There are lots of things to consider when deciding if you will change your name once you are married. There are many pros and cons to doing so too.
Changing your name can be a little bit of hard work, and takes some time, you can’t just do it the day after the wedding. It is a long process and can’t usually be started until around 6 weeks after your wedding, as you have to wait for Births, Deaths and Marriages to process all of the forms. A copy of your marriage certificate also needs to be obtained (unfortunately the one that you get at the wedding can’t be used to change your name anywhere anymore.) Don’t book your honeymoon in your married name either as this can cause all sorts of problems. I’ve blogged previously about how you go about changing your name, you can read it here. Some institutions make it difficult if you want to change your name, it felt like it took me months to change my name on all sorts of official things.
Then there is the part of your name that is you. The you that you have identified with your whole life. There are all sorts of reasons that someone may want to keep their name, your profession or you may have built a reputation on the name that you currently have. Especially if you are an artist or journalist or something along those lines. It may be a reason that you want to keep your name. (Remember there is nothing to stop you changing your name and using your maiden name for just your career.) Some people may want to keep their maiden name because no one else is able to carry on the name. The reasons are endless.
One thing that is tricky is if you have children from a previous relationship, things can become interesting when they are at school or they have friends come over. I remember being called to the office by my mum’s new married name after she was remarried. I also remember people coming to my house and calling my mum by her previous married name. It caused problems when there were documents going home from school and confusion for friends who came over when I had to tell them that her name was different to mine.
I always wanted to have the same name as my kids and I don’t know if having a different surname to my mum for a lot of years has anything to do with that, but I have always thought that having the same surname as the rest of your family was nice. I never really liked the idea of a hyphenated name. I also know of couples where the bride and groom both decided that they would both change their name and start a new family name. Which is something to consider too.
There are so many options when deciding if you want to change your name, again it’s something that only you can decide. What do you think about changing your name? Would you consider hyphenating your name or making up a new family name?