Post # 1
As we get closer to the wedding date, I find myself more and more anxious about my decision to not change my last name.
– my fiancé’s siblings/their spouses have all changed their last names according to tradition (taking on the husbands)
– my fiancé is not very close to his family or siblings (they’re not reliable or great people), but I am very close to my family, and want to keep my last name
– we plan (or at least the several times we’ve talked about it) to name the children with MY last name for logical reasons (wanting to avoid bias or racism especially in California)
– fiancé does not want to change his last name to mine because he has several professional higher education degrees in his current last name and doesn’t want patients or coworkers questioning them
My questions include: have any other news kept their last name and named the children after them and had a really hard time explaining to friends and family why you guys did that? Anyone have to not do the whole “now intorducing mr and mrs X” at their wedding? Anyone who can tell me whether their in laws cared that you didn’t take their last name and what I can expect? We haven’t told his parents yet, but as the wedding date approaches, I’m starting to get filled with dread about having to explain everything.
Post # 2
I didnt change my name (but no kids planned), and it was a pretty non-issue. I wouldn’t even bring it up to anyone, its 100% not their business. You can say “oh we havent decided yet” if THEY bring it up, but if you think theyre going to be judgey about it don’t even bother. And especially dont tell them about the kids thing, cross that bridge when you need to.
I can’t remember what our officiant pronounced us as actually. But we didn’t have Mr and Mrs X for sure.
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2018 - City, State
I’m not changing my name. My partner’s name is difficult to spell, I’ve built an identity with my last name, I’ve published articles and obtained degrees with my maiden name, and I don’t like the idea that we have to share HIS name to be a “social unit.” We talked about creating a new last name together (not hyphenated, but like … if he were Smith and I were Doe, we’re now ManyLoves and MrLoves Clooney. Totally unrelated) but that was ALSO a lot of work. So we just didn’t. It’s 2018, tons of married people don’t share last names, and tons of parents don’t share last names with their kids. No one really raised a fuss. We didn’t roll the news out like cancer (“Mom, dad, we have something to tell you …”) but just answered directly when/if we were asked. Most people cared about as little as we did. I was expecting some flack from his grandmother, who is very Old World conservative, but when I corrected her (“I’m not Mrs. XYZ, I’m still Ms. ABC”) she just patted my arm and said “If that’s what you have decided, dear.”
Don’t let anyone shame you, one way or the other. It’s a legit life choice, and if people have a problem, they’re more than welcome to change their own names to literally anything THEY want.
Post # 4
- Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse
lolac : I didn’t change my last name. Not so much for professional reasons. I just have a very very unique last name and it’s my name. Why should I have to change it? I also am lazy and I didn’t want to do all of the paperwork.
Socially, people will say Mr. and Mrs. HisLastName which I’m fine with. At work, I go by my maiden name but for some reason my email is his last name.
I explained my thoughts to both my family and his and no one said anything. I think they all understand. I guess I kinda go by both last names, however, technically I didn’t change anything.
Post # 5
I won’t be changing my last name, it’s not something I feel is necessary, it doesn’t make me any less married or any less committed. It’s also one of those archaic traditions which stems from a time when women were the property of their father until they were married then they were their husbands property.
Also I’m the only girl on My fathers side of the for 3 generations actually, and I like that makes me special. If I change my last name part of me feels that although it’s still true, it won’t have the same meaning because I’m not that surname anymore.
I don’t think my fiancé has told his parents yet. I think they will be surprised it was even an option, disappointed and well will probably call me By that anyway, because they are disrespectful and don’t bother to try and understand things that are non traditional. (To the point his cousin got married in a registry office not a church/hotel and there was no party or anything, just the legal bit and they call it a non wedding, “they signed something legal and say they are married but it wasn’t a wedding”) But they won’t say anything to me, just gossip about it when I’m not there, So really I don’t care. It’s my beliefs so that’s what’s happening, they can accept it or not. Fiancé is a bit disappointed but respects my beliefs and so is leaving it.
Post # 6
I’ve been married for 5 years and chose not to change my name. I don’t regret it at all. The only thing I would say is to be prepared to call you Mrs. his last name. Sometimes I correct people, other times I just let it go. For the record, I have very religous old school inlaws that gave me some trouble initially, but I stood my ground. Depending how cheeky I felt/feel, when people are shocked I didn’t change my name i’ll say “oh gosh why would I do that?! no thanks”. Its your name, your choice.
Post # 7
Obviously I don’t know your families, but I think you’re over thinking it. Most people won’t ask you your plans regarding keeping or taking a name. I think maybe one of my girlfriends asked me and I don’t think anyone in our family did that I can think of.
As far as how you’re announced, I’m sure you can do a quick google search to find alternatives and have the officiant use something other than “Mr & Mrs X”
Post # 8
michelleh0686 : I’m an only child, so the feeling for me to keep my last name (at least for myself) is even stronger.
Sorry to hear about your in-laws. Mine aren’t that disrespectful, but they definitely think their way is the best way and have told my fiancé they consider me the most “willful” and “independent” child in law out of the 3 of us in law children.
I did also kind of wonder about this because I have a coworker that I’ve been working with for years. We’re friends and he’s a great guy. When I brought this up to him, he told me he would have been very upset if his wife didn’t take his last name, and it could potentially have been a real deal breaker… hearing something like that was very puzzling. I would assume that any woman considering marrying her partner isn’t not changing her last name just to spite their partner…
Post # 9
I didn’t change my last name, partially for professional resaons and partially because I just didn’t want to and it has been a non-issue. Sometimes people do call me Mrs [his last name] or address things to Mr. and Mrs. [his last name[ and that doesn’t really bother me either. I’d probably change it if we ever had kids but I really don’t think it matters much. If you don’t want to change it, then don’t change it. I also know women who regret changing their names.
At the ceremony, the officiant said “Ladies and Gentlemen, [my frist name] and [his first name]” which was a little weird but we didn’t really care.
Post # 10
I didn’t change my last name and am very comfortable with my decision. I have a professional degree and papers published with my name, and feel strongly tied to my name. I also don’t like H’s surname for myself. I told his parents who were a little disappointed, but they got over it. For our wedding, we just had the officiant say something like “congrats to the newly married couple, BrideFirstName and GroomFirstName!” With no surnames.
We are planning on having kids, but haven’t sorted out how we’ll do their surnames. Don’t be apologetic about your choice. If you have to do a bit more explaining and deal with some more judgment for giving your kids your surname, so be it. In the end, it shouldn’t matter to anyone else.
Post # 11
mrsalexander : I assume the same will happen, and I’ll just have to gently correct them. Once we have children though, it will likely be the opposite. They’ll be calling him mr.x (at least at school meetings or with other parents lol). He’s said that he won’t correct them, so we’ll see how that goes.
And just to note in terms of family background, I’m Chinese, and my extended family (though Americanized), is still pretty traditional. In a combination of old and new, the last name to my aunts and uncles is pretty important, as that will dictate whether they will get more or less inheritance.
Luckily im an only child and my parents don’t care about that stuff, but I can imagine my fiancé’s grandma being more of a stickler for their tradition.
Post # 12
Hi bee! I didn’t change my name. I’ve actually been really surprised by who has been judgey about it (very few people) and who hasn’t cared at all (most people). I work at a hospital and some of the older ladies who I worked with were the most judgey about it— “how will your children feel when people ask them why their mother doesn’t have their name???” I was like uhh…? My future-potential, currently-non-existent children will probably be just fine?
But really it’s not a big deal most of the time. Sometimes people that I don’t know well (hotel staff, electricians, etc) will call me Mrs. Husbandsname and that doesn’t bother me at all.
As far as explaining yourself to other people, you don’t owe anyone any explanation besides “we have made a decision that works for our family, and we aren’t going to change our minds.”
Post # 13
lolac : I didn’t change my name. Both of our families are very traditional and I still get the occational comment two years later, but D.H. and I are both happy with the decision and that’s all that matters. Most people don’t care and most of the people who mistakenly call me Mrs. HusbandsLastName correct themselves going forward when I mention that I didn’t take D.H.’s name. Sometimes people call D.H. Mr. MyLastName because I make all of our reservations, but he thinks it’s funny, so no issue there for us. You should definitely do what you and your F.H. think is best for you!
Post # 14
I’m not planning to change my last name, and my SO doesn’t care either way. I’ve had my last name for 32 years, I’m too old to get accustomed to a new last name, lol. And I’m too lazy to deal with the paperwork. We’re not planning to have kids, so that makes everything easier. But we’re friends with a married couple who don’t share a last name, and they just had a baby. The baby has the father’s last name, but the mother’s maiden name as the middle name.
I don’t think SO’s parents will care, they’re pretty easygoing. They’ve actually been way more accepting of me than my own parents are, lol. No matter what their kids decide to do, they support them, even if it’s not a choice they would make for themselves. Whereas my parents question every decision I’ve ever made in my life, always trying to get me to follow in their footsteps. My mom actually seemed a bit disappointed when I told her that I have no plans to change my last name when I get married. You’d think she’d be happy that I want to keep her last name! But it’s just another example of her wanting me to do what she did. She changed her last name when she got married, so I should do the same thing. *face palm*
Post # 15
lolac : I didn’t change my name. No one seemed to really notice nor care. It’s common in my profession for women to “unofficially” continue to use their maiden name though (education). My husband is also a feminist, which helps a ton.