Post # 1
I’ve decided (so far) that instead of changing my last name to my future husband’s last name, I’m going to tack on his last name to my full name without hyphenating. So it would read like (not my real name):
First Middle Maiden Married
Jane Catherine Smith Jones
Has anyone on these boards done that, and if so, do you consider both “smith” and “jones” to be your last name? How do you sign your name/introduce yourself? Without the middle name, would you introduce yourself as “Hi, I’m Jane Smith Jones”?
I’d like to keep my maiden name as part of my legal last name because I feel very attached to it; however, I’m not against keeping it legally but introducing myself just as “Jane Jones.”
Any advice from bees with this experience would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
I’m legally changing mine so that my maiden name is my legal middle name and my married name is my legal last name. It just seemed easier because I don’t have to worry about running out of space on forms and hyphenating just seemed like a pain. However, I still introduce myself using both names. You can still use your middle name socially even if it’s not legally your middle name anymore, you just have to use your legal name on any official/legal forms you fill out.
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2013 - backyard in the woods
I did that and I just use whichever appeals for the situation. At work I’m Jane Smith. With his family I’m Jane Jones. Older traditional folks? Jane Jones. With friends, I could be either depending on my mood. When we have kids, Jane Jones socially etc.
Post # 5
I don’t have any experience with it yet, but I’m planning on doing the same thing as you and just having two middle names with a single (his) last name. My maiden name means way too much for me to drop completely, but it sounds very silly if it were to be hypenated.
I thought I was the only one! 🙂
Post # 6
@leahthehun: Great question. I can’t wait to see others replies as I plan on doing the same.
Post # 7
I originally planned to do this, but with my maiden name as a second MIDDLE name, not the first of two last names. However, in the state in which I was living at the time of my marriage, the department of motor vehicles did not allow or no longer permitted that type of name change. They said their system would not accept what it considers to be a “non-hyphenated, two-name, last name.”
Also, I have two friends who did this (with their maiden names as second middle names), and one of them told me it created a mess for her not only with her doctors’ offices but also with her job, which hyphenates her last name (when it is not hyphenated.) She said if she had to do it all over again, she would have dropped her given middle name and simply taken her maiden name as her only middle name.
Because I did not want a compound last name, and two middle names just wasn’t going to work for me, I dropped my given middle name and changed my middle name to my maiden name.
I use it nearly everywhere in writing and often when I introduce myself. It is on my resume that way, my bank documents, my credit cards, etc. When I was still working, it was on my business cards and office name plate that way, too. I actually LOVE having three names! 🙂
Post # 8
YES! I did this! So on the Social Security form, Catherine and Smith are now my two legal middle names. So here is what I’ve been doing for the past year:
Introductions in person: Jane Jones
Work Email: Jane C. S. Jones
Personal Email/Facebook Name: Jane Smith Jones (sometimes I say this in person if someone may know me via Facebook)
Signing papers or checks: Jane Catherine Smith Jones or Jane C. S. Jones
Credit cards: Jane C S Jones
SS card/License/Passport: Jane Catherine Smith Jones
If a form asks for a middle name, I usually use CS or C depending on how much room there is. H bought my ticket recently and he put Catherine in the middle name blank so Smith was just omitted. They still let me on the plane. 🙂 I don’t think places care about the middle names as much as the first and last names.
I have not had any issues with this so far. I asked a bunch of married women and they had very few issues. When I told the dentist I changed my name, they just assuemd I went from Jane Catherine Smith to Jane Catherine Jones. I did not bother to say I had four names. I would consider that minor!
I had a friend that had two legal last names, so Smith Jones was her legal last name. It did create a lot of issues for her – people trying to hyphenate, etc, so I vote just make it so you have two legal middle names. She said she ended up changing it after many years of confusions!
Post # 9
I only added my new last name symbolically, so it reads FIRST, MAIDEN, DH’s LAST – It’s on my resume, I am addressed by it, and it’s on my business cards – I just didn’t change it legally, so on all official forms and documents my last name is the same.
Post # 11
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@leahthehun: YES! I did this. I moved my maiden name to be my second middle name. So it’s FirstName MiddleName SecondMiddleName NewLastName.
It’s a little goofy for sure, but how often do you use your WHOLE legal name anyway? When it came down to it, I just didn’t want to jettison my middle name (my parents went to all that trouble to find the perfect one!) and it felt weird to totally dump my maiden name too. And I hate hypenated names. So, voila.
In terms of new names on bank accounts, email, etc etc, I basically did exactly like @sienna76: did. Granted it’s only been like 4 months, but no hassles so far.
Post # 12
I did the same as @sienna76:
I havent had any problems other than systems not being able to take 2 middle initials or 2 middle names. But for the most part, it’s been rather smooth.
Post # 13
@thenextmrsi: Has this caused any problems in any aspects of your life? I was thinking of keeping my name, since it’s kind of looked down upon at work to change your name after you get your PhD, but in my personal life I’d like to have the same last name as my FI and my future children.
Post # 14
I’m doing this too! It is awesome that there are other bees who have done it, I’m glad I’m not the only one. For me it just feels right, I hate hyphenation, and I want to keep my last name legally but also have his, so this just works best for me. It’s pretty much the only option I felt right with. I don’t want my maiden name to be moved to a middle name though, I want 2 last names.
I haven’t read the other comments yet, but I am planning to use Myfirst Hislast socially and as my signature. I think in my professional life I will probably use my legal name (so Myfirst Middle Mylast Hislast). I just like the idea of still legally being ‘me’.
Post # 15
@leahthehun: I kept my maiden name as a second middle name. It was important to me to keep my maiden name as part of my identity, because it was part of me for 24 years before marrying!
Legally my name is now First Middle Maiden Last. I use my husband’s name as my legal last name. When I have to provide my middle name on any kind of official document I include both middle names on the line for middle name. When I use initials, though, I just use my original middle name (i.e. Jane E. Smith instead of Jane E. B. Smith. or J.E.S instead of J.E.B.S).
One piece of advice: depending on where you live I have heard it can be difficult to do this. I lived in Texas and was advised to get my social security card first because it is a national ID, and all states have to accept it. I was told that Texas doesn’t like to do drivers licenses with two middle names, but since it was on my SS I didn’t get any grief from anyone.
Good luck, whatever you decide to do!
Post # 16
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
I know a couple that ended up creating a sort of new joint name, like this:
Girl: Angela Marlowe Croup
Boy: John Philip Cook
She HATED her last name, but didn’t *just* want to take his last name, so now they are
Angela Marlowe Cook and John Marlowe Cook.
People use both last names when they refer to them, even though the name is not hyphenated.
To sum: Do what you want. People will call you what you make clear you want to be called.