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Snarky Brides

Changing your last name?

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Re: Changing your last name?

  • I've been unsure what I'll do about this too, since I'm SUCH a (my last name), there's only me and my sister and no boys or cousins, and I've had my name for 31 years and am admitted to the Bar and everything with it, and I can't see not having my last name be mine anymore. We haven't mentioned it at all yet, and don't have any wedding plans at all yet (we've been in contract to buy a house, and it's been SO much more complicated than it should have been, so definitely no time for wedding planning), until just yesterday my fiance's sister suddenly asked if I'll be taking his last name, so I was like ummm I don't know yet, we haven't talked about it yet. And he was sitting there and seemed really surprised/insulted, even though he was being jokey about it, and we haven't brought it up again yet.

    I've been vaguely thinking of seeing about having two last names, without a hyphen (and any children would just have his last name). I'd be perfectly happy being "Mrs. W" socially, but for me, for good, I feel like I would want my own last name as well, and for it to still be a real last name too, not to make it a second middle name. I don't know exactly the requirements for last names, but it seems that two-word non-hyphenated last names should be fine, like another couple of people have posted here.

    I haven't run any of this by my parents yet either, so I don't know if they'd prefer a more "traditional" total name change, but I feel like they'd understand, especially if I wanted both together. I can see alphabetizing being an issue once in a while, but we're both near the end of the alphabet, and I feel like that really shouldn't be much of an issue.

    My sister got married two years ago and totally changed her name, and doesn't even have her maiden name showing on Facebook or in her name listed for her e-mail address (my mother said that she must not want people from her "old" life being able to look her up on Facebook). She was not quite 25 when they got married, and maybe it was easier to "give up" your name when you're younger, even though she did have to update all her work accounts and contacts. My mother only has my father's name, but we've always known that her full name is really "SRBS," not just "SRS." Also, she was first married at 19, and had taken her first husband's name totally, which she kept until she married my father, so that was an easy change for her.

    I'm sure once we talk about it and he digests it, my fiance will understand that giving up your name would be a really big deal, especially one you've had for over 30 years and have started your career with, and that especially if I want/can do a two name last name, that's more than romantic/traditional enough for us.
    southernbelle0915
  • I was married before and took my exH last name.  I didn't want to at the time and turns out I was right since the marriage didn't last.

    This time I have decided to hyphen our last names.  I already have 25 letters in my name, what is 4 more lol.  So my name will be First name (which is hyphened lol), Middle name, my last name - my FI last name.

    We are going with "my last name - his last name" since it flows better.
    We have discussed also that he might take the same hyphened name.
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  • Well funniest thing with my Fiance and I is that neither one of us like our last names! Mine is long, hard to pronounce, and always spelled wrong by others and his is from a side of a family who he doesn't associate with. We both have the idea that we should come up with a completely new last name when we get married and BAM!! that will be what binds us together.

    Why live with names we hate?
  • I'm not sure of the legality of this, but when H (then-FI) and I went to get our marriage license before our wedding, I listed that my married name would be First Middle MyLast (2 middle names) HisLast. Since then, I changed my mind and decided just to keep my First Middle MyLast and not change anything. I never contacted the DMV, SSA, or changed my passport or anything else. If anyone ever requests a copy of our marriage license, I suppose they might say, "This here says you're Mrs. First Middle Maiden HisLast," but I'm crossing my fingers that such an issue won't arise.
    <shrug>
    According to Social Security, you have 2 years from the marriage date to change your name through them with the marriage certificate, so I'll sleep on it another 8 months and see.

    photo fancy-as-fuck.jpg
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    @SKPM - when you got your marriage license you had to note what your married name would be?  That seems odd.

    But then again our marriage licenses in MD (or at least in Baltimore City) do not need to be signed by any witnesses other then the officiant, so it seems that our way of doing things here is so not the norm as compared to most of the country.

  • SKPM said:
    I'm not sure of the legality of this, but when H (then-FI) and I went to get our marriage license before our wedding, I listed that my married name would be First Middle MyLast (2 middle names) HisLast. Since then, I changed my mind and decided just to keep my First Middle MyLast and not change anything. I never contacted the DMV, SSA, or changed my passport or anything else. If anyone ever requests a copy of our marriage license, I suppose they might say, "This here says you're Mrs. First Middle Maiden HisLast," but I'm crossing my fingers that such an issue won't arise.
    <shrug>
    According to Social Security, you have 2 years from the marriage date to change your name through them with the marriage certificate, so I'll sleep on it another 8 months and see.
    I would really look into this more.  Call your county clerk and consult with an attorney.  The name you take becomes your legal name.  It seems like it could get problematic down the line if you refuse to change any of your documents to your legal name.
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  • SKPMSKPM member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited September 2013
    I looked into it a bit more, and our county clerk page says this:

    The Name Equality Act of 2007 requires couples to state (on the license) the middle and last names they intend to use after the wedding. Parties who intend to change their name(s) must list the change on the license; if a party chooses to indicate a change of name on the license, there is no deadline by which the change be made.

    The last bit, about there not being a deadline, makes it seem pretty open ended. But if it becomes an issue, you're right, I will speak with a lawyer.

    photo fancy-as-fuck.jpg
  • My last name is of Czech origin, and my fiancé's last name is of Polish origin. Though both can be difficult to spell, mine has five letters and his has 9. 

    I love my last name. I've had it for 26 years and counting. I'm keeping it because it is easier to spell than his and has less letters. Additionally, I now have my masters and a career that is being built on that name. It seems silly to change it, regardless of the fact that I'm getting married.

    I love my fiancé, and originally he wasn't sure he liked the idea, but he got over it. Ultimately, I think he understood that it was important to me and that I'm my own person, even if we are getting married. :-)

    southernbelle0915
  • I'm changing mine. The only time I had second thoughts at all was when his dad pointed out that my initials will spell KAR...
  • I have always wanted to change my last name. My father and I never got along when I was younger. I am the only daughter but I have 3 big brothers.  So I will be the only one to not be associated with them any longer once I'm married. My biggest concern are my future children, they are going to be the odd man our cousins :(

    Otherwise, I'm happy to make my name his and make our marriage into a family.

  • H and I both took each other's last names. Technically without the hyphen, but half the people we interact with put the hyphen in. 
    I really want us to take each other's names.  Do you have it as both your name his name or vice versa?
    swtaznflor Both of us have [MyLast] [HisLast] as our last name. It would be weird if we had it backwards of each other. So we are Mr. And Mrs [MyLast] [HisLast]
  • To me, having a married last name meant more than a headache.  I guess because of my less than great childhood, being married always meant that someone chose to love me and someone found value in me and thought I was special.  Changing my last name is a reflection of that.  Plus in my job, I wear my name on my shirt every day and so the thought of getting to sport my new shiny married name and be called by it thrills me.  I'm delighted to go through the name change process and I wish I could do it now!  Plus it could take a while so it'd be nice to get a jump start...
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited September 2013
    @SKPM - when you got your marriage license you had to note what your married name would be?  That seems odd.

    But then again our marriage licenses in MD (or at least in Baltimore City) do not need to be signed by any witnesses other then the officiant, so it seems that our way of doing things here is so not the norm as compared to most of the country.

    This varies by state.  In some states, you do have to specify what your married name will be.  In other states, you don't.  In Alaska, where I'm from and where I got married, you do not specify what your name will be.  Your name, the way it legally was when you got married, will always be on your marriage license and will never change.


    I did change my name to H's last name.  I debated off and on for a few months after the wedding deciding what I wanted to do.  I finally decided to change it.  My biggest reason is that I have a ton of family in my state and, although I love them all and am really great friends with a lot of my extended family, I wanted to be separated from them.  
    I didn't want to be automatically associated with my family when I introduced my self to anyone who knows my family.  (I have had people say, "Oh are you John's daughter?" on more than one occasion.  Or "Oh, are you Andrew's daughter?" and I'm like "No, actually he's my uncle.")  I like being more autonomous.

    I thought about hyphenating or replacing my middle name but neither appealed to me.  My middle name is the same as my mom's and I've always planned to give it to a daughter so I didn't want to replace it.  And hyphenating or having two middle or two last names just would make my name so long, I just didn't want that.

    Also, I know I will always have a connection to my maiden name no matter what.  It will always be on my marriage license and children's birth certificates.  It will always be part of who I am.

  • I am taking my fiance's last name. My maiden name is Portuguese and his is Irish. I thought about keeping both because I just have brothers/cousins and no blood aunts, therefore I am the only one to say goodbye to the Silva name. But keeping Silva with an Irish name sounds very mixed up, so I am dropping Silva, even though I am kind of sad to see it go (and breaking my dad's heart).
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  • I will be taking my husbands last name. I of course adore my own last name, my initials even spell out the first 3 letters of my name! But I just don't feel like you are really committed as a family unless you both go by the same name.

    Even with that though it bothers me to see hyphenated names when people get married. Part of it is because many of the names I see don't flow at all (as ours would if hyphenated) 

    My FMIL actually took a hyphenated name (and then had my fiances legally changed as a child when she married) so now we are going through the expensive process of getting it switched back to his mothers maiden name so people don't assume the hyphened last name belongs partially to me.

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  • I will be taking my husbands last name. I of course adore my own last name, my initials even spell out the first 3 letters of my name! But I just don't feel like you are really committed as a family unless you both go by the same name.

    Even with that though it bothers me to see hyphenated names when people get married. Part of it is because many of the names I see don't flow at all (as ours would if hyphenated) 

    My FMIL actually took a hyphenated name (and then had my fiances legally changed as a child when she married) so now we are going through the expensive process of getting it switched back to his mothers maiden name so people don't assume the hyphened last name belongs partially to me.

    That's pretty judgmental of other people's names and marriages, don't you think? So only people whose names "flow together" in the opinion of you should consider hyphenating? And my husband isn't really my committed family since I elected not to change my name? IMHO, it's attitudes and presumptions such as yours that make these decisions so difficult for women today.

    photo fancy-as-fuck.jpg
    southernbelle0915KeptInStitchesrajahmdNerdyLucy
  • SKPM said:
    I will be taking my husbands last name. I of course adore my own last name, my initials even spell out the first 3 letters of my name! But I just don't feel like you are really committed as a family unless you both go by the same name.

    Even with that though it bothers me to see hyphenated names when people get married. Part of it is because many of the names I see don't flow at all (as ours would if hyphenated) 

    My FMIL actually took a hyphenated name (and then had my fiances legally changed as a child when she married) so now we are going through the expensive process of getting it switched back to his mothers maiden name so people don't assume the hyphened last name belongs partially to me.

    That's pretty judgmental of other people's names and marriages, don't you think? So only people whose names "flow together" in the opinion of you should consider hyphenating? And my husband isn't really my committed family since I elected not to change my name? IMHO, it's attitudes and presumptions such as yours that make these decisions so difficult for women today.
    I agree, SKPM. This kind of judgment is exactly why lots of women feel pressured to change their name. 

    To the bolded, Jessica, I guess my husband and I aren't a committed family by your standards because I didn't change my name to his. Bummer.
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    SKPMKeptInStitchesNerdyLucy
  • I'm having a lot of trouble deciding what to do with my name.
    I absolutely love my middle name a hundred times for than my first name (it's my grandmother's name and we were very close, she passed almost exactly a year before I got engaged). So there is no way I'm dropping it.
    I don't LIKE my last name (it's clunky sounding) but I don't want to lose it because I don't want to detach myself from my family.
    His last name isn't that bad, but it's incredibly common (it's actually the same name as one of my exes).
    Our last names sound horrible together, so hyphenating is out.
    It's very important to me that our kids and I have the same last name, so just not taking his name is out.

    Is my only option here to do two middle names? It would leave me with a very long, clunky name.

    What do you guys think?
  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Do you go by your first name or by your middle name? You could drop your first name, move your current middle name to be your new first name, move your maiden name to your middle name, then take his last name. Otherwise you can move your maiden name to your second middle name. Hope someone else has ideas, too!
  • edited September 2013
    I'm having a lot of trouble deciding what to do with my name.
    I absolutely love my middle name a hundred times for than my first name (it's my grandmother's name and we were very close, she passed almost exactly a year before I got engaged). So there is no way I'm dropping it.
    I don't LIKE my last name (it's clunky sounding) but I don't want to lose it because I don't want to detach myself from my family.
    His last name isn't that bad, but it's incredibly common (it's actually the same name as one of my exes).
    Our last names sound horrible together, so hyphenating is out.
    It's very important to me that our kids and I have the same last name, so just not taking his name is out.

    Is my only option here to do two middle names? It would leave me with a very long, clunky name.

    What do you guys think?
    Would he take your name? Or could both of you take pieces of your names and form a new name (e.g. Hargrove + Wells = Harwell)? 

    Either ONE of you changes your name or BOTH of you changes your name or NEITHER of you changes your name. Why do you feel like the only option for your family to have the same name is his name? 

    ETA: FWIW, I didn't want to change my last name because it means a lot to me. I offered my last name to H, but he's traditional so said no. I offered to hyphenate and I offered to form a new last name (so that at least a piece of my name could be included). He didn't want to do any of that, so I just kept my maiden name.
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  • I'm having a lot of trouble deciding what to do with my name.
    I absolutely love my middle name a hundred times for than my first name (it's my grandmother's name and we were very close, she passed almost exactly a year before I got engaged). So there is no way I'm dropping it.
    I don't LIKE my last name (it's clunky sounding) but I don't want to lose it because I don't want to detach myself from my family.
    His last name isn't that bad, but it's incredibly common (it's actually the same name as one of my exes).
    Our last names sound horrible together, so hyphenating is out.
    It's very important to me that our kids and I have the same last name, so just not taking his name is out.

    Is my only option here to do two middle names? It would leave me with a very long, clunky name.

    What do you guys think?
    Would he take your name? Or could both of you take pieces of your names and form a new name (e.g. Hargrove + Wells = Harwell)? 

    Either ONE of you changes your name or BOTH of you changes your name or NEITHER of you changes your name. Why do you feel like the only option for your family to have the same name is his name? 

    ETA: FWIW, I didn't want to change my last name because it means a lot to me. I offered my last name to H, but he's traditional so said no. I offered to hyphenate and I offered to form a new last name (so that at least a piece of my name could be included). He didn't want to do any of that, so I just kept my maiden name.
    We actually have discussed him taking my name or combining our names, or even coming up with a new name altogether.
    He was ok with changing his name, but then realized that the time to get that worked out might affect his honorable discharge from the Air Force (since it should happen not too long after we are married). It's something we need to look into more.
    Our names merged together just sounds horrible. They are two very different sounding names and it's just clunky. We tried coming up with something new but it just seemed silly. I really wanted to go with Raptor. =]
    If there were some other way for us to have our kids and I have the same name, then I would love it, but we just can't think of one.
  • Do you go by your first name or by your middle name? You could drop your first name, move your current middle name to be your new first name, move your maiden name to your middle name, then take his last name. Otherwise you can move your maiden name to your second middle name. Hope someone else has ideas, too!
    I had considered the first option, I had actually even considered going by my middle name in high school, but I feel like changing my first name is just way too huge of a change to do in my 20s, when I have professional connections and stuff. People expect a last name change, so that's not as huge.

    I'm thinking it will probably have to be the second middle name one, but I'm just not 100% happy with that.
  • I'm having a lot of trouble deciding what to do with my name.
    I absolutely love my middle name a hundred times for than my first name (it's my grandmother's name and we were very close, she passed almost exactly a year before I got engaged). So there is no way I'm dropping it.
    I don't LIKE my last name (it's clunky sounding) but I don't want to lose it because I don't want to detach myself from my family.
    His last name isn't that bad, but it's incredibly common (it's actually the same name as one of my exes).
    Our last names sound horrible together, so hyphenating is out.
    It's very important to me that our kids and I have the same last name, so just not taking his name is out.

    Is my only option here to do two middle names? It would leave me with a very long, clunky name.

    What do you guys think?
    Would he take your name? Or could both of you take pieces of your names and form a new name (e.g. Hargrove + Wells = Harwell)? 

    Either ONE of you changes your name or BOTH of you changes your name or NEITHER of you changes your name. Why do you feel like the only option for your family to have the same name is his name? 

    ETA: FWIW, I didn't want to change my last name because it means a lot to me. I offered my last name to H, but he's traditional so said no. I offered to hyphenate and I offered to form a new last name (so that at least a piece of my name could be included). He didn't want to do any of that, so I just kept my maiden name.
    We actually have discussed him taking my name or combining our names, or even coming up with a new name altogether.
    He was ok with changing his name, but then realized that the time to get that worked out might affect his honorable discharge from the Air Force (since it should happen not too long after we are married). It's something we need to look into more.
    Our names merged together just sounds horrible. They are two very different sounding names and it's just clunky. We tried coming up with something new but it just seemed silly. I really wanted to go with Raptor. =]
    If there were some other way for us to have our kids and I have the same name, then I would love it, but we just can't think of one.
    Another vote for Raptor! :)
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    KeptInStitches
  • SMarie89, you are not alone at all.

    I am taking his last name but keeping my maiden name as one of my middle names, so I will have two middle names when I legally change my name. This was my thought process behind the whole thing:

    - I didn't actually want to change my last name because of the history behind it--the transferring of "property" (The Bride) from one man (Dad) to the other (Husband). It's sexist and old fashioned and bothers me. But it was REALLY important to my husband that I take his last name so I agreed to do it.
    - My maiden name is a well known surname in Ireland--we can trace our family back to when they emigrated from Scotland to Ireland. We have a Coat of Arms as well as a family tartan and family land and castles. I've always been proud of where we came from and my last name has always reminded me of my grandparent's struggles in Ireland. I don't want to lose that tie to my family history
    - I like that people can immediately tell where my family was from by my clearly Irish surname. My husband's name is Norwegian--I am not Norwegian.
    - I originally wanted to just drop my middle name and take my maiden as my middle. I've never particularly liked my middle name, but it is my favorite Aunt's middle name, my mom loves it and calls me the name often, and it would break her heart to know I didn't keep it.
    - My plan is to mostly write my name out as First Maiden Last, but my original middle name will still be there on paper.

  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    SMarie89, you are not alone at all.

    I am taking his last name but keeping my maiden name as one of my middle names, so I will have two middle names when I legally change my name. This was my thought process behind the whole thing:

    - I didn't actually want to change my last name because of the history behind it--the transferring of "property" (The Bride) from one man (Dad) to the other (Husband). It's sexist and old fashioned and bothers me. But it was REALLY important to my husband that I take his last name so I agreed to do it.
    - My maiden name is a well known surname in Ireland--we can trace our family back to when they emigrated from Scotland to Ireland. We have a Coat of Arms as well as a family tartan and family land and castles. I've always been proud of where we came from and my last name has always reminded me of my grandparent's struggles in Ireland. I don't want to lose that tie to my family history
    - I like that people can immediately tell where my family was from by my clearly Irish surname. My husband's name is Norwegian--I am not Norwegian.
    - I originally wanted to just drop my middle name and take my maiden as my middle. I've never particularly liked my middle name, but it is my favorite Aunt's middle name, my mom loves it and calls me the name often, and it would break her heart to know I didn't keep it.
    - My plan is to mostly write my name out as First Maiden Last, but my original middle name will still be there on paper.

    I got my marriage license today and had to specify what my new name would be. I went with:
    First name: Dreamergirl
    Middle name: Current middlename-soon to be former maiden name
    Last name: His last name.

    I know I did the right thing (for me), but it was difficult.



    Anniversary
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  • I'll be taking his last name, my current last name is not my father's but my mother's last name, I had my last name changed to remove myself from my bio father because he wasn't in the picture. So I'm now struggling to decide to move my current last name to middle name or just start fresh so to speak and stick to tradition.

    I want that link to my past, not to sound morbid but if my great great grandchildren are searching their ancestry I want to help them get easier access to my side of the family. That's how I was able to find some pretty interesting history about my family more easily. Hispanic cultures tend to give children both surnames.

    That's also a whole other can of worms - what last names to give your offspring!
    -anjo (aka the future mrs miley :)


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  • I'm not changing my name. I've turned my name into my business brand and while I could change it legally but not professionally, neither of us mind one way or the other. Also, my last name is two letters long and my FH's is nine letters long. Future kids will have his name, that's no problem for me. 
    combledore
  • I am keeping mine AND adding his.  No hyphen.  Legally, you can have two last names, so my name with be Teresa Smith Jones (not my real last names).  I'm also keeping my middle name, so I'll have a total of four names. 

    I'll let people call me whatever they want to call me.  Mrs. Smith or  Mrs. Jones or  Mrs. Smith Jones.

    I really really love this idea. I thought it would be a great compromise since I'm not too crazy about losing my last name... I'm still early in my career but having my own identity is super important to me (I grew up in a small town and I was always known as so-and-so's daughter or so-and-so's sister. Uuughhh). But my FH doesn't like it one bit. He won't give me any good reason, just that it would really bother him. I don't really know what to do. He's so easygoing and it's very rare for him to step up and say he doesn't like something, so it clearly is a big deal to him, but I just don't know if that's a good enough reason for me to have to put aside something that's important to me.
  • I'm taking his last name, because I want to, and because my maiden name is forever getting mispronounced because people can't be bothered to take the time to look at it before trying to say it. My new last name will be much simpler. I am also keeping my current middle name because it's a family name and it means more to me than my maiden name, plus my FI and I like to call each other by our first and middle names.
    Anniversary
  • I am taking my FH's last name, moving my current surname to my middle name.

    To answer some questions above, you can have your child's middle name be your maiden name. Just an idea that I've seen done in my many years of teaching and seeing thousands of names lol.

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