Struggling with name change decision. Any tips?

posted 3 years ago in Traditions
  • poll: Indecisive: Change Name, Keep Name, Hyphenate
    Change Name : (26 votes)
    48 %
    Keep Name : (11 votes)
    20 %
    Hyphenate : (9 votes)
    17 %
    Other, explain below : (8 votes)
    15 %
  • Post # 2
    112 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    I’m not married yet, I have a few more months to go, but I struggled with the whole name change thing as well. my maiden name is not exactly one that would sound good as a middle and hyphenation just isn’t an option, Do I really want a 16 letter last name? But, like you, I feel like my last name is part of who I am, I’ve spent X amount of years on this planet identifying with my last name, its who I am its how people know me.  Not to mention I am a bit lazy and the thought of contacting every single person I would need to change my name with feels exhausting..

    My FI said it would be “Weird” if I didn’t change my name but wouldn’t be an issue, his mother however I’m pretty certain would have a heart attack if I decided not to change it.

    But I think of it this way, I am getting married starting a new chapter to my life. So why not start it with a new name. I am not losing my identity, I am simply building on to it. I love this man so why not start it under the same family name… Unfortunately I don’t think he’ll be taking mine anytime soon lol

    Post # 3
    6158 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2013


    my mom lived in NY when she changed her name and she moved her maiden name to her middle name and took her married name as her last name, thoguh that was 30 years ago.

    it is not that i don’t believe you, but i have a hard time believing that you can’t change your name to whatever you want.

    i remember in that friends episode when phoebe wants to change her name to consuela banana hammock.


    Post # 4
    9137 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

    It was really important to my husband that I change my name since he was adopted by his dad and took his dad’s name so my taking the name solidifies his relaitonship with his dad.  But I am a published professional and changing your name can affect the reputation you’ve built.

    I decided to make my maiden name my middle name and his last name as my last name.  BUT I go by both my married name and maiden name at work without a hyphen.  It’s called double barrelling and a good example is Hillary Rodham Clinton.  At home and when I travel (since my legal name is his last name) I am Mrs. Married but at work I am Ms. Maiden Married.

    Post # 5
    422 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    I’m having this same issue. We are a little more than 3 months out, and still haven’t come to a decision. I told FI I wasn’t sure, and he told me it was up to me. But when I mentioned that if he didn’t feel strongly about it, I’d just keep my name, and I could tell he was upset by his face. Hyphenating isn’t an option… 21 letters between the two of us.


    Really hard to come to terms with the idea of giving up the name I’ve had all my life. 


    I think that I will probably just not make a decision right away after the wedding and then come to a true conclusion in the month or two after. If we have children, I would definately change it, but we’re on the fence about that now. 


    This wasn’t any help at all. But I certainly can commiserate!

    Post # 7
    1266 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    I will not be changing my last name.  It’s awesome and uncommon, and FI’s is a very common last name. Our last names are extremely similar, so hyphenating is out of the question. I would love if our family could all have the same last name, but I’m not taking his and he’s not taking mine.  Our children will have the last name of Gold because that’s the beginning of both of our last names.  I think doing it that way is kind of cute, because it shows that our kids are a combination of us.

    Post # 9
    422 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    Kwhoa:  I would say take the time you need to make the decision! I have friends who changed their name the week after their wedding, and are no regretting that they did. All comes down to personal preference. Some friends are super gung-ho about changing it, and others are adamantly against it. Wish I felt super strongly one way or the other, because it’s hard in the middle of the road!

    Post # 10
    6158 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2013


    Kwhoa:  DUH, what am I talking about.   changing your name is federal.  the first step is changing your SSN.  i filled out the same form that everyone does in the US who wants to change their name and i could put anything i wanted.

    well, i just looked it up because i was curious.  that name change thing you are talking about only applies to domestic partnerships in NY.  i am not familiar with domestic partnership law.

    Post # 11
    4072 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2014

    I was a little on the fence because I love my maiden name, and I am so proud to be part of that family. My dad’s side has a lot of amazing strong women, and I love being tied to them!

    Yet, I knew I didn’t want to keep it on its own. My mother never changed her name, and when I was a child, it bothered me that she had a different name from my dad and I. So now I knew I wanted the same name as my kids, and I wanted DH to share that too. I wanted a family name.

    So I did go the route of dropping my middle name and replacing it with my maiden. Then I changed my last name to DH’s. I love it. It sounds good together, and I get to keep both. I actually use the full First Maiden Last on a lot of things, but it’s also handy to just have an easy First Last with no hyphens when it comes to paperwork! Hyphens are a pain in the ass, so I threw that idea out right away.

    Post # 13
    11469 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper

    Kwhoa:  Really it is a decision that you have to make for yourself and there isn’t a wrong answer so keep that in mind.

    I loved my name as well and I was the last one with my last name so I kept it. I instead hyphenated which my husband had absolutely no issues with whatsoever. The only reason I hyphenated was so that my children and I legally have the same last name. I know that some mommies who have remarried had issues with hospital emergences, day care pick up etc when the last names don’t match. So to avoid any minor issues I went with the hyphen which is ONLY present on legal documents otherwise I use my last name only.

    Post # 14
    518 posts
    Busy bee

    I always planned on changing my name but perhaps my perspective may help you. My maiden name is not my name, it’s my Dad’s name. I choose to take my married name when the time comes. I decide, it is not done for me like all the other decisions regarding name. My name is not my identity, my personality and choices make me who I am.

    Post # 15
    181 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    I went back and forth for a long time, and feel like I made my final decision at the last minute.  I knew I did not want to hyphenate (had been told by many people who work in HR and admin roles that hyphenating can be a pain, and I like to keep things simple).  I knew it was important to DH that our children have his last name and that he would prefer me to change mine, but would support me either way.  I decided to change because I wanted the same name as my future children.  I am myfirst mymiddle mynewlast (eventually-at first it felt like hislast! I completely dropped myoldlast).  I have been happy with my decision and found it to be an easy switch; because I log on to computers daily and my username changed I feel like I adapted really quickly.  I am back in school and DH is super excited that I will be Dr. ourlastname, which makes me happy 🙂  In the end I personally think it feels like a bigger deal than it is-change it, don’t change it, go socially by whatever you like, in the grand scheme of things it doesn;t matter.

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