Post # 1
Unlike many brides struggling with the married name issue, I know exactly what I want my last name to be when my fiancé and I get married (double barreled last name). However, I have a hyphenation dilemma that I just can’t figure out.
So, say for arguments sake that my name is “Rachael Berkley” and my fiancé’s surname name is “Simon.” I would like for my name to be “Rachael Berkley Simon” with “Berkley Simon” being my last name, and my middle name, which I like very much and have no intention of losing, staying as is. Now technically, I know this can be done (Sascha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter), but I know from experience (I work in a field that deals with a lot of data input), that people are often, if not always, going to assume that I’ve taken “Berkley” as my middle name, and will thus classify me as “Mrs. Simon”, or “Simon, Rachael Berkley.” This irks me to no end, because I know that if my last name were “Van Pelt” or “Santa Maria” the space would be honored, but for some reason, double last names with spaces are just not usually treated that way in the US.
Now the easy way to avoid this would be to hyphenate my last name as “Berkley-Simon” but to be honest, I really just don’t like the way the hyphen looks. It works for some people, and that’s great, but I just don’t feel that it’s for me.
So here’s my question: Do I go with the style I prefer and sign myself up for a lifetime of name confusion that entails repeated name adjustments and explanations, or do I go with a hyphenated name that will never look quite right to me, but doesn’t entail the same headache?
Headache or Hated Hyphen? HELP!
Post # 3
I am so glad you posted this! I am having this exact same issue. I have a son from a previous relationship who has my last name and our daughter has my fiance’s last name. He would love to adopt my son, but my son is too young to make the decision for himself right now so I am choosing to keep my last name as well as his. I am also opposed to the hyphen and would like to keep my middle name. I don’t want to turn my last name into a second middle name because both of my children have 2 middle names and the second one usually gets ignored. This is a tough situation and I don’t know anyone who has done it aside form the examples you have given. I agree that it will be difficult and confusing, but I am sticking with it and you should too! 🙂
Post # 4
That’s a tough situation, but obviously not a decision we can make for you. Good luck! (I hyphenated, by the way 🙂 )
Post # 5
My mother used her maiden name and my father’s last name (w/o a hyphen) for over 25 years and noone ever got it. They always put her maiden name as her middle name. If you actually want to use both names for your last name I would recommend hyphenating it but if you prefer not to it may always be entered as your middle name.
Post # 6
Just be sure that you sign your name as Mrs. Berkeley Simon… and introduce yourself as Racheal Berkeley Simon…
Post # 7
I agree. If that’s what you want then use it professionally. Have it on your email signature and your business cards. Perhaps even using your middle intial will help clarify things and use “Rachael Q. Berkley Simon” on your checks and whatnot. That signifies that Berkley is not your middle name because there’s a middle initial.
Post # 8
I agree @camrie, put the middle intial on formal documentations indicating the middle name remains the same.
Post # 9
Yep this was my dilema too. I really didn’t want to loose my last name, and wanted to be introduced as first name, maiden last name, last name. But the only way to gaurantee this would be to hypen. But alot of people are confused by the hypen for some reason & often ignore the first name. So my maiden name is my middle.
Plus, I want to go into teaching, and thought it would be easier for my students to just say mrs. ____ vs mrs. ____ _____
oh well, to keep it alive I always sign my name with my maiden name.
Post # 10
I have this problem, too! I don’t want to lose my last name, so I am going to just add my FI’s last name to the end of mine. I don’t care if it’s confusing because my whole life my name has been mispronounced so what’s another clarification? :p
Post # 11
I’m going to have two last names too. It’s pretty common here, so I am not really worrying about it. I may also shorten it to my married name casually, but keep both for official documents.
Post # 12
Just wondering how the double barrelled surname has been working out for you? I need to make my name change decision right away. Like you, my maiden name has been mispronounced and misspelled my whole life– but I am not comfortable with abandoning it, yet I want to take my FI’s name. Please tell me your experience with this. Have you had a lot of confusion and headaches?
Post # 13
@baronessaR: Just wondering how the double barrelled surname has been working out for you? I need to make my name change decision right away. Like you, my maiden name has been mispronounced and misspelled my whole life– but I am not comfortable with abandoning it, yet I want to take my FI’s name. Please tell me your experience with this. Have you had a lot of confusion and headaches?