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I'm keeping my name, but still trying to decide whether or not I'll hyphenate. I was married before, and only changed my name then because I wanted to have the same last name as my kids. 10 years and a divorce later, I realize my kids will know me as their mom, and we'll have the same relationship, regardless of whether or not we have the same last name. Same with my FI. We know what we are to each other.
In some ways I'm not super tied to my last name - it took me a couple of years after my divorce to decide whether I wanted to go back to my maiden name or my mom's maiden name, since I'm so much closer to her and her family, and eventually decided on my maiden name. I just feel it's a part of my identity, and I don't want to give that up (the good, the bad and the ugly of it) - I don't feel I should have to.
It's not the easiest thing for my FI, and he wishes I'd take his name for all kinds of reasons - he's worried about how it will appear to others, that his masculinity will be questioned, that we won't have as strong of a bond, that I took my ex-husband's last name but I'm not taking his, that it's coming from the mindset that we'll divorce, that the kids he knew growing up who had hyphenated names didn't seem to have the best home lives, that the one couple he knows where the Mr. hyphenated is seen as weak, etc. Luckily he knows these are all in his head and that whether or not I change my last name isn't going to make any of these things a reality, or else it's someone else's opinion and not really what matters at the end of the day, but it's hard for him. He recognizes it as my decision, though. It's hard for me to see him distressed that way, but I need to be true to myself, and I feel I need to keep my name. And I know after we get married, he'll experience for himself that the concerns he has today aren't the reality of what our lives will be like.
So, my suggestion would be: figure out what approach is true to you, and honor that.
I do not want to change my last name. I have a strong connection to my last name. Also I hate his last name. It's hyphenated which I can't stand. My FI wants me to take his name but I really don't want to. So I was thinking of taking his name in theory but not on paper. I will keep legal documents the same but be referred to as his name. Can anyone help me with that decision?
I'm adding his name (I guess... ughhh!) so I'll be first name, middle name, maiden name-middle name, his last name. Whatever... I'm adding another middle initial in my stationary.
I love my last name and I have ALWAYS gotten compliments on it, but he got really offended when I told him I like my last name better than his. Also, I have a firm with my last name already in my LLC, so to simplify matters I am adding his, but I am also going to be ok with people addressing me by either last name as long as they start with "Mrs." first!
It is a great feeling to be Mrs. ___, I'm just not giving up my last name.