Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Whats Your Name Again?


Lately , I have encountered (in real life and online) several engaged women who hesitate taking their future husbands last name. The reasons vary from their professional reputation to family pride and wanting their family name to go on and even simply not liking their future husbands last name.  I was kind of surprised by this since even as a very independent and progressive woman, it never occurred to me that I even had an option of not taking my husbands name.

A name is very important. Its part of who you are and who others perceive you to be. Your name makes you part of a family and no matter how large or small it is, everyone knows you belong because you share that name. Its understandable since you had it since birth, of course it will be difficult to give it up; its part of you identity. Its especially hard for a woman  whose family name will die when she is married. There becomes the extra burden of loyalty to that name and wanting it to continue.

I also see the issue from a feminist standpoint. Why does the female have to take the males name? It does seem like a nod to the notion of women as property. And what about same sex unions? Whose name should they take then?

And how will not taking your husbands last name effect your marriage? Will the husband believe you are fully committed to the relationship if you chose not to take his name? And what about the kids, whose name will they get and will the family really be unified under different last names?

While I don’t judge anyone's decision either way, I have to say that I look forward to taking my future husbands last name. I don’t feel like I will be losing my identity, but instead adding to it as my new role as a wife. As long as the couple agrees, they can do whatever they want.

So what do you think? Does having a different last name than your husband take away from a marriage? Or is it an outdated notion that should be done away with?


  1. This is very interesting! My FI and I decided that we're both going to take each other's last names, so that our new last name will be "my last name his last name." We talked through a lot of options, but this is the one that made the most sense for us. I wrote an entire blog post about it here if you care to take a look:

  2. I think it's a very personal choice...I'm not taking my fiance's but honestly to each their own! :) Congrats on getting married soon!

  3. @The Reluctant Bride- thats a very creative solution!

    @Katherine- I agree it is a very personal choice

  4. Or do the southern thing:

    First Name_Maiden Name_Married Name