Post # 1
What’d you decide in the end? Why?
I know that plenty of bees fall firmly into the “keep” or “take” camps, and that’s awesome…I envy your decisiveness! I’m interested in hearing from those of you who genuinely struggled with what to do. Than you (Looking at my post history, clearly “agonized” is putting it lightly, LOL)
Editing to add some context: I know I’m going to be four names: First Middle MyLast HisLast, and I’ll go by First MyLast HisLast at work. It’s just a matter of whether I make MyLast a second middle name or one of two non-hyphenated last names. The two last names appeals to my desire to have the two on equal footing/be able to go by either, but the middle name appeals to me because there’s no denying that the world is made for people to have one last name. Sigh. I have to decide very soon.
Post # 2
dianaj17 : A year into marriage with no actions taken, we made up an entirely new name and both took it.
Post # 3
I’m going to take his last name but then make my maiden name my second middle name.
Post # 4
I am a firm “keeper” but I kinda went with two last names, no hyphen. That makes two first names, no middle name, two last names which makes the whole thing a 28 letter ordeal. No problem with SS and DL but the bank was confused. So I have every card in a different name. Which I like because I know immediately which account goes with which name. Everything else: problem alert: usps, airlines etc you will be unable to put both names in there. They will either make it one long name or refuse to take it. Also people address me with the second last name which I find presumptuous. Like they are free to make the decision about that. But the latter is a personal problem/preferred as I really don’t like being addressed by half my name and on top of that by the adressers own choice. Like calling an unknown person Kat instead of Katharina. Just leave the second half out because it’s inconvenient.
Even after a year I am unsure if I like it. I kept my original name in my home country. I am also technically not married there (maybe even anywhere outside the US – i don’t know how that really works)
Post # 5
MiaSuperstar : I’m fairly certain that this is what I plan to go with (two non-hyphenated names), I just worry that I’ll run into all sorts of issues and regret it, and then I go into a spiral of doubt. Though, I suppose if that were the case, I could always change it again and make MyLast a middle name. I did read in multiple places online that you have the option of just putting First Middle Last2 (and omitting Last1) on a plane ticket if you want (if they’re not hyphenated), which surprisingly comforted me and is making me feel better about the flexibility two last names offer. My friend has children with a man from Mexico, and they live in Mexico, so she’s had to deal with getting their citizenship/flying home regularly, and they’ve never had a single issue, which is comforting.
Post # 6
I’ve been married a year and a half and I STILL haven’t 100% decided haha.
Currently I go by both names or either name socially, but I haven’t made any legal changes.
I like the symbolism of having the same last name beacuse it makes me feel like more of a family, but I DON’T like the patriarchal symbolism of taking his. And we’re both incredibly close to our families so it would feel really weird to make up a new one.
When we have kids I may make the legal change to have FirstName MaidenName HisName… Our kids will definitely have my maiden name as their middle (or a second last name in my mind).
Kind of like how they do it in parts of hispanic America where all kids are given both the paternal and maternal last name. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naming_customs_of_Hispanic_America
Post # 7
I really, REALLY did not want to take my husband’s last name, it took me a little over 2 years to legally change it, and honestly, I regret it. It is not who I am. However, it was very important to my husband to have the unity of the same last name, and he refused to take mine because he did not like it.
I learned years in to our marriage that back when he had offered to come up with a new last name that we both take, he wasn’t joking (which I thought he was).
My last name could have been McAwesome. *sighs* Regret, how bitter thy taste!
If my husband dies before me, I already told him I would change my name back for my remaining years.
If he had decided to have children, and both just kept our last names as they were, the kids would have had hyphenated last names.
Post # 8
I always wanted to keep my name. It is unique enough but easy to spell/pronounce. I didn’t have any real attachment to it other than liking how my name sounded together.
When I got married, however, it was more important to my husband for us (and our future children) to all have the same last name than it was for me to keep my maiden name. So I switched. Surprisingly, I don’t miss my old last name like I thought I would.
Post # 9
I still haven’t taken his last name. Mostly due to me being lazy. I don’t care enough to look into changing it and then doing whatever errands necessary to change my last name, which I like.
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2021 - British Columbia, Canada
My last name represents, to me, the person I’ve spent 27 years growing into. I’m really attached to it and won’t be dropping it to take his last name. He knows this, and accepts that my own freaking name is my decision, but has still mentioned a couple of times that he would like it if we had the same last name. However, he doesn’t want to drop his to take mine, either – so he understands my position. He actually suggested (since we are/will always be childfree unless we foster/adopt someday down the road) that we both take on both hyphenated last names – like Anna MyLastName-HisLastName and Geoff MyLastName-HisLastName – which is a lot more paperwork and time/cost, but that way we’d both be technically keeping our own as well as presenting a unified front with the same last name. (His family does not always have the most progressive ways of thinking, so it’ll be quite entertaining to see how their sometimes archaic viewpoints will react when he shares his idea the next time they ask. They’ll probably convince themselves it’s coming from me being a bossy liberal feminist)
Post # 11
We’ve been pretty open about the fact that I would be keeping my name and less open (but not hiding it) about my wife taking my name as well. My own mother addressed a package to me with my wife’s former last name and all her family call me Mrs. Herlastname still. People are so weird about tradition.
Post # 12
I said no I wasn’t changing it. I like my name and have been this way for 40 years.
Post # 13
Thanks for all of the responses, bees. I had to make a decision, as we booked our belated honeymoon, and went with First Middle MaidenLast HisLast, so two last names without a hyphen. Here’s hoping it isn’t a logistical nightmare! From what I’ve read, I have to list both on legal documents, but can use them sort of interchangeably/together otherwise. I initially thought that you had to use both when flying, but apparently a lot of people use First Middle Last2 when they have two non-hyphenated last names, and have no issues.
I still don’t know that I made the right decision (maybe should have made MyLast a second middle name), but it’s been decided and that alone is a relief!
Also, Fiance was utterly of no help with it all! He doesn’t care what I do…in fact, he thinks it’s silly to go through all of the work to change it at all. He’s so hyper-paranoid of coming across as telling me what to do that trying to get any sort of anything out of him is impossible. But, ironically, him refusing to suggest anything made me want to add on his last name even more! I think if he’d tried to pressure me in even the slightest, I’d have felt gross and refused to add it at all.
Post # 14
- Wedding: August 2018 - Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
I thought about adding my maiden as a second last name. Not too attached to my maiden, but I have a tiny family and I’m female and I’m the last of my immediate family’s lineage so that was the only reason I thought about keeping it somewhere in my name. In the end I thought it would be just too much of a mouthful (and also didn’t sound good moving it to my new middle name and dropped my maiden and changed my last name to my husband’s. We decided if we have boys we would just give them my maiden name as their middle name to carry on the family lineage.
Post # 15
dianaj17 : Congrats on your decision! I struggled too, but went with the same option you did (two last names with no hyphen). It really hasn’t been too bad. I use my full two-part last name on everything, including airline tickets, prescriptions, credit cards, mortgage, etc. As long as you are consistent on all legal documents, you shouldn’t have any trouble. The only problem I’ve run into is that people will sometimes ignore the first last name when alphabetizing or entering me into whatever database, but that’s fairly minor. The fact that we have to worry/think about this at all sometimes makes me wish I hadn’t made any changes to my name, but it is good to know that there are options.