One of the biggest challenges I have faced planning our wedding day is deciding whether or not I’m going to take my partner’s surname. With our wedding day just 16 weeks away I didn’t want this decision clogging up my mind any longer, and after deliberating for the past year, I have finally come to a decision. It’s not a decision I’ve taken lightly, after all, this means a lot to me.
I thought I would document my thought process here, in years to come it might be nice to be able to look back on my ponderings.
I have had my name for 25 years, that’s a long time. My name is a big part of my identity. If someone asks me “who are you?” the answer I give them is my full name. My name is who I am. I have an unusual name, but I like it, I’m proud of it. It represents me, my family, my heritage.
I have done a lot of research into my family history in an attempt to learn more about my heritage. There are things like the Genealogy Bank online which you can use to trace your family back many generations and it’s very interesting. I am proud of my roots, my family, and my family name.
The fact that people ASSUME I will take my partner’s name instantly bothers me. I know people don’t mean anything by it, it’s tradition, right? but why is my partner’s name more important than mine? I just don’t think it should be expected for women to change their last name anymore. Why can’t it be the other way around? why can’t the man take the women’s surname? Of course, that will seem ludicrous to many, but why couldn’t a couple have all options on the table so that they can make an equal decision as to what is right for them?
Some couples might consider a double-barreled name, but this isn’t really an option for us, my Greek and Nick’s English names just don’t click. They really don’t – believe me.
And then there’s the issue that I have always found change difficult. Nick and I have been together almost 9 years, we have lived together for 3. I personally don’t feel that marriage will change the dynamics of our relationship much. I’m not saying that marriage isn’t important, I am SO looking forward to marrying my best friend that I’m getting teary with emotion just thinking about how much it means to me. But changing from a Miss to a Mrs doesn’t feel daunting, but the possibility of changing my name? That scares the hell out of me.
But then there’s the other side of the coin, it would mean a lot to Nick if I took his name, and I love Nick with everything I am, so why not change my name for him? He put a ring on my finger and asked me to marry him, so why not take his name in exchange?
I also think it’s important to feel married. If we have our separate surnames will we feel married? There’s something rather magical about being Mr and Mrs *insert name*, is there not? I think that with the same surname, there’s no doubt about it, we will feel like a married unit.
Which leads me on to my decision. Will I Change My Name After Marriage? After much toing, froing and sleepless nights I have decided that I will change my name. I want to embrace change, feel like a married unit and ultimately please my future husband. As for my identity? My thoughtful wedding photographer Charlottesville gave me a few words of wisdom, my new surname will describe the next chapter in my life, I’ll still always be me – and I don’t think I could have said it better myself.
Phew. I feel so relieved to have finally made a decision that I’m happy with.
Have you/ would you change your name after marriage? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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