Post # 1
This is a three part question about my FI’s name. I appreciate any suggestions even if the answer is just that I’m over-analyzing the whole situation.
My Fiance has a very long, hard to pronounce, hard to spell, Indian last name. It’s very important to him that I and our future children take his last name since he’s an only child and all of his Dad’s family is female and still lives in India. He feels like it’s his responsibility to keep the name going. I’ve agreed to legally make his last name my own because I know how important it is to him as well as for the practicality of having the same last name for legal issues. He’s also a career military officer and anyone who’s military will tell you that paperwork is hard enough without having to add the complication of different last names.
However, I would still like to use my maiden name for the day-to-day. I work as a music teacher and would hate to make the kids in my classes try to learn a name like that. Not to mention constantly being asked how to spell/pronounce it to others (and the lame jokes and comments that inevitably follow) is exceedingly annoying. So, my first question is what type of situations can I expect it to be acceptable or not acceptable to use my maiden name? Do you think I’d be causing more confusion by using two different names than just one difficult one?
Also I worry about our kids taking the last name as well. I grew up with an unusual first name with odd spelling and, while now I enjoy my name, I remember it wasn’t always so. In addition, tho is my Fiance is half Indian, besides for his wonderful dark hair, he looks as pasty as my Irish self. So our kids are gonna have an obviously Indian name but not look at all Indian. Lol. I hate to set them up for schoolyard torture, but kids are resilient, right? My mom is trying to get us to consider giving our kids my last name, but I think that’s just a step too far. Don’t you?
Lastly, My Fiance hates with a passion his first name and has gone by a nickname since he was a kid. All our friends and everyone on my family’s side (which is very large) know him only by that nickname, a fact which he loves. However, everyone in his family only call him by his real name. Since his family is small and make up less than 20% of the guest list should I save him the embarrassment and go with his nickname on the invitations, or should be more considerate to his family and use his legal name? Or should I do one of those First name “Nickname” Last name formats?
Post # 3
Hello fellow music teacher! How unfortunate are we talking here? Is it just long & difficult to spell or does it sound like another word altogether? If the name is very unfortunate I understand your quandary as I also (many years ago) dated someone with an unfortunate name that sounded like part of the male anatomy. I knew if we were ever to marry him, I would not want to send letters home to parents with that name attached. However if it is just difficult to spell I think you have several options.
You could take his name and just go by the initial (such as Mrs. Z or Mrs. K) with students and/or parents. You could also abbreviate the name for classroom use. One of my friends, Mrs. Chickowski, goes by Mrs. Chick with her students. There are also several teachers who kept their maiden name in the classroom but go by their married name everywhere else.
Because you mentioned how important it is to your husband that your future children take his name, I think his feelings would be hurt if you angle towards your mom’s idea of going with your maiden name for the kids. A name that is a little bit different is something that your children can be proud of, it’s part of their heritage and culture… no matter how light their skin color may be.
As far as how the names will appear on the invitations, I would ask him how he feels about this. It might also depend on the nickname. If his n.n. sounds like an actual first name, very few people may know the difference. If his nickname is more casual (like “skip” for instance) then I personally would lean more towards the First name “Nickname” Last name option.
Best of luck to you!
Post # 4
Going backwards on your post, with invites it seems like it REALLY depends on the formality of your event. The more formal invites seem to be the ones that require William instead of Will and first names instead of commonly used nicknames. if you’re not going formal, I don’t see any reason not to have his nickname on the invites! What would HE rather they say?
Second, with the last name, I think whatever you decide is fine, but I think it’s helpful for others if you have a ‘rule’ you can tell people. I have a friend who got married 4 years ago, and his wife never legally changed her name (I don’t think) for professional reasons, but she socially goes by his name, or sometimes by both names. No one knows what to use though, and she won’t tell us – I asked, “Which name are you using now, or do you use both? How should I put you guys on the invitation?” a few weeks ago and her response was “Whatever you want to use is fine, it’s not a big deal” – except that when I’m already making 3million decisions for the wedding, it IS a big deal, haha. So it helps for others if you can be like, “Oh, I use Smith professionally and [insert Indian last name here] socially” or whatever.
Post # 5
How about double barrelling? I know this woudl make it extra long but if your name was first then you coudl still go by that and it would be legal.
Eg. John Smith-Indian name
(wouldnt it be funny if it was actually ‘indian name’!)
otherwise, I think yes, kids are resilliant. I know alot of people with difficult last names who use a shortened version for everyday use, and use the longer on formal forms etc. Is this possible with yours? Plus, like said, you didnt liek your own different last name untill you grew up- im sure your kids will feel the same!
My fi has an unusal surname, so I am going form a very nromal to diffucult spelling, but I dont mind because it makes me and Fiance who we are and its nice to be special!
As for incvites I agree with the others- depends on formality. Mayeb ask Fiance how he thinks his family (who use real name) woudl feel/react to getting an invite with the nickname onit. Woudl they even know who it is?!
Best of luck!
Post # 6
I personally never saw a kid make fun of someone because of their last name. I don’t think it would be an issue if they had a long, difficult to spell/pronounce name. And it would probably hurt your fiance’s feelings if you want to give your kids your maiden name just because it’s easier to spell and pronounce, especially if it’s important for his name to be carried on.
As for the invitations, I’d ask your fiance what he wants the invitation to say and just go with that. Even if you left off the nickname, I’m sure no one would be confused since they already know who you are and who you are engaged to.
If you really want to use your maiden name, I’d use it for work and go with your married name for everything else. But I agree with what the above poster said, if you go by Mrs. (initial), you would be fine.
Post # 7
Since i dont know the last name i cant fully comment – but people DO make fun of names both first and last. but it depends on the names. kids make fun of anything from big ears, and noses, to names, to speech issues like lisps (trust me i know). so good you are tryin to save your kids, but you could always just teach them why the name is important, and they can be resilient. i mean its just words right?
as for the name, you can go by your madien name at work, and still have your long name as legally the true name. not a problem. its upto you what you want to be called…
Post # 8
Thanks so much for your advice ladies! No, the name does sound like another word thankfully, it’s just hard to pronounce and spell. Also, his nickname does not sound like a nickname, it’s the common yet short Indian first name, Raj. Most people think it’s his actual first name. He would like Raj on the invitations, his real name is what is considered today a girl’s name. However, I think his family would prefer his real name be used on the invitations since they never call him the other. The wedding will be fairly formal. I’ve found the bigger the guest list, the more formal the wedding tends to get. I was thinking I’d do more formal invitations where each our full names are used – first middle and last, especially since basically it could be the last time I’d get to see my full maiden name printed out like that. I’d be open to the “nickname” in between thing, except I don’t know if that’d be considered tacky for that type of invitation.
In truth, I guess I’m just nervous to give up my last name. It sounds silly I know, but it makes feel like I’m losing some part of my identity. We’re both very independent people. With him being military, we’ve had to deal with periods of long distance, and that will probably continue in the future. So when he’s gone, it’d be very easy to be known by my maiden name both socially and professionally, and save my married name just for paperwork and when people ask about my husband. And even when he’s home, we still run in very different circles with little crossover. You know what they say about opposites attracting. I don’t mind when his friends or when we’re on base people knowing me as Mrs. So-and-so. But I think I’d rather introduce myself to people I meet elsewhere by my maiden name, especially if i know there’s little chance of them ever interacting with my husband.
I can see what my mom was saying, seeing that, if I was going to continue to use my maiden name, why not give the kids my name since it could be on them easier on them in ways. But I think you’re right. It’s important to him. And I think, no matter how weird or annoying having a name like that can be, it’s still important they have it. I just hope they don’t think I’m a hypocrite if I choose to use my maiden name from day-to-day.
Post # 9
My husband is a career military officer and we have different last names (I kept my maiden name)- it’s not an issue ever. The only people I’ve ever heard say this are people who have the same last name and wouldn’t know. 🙂
As for using your maiden name and taking your husbands- that will get you into trouble if your husband is a career military officer with any level of clearance.At some point your husband (and yourself) will be reinterviewed for clearance. If they interview mutual friends/contacts who are used to hearing/stating your maiden name it becomes an issue as the paper work wont match up. It will be a bigger issue for your husband because he has family over seas- they look harder into individuals with foreign contacts and little descrepancies can drag things out.
When we were interviewed we were in two different states. His agent knew about my last name, my agent assumed I took his last name (even though I stated my maiden name when we met). We had a ton of problems clearing it up. Either keep your last name, hyphenate, or go with his. It will make your life easier.If you hyphenate you can just go with your last name professionally.
As for your kids and his last name, kids are resilent and I’ve never heard of kids being picked on for weird last names.
The invitations: Ask your fiance what he prefers and go with that.
Post # 10
My first perception about your name and students is that it is a wonderful way to celebrate a different culture and family union. Students shouldn’t be sheltered from a hard-to-pronounce name- it just leads to adults who are afraid to pronounce anything-trust me, I’m a receptionist.
Just another perspective. 🙂
Post # 11
I agree with sulaii– don’t be afraid of a name!! We live in an ever-more-accepting culture (despite what others may believe), and I think it’s wonderful for you to share culture around.
… that said, it MIGHT be more of an issue that you really want to keep your maiden name. What about just dropping your middle, making it your maiden, and adopting your husbands last name?
The good news: you can pretty much throw traditions out the window, because this is YOUR LIFE to lead and no one elses. if you want to keep your name, keep it. if you want to adopt your husbands name, adopt it!!
In regards to the invitations– whatever your fiance feels most comfortable with, I would go with. You mentioned that only 20% of the guest list calls him the full name (his family).. which essentially means that 80% of the guest list may have no idea what that name is…