Keeping your name after the I Do's

Thursday, June 20, 2013



Newly engaged women, and those ebbing closer to their wedding day, seem to be torn between keeping their maiden name and taking their husband's. Now this phenomenon, although modern, is not new.

On the one side of the fence, it seems that a lot of women are embracing the big change - and the accompanying administration.  In 2011, TheKnot.com surveyed 19,000 newlywed women and found that only 8 percent kept their last names; 86 percent took their husbands' names, with the remaining 6 percent presumably modifying or hyphenating. This figure might have changed to even less in the past two years.

A friend of mine has sworn that he wouldn't marry his girlfriend if she didn't take his name, and even Flip has uttered this notion. It must be a pride thing. Some women opt for the double barrel name, but I don't think that mixing an English and Dutch surname would go down so well, besides, it would be far tooo long. Wait-Van Wyngaardt. Could you imagine?

Now, I am going to take my fiance's name when we marry, but I am considering keeping my surname for professional reasons, and to avoid pure frustration. A lot of people struggle to spell my surname at the moment, and it's just a simple W-A-I-T. Even if I explain it as, yes my surname is Wait, as in wait a minute, people still struggle to comprehend and, when I was still going to events- before deskjob editor came along -  I would find beauties on my name tags - Weight, White, Waite.

How frustrating would it be if I have to explain and spell out Van Wyngaardt a million times?

I also feel like it allows me to keep a bit of my maiden identity, if I keep my maiden name for business only. 

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How do you feel about the name keeping thing? Chuck it, or keep it?

8 comments:

Mrs FF said...

To keep or not to keep? A burning question. I wanted to keep or at least do double barrelled, but my hubby said rather keep than hyphenate. So I took a middle road, I used my maiden name for work and school stuff and socially my married name and after 5 yrs of marriage I made the complete switch to my married name.

While some men don't really care as it's just a name after all, for most it's a thing of pride and ego and I guess if you love someone enough to say I do, then taking up their name is just a pinch of salt (or maybe not)

M said...

I can see the feminist point of view - changing your name is proclaiming yourself to be HIS, just like a car or house or any possession for that matter.

But I plan to take the new surname (bitter sweet since I'm going from goes-with-any-name-Taylor to Grobler), but I'm psyched to do it! Hell yeah, I want to be HIS and I want everyone to know that I got the best Grobler ever!

If your future husband loves you for being your strong, individual self and knowing you might rebel against the name-change, I can't see why you must do it. If it causes too many fights, find a balance with hubby like Mrs FF (who, it seems, discussed this like a grown up)

Although, it must be said I am NOT looking forward to the admin trips. Then again, I'll look at my awesome diamond while waiting in line at home affairs :)

Caley-Jade Rosenberg said...

Such interesting debate Meg...

I am a very traditional person so I was more than happy and excited to take my husbands surname. He is also very traditional and all he wanted was for me to change my surname. A sign that we are now one and I am his (in a protective not obsessive way!)

His sister on the other hand has refused to change her surname - it started for professional reasons and 8 years later, she is still her maiden name.

My main concern for not changing it permanently is - what happens to your children? Whose name do they take? How do they explain different names to their young friends? As a teacher, this comes up often and the little kiddies are none the wiser but they get bullied for it.
x

Britt said...

I've grown up spelling my last name to someone almost daily. I think it would depend on the guy's last name. If it's easy, heck yes I'll change it so I never have to spell it again! Haha. But if it's another 'how do you spell that?' all the time, I would go back and forth. I like the idea of changing it to his though. I always thought there was something exciting about changing your name when you got married, but that might be the little girl inside of me (not literally).

Johlet said...

Interesting post!
Baie waar, ek dink ek sal die hyphenating road gaan eendag! :)
http://johced-ourjourneytoeverywhere.blogspot.com/
xxx

Karen Reid-Mogford said...

It's so true! I did the double barrelled but in reality people call me by my married name more! Same for my little girl. Frustrating!
I think a work name is a great idea...keeps your identity and saves extra confusion....
X

Nicole said...

I decided to keep my last name after we got married which means my husband and I have different last names.

For me, my last name is my identity as much as my face and my voice. It bothered me that men get to be Mr. LastName their whole life and women are expected to be Miss. MaidenName until we are 18 and Ms. MaidenName until we’re married and then Mrs. SomeoneElse. The idea of someone addressing me based no my relationship to another man made me really uncomfortable.

I think, for a long time, I was afraid that if I became Mrs. HusbandsName I would be surrendering that identity of who I was before to become someone else’s wife. That role of “wife” seemed simple and passive. I felt like I NEEDED to hold onto my name to hold on to who I am as a whole person. After I met B. I knew that wouldn’t be the case, I knew I wasn’t, in fact, surrendering my identity, so I started to wonder if changing my name was such a big deal after all.

I completely respect women (and men!) who decide to change their name when they get married. I got hit with a lot of criticism and questions and I address them here: http://www.wordsthatchangedme.com/?p=528

Iptishaam Davids said...

I am newly engaged and def planning to keep my surname or hyphenate it just so that my fiance can keep quiet lol. On the other hand, i am keeping it for heritage. Great blog! New follower!

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