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Changing your last name?


Re: Changing your last name?

  • Check out missnowmrs.com for info on changing your last name. For some reason, some states (Ca, Nj, OH, for example) do not allow you to use your maiden name as your middle name on your state driver's license which I think is bizarre!!
  • I grew up with a hyphenated last name and loved it! I really liked that I had a piece of both of my parents. People do not forget meeting someone with a name as long as mine, and it was fun with nicknames. It is of course difficult for most to spell and pronounce, but I take no offense to it.

    Now that I'm getting married it has been a hot topic for sure, what will I do? Honestly I'm not sure. I love my fiance's last name, it's short and easy to pronounce while still being unique. I like the idea of having the same last name as any future children, however and struggling with giving up my names. I think what I may do is move one of my current last names to a middle name, and hyphen both my fiance's name and one of my last names. I would never give the kids 3 names though!
  • Changing mine. My maiden name is Booth. Everyone asks me if I'm related to the guy who shot the president. I can't wait to never be asked that again. (As if I would have ever admitted even if it were so, but it isn't.) Besides that, I'm pretty traditional, and like that I will become part of him in that way. I like his last name, also. I'm going to keep my middle name, and just change from my maiden name- dropping it altogether- to his name.
  • Me and the BF were thinking of creating a new last name. I wasn't that fond of his and he wasn't either lol. So that's an option that were thinking of, but we also agreed that if we have two boys, to carry on our  original family names, each son would take one. My father passed away and had nothing but girls, so I didn't want his name to die out with me and my sister who is already married. He was very supportive and understanding in this and I couldn't ask for more. 

    So while this may be seen as a little weird and off beat, it's something that I know will work itself out for us :)
  • My fiance is changing his last name to mine, and it was his idea! His parents had done the hyphen thing, and he said that he'd always hated it--that the hyphen had caused him problems while filling out forms and such. He also didn't want the hypen to carry on to our kids. After a while, it kind of loses its meaning. I can't say I'm not pleased!
  • I'm on my second marriage. The first time, I changed my name. I hadn't been in the workforce long and didn't think it would be a big deal for people to adjust. However, once I go divorced, I struggled with changing my name back. I had made significant growth in my career and was known as "Jells ExH" throughout the community. When I got re-married, I was really stumped. I really didn't want to keep my ex's last name, but I also didn't want to start from scratch in my career. I ultimately decided to take my DH's last name, but took my maiden name back as my middle name. That is something I should have done during my first marriage for consistency, but no one really expects to get divorced!


  • Oh wow I'm surprised so many people are changing their last names! But whatever you're into is good :). I'm not changing my last name because of... feminism I suppose. I mean I guess marriage in general isn't a completely feminist thing to be doing anyway. But my mom and her sisters all kept their last name and they would definitely disapprove if I changed mine. Plus FI's mom kept her last name as well. I was thinking about us both hyphenating our names and then our kids will be like that as well but his last name is pretty long... well we'll see when we have kids if they'll just take his name or hyphenate. And FI doesn't care, he expected me to keep my last name, he would probably be REALLY surprised if I told him I was changing my last name haha  
  • We are both changing our last names. I've never wanted to change mine and never liked the traditional view behind it. My parents just so happened to have the same last name even though they were never married so I've always viewed myself as my mother's side and not my father's. I didn't like the idea of my children not having a similar association. Plus I'm a professional and I hate the idea of people thinking the dr. in front of my name is because of my husband and is not mine. My FI also wants our children to have the same last name as us so he has agreed to hyphen our names, and our children will have it too. He is even requesting that his job address him from the hyphened name as well.  His family isn't to happy about it but we view it as a good show of the equality in our future marriage. 
  • Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I am taking my fiance's last name, but I am changing my middle name to BOTH my original middle name and my maiden name. So in essence, I will have two middle names on all of my ID's. I didn't want to hyphenate our two last names because I think it is as equally important that we start a family together, whether or not we choose his name or mine. I wanted to keep my last name in my full name though because it is a last name I have always been proud of.
  • I'm keeping my last name. It is difficult to pronounce and spell, which used to drive me nuts. But in the last few years I have come to appreciate it. It accurately represents my origins (despite being an American citizen I am 50% former USSR), and people often use it as a nickname. Because people use it as a nickname it feels like an extension of my first name - another unique identifier of myself. 

    When I told my fiance his ego was bruised for a day. But when I suggested that he take my last name or that I hyphenate, he didn't like the sound of either. At first he said it feels like we are more of a "family" if we both have the same last name, but is that actually true? I feel like that really is what you make of it. Do I think I will love my fiance less or not feel as close to him because my last name is different from his? Absolutely not. 

    I understand the worries with childrens' last names, however we really aren't sure we are going to have kids. 

    What I don't understand is why everyone thinks that there is some sort of "expiration date" on when you can change your name. If we end up having kids, I will probably take his. This won't be for 7-10 years. If I change my mind earlier, then fine. I don't feel like I'm stuck with my decision for the rest of my life. 
  • edited September 2013
    to lindsay0521: I'm so excited that someone finally posted in favor of this not-so-common option! My fiancé is also taking my name, and like yours it was his idea. He has never been attached to his last name, and he understands that since I'm in a research-heavy academic profession that it's important that my name stay as it is for future career development. I'm actually very surprised by the number of posts from women who say the don't like their fiancé's last name but are taking it anyway. I, personally, am thrilled to take the road less traveled!
  • I have been struggling with this same idea. My FI really wants me to take his name but I like the uniqueness of my last name. Trouble is, my name is already hyphenated so adding his name to mine would create a double hyphenated last name which would be a nightmare on paperwork. Has anyone else had this situation and have suggestions?
  • 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.

  • You can change it on the marriage license. There is a space where you fill out what name you will be going by. It becomes part of the court process. It costs money to change your name legally, so be sure of what you want on your marriage license.
  • I've been married twice before, this will be my third ... and last ... marriage! I kept the name of my first husband because of my daughter. Now that she is grown, I changed it back to my maiden name, which I love and everyone comments that it's a great name. Professionally, it's what I go by as well. I am keeping it when I get married and my FI understands. I struggled with taking his last name because I love him and his family. However, I identify strongly with my name, we won't be having any children, he doesn't mind, and there won't be any hassle changing everything over!
  • My fiance and I are choosing a new name and adding it to each our names. We're not hyphenating! We're just going by three names: John Doe Newname and Jane Smith Newname. When we have kids, the kids will just have the new name as their surname. 

    We've both done some genealogical research, so we chose our new name from way up on the family tree; but I don't see anything wrong with picking an entirely new name if you like it, as long as it's not super over-the-top (Stringfellow was one name on my side, haha). 
  • 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 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 know a number of people who use their husband's last name socially, but keep their last name legally.  Most of them made this decision because they are professionally known by their maiden name and want to keep using it at work, but it's certainly becoming more common to use different last names in different social situations.

    Ultimately, changing your name or not is a very personal decision.  It's one that has to come from your heart and what you are comfortable doing.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I'm not changing my name for several reasons.

    His ex-wife kept his last name, which I understand, because it's good to have the same last name as your child (they have a nine-year-old son). But I think with his ex having his last name, it would be kind of weird for me to take it.

    I've had my name for 39 years and I plan to keep it. I'm also in the middle of a job search, which makes changing my name really inconvenient. 
  • I'm definitely changing my last name. It commonly gets confused with people asking questions, and would just sound strange hyphenated.  Taking his last name was a decision I had made before we even met. 
  • This wasn't a debate for me.  I flat out refuse to change my last name.  My fiance doesn't care, either.  I asked him if he would ever change his name, and he said no, so why would I even consider changing mine?  

    If we have children (and this is a very big if) some will have my last name, and some will have his, no hyphenation.  Children know who their parents are, even if they don't have the same last name.  A DNA or adoption paper connection is enough for me.

    It really bothers me when people ask if I am going to keep my maiden name because here's a shock, I am not a maiden and haven't been for over a decade.  On the other hand, I have had my last name for 26 years and plan to have it for the rest of my life.

    The best part is, I won't have any paperwork to deal with after the wedding!
  • edited September 2013
    My first name was totally arbitrary, but it became mine over time. I feel the same about my last name--it's something I've grown into and have made my own over almost 30 years. I see no reason why I should throw out all that effort. Its not like we're becoming new people because we're getting married. I think the best marriages are those wherein the members remain aware that they are individuals choosing to maintain a union rather than trapped in some kind of cage they can't get out of. But that's just me.

  • I'm hyphenating my name (socially), keeping first middle and last all where they are now and adding his via hyphen to the end (socially). Legally no one's name is changing. Our children will also have hyphenated names. We've discussed this many times and feel this works best for our family.
    Funny, my mother and g-ma are against it, but as far as I know, his fam is totally ok with it! He knows how important my name is to me, plus i'm the one and only (only child, no cousins!)... he's one of 5! So, we figured both our names would live on the the next generation and they can do what they want with the names we've given them :) Good luck on choosing what works best for the two of you!
  • Keep your name.  Let him keep his.  Give your kids his name and your mom's maiden name.  My high school Spanish teacher said that was the way they do it in Spanish-speaking cultures.
  • 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.

  • I was insistent that I have an identity of my own, not just someone's wife.   Originally I was Mary Jones (names not real)  When I got married I went by Mary Jones Smith.  This was espcially important because beople in the business world recognized the previous name.  Over time I shorten it as well as signing documents as Mary J Smith.   That way my family is always with me.   My older sister did the same.

    I had two friends who just used her maiden names at work for professional recognition and their husbands and children's last name  for social purposes.   Don't know what you have to do to do this legally or you just due it socially and it becomes known.

    BTW, we were having this type of conversation 30-40 years ago.  Times change -- but not that much.
  • I think it's a part of 'becoming one.' Names hold identity and I want to be identified with my husband.
    [Deleted User]
  • After a year of considering (and one more year left), I haven't decided yet. I think I will probably take his name, but it's definitely a difficult decision. I am divorced and I previously took my ex's name. I didn't want to then but my ex wanted me to so I did. It felt really liberating and felt like being myself again when I took my maiden name back. My fiance is totally fine with me keeping my name and it makes no difference to him, which is wonderful. The ONLY thing that makes me think I might want to change it because we plan to have children and I like the idea of having the same last name as my children. I do feel like my last name is part of who I am and part of my journey though. It's also going to be a HUGE pain to change my name on a dozen bank accounts, a dozen credit cards, my retirement account, a mortgage, and of course your driver's license, social security card, job, etc. And I also feel like I will never get used to signing my name since his last name starts with a G. A cursive G is hard! :)
  • I am keeping my maiden name and adding his with a hyphen .. I'm the last girl of 3 and it means a lot to me to keep my family name.
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