To hyphenate or not…that is the question

posted 3 years ago in Names
Post # 3
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Well, first talk to your FI. Also, you don’t have to do anything immediately after the wedding–forever is a long time. I have a friend who hyphenated on Facebook just to see if it grew on her, and has decided to hyphenate legally when they’re preparing for children. 

Post # 4
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

You do what you want!  I know, easier said than done!

You can hyphenate but keep in mind this could cause problems with any pc system.  This is usually easily solved by telling them you have a hyphenated name. Assuming they listen.  Some systems can accomodate the hyphen, but most will go by first or last within the hyphenated name (I’ve done data entry!).  All the databases I’ve worked with turn it into an “_” or space. 🙁

You could do First Maiden Husband’sLast.  This is what I did, but I never used my middle name and didn’t want to lose my maiden name.  Because my dad is awesome, but I did ask their input as a curtesy first, as they did give me my middle name too.  For the record they both looked at me like I was nuts and said it was my name… which surprised me when it came to my mom!

You could legally stay your name but use his socially.

Due to my time with data entry and computer systems, I personally wouldn’t even do a hyphen.  I feel it’s hassle, but I’ve known women who did and didn’t mind the hassle. *shrug*

But again, it’s all up to you and him!  Some couples make up new last names, though it usually costs for the male to change his name in the US! :(.

Whatever you do, good luck!

Post # 5
3259 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I hyphenated and am glad that I did, even if it’s a bit of a hassle sometimes. I see the two names coming together as an awesome way of showing how I have bonded my former life with my new one with DH.

That said, I am a teacher and making kids write a hyphenated name on all their papers seems kind of mean, especially to those who knew me with my maiden name before I married. I simply go by my maiden name at work, and legally I am hyphenated. 

The only issues I have ever had with it have been at the airport; I can never just scan my credit card because of the weird name thing and have to ask the attendant to manually check me in. Small price to pay for the ability to keep a name I love. 🙂

Post # 6
660 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I dropped my maiden name, even though my maiden name is awesome and I don’t like my husband’s as much. But I think changing it completely is the cleanest thing to do.  I’ve always found hyphenated names cumbersome. It was annoying when I was a receptionist and had to page hyphenated ladies over the PA system. 


Post # 7
10883 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I opted for the formal, traditional name change in the US in which women drop their given middle names and take their maiden names as their new, legal middle names.  Very few of my own friends chose to do this, and this approach seems to have become less popular over the years. However, my own mother did this, as did one of my DH’s grandmothers and at least one of my grandmothers.

The benefits of this type of name change are many, some of which include:

*  It enables a woman to take her DH’s last name, while allowing her to maintain continuity of her identity from before marriage as well as a clear connection to her family of origin after marriage.  (For example, it’s much easier to make the connection that “Jane Smith Doe” is the person I used to know as “Jane Smith” than it is to figure out that the name “Jane Doe” is now referring to the former “Jane Smith.”)

* It avoids the more cumbersome, hyphenated, compound last name.

* It allows a woman to use all three of her names or just use her first and new last names, depending on the setting. (I use all three of my names — for example, Jane Smith Doe — on all legal documents, my bank accounts and credit cards, professionally, and pretty much anywhere I write my name. However, I am known socially in DH’s circles simply as Jane Doe or Mrs. Doe.)

* It allows a woman the option of using the honorific “Mrs.,” something that she cannot properly  do if she hyphenates (unless her husband also hyphenates his name) or if she does not change her name. (For example, Jane Smith-Doe is properly referred to as Ms. Smith-Doe, not Mrs. Smith-Doe, unless Mr. Smith also changed his last name to Smith-Doe. Likewise, if she does not take her husband’s last name, she remains Ms. Smith.)

I absolutely love my new name. 🙂

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