(Closed) To hyphenate, or not to hyphenate, that is the question…

posted 6 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
7561 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

Hyphenating is totally normal. I wouldn’t think twice about someone who chose to do that. 

However, I’m against giving children two last names because it’s a total pain to deal with at school, work, etc. Plus, what are they supposed to do when they get married? A good compromise is to give your children one of the family names as a middle name. 

Post # 5
401 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

if he is so concerned about your future children only having one name then tell him you expect it to be yours. I bet he will change his tune pretty quickly when the tables are turned…

another option if you don’t want them to deal with two names is to make it one name formally and use the hyphen informally (ie SmithJones). That’s what Fiance and I are doing, for beaurcratic reasons. 

Post # 6
2587 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - UK

@sakurabean:  I’m in a similar situation, and have been pondering hyphenating. Our surnames come to four syllables total, which I think isn’t too bad, and it does sound pretty good. And I think I’d like to keep that last little bit of myself, but I’m torn on whether any future kids should have it – four syllables is a lot when you’re first learning to write your name. But at the same time, what’s the point of my hyphenating if it’s not going to the kids anyway?


I think my solution is if I ever manage to get anything published then I might write under my maiden name, but then keep my married name for personal use.


Post # 7
11418 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009


Would you have any interest in making your maiden name your new, legal middle name and going by all three names? This is what I did, and I really love my new name. I was known professionally for 25 years by my maiden name, but I definitely wanted to take DH’s name. Making this type of change (like Laura Ingalls Wilder, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Anyone Kennedy Anyone, etc.) will allow your current surname to continue to have prominence without the complications involved in hyphenating, particularly as they relate to successive generations and their choices when THEY marry.

Also, I know you said that you wouldn’t want to use your family name as a middle name for your children. However, the Kennedy clan is famous for doing this, and it is actually not uncommon. Katie Couric, for example, gave her elder daughter her mother’s first and last names as her first and middle names (Elinor Tully Monahan) and her younger daughter has Katie’s last name as her middle name (Caroline Couric Monahan.)

Post # 8
514 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I hyphenated and I have mixed feelings about it.


I almost never use my husband’s last name (I preserved my last name at work, I’m a teacher and the kids know me as “me”, and I am well known in a few professional/academic circles and I’d like to preserve my name for that reason, but people sometimes call me by my husband’s last name and it always surprises me). 


I love our names together, they are both very ethnic, and from different ethnicities so I think they sound really nice together, but they are both easily mispronounced, which makes things doubly difficult (and it hurts my ears!!).  


Though, it is sometimes confusing, as I’ll forget whether or not I used the hyphen with certain companies (ie. bills, credit cards, banks, etc.) so that’s difficult.


I also anticipated running into a problem when a ticket was booked using my hyphenated name and my drivers license and passport still have my maiden name only — but my middle name is the same intiial as my husband’s last name so it wasn’t an issue….

Also, I prefer to write my two last names without the hyphen, but I don’t know if that’s “against the rules”.

I could go on, really.


Sometimes I wish I took my last name as my middle instead, but, what’s done is done.


ETA: We will likely give our children my husband’s last name.

Post # 9
1778 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I kept my maiden name and our son has my last name and my husband’s last name as his 2nd middle name. We have not run into any issues yet besides me occasionally being called Mrs. Hislastname and him sometimes being called Mr. Mylastname lol. I think you should do want makes you happy for your name and work out a compromise for children. For what it’s worth, I was also the last with my family name and I am so happy that I was able to pass it down to my son. I am thankful my husband was on board for this!

Post # 10
706 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

We BOTH hyphenated and haven’t look back.  We haven’t had any problems, and our names aren’t that long together.  Changing out my middle name was never an option for me, so I never really considered it. 

I also don’t really believe in the whole “woman changes her name” thing.  If the point is to be joined together as a family, and to have a family name, well, we’ve done that (and it was DH’s idea to boot!)

When we have kids, they will have our wonderful, hyphenated last name.  

Post # 12
1218 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I like the idea of using the maiden name as a middle name for yourself and your future children. My cousin’s parents aren’t married, so her name is Scarlett (dad’s surname) (mum’s surname). It’s a bit of a mouthful but it does sound nice.

I think hyphenating really depends on how the name sounds and whether or not it’s convenient. My mum initially kept her maiden name, then tried hyphenating for a little while, but the hyphenated name just sounded awkward (long maiden name with short married name) so she eventually changed to her married name.

As for me, it hasn’t been a consideration because I HATE my surname and love my FI’s surname.

Post # 13
6355 posts
Bee Keeper

Nothing wrong woth hypenating… it’s not snobby at all, and it can be as long as you want, it’s your name! Just as long as you love it. You have time to figure out about the kids, as long as at least one of you is somewhat flexible on the issue.

In our case, we won’t hypenate, because my Fiance has decided he’s happy for himself and our kids to take my last name. It’s perfect for us!

To answer your question about potential flack, the couple hypenating or the bride keeping her last name is really normal in my community, so there wouldn’t be any flack expected, but the husband taking his wife’s last name isn’t common, yet. I discussed with him about how we might face some comments, but he is a very, very confident guy and he is not worried at all about laughing off gentle confusion and/or putting any potential rude person in their place.

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