Post # 1
I’m really torn about whether or not to change my name.
On the one hand, I kind of like the idea of taking his name- for the most part I find the traditional aspects sweet. Also, if/when we have kids I would like to have the same name as them. I’ve heard numerous horror stories of women who ran into difficulties not having the same last name as their husband/children (applying for passports and such).
On the other, I like my name! And I’ve published in my field under my name- changing my last name would confound people attributing that work to me. And I worry about feeling that I’ve lost my identity.
I’m curious what brired-to-be are planning to do. I’m also curious what brides have done and how their decision has worked out.
Post # 3
You could change your name but use your maiden name as your work name. A lot of people do that (teachers, writers, actors, etc…).
I plan to change my last name; though I love my maiden name, I think that changing my last name is a part of being married, and I can’t wait!
Post # 4
I was all gung-ho about keeping my last name until I had to take our dog to the vet. FI usually does this and so our dog was listed under his last name. Long story short, it caused me such a headache just to have a different last name than my dog, I can’t imagine how much trouble I would have with a different last name from my husband and children! Anyway, I think I’ve decided to drop my middle name and be Katie MaidenName HisLastName. I would hyphenate, but that would be like 6 syllables…
Post # 5
hey, i know how you feel. i posted about this exact subject 6(!) months ago & hmm, 3 months to go & haven’t decided what Im doing yet! http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/last-name-to-change-or-not-to-change
recently i have gotten lots of what i consider super nosey, rude questions about the subject from people i hardly know & people at work, and 1 curious question from my dad altho i couldnt decide what ‘side’ he is on. im really having a hard time deciding and am surprised whenever someone just KNOWS what they want to do.
to compound the problem, a few (rude!) comments have been made regarding how my last name & fi’s last name sound bad together (as in a "firstname birthname fi’slastname" combo) altho i dont really care what they think! i even have a snappy comeback now about how my fi is going to change his last name since mine is shorter & easier to spell which makes nosey people seriously squirm!
Post # 6
One option is to take his name socially, but professionally to keep your name. I think that means that you wouldn’t change it legally, but you’d be introduced in social settings as (and would otherwise be) Mr. & Mrs. ______. [That still doesn’t solve concerns regarding legal documents…]
Another option is to keep your maiden name present among your names, so your publications can still be associated with the name you’ve already built for yourself. Think "Hillary Rodham Clinton"…Now, even she has dropped the Rodham, but for a long time that was very much a part of her identity. This might be the best of both worlds. Many of my college professors who had publications pre-marriage went this route.
My own plan is to be a four-name bride – all my names mean something and I have difficulty choosing my middle over my maiden or vice versa – and I’ll primarily use just those initials. The name thing has long been discussed, and everyone’s different, but to me, taking his name makes me really feel married.
[We also talked about combining our names into a new name, but that seemed to be too complicated.]
Post # 7
Like you, i have publications under my current name. I plan on being first name current last name FI last name. socially i’ll be just first name fi last name, but professionally i’ll use both.
Post # 8
I’m also torn but have come to the conclusion of having 4 names as well. We are the last in our family line and I hate the idea of The MaidenName family "dieing out" I’ve talked about this with FH. we have decided we will cross that bridge when we get to it. = (
even though my new initials will be BAGD (bagged????!!!!))
Post # 9
I am also going with four names. Not a big deal for me from the standpoint of publications, but I will have to change my professional licenses, and I do a lot of consulting work so until word gets around that my name has changed I need my maiden name in there somewhere so that people can find me! I will list firstname maidenname lastname in the professional directories. I had a girlfriend (also a consultant) who actually hyphenated for about three years and then finally changed to hislastname – she said that three years was about what it took for people throughout our industry to be sufficiently aware of her new name that she could stop using her maiden name too. My sister, who has a lot of publications, has been married 5 years and has an almost 1 year old daughter – she has not changed her last name. Her daughter’s last name is her husband’s last name. She has not had any problems.
Interestingly enough, I have been making doctors appts, picking up prescriptions, accessing medical information and talking to the school attendance office for about six months now as regards my FI’s kids. I tell them my name, and say that I’m so-and-so’s stepmother. I have not had anybody question that.
Post # 10
My FI’s sister actually ran into this problem when she got married in June 2006. She is a doctorate in speech pathology and is published numerous times over in academic journals, etc. Changing her name was out of the question and her hubby (a doctor himself….dentist) understood when she hyphenated. But she kept her middle name so her "legal" name is pretty long. So she’s: Alison R. MaidenName-MarriedName.
But now that I am engaged I am in the same boat. I love my last name…so hyphenating is really my only option too!
Post # 11
It’s a struggle. I decided to change my name and have been getting a lot of slack lately from other women. I mainly did it because I wanted our children to have the same name as me. Combined with the fact that I am not overly attached to my last name which is plain and boring 🙂
I will also have to change my name on my professional license, but as I am just starting out in my career I don’t think it will impact me much. I also have a very unique name and I don’t think there are any people in my profession in my city with the same first name.
If I was in a different situation – like yours’ – I would probably keep both name (but not hyphenate, I have an aversion to hyphened names) and use my maidan name professionally and my husband’s name in every other circumstance.
Post # 12
I already have a hyphenated last name since my mom kept her maiden name. So I’m FirstName Mom’sMaiden-Dad’sLast. I get a lot of sassy comments about how I’m going to triple-hyphenate when I get married. As far as I know, neither my brother nor I had any trouble with my parents and doctor’s appointments or other semi-legal things.
I’m dropping my hyphenated last name and can’t wait. It has been such a pain in the behind. I never get filed in the right place consistently, and now that I’m in my 20s, when I tell people I’m engaged they think I’m already married because of the hyphenated name!
I’m keeping my middle name, which is my great-grandmother’s first name, so I’ll still have a family connection.
Post # 13
I changed my last name to my husband’s name, and kept my maiden name as my middle name (no hyphen, I don’t like hyphens because no one ever knows what to file you under, like kleverkira said).
I had a pretty good professional reputation prior to getting married, so I print my maiden and new last name on my biz cards. My email address is just first initial and new last name, but my full name including maiden name, is saved in the header so people knew it was me!
Keeping my maiden name as the middle name helped out a lot in the beginning. I received checks, etc. in my maiden name, so it was helpful to have the maiden name still listed on my bank accounts, credit cards, etc. until I received my new drivers license & passport.
I have to tell you, I was sad at the prospect of having to travel on our honeymoon with different last names. We ended up postponing our honeymoon by 2 months due to work reasons, which allowed enough time to apply for an expedited passport in my new name and I was so happy to be able to travel with the same last name!
Post # 14
Limesnall said it for me perfectly. I’ll be going with the "Italian" tradition of keeping the maiden name for professional purposes and using the married name in social situations. Apparently here if you completely change your name and drop your maiden people will assume you’re your husband’s sister, or other close relative, not his wife (which could lead to all kinds of fun situations). I’m happy with this, as I was really really sentimental and sad at the thought of giving up my maiden name- now I can be everything!
Post # 15
My reasons for wanting to change my name to FI’s last name aren’t great and I hope that nobody gets offended by it, but my major reason for taking his last name is that when we have children, I don’t want people to think that I am a baby momma.
Not there is anything wrong with being a baby momma, most of the women I know with children had them before they were married and it has worked out well for them, but I’m not one and I want people to realize that. I think that ther is a double standard in place when African-American women have a different last name than the father of their children and I just don’t want to deal with that. So I will be Angie Middlename FIlastname and make sure that people who know me professionally understand what the deal is.
Post # 16
Finally I have a reason to be happy about not having a middle name! My parents didn’t give me one expressly for this reason, and I have spent 30 years giving them a hard time (jokingly) about the lack of a middle name. But it has made this pretty easy as I will take my maiden as my middle. I plan to use "firstname maidenname hisname" professionally until people get comfortable with my new last name. Luckily my first name is unusual enough so hopefully a few years will do it!