Did/Will you change your surname on marriage? What did/does your family/SO feel?

posted 7 months ago in Names
Post # 2
444 posts
Helper bee

This is a conversation best kept between you and your fiancé – others should not be invited.  When you come to a decision as to what works for you, you announce it matter-of-factly.  It’s not up for public debate.  

The beauty of our times is that we each get to do what works for us. There are no rules. 

(But to answer your question….I took my husband’s name.  But I had been walking around with my ex-husband’s name prior to this marriage – 10 years divorced and never bothered to change it back only because it’s a huge pain in the neck and I never saw myself getting married again.  But I did (shrug) … meh….I don’t have such strong feelings one way or the other, just knew I couldn’t marry one guy while keeping the other’s name.  (And yes, I am an educated professional with many business reasons to not to change it — guess what?  they’ve all gotten used to it already.)

Do what works for you!  Good luck!

Post # 3
43 posts

View original reply
slivergreen90 :  I will be keeping my name for a number of reasons.


1) The women in my family all kept their maiden names.

2) I am of a different ethnicity than my fiance so I would like to keep my own name to retain that part of my identity.

3) I just dont want to go through all the paperwork involved.


My parents obviously support this and he and his family are as well.  My future SIL also kept her name as she has very strong cultural ties to it.

I think you should do what you want if that is keeping your name.  If your family is adamant, you could perhaps hypenhate your name and his surname together? 

Post # 4
5917 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

I didn’t involve my inlaws or my own family at all in my name change decision.  I didn’t really care what any of them thought, anyone else agreeing or disagreeing with my decision didn’t concern them.  Although I’m sure everyone did expect me to change it.  Out of all my friends who got married in the last few years I am the only one to keep my name, which surprises me. 

I thought about changing my name for a while as my husband expressed that he would like that, but I was never dying to become Mrs his-lastname so in the end I just kept mine. 

Post # 5
626 posts
Busy bee

I think its totally fine to keep your name or change it. Just a matter of personal preference. I would leave parents/in-laws out of it. Theyre likely to be more traditional but its YOUR name so you should make that choice.

I did change mine. I liked my husbands name better. My dad was adopted so my name did not represent my heritage at all. Im also not close to my family. On the other hand I really love DH’s family so for me changing it felt right. No regrets.

Post # 6
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I always had a pretty shallow guideline for whether or not I’d change my name: did I like how it sounded? I’m pretty picky, so past boyfriends didn’t pass the test. DH has a great last name, so I knew I’d add it in some way, but I also knew I wouldn’t get rid of my name. 

As it works out, I work in higher ed, where it’s really common to move you maiden name to your middle name, then go by all 3 professionally while still only having one legal last name (helpful for any sort of paperwork). So, that’s what I did. If I worked in a field that was stricter, I’d have double-barreled my last name with his (so both, sans hyphen). 

DH didn’t care in the slightest. If anything, he encouraged me to keep mine. He thought the paperwork seemed like a hassle, and while he’s never admitted it, I think part of his inner feminism sort of subconsciously struggled with the idea of us having this sort of outward sign of traditionalism/patriarchy. 

The rest of our families have been awesome. Even my super conservative grandpa makes sure to address my birthday cards properly. Work has been the hardest, in some ways, since some people in my office can be fairly traditional and I have to remind them of how I’d prefer to be addressed. 

At the end of the day, I’m mostly happy with my decision. Sometimes I get these pangs of wishing I hadn’t changed it at all. You realize pretty quickly that sharing a last name doesn’t really make you feel more unified or family-like. I felt pressured (by myself) to make a decision quickly since I had to update my passport (it had expired) right away. 

I definitely asked for advice from my family, since I’m chronically indecisive. We have a top-5 most common last name, so they all encouraged me to take on his, since the grass is always greener name-wise and they wished we had a more exciting name. After making my decision, they were all happy that I kept my maiden name in there, which made me feel good. I can’t say how I would have felt otherwise, but I like still feeling that very tangible connection to my family. 

Post # 7
488 posts
Helper bee

i did not change my name, and my fiance knew that i would not change it, nor did he care one way or another.  i never asked what my inlaws or family thought about it.  sometimes i get an impression that they may have expected me to change it, but they are polite enough to keep that thought to themselves.

Post # 8
7640 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I didn’t change my name. My husband did not give a shit at all lol. His family wasn’t surprised or upset (that I know of). It was mostly my work colleagues that were wondering what to call me and surprised when I was keeping my name.

Post # 9
423 posts
Helper bee

I will be keeping my name after much contemplation.  I know my soon to be fiancé would prefer me take his name, although he said the decision is mine.  I am keeping my full name but adding his last name to mine.  I am comfortable with this because his last name actually runs in my family, it was the first name of my great grandfather and a name my dad (before he passed away) always said I should name my child someday (even though I don’t want kids).  Plus I just love my guy’s family so much that it would be cool to honor what I am marrying into as well.

Post # 10
225 posts
Helper bee

My aunt always kept her name and I think my mom would be supportive either way. With my first ex, I knew I would never want his name (like someone else, I just didn’t like the name). Ex after that, I loved the last name and would’ve been fine with it. My boyfriend now, who I’ve talked marriage and such with some.. Not sure. Open to it, but also I have 3 brothers so it sometimes feels a little unfair that it’s only expected of me to give up that crucial part of my identity. -shrug- 

Even if I did keep my maiden name though, it wouldn’t bother me one bit if people addressed us by his sometimes. I’ve even heard of some people having one be legal but then professionally going by the other. 

I agree that it’s between you and your partner. I would want to know that my partner would simply tell people “It was important to her so why not keep it?”

Post # 11
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I changed mine. It was really important to my SO. I wasn’t that bothered either way because my Mom already has a different surname to me, and my sibling has kids to pass on the original family name.

I’ve been very half-hearted about changing documents and stuff though. Haven’t bothered to do much and am waiting for things to expire naturally before renewing with new name.

My parents expressed no opinion and I doubt care, but since my Mom changed her name I would have thought that was the default expectation.

Post # 12
633 posts
Busy bee

I’m keeping my name because it’s my name and I’ve grown kinda attached to it over the years 🙂 . I also happen to have the same first name as my fiance’s aunt, so if I changed my name there would be two of us. Fiance has actually brought up changing his last name to mine because his is long, complicated and difficult to spell. 

I agree that this should be entirely your decision. The inlaws/parents don’t get a vote.

Post # 13
869 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - Country/barn

I went back and forth on this for a little while. My husband is fairly traditional and while he said he’d like for me to take his name, he didn’t pressure me about the decision. I ultimately decided to take his name as I like having the same last name as my husband. It makes me feel like we’re even more unified as a couple. Plus, dh’s last name is a lot easier to pronounce and spell 😂 

Post # 14
409 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

I didn’t change my name. I involved no one but my husband. However, it doesn’t seem to matter in my situation, cause everyone just started calling me Mrs. His Last Name without even asking me. 

Post # 15
10242 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I kept my maiden name. My husband was totally fine with that. His family was surprised but never really commented on it. I didn’t care about their opinion though so they didn’t even know I was keeping my name until after the wedding. I can’t even remember how it came up but they didn’t even realize I didn’t change my name until like a year after the wedding.

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