Post # 1
With the wedding a little over 2 months away, I’ve been wayyyyy too focused on my upcoming name change. My current situation:
- For most of my life, I thought my middle name was absurd (it’s a pretty unique name – Allyn!) but in the past 5-6 years I’ve come to really love it; I don’t want to drop it now that I like it so much (and it’s become a part of my creative career.)
- I really like my maiden name, and I’m incredibly apprehensive about giving it up entirely. I’ve never been into the idea of dropping it.
- I really like FI’s middle name, and it’s very important to me that we have the same name (and that any future children have the same name too.)
Which brings me to… what do I do?? I’ve seen a fair amount of warnings surrounding four names (you need to get your passport done first or the DMV/SSA won’t allow it, it’s difficult with official documents, it can cause all sorts of confusion, it doesn’t fit on forms, etc.) so I’m wary of it.
An option would be to hyphenate my maiden name with FI’s last name, but that always felt weird to me, and I really don’t want to do it. Another option I’ve been thinking of is hyphenating my middle name and maiden name, but I don’t know if I’m just totally running away with this whole thing now. To keep four names, it’d either need to be (with stand-in names):
Carol Allyn Peterson Rogers
Carol Allyn-Peterson Rogers
For a total of 26 characters (27 if you count the hyphen!) Am I completley insane? Should I just drop the middle or maiden? Help!!
Post # 3
Four names is fine. I have a friend who has SEVEN names (yes, 5 middle names!). I know several people with two middle names.
I would not hyphenate the middle names.
Post # 4
I dropped my given middle name, but I was not attached to it at all — just extremely attached to my middle initial, as I used it all of the time, everywhere. However, your middle name is gorgeous, so I definitely can see why you do not want to drop it.
I know of one person who actually dropped her first name and decided to become Middle Maiden Newlast — in your example, Allyn Peterson Rodgers. However, if you’ve never gone by your middle name, that probably won’t work for you.
If you have your heart set on having all four, I would not hyphenate any of them, because I think that actually will make things more complicated, not less.
Post # 5
I have four names now, no hyphens. It wasn’t an issue with my passport, DMV, or SSA. Although you do need to go to SSA before doing any other changes.
I was married in California so it may be different in Mass but when we applied for our marriage license, I was able to put what wanted my new name to be on there. Here you can change anything but your first name upon marriage.
I have yet to encounter any issues with having two middle names. Yeah they don’t fit on forms but for traveling, I had no questions about why just my first middle name appeared on the ticket. Other credit cards have either one or both middle initials but I’ve not had any problems.
For what it’s worth, my full legal name is now 29 letters long and 10 or 11 syllables depending on how you say my full, legal first name. I don’t regret my decision. I’ve only ever signed the whole thing twice. Otherwise it’s legal first married last name or nickname married last name.
Post # 6
Yikes! That’s so many names haha, but hey if she can make it work, 4 should be fine! Thanks 🙂 Yeah the hyphenating seemed weird to me too, it just throws the flow off in a weird way/place.
Thanks! I really love my middle name, but it took awhile 🙂 I’m very fond of my first name so I wouldn’t drop it, but I think you’re definitely right about not hyphenating if I keep them all. It looks/sounds weird, and then I wouldn’t want it to be too confusing in a legal sense.
Ahh I’m so relieved to hear this, thank you!! I’ll have to check for certain the Mass site (I’ve been through it a few times, but I’m drawing a super blank right now) but if I can keep all four without issue (or hyphens!) then that’s definitely what I want to do. I’m happy to use either one or both middle initials on cards and such too. And super glad to hear about traveling, that was one of my main concerns. Thank you!
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2014 - Garden outside our church
I’ve had four names all my life and it’s never been a problem (except my second middle name is a Spanish surname, so sometimes people think my last name is my second last name). My sister goes by her middle name, so when she married, she just added on her husband’s last name. She’s been like that 19 years today and never had a problem. My grandmother did the same thing–and that’s how I got my name. It’s not a big deal at all, and that way you get to keep your identity.