI's, but in my personal and professional life continue going by my maiden name. Does anyone else have experience with this?
    We haven't had to do this for any government entities. I imagine a marriage license would eliminate those problems... That's what we did for health insurance when I moved from my employer's plan to DH's plan. But we would have had to show this anyway, even if I did change my name.

    It sounds like there's more to your aunt's story. I know lots of people who do have to prove, they provide the marriage license and that's that.
    I've been meaning to track her down at the next family get-together and make sure there was nothing else going on, but from what I remember at the time she had to get an affidavit from their rabbi certifying that he had married them. I can't actually remember if she mentioned providing their marriage license, though, so maybe that was the hold-up. I'll definitely follow up with her and see if there's something I'm missing that made it more difficult than anticipated.


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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer

    I'm keeping my name, he's keeping his, we're hyphenating our kid's names when we have them.

    My question is, for the women who kept their names, have any of you run into any legal trouble with having to prove that you're married to government entities? My aunt never changed her name, and when my uncle died she had quite a bit of stress from having to prove to social security that they had indeed been married and she was entitled to his benefits. For this reason alone, I'm considering changing my last name legally to my FI's, but in my personal and professional life continue going by my maiden name. Does anyone else have experience with this?

    Jointly filed taxes has been sufficient for us for most everything. His employer required a copy of our marriage certificate to add me to insurance, but they require that regardless of name change. Otherwise, everyone has just taken us at our word.

    If she had to get an affidavit from the rabbi, I suspect your aunt may have had a more complicated issue. e.g., Why would she need that instead of her marriage certificate?

    Still, I scanned our marriage certificate and emailed it to both of us so that we can easily get at it with our phones if we ever need it for anything like that. The decision about whether to change your name shouldn't hinge on whether someone might not believe you are married because you kept your name one day. You should be able to go with the decision that is right for you and not have to worry about convenience. 
  • Funny true story speaking of hyphenated names:

    I knew a girl in college with a horrendous hyphenated name that consisted of two of those really long, impossible-to-pronounce Polish names with way too many consonants and not enough vowels (think "strz" and "mbsk"... WHAT were her parents thinking?!? They were Jewish hippies who lived in a commune). She married an Indian man with a last name containing 16 letters and 7 syllables (which holds the record for the longest single name I've ever come across). They used to joke that they fell in love over a mutual understanding of not having enough bubbles for their last names on all those standardized test forms.
  • I'm keeping my name. My mother kept hers. My aunts kept theirs, my step-mother kept hers. My son has my FI's last name and the only time I see there being an issue will be when he's in school and I will be called by my son and my FI's last name. No biggie. I'll be 39 when I'm married, no point in changing my name now and my FI doesn't care if I do or not.
  • edited March 2015
    We haven't decided what to do.  Neither of us likes either of our last names.

    We've joked about both taking my paternal grandmother's last name (maiden name), though, because it's semi-related to our professions.
  • I'm keeping my last name. The women in my family do, my mother and I have different last names. My son has my FI's last name. People will call me whatever, I will correct them or I won't, it all depends. The point is that I have had my name for a long time and I use it professionally, I don't have a lot of friends who have changed their names for the same reason. 
  • This will be my second wedding. I kept my last name the first time round. I didn't consider changing it for a second. My ex husband (who used to boast about being a feminist) and his mother, both had an issue with it, but I never cared.
    This time round though, I'm going to take his name. For me it implies a level of commitment that I never felt in my first relationship.
    I am by no means implying that women who don't change their last names are less committed, by the way! 
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