Marriage Do or Don’t: Changing Your Name


This past summer, I read a New York Times wedding announcement that made my eyes pop. A couple named Annie Ma and Jacob Weaver were BOTH changing their last names to Ma-Weaver. What a cool idea!

Honestly, when Alex and I got married, it didn’t even occur to me to change my name. Alex’s last name is Williams, but I kept Goddard. My name is part of my identity, and because we got married when I was 30, my last name was already part of my career. When we have parties or send letters, we call ourselves the “Goddard-Williams household.” My one concern was whether our future children would have a different name from mine, but when Toby came along, we just gave him a hyphenated last name.

My sister changed her name to Kalanithi when she got married. She and her husband sometimes sign cards “Team Kalanithi,” which I think is really cute.

Have you seen The Last Name Project? Men and women write short posts explaining their decisions to change, keep or combine their names. (This one was especially fascinating!)

So, I’m curious: Will (or did) you change your last name after getting married? Or hyphenate or combine them? (If you are going to change your name, the site Hitch Switch helps you do it easily.) What’s the last name you were born with? Do you like the way your partner’s name sounds with yours? What about your future kids’ last names? I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts…

(Photo by The Sartorialist)

  1. MacKenzie says...

    My husband and I both ditched our last names and we took my mother’s maiden name. Neither of us were comfortable with the other person’s last name and we thought long and hard about it. We viewed this as our opportunity to create a family identity with which we both felt comfortable. And I’m lucky to have a husband who is secure enough to deviate from the norm and agrees that women and men should be on equal playing fields when it comes to changing last names after marriage. I love that this conversation is happening more and more!

  2. Ana says...

    I love to read all the great comments. Like a lot of you, I kept my name for three reasons:
    1) I have publications in my name and given that we got married when we were 30 (me) and 32 (him), we both have relatively established careers associated with our patronyms. This is really the most important reason.
    2) I am a foreigner which means that I would have to change my name both in the US and in my home country. Can you imagine dealing with the DMV twice in the same year plus all the other changes? I decided that additional stress was not necessary in my life and given that I have very little patience in general it is probably for the best. :)
    3) I am not sure I am on board with the whole “changing your name tradition” in the first place. On one end, it is still mostly expected for women to make the change which makes it a tad bit sexist. Although this is evolving. On the other end, I don’t see the necessity to change your identity to become a family . A family is the sum of its beautiful and diverse parts. I liked the idea of the hyphenated last name (a fun melange of both names) in principle although again the administrative nightmare of changing last name and a very long last name seemed unappealing and not worth the headache.

    I am happy with my choice despite the slight societal push back I truly felt. This is a very personal choice and the beauty of it, you can always change your mind and go back to the DMV if your heart so desire (Are you crazy?) :)!!

    • Jan Priddy says...

      I used to be able to list 8 reasons for keeping my name when I married 43 years ago. In a pinch, I could probably still do it. One of the reasons had to do with exhibitions in my birth name, but another had to do with memories of my researcher-father’s exasperation concerning a scientist who had married three times and published under four different names. She’d been widowed twice, was still married, but had also published under her maiden name.

      We are both alive and our marriage has lasted. Not everyone is so fortunate. I am not an attachment to my husband, and our marriage is not a merging of identities but a partnership.

  3. Jen says...

    Hi I’m Jen and I would like some advice. I found the love of my life and don’t love his name. However, he loves his name. I grew up Jennifer Slater. When I was 19 yrs old, I married my high school sweetheart and became Jennifer Aleman. I liked the name Aleman. I was made fun of as a kid and didn’t like my maiden name so it was a welcomed change. 9 yrs later when we divorced, I asked him if I could keep his name and he agreed. 6 years later I met “the one”. The first time I got married I knew deep down it wasn’t right but we were kids. Nick is the real deal and Slaughter is the name. We’ve now lived together for 3 years. Over time he’s talked about how he disliked his name and made it kind of a joke to laugh about with everyone else. When we started talking about getting married, we discussed changing both of our names. He did some soul searching and decided that he’s a Slaughter. He’s giving me space to make my own decision. I go back and forth. I don’t want to be a Slater-Slaughter… awful. I don’t really want to be a Slater either. I never did. But it’s better than Slaughter. I’ve considered making up a name or picking another name out of my family tree and nothing feels right. Ideally, having his name would feel right. That part feels right but the Slaughter, I don’t know. Any advice would be appreciated.

  4. shawna says...

    I and my boyfriend were meant to be forever but he met another girl at his work place. She did everything to break us apart B’cos she was younger and attractive, and finally my boyfriend moved in with her. I tried few cheap spells but to no avail then I ordered the most powerful love spell from (Robinson.buckler@ (yahoo). com) and I don’t regret it! i and my boyfriend are back together and happier than ever. if you are heart broken and you want your lover back contact this spell caster Robinson, he is A top spell caster of the season, he has such a perfect view on love spells that I believe he can solve any case given to him. I recommend his love spell to couples in need of help. Use his services Mobile number to contact Robinson buckler :)

  5. Yana says...

    What happens after marriage? Does the guy take the girls maiden name as his middle name?

  6. Alejandra says...

    I kept my last name. I am way to proud of all the sacrifices my dad had to make to get my family where we are today to just give up my last name. My kids will have both of our last names with my husbands being first and I just hope one day they will be as proud of their dad to think the same. When we sign cards or get invitations they always say Rodriguez family. I am Rodriguez on anything that doesnt deal with legal or important issues. My husband did have a problem with it at first because he is very traditional but I told him I wasn’t going to change my last name and he could either love me and marry me with that name or marry someone else willing to take his. (Might seem harsh but I’m a straight up kinda person).

  7. Nic says...

    I took my husbands family name because it was important to him that our family shared the same surname, and I didn’t mind (though I thought about it for ages!).

    But, at the same time we agreed that any children we had in the future would have my maiden name as a middle name. They will always know that they belong to us both, and are part of both our extended families :)

  8. Chris says...

    I’m planning to get engaged in the month of December 2016 / January 2017; however, I don’t know how my girlfriend / future fiancé would feel about changing her name to my last name. How does that work and how do I bring it up to her about changing her last name?

    • Jan Priddy says...

      You have an opportunity to discuss what each of you think marriage means, what you want, hope for, and need. You ask her what she wants. You listen. You respect one another.

      Of my friends who married back in the 70s and 80s, all the women who kept their last names are still married and those who changed, every one is divorced. Maybe that is just happenstance, but my husband and I still have a solid and loving relationship after more than 40 years. I think it is because we began on a fair and equal footing. We trusted and respected one another. We talked about what we could do, and my husband kept his name when we married—that is what he always says.

  9. Kate says...

    i am getting married in July and not sure if i should hyphen my maiden name and my husbands last name or not. I am one of the last people with my maiden name and my family means so much to me, but if i hyphen the last names i feel like i wont be a whole part of the family i am marrying into. any ideas?

    • Jan Priddy says...

      Doesn’t your future husband also want to feel a part of your family? Do you feel that marriage is only about you changing to his family and not a joining of individuals?

      Jut a thought: A name is personal too, and your name has belonged to you since you were born.

      My husband likes to say he kept his name when we got married over 40 years ago. Our children’s names are hyphenated, our daughter-in-law kept their names, but all the grandchildren have my husband’s last name because of the name available, his is easiest to spell. ;-)

  10. Keila says...

    I am a middle age woman. Thinking of remarrying, but won’t change my last name again. I carry my husband name over 20 years, he passed away. It has become part of my identity besides my kids carry the same last name. Its the quality of life that we live that will matter to me at this point in life.

  11. Firestar2124 says...

    My problem is that my last name is my ex-husband’s bame. We have children together, and I want to keep the same na.e as my children. Also, I’ve worked very hard to finish college, and I will graduate before we are married. I want to keep the name that is on my diploma. It’s been my name for 20 years. I don’t know how to tell him, and I don’t want to hurt his feelings.

  12. Mae says...

    My fiancé and I are creating anew last name together.

  13. Brilliant. My wife changed my name couple of years after our marriage. But that was done to ensure she becomes nominee for my policies and assets.

  14. Elena says...

    I happen to really love my maiden name (first and last together), so I already know I’m never going to change it. That said, nearly every single one of my married friends have taken their husband’s last names & that doesn’t irk me at all. To each their own! And cheers to the men who wholeheartedly support their wives- whatever their last name may be.

  15. Dannyela says...

    I changed because I love my husband and I think if we have children will be better for them but in our case they will have also a birth certificate from my country and we’ll combine our last names.

  16. J says...

    We are both changing our names to a completely new name we chose together.

    • Elena says...

      I love that idea!

  17. Anonymous says...

    I recommend this spell caster to anyone in need of help getting back ex lover. Use his services, contact robinsonbuckler via mobile +1 971-512-TEXT (6745)

  18. I was flat out excited to change my last name! So tired of having to spell it all the time for people:) I also liked the hyphenating idea, but I thought that it was cumbersome. Kids played a role, but I firmly established that after 9 months of suffering the monsters would have my last name regardless. At the end of the day, though, I really was happy to let go of my name (retaining only my first and middle name) and he was excited but supportive either way.
    Oddly enough, I did get a puppy as a wedding present and his nickname is now the same as the nickname of my last name. So we kept the maiden name around ;)

  19. Well, I changed my last name. One reason is because I was looking forward to a marital harmony and that will never be acquired if I will decide not to change my name. My husband’s family has been very strict about it and so as to not face any difficulties years after, I have just decided to change it. With regards to the hardship of changing the legal documents for organizations and companies, I have used I’m a Mrs.’s services where they offer efficient name change services.

  20. I’ve always felt open to changing my name if and when I ever get married but as my partner was adopted and his name has no family connection behind it I feel it would not make much sense to take on that name. Especially if we have kids one day and they have no other relatives with the same last name as them.

  21. I didn’t actually care, but I ended up changing my name and lately I’ve been so glad I did. Our three year old girl loves doing a family cheer where we put our hands together and yell “Go Clarks!” Glad we all are Clarks for it! She’s so adorable and gets so excited about it.

  22. I didn’t change my name when I got married a year and a half ago. I have some friends who did, some who didn’t, one who hyphenated, and a male friend who hyphenated his name along with his wife. It’s such a personal decision.

    For me, I was attached to my name and saw no reason to change it. It means nothing in terms of my relationship, we’re as devoted and together as can be.

  23. I didn’t change my name when I got married last year and I have no plans to change it in the future. He briefly entertained the idea of changing to my name but didn’t for professional reasons. If we have kids the plan is to hyphenate and if they don’t like it they can go by whatever name they prefer. I don’t normally correct people when they assume we have the same last name, but it does kind of bother me when people call us Mr & Mrs His Full Name, as if I ceased to be a full person when I got married.

  24. I am still debating whether to change my name when we marry (in three months) because I already have a very established career. I also like the thought of having the same name in order to feel as a “unit”. I thought it was sweet that my fiancé jokingly told me it would be very cute if we changed our names together to VanMartin. (Mine is Martin and his is VanBussum.) I also love that he is totally fine if I choose to keep my own name. :)

  25. When my parents completely cut the ties I no longer felt myself belong to my father’s family and used my mom’s maiden name with my first name shortened on every non-formal ocassion. My dad’s surname is pretty ugly anyway. But since I don’t own my mom’s maiden name officially I can’t wait to get married to my fiance and finally change my surname officially.

    Even my signature is a sloppy draft of my name and I’m still working on finding smth cool for my prospective surname.

  26. Wow, such a great discussion. I love reading all the comments from everyone! I, like a few others, am a Smith. My partner’s name is the opposite – long and German. I am extremely proud of my branch of Smith history, so do not want to lose that part of my every day identity. I would also, however, like to be able to associate with my (maybe one day) husband with a common name. Unfortunately my name would become astronomically long if I tried to incorporate both of our last names.

    Have there been any Smiths who have kept there names, or has everyone changed names in search of something less common?

  27. Maybe this varies by region, but it kind of surprises me that so many of you commenters hadn’t even considered changing your name upon getting married. I can’t think of a single woman that I’ve ever met who didn’t take her husband’s name. I did know one woman who hyphenated, but really in my experience that’s super rare. I am not married yet, but honestly it has never occurred to me to not take my husband’s name when I marry. To me that just seems normal for a family to all have the same last name. I’m curious – those of you who say it hadn’t occurred to you to take your husband’s name – what is your mom or grandma’s last name? Does everyone in your family have separate last names? Not judging, just honestly curious since I’ve never met any married couples who had different last names as each other. I can see why some people may choose to make that choice, but to say it like it hadn’t even occurred to you to do things traditionally seems odd and kind of infers that everyone in your life is nontraditional as well, which I kind of doubt to be the case.

    • Selina says...

      Jennifer M, I think the issue for most women who want their own name but feel like they need the same name as the rest of the family, why is it always assumed that the family unit will always take the man’s name?

  28. I have not changed my name yet, and going on two years of marriage. It hasn’t been a big deal yet, but I know will be once we have kids. I plan to change my name only by adding my husbands last name and moving my maiden name to a second middle name. I will have 4 names then.

    I love my maiden name, I am the last in my family to carry it and I just like the way my name flows. It has been my identity for so long.

    • Tea says...

      This is a perfect idea!

    • Allison says...

      I have been married a little over a year and that’s what I did! I have two legal last names, no hyphen. I use my maiden name professionally and Smith (hubby’s last name) everywhere else

  29. In Spain you NEVER change your surname when you get married(I don’t even think is legal to change it that way). Children get their parents surnames together, firt you father and last your mother -for example my dad is F. Dutilh Carvajal and my mum is T. Fernández Morodod, so I am Irene Dutilh Fernández-. The first time I relize in the rest of the world women change their surname, I was so sock!

    So, as you can imagine I never thought about changing my surname. But then I met my sweet Irirsh boyfriend… I know he would love me to be Mrs. Lindsay (in time). So, for the first time in my life I am kind of thinking about it.

    If I finally do it, will be in case I get an Irish passport. If I decide in a future to apply for an irish passport will be throug marriage. So MAYBE then I will be Irene Dutilh-Lindsay.

  30. Nope, I would never change my last name. To each their own but I don’t think it’s necessary in this day and age. Our kids will have a hyphenated last name. That’s the fairest way to do it in my opinion.

  31. One thing i don’t understand do you women have or hold degrees? have any of you women been to college/university? because changing your last name costs you alot more – its not fair for women to want to go through this type of hell. You mightest well not give birth certificates to women with this old fashioned attitude of changing your last name.

    What about divorce? Non of you mention about real life issues such as divorce and dying with your ex-husbands last name and not your own family – isn’t family important to you women? Also what about the cost the time and money spent on changing and removing and readding etc 2nd marriages – women WAKE UP! If he doesn’t change his last name to yours perhaps he didn’t love you that much – you obviously love him too much or just hate yourselves….i’m not trying to be rude but you have to admit i have point.

    I wouldn’t want my daughter to change her last name like she is property and i don’t like the term “maidan name” sounds like an old lady name…its your BIRTH NAME! its your real name learn to accept it and be proud of you who you are an individual do what they do it spain, everyone is equal and all children go under the mothers name there anyway…you are taking care of the children and birthing them do you not think your mothers side counts – fight and keep your rights to your name.

    • Janet says...

      I LOVE THIS! Thank you! :)

  32. I had a painful Scottish surname that no one could ever pronounce. I hated it. My husband decided to take his mother’s surname as his father left when he was young. So we both have his mother’s surname. Now my surname is Spanish and still no one can pronounce it!

    I do wonder what will happen when kiddies with hyphenated surnames get married to other kiddies with hyphenated surnames?!

  33. i kept my last name, partly because “zaleski” sounds better than “cooper”, but mostly just because i didn’t feel like the hassle of getting it changed.. i’ll go by either name, i just sign all me legal stuff with my maiden name.

  34. I’ve been debating for almost three years now about whether to take my fiances last name or not. But I keep coming back to my original decision to keep my maiden name. My mom died when I was 8 years old and I’m currently 23 so she has been gone a long time. Even though my mom kept my dad’s last name after they were divorced, I still feel a connection with the name. My last name is the only thing I have left of my mom’s so I refuse to part with that. Mine and my fiance’s son has my fiance’s last name but I just can’t picture myself with the last name Deem.

  35. I’ve been struggling with this quite a bit since I got engaged in November last year. My last name is awesome (Slagowski). And I love having Polish heritage. My dad (and literally all of his brothers) had only girls, all of whom are now married and took their husbands name. I’m also the only one of my parents children with this last name, so I’m basically it. If I change my name, after the older generation of Slagowskis are gone, that’s it.
    When I brought up the idea of hyphenation, my fiance was not on board. “I wish you would just take MY name”…but I really and truly do not want to lose my last name.

  36. As my parents got divorced my mom kept the name of my dad. After a year she married again and took the name of her new husband. So my sister (from the second marriage) got another name than the three children (from the first marriage). After the second marriage got divorced too, she changed her name again and took her maiden name. She always had to take different identity cards with her, old ones, to make sure everybody belief that we are her children. We always had to explain why our mother got another name than our dad and our sister. Kind of confusing tough.

    The name of my father is a very unique name. But its also not easy to pronounce right. In the country i live we are the only family with this name. The name of my fiancé is more popular. I do not have a strong connection to my father and his family so because of this my last name is not so important to me.

    So if i’d marry once. I don’t now yet what id do. Because my name is so unique but I’d love to just have a simple easy-to-pronounce name like my fiancé’s.

    PS: Bonnie Lassie is not my real name ;)

    My man died 6 weeks ago after 12 month illness where he required increasing amounts of oxygen. I was told 6 months previously that he was about to die and we moved heaven and earth to get him home from hospital. My wonderful strong man carried on for 6 months despite what everyone said. I stopped work and we spent nights and days together mostly with me watching him almost suffocate to death every day. one day in September when there was no one else around I lay down beside him and fell asleep, when I woke up he had gone. I never believe that my husband death was natural..cos i know those that did not want his progress, every night and day i always cry i fill like killing my self because things where hard on my side, my husband family throw us out of the house me and my children where on the street begging for food and water..cos no money any more. one of my friend that i have not see for a very long time saw my on a street and she called my name, when i turn i was an old friend of mine, i explain every thing that happen she gave us accommodation and told me my husband death was not natural she told me i should not worry she is going to help me, will contact Dr Opingo who salve family problems i explain every thing about my husband to him and he said he will help me know about the death of my husband i was very happy that very day…cos i no something was behind my husband death and i see who is going to help me out, Dr ask me to send my husband picture, surname, and his name i did every thing immediately. After Dr Opingo have use the information i send him, two weeks later my husband step mum confess that she was the one that kill my husband through sickness…i am so happy i am free because the family believe that i kill my husband to take over the properties. thank you once again HELEN my best friend for introducing me to Dr Opingo you can contact his email if you still need his help

  38. I did not change my name when I married. I thought about it, mostly because I detest the nicknames that people have derived from my last name over the years. However from a very young age (c. 6 or 7 yrs) I was affronted by the patriarchial custom of referring to a married woman as Mrs. Husband’s-first-name Husband’s-last-name. My paternal grandmother was a widow since I was 2, and I balked at addressing envelopes to Mrs. Dead Husband. My very traditional mother and I would argue over this ad nauseum, and I would usually say at some point, “well I will return any letters I receive to Mrs. Husband as ‘addressee unknown-return to sender’. Flashforward to my own marriage, and my husband (at the time, fiance) actually was the one to say that it was a weird custom. I was still on the fence, ironically thinking of all the traditional monograms and “from the Harrisons” I would be messing up, when my mother sat down to have a serious chat with me. She said, in all seriousness, “it would mean so much to Dan if you changed your name.” I retorted, shocked, with, “have you met him? Because he told me the exact opposite!” From that point on my decision was easy… there would be no name change.
    I respect many women’s decisions to change their names, especially when their own last name is just a reminder of bad memories. What irritates me is when I hear someone changed their name because ‘it just meant so much’ to her husband to change to his name. Are you freaking kidding me? Tell him to evolve and get over his patriarchial, anachronistic, oppressive, narrisistic, and imperious predilictions before she sends him back to cave he crawled out of!

    • Deb says...

      Tell him to evolve and get over his patriarchial, anachronistic, oppressive, narrisistic, and imperious predilictions before she sends him back to cave he crawled out of!”

      HA! YES!

  39. I love my last name! I don’t know what I’ll do when it comes time to decide.
    With Luck

  40. I know this is an old post, but I just read it and had to share. When my husband and I got married, we both changed our names:
    We both took my maiden name as our middle name (subsequently “dropping” our original middle names) and then both took his last name as our last name. So, we have the same middle name and the same last name.

    This was the right decision/compromise for us because we didn’t want different last names and didn’t want to hypenate (due to length), and we felt it was important that we each do something to signify the union of our families and our union together.

    We initially got a lot of push-back from the Social Security Administration (we live in a fairly conservative state), but once we pointed out that it’s sexual discrimination to allow the woman, but not the man, to change her/his name due to marriage, they obliged. :)

  41. I’m pretty old school when it comes to marriage and family for the most part. My husband and I married in July, and I happily took his last name. As for my career, I’ve always marketed myself as Ebonie Nicole (my first and middle name) because I knew I would one day marry and change my last name. Easy peasy :-)

  42. I think “Team [lastname]” is cute :) I’m a Souza, he’s a Carr, and if we get married I’ll stick Souza in place of my middle name and take Carr as my last name.

    When I married my ex-husband I did not change my name. It felt wrong, and I really didn’t want to do it. And my ex’s last name was even more consistently misspelled/mispronounced than my own, and I liked mine better. Many things are different in my current relationship. I’m not entirely sure why I feel so differently about it now, but I do.

    All that said, I think people should be free to do what is right for them, whatever that means. It is silly that a woman is expected to change her name. My cousin asked me, over a year after my divorce, if I had “kept my name or gone back to Souza” to which I replied that I had kept MY name, Souza, the whole time. Even the judge at my divorce hearing asked me half a dozen times if Souza was my original name and I really wanted to keep it!

  43. so my last name is Darmawan (I’m Indonesian…) my husband’s last name is Wang…

    We sometime call ourselves the Darmawangs

    But I’m sure my parents in law wont be too happy about that if we really do it… When we have kids, we’ll just name it under his last name

  44. I have a compound last name. Every time they ask me about it, I need to spell it S-A-N R-O-M-A-N… it’s a pain in the butt. Plus it doesn’t fit in most computer systems. So I am DEFINITELY changing my last name to Rinck.

  45. I took my husband’s last name. We’re traditional Euro-Americans like that. I have a friend who was already established in her career & was not about to take her husband’s last name (think Lipshitz), so they made an agreement that they would either each keep their own, or they would both change their names (she thought this would get her out of changing hers at all). He surprised her before the wedding by changing his name to his mother’s maiden name & she took that.
    My sister’s husband was raised by his step-father for most of his memorable life. His step-father looked in to officially adopting him as an adult, but since he was an adult already, he couldn’t be adopted. So he just changed his name to match his parents’. He surprised his parents at the engagement part by announcing that my sister would not be Mrs. ‘birthfatherslastname,’ rather, Mrs. ‘step-fatherslastname.’

  46. Particularly delicate ice blue combined with the white bridal Gowns , looks elegant and is matching with your outfit.

  47. I never liked my last name growing up. It reminded me of my father, who left our family when my mother was pregnant with her 13th child. Yes, her 13th. I felt deserted. And the only thing I felt I had in common with this man was his last name. So, I was happy to change it when I got married.

  48. As an actor, I don’t plan on changing my last name. In Filipino tradition, children take their mothers’ last name as their middle name and their fathers’ last name as their last name, making it easy to tell who your parents are and how you are related to other people. My boyfriend and I talk about kids occasionally, and I think we both agreed that was a good rule to stick to. I might tweak it a bit and give my children my middle name instead of last name because I like my middle name better.

  49. When I became engaged, my first instinct was to keep my name. Then, as the engagement progressed, I began getting some serious pushback from my family, and I started to doubt my decision. I drove my married girlfriends crazy with questions about why they changed or why they didn’t, and I was so surprised to see that it can be such a divisive issue. The point should be that we all have the option to do what feels best for each of us, right?
    The best advice I received was from a high school friend, who made the decision to take her husband’s last name after they had been married for four years. She said she’d always wanted to keep her own name, but over time, her feelings changed, and then she did the work to change it. The end.
    So, I followed my instincts and kept my name. I don’t get angry when someone refers to me as “Mrs. Wilson,” I just politely correct them and move on. We’ve been married for four months now, and so far, no hiccups. I also particularly love hearing my husband introduce me as, “This is my wife, Erin Barlow.”

  50. I’ve always wanted to hyphenate. When my mom got married she moved her maiden name to her middle name, and I would consider doing that if the names truly didn’t sound right together, but Morgan goes with most everything anyway…

  51. I’m sorry… the name changing idea went right out the window as soon as I read that they allow other adults into their relationship lol…elephant in the room!

    I’m taking my fella’s last name…I’m in my 30s so I feel you on feeling like it’s my identity, but as an actress I’m curious how the public will perceive an already ambiguous looking mixed chick with the last name “Arana” Mr. & Mrs. Spider in the house!

  52. I changed my name when I got married a month ago. Even though I had my name for 27 years, and will have to change everything professionally I did it. Sometimes when I see my new name written out or am asked to sign something, it feels really stange, quite odd. But most of the time it makes me feel like I am part of a new family, and it fills me with a warmth and love, I didn’t think such a little thing could bring.

  53. I got married at 24 (pretty young, in my circle) and I didn’t change my name. My husband has a completly unobjectionable name — I just don’t use it myself because it’s not MY name. Kids both have his last name, but my last name as a middle name. Our address stamp says “My last name/ his last name” and we refer to the My Last Name His Last Name Family (which he objects to. I just roll my eyes. It’s not just his house, and I’m part of the family too. And I don’t see him handling any of our social correspondence.)

  54. Thanks for this post! My husband and I both hyphenated our names and I’ve been preparing a blog post on it for a bit. I finally finished it today and included some of the pros and cons I’ve discovered. It’s definitely not for everyone (and it’s caused me a few headaches) but I love it! Here’s the link:

  55. I LOVE my last name. It’s Fox. Pretty cool, right? Unfortunately, my fiances name isn’t as easy or cute. But it is mandatory that I take his name. He has always said it is very important to him that I take his name because it is the only thing he can really give me that isn’t monetary. So I’m going to hide my middle name and make Fox my new middle name. Changing me name is really the only thing he’s ever asked of me so I will. Oh, and to not get married during football season. ;)

  56. SD says...

    In Spain we have 2 last names, the first one comes from the father and the second one comes from the mother. No one has to change any name when they marry, and everyone give their first last name to their children. It’s easy for us, no changes, no decisions ;)

  57. For most of my life I never wanted to change my last name (Dziubek) because it is so unique and I liked standing out. Over time though it just became frustrating to say and spell over the phone, to have EVERY cashier ask about so when I finally got married I changed to my husband’s much easier last name (Lewis). I moved my maiden name to my middle name since I still felt like it was part of my identity – and since my new name is SO common I wanted to stand out a little! I am still getting used to it, but I also felt like it added another connection for my husband and I – something that we now have in common.

  58. If tradition were reversed and men had to jump through all the hoops that women do in order to change their names, just how long do you think the tradition would last? I kept my last name and my husband wholeheartedly respects this decision. My two little boys have my last name as their middle name and we’ve never encountered any issue traveling, crossing borders, submitting documentation, none.

  59. My mom never changed her last name.

    My boyfriend and I talk about this pretty often, actually. I am not against taking his last name and turning my last name into a second middle name. He doesn’t care. He’s actually leaning toward me keeping my last name because he wants me to still have my own identity.

    My last name is pretty unique, because my parents took a saying that they really liked and condensed it into my last name. Nobody else in my family has it, and I have yet to meet anybody else with the same name.

    That said, I really want my kids to have it as part of their name. Doesn’t have to be hyphenated, but I really want it to be a second middle name. I want some part of my identity and my lineage to be part of them. My boyfriend is really against that, too. He wants only his family name to be part of our kids’ names.

    I sense a lot of discussion in the future.

  60. A lot of people mention wanting a team name, and that totally makes sense. But why does the team name have to be the guy’s name? If the decision is reached after weighing both option, then I would understand. But it always seems to be, “We wanted to have the same family name… so I changed to HIS name”.

    It just boggles me why the decision to change or not change always falls on the women. It’s a huge decision and an emotional one too. And for guys, the extent of their decision making often seems limited to “do I support whatever decision my future wife comes to, or do I push her toward taking my name?” it’s a rare guy who even considers changing their own names.

    I kept my own name and aside from my husband, very few people supported the decision. We even specifically asked our DJ not to introduce us as Mr. and Mrs. Hislastname at the wedding and he did anyway. I made an announcement on Facebook about keeping my own name and even in the immediate comments after the post you can see people comgratulating me as the new Mrs. Hisname. My best friend who knows I’m not changing my name even called me Mrs. hisname. My mom called me after I returned from our honeymoon to encourage changing my name for the sake of our future children.

    Arch, it’s mindbogglingly frustrating. I want to just scream at people, stop stripping me of my name!! It’s my god damn name, it’s part of who I am and I’ve had it for 27 years.

    I also don’t want to be a Mrs.

    Why should women make their marital status known immediately when men can to be Mister for their whole lives?

  61. What a great topic! I did change my last name, but I also did things a little out of order- my husband and I met, fell in love, had a baby, and then got married when said baby was 3 years old. So when I was married, I had already had 3 years of having a different last name than my child, and I wanted to have the same name. My first name is long and both of our last names were long, too, so a hyphenated name was out. I didn’t think I had any problem letting go of my name, but I had a hard time remembering to sign it correctly after I had changed it.

    Just a few months ago I was somewhat rudely questioned by another female about why I changed my last name after I was married. I think it’s fantastic when women choose to keep their names. Or when women and men- or women & women or men & men- select a new hyphenation or hybrid (I’m thinking of John Ono Lennon…) of their names. Pro-choice, all the way. Let’s respect each other’s choices!

  62. Since my maiden name is Hooker I always thought I couldn’t wait for the day to change it. But then I married a man with the last name of Adams and it seemed so boring. I wanted to hyphenate but Hooker-Adams sounds horrible. Then we joked around about both changing to Adam’s Hooker. But in the end I just switched to Adams.

  63. I got caught in the romance of getting married and becoming one family with my husband so I changed my last name, even though for most of my adult life I had planned on keeping my last name. Now I totally regret it. :( My husband was strongly in favor of me changing it (though he understand it’s my decision) and now we have a son who has hubby’s last name. So I feel like if I change it back, 1. people will think we’re divorcing and 2. my last name will be different from my family’s!

  64. My last name is Davis and while I don’t especially love the name it means a lot to me. I don’t want to lose that part of my identity when I get married. I’m also attached to my middle name (Terese) because my mom and I share it, so I’m not willing to get rid of that either. I will probably keep my name just as it is and give all of my kids the middle name Davis and their father’s last name. My boyfriend would never consider taking my last name but has a little bit of a hard time accepting the fact that I would never take his either. I definitely have some time to think though so I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

  65. I love my maiden name and since there were no boys to carry on the name, I chose to make it my second middle name when I got married. I don’t use my first middle name on anything so my professional name is my first name, my maiden name, and my married name. When my husband and I got married, we joked about making a new last name from both our names…we didn’t officially but just about everyone who knows us calls us by our combined last name. For me, it’s the best of both worlds.

  66. my parents combined theirs – they got married 25 years ago so it was very forward thinking of them! :) I have no idea what I’ll do when I get married though, my name is long enough as it is, I can’t go for the triple barrel!! x

  67. In my country (Czech Republic) almost 99% women take husband´s name after marriage + ová. I am Lorenzová, my boyfriend is Fridrich. So, I probable will be Fridrichová one day. However, because his first wife is Fridrichová, I would like to have both names to be different: Eliška Fridrichová Lorenzová. Two names are long. I prefere shorter variation: Fridrich Lorenzová, but this is not possible.

  68. I will be getting married in April and I will change my name. It was never a question to me– it seems to me to be more of a symbol of us starting our lives together as a family.

  69. I changed my name because it was the norm in my circles, and it’s more convenient, and because my husband was surprisingly offended when I mentioned the option of not changing it…then a couple of years later I strongly regretted it (I love my husband and his family, but their last name is no more mine than mine is theirs, and I prefer to declare our family as individuals who have merged lives with different names), and my husband actually changed his mind, too–now he thinks it would be good if I had kept the name I was born with. I will change it back as soon as we have a few hundred dollars to spend on that. We gave our daughter my maiden name as a second middle name, so both of our last names are in there, but not hyphenated, because it’s “normal” to pass last names paternally. :P In an Anthropology class, I heard of a culture where the daughters get the maternal line’s last name, and the sons get the paternal line’s last name–I think that system makes the most sense!

  70. I do not like hyphenated last names, so I won’t be doing that. I don’t have a middle name, so honestly, I don’t think it’ll bother me at all to go first, maiden, new last.

  71. My maiden name is the same as my husband’s last name so I didn’t have to think about it (we aren’t related). It was great that I didn’t have to change any of my documents! Friends joked that I should hyphenate to Cho-Cho :) I think that if this wasn’t my situation I would lean towards keeping my last name. In Korea the woman keep their maiden names…

  72. I just wrote a blog post about this a few weeks ago at
    I decided after a lot of thought to change my name, because I wanted the same last name as my daughter. The timing also worked out so that I was changing my name right at the same time as I was starting a new business, so changing my name was just part of my fresh start and new career.

  73. I grew up with my mom’s last name as a second middle name (ie basically forgotten in most contexts) and my dad’s last name as my legal last name. Then when my mom got remarried, she changed her last name, so I grew up with a different last name as my mom and always hated it. So when I got married the one thing I knew is I wanted to have the same last name as my kids. However, I didn’t love the idea of taking my husband’s last name. And he didn’t like the idea of taking mine. So we debated the various options, and given that he was equally un-thrilled with the idea of having a different last name as myself and our future kids, we eventually agreed to both change our last name together. So we went through the family trees, and picked out all of the maiden last names that had been lost through marriage over the years, and found one we both liked. And now it’s been many years later, and it’s who I am now. And I LOVE that we all have the same last name:-)

  74. I changed my last name when I got married. I like the idea of combining last names. Very cool!

  75. I got married earlier this year at Manhattan’s City Hall (which was amazing and I’d recommend it to anyone). We’re having a reception later this fall to celebrate with family and friends, and I’ve been amazed at the amount of people who have automatically assumed that I’ve changed my last name. Some of these people have never even met my husband, and yet they’ve assigned me his last name.

    I’ve been surprisingly offended by the number of people that have made this assumption. Of course no one has meant any harm and really I have no problem with any woman who decides to take her husband’s last name—I think it’s a personal thing and people do it or don’t do it for different reasons—but it’s surprising to me that in “this day and age” people still automatically assume without asking that a woman has changed her last name.

    So glad you brought this up—I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.

  76. I’m definitely changing my name. I used to be a bit feministicky about it, until I went to a funeral.. odd, I know. I noticed that all of the chairs under the tent had the same last name, and I felt like there was something so committed and beautiful about it. If I weren’t sure that he’s the one, I’d consider keeping my name. But if I’m not planning on divorcing him ever, I think it’s great to become a real family and have the same name.

    I too will be taking my maiden name as my middle name. I thought this was pretty common, but apparently it’s not!


  77. I’m a bit surprised (in a negative way) to read how many people have taken their husband’s name. I’m glad that I live in a country where that’s not even legal. We have two surnames (father’s and mother’s) and women don’t change their names. It’s also revealing that when it comes to compromise -word that has been mentioned many times on the comments- it’s always women doing the effort so as not to upset their families. It just says a lot about society.

  78. Being from the South, I never even contemplated NOT changing my name, but as many of the commenters here have already mentioned, I made my maiden name my middle name. This is what every woman in my family and all the women I’ve grown up with have done. I think it’s the perfect way to become a new family unit with your spouse and children if you have them, but also a way to keep that part of your pre-marriage identity without it being confusing. I find that I have a lot of trouble remembering the last name of the spouse in couple where their names are different and I met one well before the other.

  79. I am definitely going to change my name. I think that is an important part when you exchange vows and promise to become one. The man should be the head of the household, therefore the entire house, including me, will have his name. I definitely see the benefits of keeping your name because it is part of your professional identity, but honestly it excites me that one day I will be Mrs. Samuel Briend. I am also a traditional southern woman so that could be part of it too =)

    • Nita says...

      Hi I know this thread was a while ago. I have been married 4 year and changed my last name and placed my middle name as my maiden name. It was a difficult transition for me because of professionally, we are also different religions, and partly I felt like I was losing my identity but did it because it was important to my husband. If you ask me now I probably would’ve not changed it. When it came to my two boys I wanted my maiden name as their middle name but he was adamant that he did not want that. He put up a fight saying that he could’ve had the middle name as, Kumar, which is a common Hindu middle name. So after much fighting we decided not to place any middle name. Now I kind of regret the decision and should’ve fought a harder and stood my ground. My question is should I bring up placing either the madien name as the middle name or hyphenate the kids names? I know it’s going to be a battle but I know this would make me happy and this will bring on my family legacy as my last name has a lot of history.

    • Nita: If he respects you as an individual, I would think he might reconsider. Some men are insecure or feel it’s necessary to be the “head of the household,” but that seems old-fashioned at best, and sexist and oppressive, imo, but then that seems to be the role Ashley has chosen and that is her right. It would not be my choice.

  80. To me hyphenation seems like a very short term solution; what about the next generation? John Doe-Smith marries Jane Jones-Blogs and they call their child…?!

  81. I had never given the issue much thought, I wasn’t really into the idea of marriage growing up or even dating throughout my twenties… So what surprised me when I did get married (eloped) was how emotional the name thing felt. All of a sudden I didn’t want to change my name. I ended up doing First Maiden Hisname when i found out i was pregnant, but honestly I sometimes regret it now. I would say where we live, in the South, it’s much more common for the woman to take the man’s name than it is in other parts of the country, say NYC :)

  82. My maiden name is Davie, my married name is Davy :) confuses immigration because I have my maiden name on my passport which looks suss when traveling with my daughter and husband. I entertained the idea of hyphenating just for funnies but couldn’t follow through. We could have had a boy, called him Dave. Dave Davie-Davy does have quite a ring to it.

  83. JF says...

    In Portugal children always get the mum’s and the dad’s famlily name (in that order). While nowadays some women add the name of their husband when they get married (but keep their maiden names), some generations ago this wasnt the case – neither of my grannies had their husbands name. I didnt add my husband’s name as this would feel a bit odd

  84. I would probably change my last name when my partner and I get married. I like my maiden name, but it’s so long (9 letters) and people have a hard time pronouncing it since it’s in Spanish. I might just take my partner’s name because it’s three letters. Easier to spell and pronounce.

  85. i kept my surname and my husband was happy for me to do so. It is King. In his wedding speech my husband said ‘Long live the Kings!’by way of recognising my family, and everyone repeated it after him, which I thought was cool.
    I see it as we come from two powerful Houses, the King and Woods clans, and neither can relinquish their standing, so we each keep our own surnames. Our son has my husbands surname. i see that as a way of my husband knowing that he’s his ;) – because there’s no doubt he came from me :)

  86. I changed my name. I was fine with it. I have a view of marriage that considers it a joy to become one in body, soul, mind with my husband. To me, my first name is the one that carries the most identity for me. Sometimes I miss my old last name, the easy way it flowed off my pen, but overall, it’s a small thing. But I don’t have anything against those who chose to keep their names.

  87. I actually had a kind of hard time changing my name, but it was important to my husband. I was 25 when we were married, and I didn’t have a career to worry about, but I was attached to it nonetheless. Hyphenating wasn’t going to happen because my husband admitted he’d feel a little emasculated (which is fair, because my maiden and married name hyphenated literally sounds like “More a Man”; he appreciated the hilarity but still put his foot down). The thing that made the name change appealing was not really wanting to be associated with my estranged father, but at the same time I still felt my maiden name was MINE and I wasn’t sure I wanted to give it up.

    Ultimately, I decided to do it (It counted as the first-year “paper” gift, my new SS# card came the same day!), and 4 years later I’m used to it and actually forget my maiden name occasionally. :)

  88. For me, it was no question whether I was going to change my name when I got married… My father and I do NOT get along, and I was ready to shed his last name. My mom never took on his last name when they got married, so the last name she had/has was never the same as mine. I was really glad to be able to take my husband’s last name… Felt like a fresh start. I could see doing something differently if my situation were different.

    On the flip-side, I know my husband’s cousin took his wife’s last name when they had a baby, because she never changed hers & the baby was given her last name.

  89. The gravity of the decision didn’t really hit me until after the wedding and then I agonized for months! I felt a lot of pride for my maiden name. It is unique and my family has a long history, which my grandfather has researched extensively. On the other hand, I was excited to be starting a new family with my husband and felt that the act of changing my name would help me fully grasp the transition from living together to marriage. I also knew I didn’t want to hyphenate. For some reason it seemed like a burden to be stuck with this super long name. Ultimately I decided to compromise. I have two last names, no hyphen. The way I see it people can use either my maiden, my married, or both last names and they are correct. I don’t mind what they use. What matters to me is that I didn’t have to give up any part of me. I just got to add another element. Nowadays, for the sake of simplicity and brevity I often go by just my married name, but I am glad I didn’t have to forsake my maiden or my middle name for it.

  90. I changed my maiden name to my middle name and took my husband’s middle name. My mom remarried when I was young, and I always hated that I had a different name from the rest of my family, even though it is a unique and lovely last name to have.

  91. I took my husband’s name as my middle name.

    One reason I kept my last name is that we have different ethnicities; I think it’s nice to have a last name that accurately reflects your ethnic heritage.

    My kids have his last name. That’s fine with me because they are the ethnicity that he is (while I am not).

  92. I’ve given this a ton of thought! In the end I took my husband’s last name because growing up with the name Jessica Smith felt just too plain-Jane for me. But actually, it’s been a year and I haven’t officially switched anything (though professionally, and in gmail the name has changed)! Maybe me new name will be my stage name…and Smith will be for official docs?

  93. I actually wanted to change my name, which surprised even me. But somehow changing my name seemed so appealing. I want us to have the same name – and besides, I was tired of everyone mispronouncing my name in a way that, to my ears, has always made an ugly kind of sound of it. But when the time came, it was my husband who urged me to keep my name; he said he liked my name for its strange, foreign sound, and he pointed out that as an academic having a name that was unique would be useful in my career. Less than a week after this conversation (I was still dubious at the time), some eastern european dissidents and scholars found me online to connect about an article I’d published and to share research. I couldn’t have asked for better proof of my husband’s points. So, I admitted he was right and kept my name.

  94. We combined our names too. My surname was Dashwood-Evans (which I loved), I am incredibly close to my family and didn’t want to stop being one of “the Dashwood’s” or one of “the Dashwood girls” and felt that just because I am a girl doesn’t mean I am no longer part of my family in this way. My husband’s surname was Begg, we both changed our surnames and are now the Dashwood-Begg family. One of my sister’s has done the same and I think my youngest sister may also. I like that we have our husband’s names and have brought our family name into our new families – we are still the Dashwood girls x

  95. My husband and I are taking our sweet time, but we’re both changing our last names to something completely new. Long story as to why, but it was definitely the best decision for us.

  96. I opted to keep my surname when we got married. I had considered changing it before because that’s just what the women I know are accustomed doing. But when I searched my heart I found I was really uncomfortable with it which in itself was the answer for me.

  97. I didn’t change my name and now that we have a baby I regret it a tiny bit. But I don’t think I’m going to change it at this point. My grandmother still sends me mail to Mr & Mrs [husbandslastname] no matter how many times I tell her though! Oh well.

  98. I kept my name. I considered hyphenation, but only if he was willing to do the same. Well, he was certainly willing to change his, but decided that it would make more sense to avoid the logistical nightmare of both changing our names, and, instead, both keep our names. He had already published many articles under his name, so it just made more sense. Well, it turns out that keeping my name was what I truly wanted all along because it came as a huge relief to me not to have to hyphenate. While I don’t have a close relationship to my dad, I don’t think of my last name as his. I think of it as mine. The fact that my last name is way cooler than my husband’s only sweetened the deal. I live in a conservative area where keeping your last name is all but unheard of, but I like to show people that it’s a choice. If we have children, we will give then a hyphenated name (Fisk-Miller). At first, my husband said they could have just my last name (have I mentioned that he’s amazing?), but I would want them to have both of our names. By the way, Goddard-Williams sounds lovely.

  99. I’m a few days late on this one, but this is too funny.

    When my husband and I were dating, our friends thought it was hilarious to call us by our last names… Pugh and Powell. But hyphenated. Like Pugh-Powell. If you say it really quickly, it’s pretty funny. I don’t think I could or would every go the rest of my life with that hyphenated combination of our names!

    Plus I was so happy to be finished with the name Pugh that I never even thought about keeping it!

  100. I’m wondering, though, when Toby marries a lovely lady and she has a hyphenated name and the two have a child, will the child then have a four-word last name?

  101. My husband and I were married in June, and we BOTH changed our names to something COMPLETELY NEW.

    We both moved our old last names to our middle names, and now share a new last name that we chose together. It was kind of a hard path to take given his family’s initial resistance to it, however we feel it is entirely us and we are so happy to be the only people we’ve heard of with our last name. We felt that it was right for us, and that taking a new name together symbolized us starting a new life together. (Plus his sister is an artist and drew up an amazing family crest for us, incorporating so much about our lives. It really was truly sweet.)

  102. I disliked my last name, and had little attachment to it, so I was happy to change when I got married. I also just like the idea of us having the same last name. We have fun referring to ourselves as Team Jones!

  103. I changed mine because getting married felt like a whole new life to me. I was no longer living just as myself, but as a team. So like your sister, now we’re Team Clark, and it seems so unifying to me. I love it.

  104. I disliked my last name, and had little attachment to it, so I was happy to change when I got married. I also just like the idea of us having the same last name. We have fun referring to ourselves as Team Jones!

  105. My husband and I got married a few weeks ago and decided to hyphenate both our names, just like this couple. The decision to be the Walter-Ballantyne family seemed so natural to us… it wasn’t until some our friends and family (and the New York Times, incidentally) pointed it out that I realized just how lucky I am that my husband would take my name as proudly as I would his.

  106. I didn’t for aa few reasons.

    I’m Italian and commonly women keep their name (for official stuff at least, bank accounts and the like). Secondly I have a great family and love my father dearly so am proud to carry his name, my husbands dad was apparently a total *insert dreadful word here* and up and left when my husband was barely a month old. Why would I want to carry his name??

    And lastly, I love my last name, it’s very unusual. My husbands British name sounds like a laundry detergent. And double barrelling our two names sounds even worse.

    The only think that bothers me is now we have a son, he has taken my husbands name so I feel left out!

  107. I always told myself that as long as the last name of whoever I was marring wasn’t boring, that I would change it. When the time came, it was so much harder to part with my maiden name- Gawloski. However, my husband’s last name is anything but boring and now I am Mrs. Olexa. It was the “x” that convinced me. I also like to go by Mrs. X

  108. I’ll definitely change mine. My future husband’s last name is Ortiz and I’m of English descent, so it may look a little strange, but I want that unity with him and my future children. :)

  109. My last name is Maci, which I absolutely love. I’m planning on changing my name when I get married next fall, but we’ve agreed to name our first daughter (if we’re lucky enough to have one!) Maci. I think it’s a darling first name, and a great way to get to preserve my name in our family!

  110. I’m not sure what I’ll do… I already have publications under my name, and would likely want to keep it professionally at least.

  111. I am single and never married, but growing up I have always been excited about the thought of changing my last name once I marry. I love my last name, and am so proud of my family and where I come from, but to share last names with my husband is something I’ve always wanted.

  112. My husband had a hyphenated name and never liked it. He found it to be inconvenient and too long. (Five syllables total) So he dropped one of the names (his dad’s!) and we made the first of the two names our family name. I then added that name to the end of mine, dropped my middle name and my maiden name became my middle name. Therefore I felt like I kept professional and personal continuity while still being able to have the family name that we all share. I love being Team LastName!

  113. I debated this seriously for a while! In the end, I ended up changing my name, and I didn’t even keep my maiden name at all (as my middle name). This surprised me about myself, as I’d always thought I would keep my name on principle, similar to how I never wanted anyone to walk me down the aisle (I kept that promise). But in the end, I did it not to “honor my husband” as many in my native Georgia call it, but because my husband’s last name (Toledo) is “cooler” than my maiden name (Johnson). So, in the end, I changed my name to my husband’s, but only because it is more memorable than mine. I kept my middle name as my middle name because Lindsey Anne Toledo has a better ring to it than Lindsey Johnson Toledo. In hindsight though, it would have been much easier in terms of paperwork to just keep my name. Haha!

  114. My maiden name was gorbutt…I was happy to change to Tompkins :) like some others though, I was born without a middle name so now gorbutt is my official middle name (although I only ever write “G”).

  115. I think I will keep my last name. And like you mentioned, my last name is part of my identity. I have an italian first and last name (although I don’t really identify myself as having particularly italian pride- I am northern european mixed and like it all), it flows well and just is me. My boyfriend’s last name is a good one…I wouldn’t mind hyphenating if we have a kid. Not sure how he feels, if he is modern about it or traditional. He’s a pretty modern guy. I have a friend, Mike, who changed his to his wife’s last name. His was a plain generic American name, and her’s is a pretty italian last name. And he didn’t really like his dad, so he changed it. :)

  116. I think I will keep my last name. And like you mentioned, my last name is part of my identity. I have an italian first and last name (although I don’t really identify myself as having particularly italian pride- I am northern european mixed and like it all), it flows well and just is me. My boyfriend’s last name is a good one…I wouldn’t mind hyphenating if we have a kid. Not sure how he feels, if he is modern about it or traditional. He’s a pretty modern guy. I have a friend, Mike, who changed his to his wife’s last name. His was a plain generic American name, and her’s is a pretty italian last name. And he didn’t really like his dad, so he changed it. :)

  117. I took my husband’s last name- Claus. I’m Mrs. Claus :)

  118. My maiden name is a 3 letter Swiss name starting with a vowel. Impossible to pair with baby names. As a little girl I dreamed of marrying a man with a cool last name. I met my husband at 22 and he was perfect in every way, except that his last name is a 4 letter Swiss name that also starts with a vowel. When you say the names together they sound like a disease, so hyphenating was out of the question. So I took his name- at least I gained a letter :)

  119. I’m getting married next year, and will be changing my name. My last name, Raymond, is my dad’s last name, and his biological father’s last name. His biological father ran out on his family when my dad was a very young child, so understandably, he isn’t overly fond of or attached to it. And for that reason, neither am I. Plus, I think my fiancee’s name, Popham, is fun to say.

  120. It wasnt even a question, of course I changed my name. We are both traditional and out of respect for him, I took his last name. To be honest (and not trying to be rude), I dont understand not taking your husbands name. I promised my life to him but I cant manage to change my paperwork or make it not awkward for our kids. To each their own.

  121. My maiden name was not only never pronounced correctly, but I associate it with family I no longer have a relationship with, so changing it was a no-brainer. I didn’t want to have a different name than my husband and frankly, I liked his last name. And everyone can pronounce it.

  122. When my husband and I got married 7 years ago (I was 26) I was just going to change my name to his. He adamantly did not want that. He said he felt very connected to his last name and was attached to me having mine. I also did not want to hyphenate so I just dropped my middle name and kept my maiden name. . . thus going from Lauren Michelle Belteau to Lauren Belteau Gerfen. We refer to ourselves as the Gerfen’s or the Belteau Gerfen’s but I actively use my middle/maiden name on all work stuff and at a minimum sign my name L.B. Gerfen if not the whole name. Plus he and all of his friends from our college years still call me Belteau and a few of my girlfriends call me LBG. I think I would consider giving a kid (if I have one) my maiden name as their middle name too. Plus, it (and I didn’t even consider this) really made my Dad happy. He even told me he wishes he and my Mom had done names this way when they got married 40 years ago.

  123. I know people that have kept their maiden name for professional purposes but use their married name in their personal life. My boyfriend’s last name is a bit long so I may do the same!

  124. I’m not married, nor am I going to soon. But, when (or if) that happens I’m going to keep my name because similar to what you said, it’s part of my identity.

    My last name starts with a “Z” and I’ve always been really proud of it. I also helps with alphabetical listing, I’m always at the end : )

  125. I took my husband’s last name, which was kinda disappointing because my maiden name was really cool and I dropped in alphabetical order. I took my maiden name for my middle name. I plan on naming my future son my maiden middle name (a family name). I married young so changing my last name wouldn’t and didn’t have any impact on my career with the exception of paper work.

  126. We live in Quebec where the law is that you keep your last name automatically when you marry, which I like. We briefly thought about a hyphenated name for our son but asked ourselves where does the hyphenation end? Will his children have 4 names? So we kept it simple and gave him my husband’s last name. Besides with both of our french last names it would definitely be a mouthful anywhere in the non-francophone world.

  127. I’m going from Katie Delaney to Katie Kersey next week!!!! I will miss my last name, but hope to name my future daughter Delaney – although I’m in a race with a few cousins to have the first girl in order to do so!

  128. Well, my last name is Hooker. And growing up I DREAMED of the day I would get married so that I could change my name. But now that I’m older and nearing the time when I’ll have to make that decision, it’s a little bittersweet. Growing up with Hooker for a last name was, honestly, torture for many years–kids can be mean! But now as an adult, it’s memorable and a great topic of conversation. I’ve often had guys jokingly tell me they’d change their last name to mine if they had the choice. ha! Not to mention that my sisters and I are the last in our line of Hookers so the name sorta dies with us. Sad. That said, I don’t know that I would want to put my kids, especially daughters, through that childhood abuse. It did make me stronger though.

  129. My husband and I added each others names to our own names. We see marriage as an union and that we make each other complete. I coudn’t just replace my name by his’ or the other way around.

    So my name is now: (for example) Ann Bradford Smith and my husbands name is James Smith Bradford. Any future kids will have only his last name.
    Works perfectly for us and this isn’t quite uncommon in Europe!

  130. Changing my name was tough, initially. Not only did I *like* my last name but I felt like I was giving up a part of myself. I kept my maiden name as my middle name, but let’s be honest – how often does your middle name get used?

    Fast forward 5 years, and I’ve really grown to like my new name. Not only did it give me a sense of creating a “fresh” identity but I’m 8 months pregnant and excited to start a new generation of the C-Family. My husband is an immigrant which makes us the first C-Family in America. There’s something endearing about that. I feel proud to carry his last name and I like the sense of unity it gives to our new little family.

  131. I took my hubs’ last name…but neither of us know what our “real” last names should’ve been. His father and my gpa both found out later in life that their mother’s had an affair! So we aren’t really sure what either of our true last names are.
    Although it was a sad part of his father’s and my gpa’s life story, I love that we share the same experience. We don’t know our heritage very well, so I like being able to create our own :)

  132. My mother kept her last name, and I took my dad’s. When I marry I’ll keep my own, to honor both of my parents.

  133. my husband and i did the same thing. i was having an identity crisis about changing my last name so he marched down to the office with me and we took each other’s. we are the Carpenter Ortolanos which, as my husband jokes, our descendents will eventually shorten to the Carports.

  134. When my husband and I got married it wasn’t so much about changing my last name, it was the chance to ditch my middle name which i have hated for as long as I can remember. I happily became traded my middle name for my maiden.

  135. Such an interesting issue. I love my last name, because it’s very indicative of my ethnic identity and my family history, and because there are no men in my family to carry it on. It’s my connection to my grandfather, one of my favorite people ever, so there’s no way I’m giving it up! (Plus, my boyfriend’s last name is 12 (!!) letters long, including 5 consonants in a row. No thanks.)

    Even though this is a ways down the line, we’re thinking about how we’ll deal with our kids names: hyphenating my name + his 12-letter name is a definite no-go, but it never feels fair to me that kids automatically get their dad’s name over their mom’s. A dual, non-hyphenated last name (where one can be dropped professionally if need be) is my preference. So we’d have little Eve Elinor Hisuperlonglastname Myname. This is, admittedly, also confusing, but when you’re dealing with two super distinct names, compromise is in order.

  136. I didn’t change my name. Like you, I felt it was a non-issue. I just turned 31 when I got married and my name was part of my identity (personal and professional). I’m also my parents only child, so no brothers to carry on my name. Our daughter will be born in Dec. and she will take my husband’s last name – mine is just too long to hyphenate. Now if only people can remember I didn’t change my name to his, then we’d be golden. It’s only been 2 years people! ;-)

  137. In Quebec you legally CAN’T change your maiden name! I’ve thought about hyphenating mine in the future, but my last name is complicated already so I don’t know if it would be too much of a mouthful! I’ve also been wondering, if Toby was to get married and his wife wanted to hyphenate her name as well, what happens then? Last names have gotten so complicated, haven’t they! :) xo