Double Barrel vs. Hyphenate my "girl's first name" Surname

posted 3 years ago in Names
Post # 3
Member
957 posts
Busy bee

I think you’re right about the confusion. If you would write your name as Wrenny Allison Marcum, it seems like you’re throwing your middle name in there. People may mistakenly call you Ms. Marcum. 

If you don’t want this to happen, hyphenating is the way to go. Is there a reason you don’t like the hyphen?

Post # 4
Member
393 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I took a double barrel last name and it has its positives and negatives.  I have no issues with any random name combination that people use (like when cashing checks, etc.).  I am able to use my maiden name (short and easy) at work.  I use my married name on social things. I use both on all legal documents. 

 

I am more attached to my middle name than my last name, so replacing my middle name with my maiden name wasn’t an option for me either.  I either had to change my last name, not change my last name, or double barrel it. 

 

My friends and family don’t say or write my name that much, but when they do I get either Firstname Maidenname DHLastname or just Firstname DHlastname.  When I speak on the phone with banks or my doctors office, even though I say my name as Firstname Maiden DHlastname, they often just call me Mrs. DHlastname back.  People will automatically just look at the last name in your name and call you Mrs. Lastname.  If you want everyone to use both then you would need to tell all your friends/family and you would probably need to hypenate.  They might still only call you Mrs. DHlastname if you hypenate (not sure bc I didn’t do this).

 

I would recommend waiting on changing your name for a little while.  There is so much going on around the wedding that it is nice to take a few months and see what you would like to do. 

 

Post # 5
Member
2675 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

@MrsBG:  With a double barrel last name what do you put on things like a driver’s license or credit/debit cards? Just curious since I am think about going this way too. 

Post # 6
Member
11001 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I believe that most of the examples you cited are cases where the woman’s maiden name is now her middle name, ex: Hillary Rodham Clinton.  She doesn’t have a double-barrelled last name, but her maiden name is now her legal, middle name. This is what I did also.

I have two friends who kept all four of their names, with their maiden names being their second middle names. This did not work well for at least one of them (I haven’t asked the other, because I almost never see her.) The one friend says, if she had it to do all over again, she would have dropped her given middle name. Unfortunatley, her employer and her doctors’ offices all have her last name differently in their computer systems, with some hypenating it, some alphabetizing her name under her maiden name, others alphabetizing her name under her new, married last name (which is what they should be doing.)

Just remember that your given middle name will continue to travel with you throughout life, because it’s always going to be on your birth certificate.  No one can tell you that you don’t still have that name associated with you, because that’s the name your parents gave you.  However, if you change your middle name to your maiden name, your given middle name will no longer be a part of your legal name and signature (unless you should ever decide legally to change it back some day.)

If I were you, in your example above, I would choose my new legal name to be “Wrenny Allison Marcum,” with Marcum being my last name.  Your family can still affectionately call you “Wrenny Lee.” 🙂

Post # 7
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

I am DBing but I am using my husband’s last name on all legal documents to avoid confusion.  So I will be BeachBride Maiden Married.  At work I will known as Ms. Maiden Married but my paycheck and health insurance will be BeachBride Married.  At home, on my passport, and my driver’s license I will go by Mrs. Married only.

I have seen too many issues with documents not matching or reservations in one name not matching the name on your passport or driver’s license.

Post # 8
Member
393 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@Ms_Purple:  I should start with the fact that I am in Illinois and every state is different.

Lets assume my name is Jane Ann Doe and I married John Smith.  My ‘new’ name is Jane (first name), Ann (middle name), Doe Smith (last names).

Drivers License: Jane A Doe Smith

Passport/SS card: Jane Ann Doe Smith

Debit/Credit cards: J Doe Smith  (because my name is more than the 21 character (including spaces limit)).  Mine is 27 characters including spaces. I believe most companies will let you choose what to put on your card. My citibank credit card was able to fit Jane A Doe Smith. 

Post # 9
Member
693 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@Wrenny:  THIS was my problem too!  I didn’t want to be First Maiden Married because of the female first name thing.  SO, I am First Hisname-Myname.  Even with a hyphen, I thought that having my name first might still sound odd, so I hyphenated and switched the order. (He hyphanated, too)

Post # 10
Member
2546 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

My last name is two words without a hyphen and it has never caused any issues. Do it!

Post # 11
Member
2878 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’d hyphenate; otherwise it will seem like your maiden last name is your middle name.

Post # 12
Member
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Agree 100% with the very wise & wonderful @Brielle:  (Reply # 5)

My issue is similar to yours, but not the same…

I have a double barrelled Given & Second Name… some people know me by both, some just by my first name.

And my whole life (50+ years) I’ve had the same last name… I never changed it for my first marriage, just “adopted” My Exes’ Surname for social occasions

Example:

So I was born Barbara-Jean Jones

Married David Johnson, and remained Barbara Jean Jones… altho many of my adult friends just knew me (or called me by) Barbara.  Jones was my known Surnames… and on occasion I was known as Barbara Johnson or Mrs Johnson because that was my Hubby’s (and by extension) our Kid’s Surname

Didn’t bother me, I got used to it.  No issues.

This time round, and I am wanting to put some distance between myself and my first marriage.

So after 50+ years of being Barbara-Jean Jones… the time has come for a change.

I am giving up the “Jean” bit symbolically (as another Bee said it’ll still be on my Birth Certificate) and after much thought on the matter have decided to change my surname to that of my new Hubby, and move my long standing surname to the middle position (this is the American Traditional way that women have been doing for the last 100+ years)

So I am now Barbara Jones Black legally.  That is what ALL my paperwork says.

Altho technically I am also Barbara-Jean Jones (my Birth Certificate) and Barbara-Jean Jones Black.

But I am quite happy to be Barbara Black most of the time, if that is what people only take away from the whole scenario.

As for your own situation:

As your Maiden Surname is also common for a woman’s name, I think it would be best if you hyphenated it with your Married Surname, then there is no confusion that it is part of YOUR surname, and not a given middle name.

Hope this helps,

PS… As someone who has been married before, let me assure you that most women overthink all this.  In reality, life goes on after you are married no matter what your legal name is… people will call you by whatever they come to know you as, and not blink an eye.  And in time neither will you… didn’t bother me one iota when someone used to call me Mrs. Barbara Johnson, Mom to Becky & Peter… I was proud to wear that title.  Because in some ways it was who I was as much as I was also, Barbara Jones, or Mrs. David Johnson.

A name isn’t truly that big of a deal in my mind… people call you whatever they known you by.

Here in Canada this whole name thing is certainly less of a thing than it is in the USA… in so much as people have tons of options including beyond all the ones I’ve mentioned, double-barellling in reverse (guys surname first, hers last… so Marcum-Allison)… or creating a new Surname from both the Partners (Marcall).  Or going with something totally NEW and not tied to other people… (Gray…. so you’d be Wrenny Gray)

Infact, I know many people who have lots of names… including Writers & Actors who have other names they use professionally so … woman could be using a large variety… Birth – Maiden – Legal – Married – Social – Professional.

Canada’s law is as long as it isn’t for fraudulent purposes you can call yourself whatever you want, and I think that is pretty cool

 

Post # 13
Member
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@This Time Round:  That is not the American traditional way. The TRADITIONAL way is to just drop your last name for your husbands. In the circumstance that a woman really wanted to keep her last name, she would then use it as a middle name or hyphenate. 

Here’s a quote from a research article published by Harvard University, a Prominent AND Respected American University.  
“until the late 1970s, almost all women, even the highly educated and eminent, assumed their husband’s surname upon marriage. When prominent women who married before the 1970s wished to keep their maiden names as part of their professional image, they sometimes used their maiden names as their middle names, like the U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor.”
 HARVARD source

Post # 14
Member
1327 posts
Bumble bee

@ImagineDragon24:  Yeah, I think everyone knows Harvard.  But there are traditions that are not American and perfectly valid, because the world is huge.

Post # 15
Member
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@ChicFoodist:  Well it’s a good thing I was responding to someone who was directly talking about American traditions. Know your facts before you accuse someone of not validating other worldy views. 

Post # 16
Member
1327 posts
Bumble bee

@ImagineDragon24:  Okay, I amend my original response to you: Yeah, I think everyone knows Harvard.  But there’s no need to be so condescending to someone who’s just trying to be helpful.  Maybe you don’t know how all that capitalization reads though – I could give you the benefit of the doubt. :/

@Wrenny:  Sorry for threadjacking, Wrenny, this is way off-topic.  I actually have nothing helpful to add with regards to your question; I think there are already plenty of other helpful responses here.  Will stop posting on this thread. 🙂

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