For the purposes of this discussion, let’s say that my fiancé’s name is Homer Simpson.
After my fiancé and I got engaged, we started to plan the wedding. We planned where it would be, who would marry us, what we would eat. We planned our honeymoon, picked our wedding rings, and chose our wedding party. It all came very naturally and we agreed on almost everything.
Then one day I decided whether or not I was going to take my fiancé’s name. It didn’t really seem like much of a decision at the time. I wanted to. I liked his name, I wanted us to have matching last names and I was kind of looking forward to not having to spell out my last name constantly. I decided I would take his name, and moved right onto the next thing on the list.
Then, about a month ago, I thought about it. Like REALLY thought about the implications of changing my last name. If you over think it, like I did, you’ll realize:
Changing your name is weird. It’s your name, you’ve had it since birth. No matter how tired/drunk/sick/otherwise delirious I am, I always remember my name, and now I’m planning on changing it? It’s kinda like changing your birth date. Just strange.
Then I realized that changing my name would be a fun new way to commemorate the start of our married life. After all, nothing else is going to change. We live together, our finances are combined, we have a general idea of where we’re headed in this life time. The only day to day impact our marriage will have on our lives will be the rings on our fingers, and being able to refer to ourselves as the Simpsons (that kinda makes me wish his last name really was Simpson!)
Of course, there are other considerations to take into account, like these:
If I was a little older, and a little more well known in my professional circles, I would definitely think twice about changing my name. If I ran my own business or put my name out there every day in the form of articles or television interviews, changing my name might hinder my career, at least for a little while. Fortunately for me, I’m young, and I haven’t had much of a chance to establish myself yet. Sure, you guys know me, but just as Jordann. Changing my last name shouldn’t affect my blog whatsoever.
I’m not a fan of hyphenating kid’s last names. I know that I wouldn’t want to do that if I ever have a kid. Which probably means, that the kid would end up as a Simpson. If I chose to keep my maiden name and not change it, then my fiancé and our child would have the same last names, and I’d be the odd woman out. I much prefer the idea of having one family name that we can all be unified under. I’m not even sure I want children, but this is definitely something to take into consideration.
There are, of course, other creative options out there. We could both hyphenate, but like I mentioned, I’m not a fan of that idea for aesthetic reasons. We could create a new last name, but all of the combinations we came up with sounded silly. Or, he could take my last name. We discussed this, but ended up deciding against it for a lot of reasons: It’s hard to spell and pronounce, it doesn’t have the same heritage behind it that his name has, and it just didn’t feel right.
So, after giving plenty of thought, I’m happy with my decision to take his last name. I’m not giving up my autonomy, I’m not giving up my identity. I’m not ever going to allow us to be referred to as “Mr. and Mrs. Homer Simpson”. I’m just starting a new chapter in my life, and a new name is a great way to get things started on the right foot.
Did you/would you take your spouse’s last name if you got married? I want to know!