I’ve always considered myself to be a traditional person. Growing up I always just assumed that I would take my husband’s last name when I got married, and never gave it much thought past that. All the females in my life took their spouse’s last name, so I would naturally do the same.
When Fiance and I started dating I was actually really excited about the prospect of one day taking his last name. This excitement was based on my love for him – but if we are being honest here, I’ve always liked my last name better, and it’s easier to pronounce and spell. Fiance’s last name always gets misspelled.
Once we got engaged I started to feel differently about changing my last name. Suddenly the excitement of changing my last name turned to fear of losing my identity. I had my last name for 27 years of my life, and all of a sudden I was supposed to just give that up. I think part of my fear also came from losing my Dad in the last year – I didn’t want to lose the last name that had connected us (and the rest of my family) too.
I asked Fiance to change his last name. He politely told me no. I asked him to combine our last names. He again told me no. The traditional side of me knew I didn’t want him to change his name either. Fiance also told me it was important for him that I take his last name. I expressed my concerns to a friend who suggested I come up with my own compromise – so in a few short months I will take my fiance’s last name, and the last name I grew up with will become my new middle name. I won’t legally keep my current middle name (which is Kate). I like that name, but I don’t feel the same attachment to it as I do my last name. I also won’t be using all three names when I introduce myself to people (because that’s just a mouthful, and I don’t use my middle name in introductions now).
To put it simply…this September I will become Miss Fairy Old Last Name New Last Name and I couldn’t be happier with this mix of keeping my old identity while remaining traditional and taking Fiancé’s last name. In the end it’s all about what works for you as a couple – Fiance’s cousin and his wife actually made up a new last name together (that had no resemblance to their former last names).
How are you handling the name change? Will you keep your current last name, or will you be changing it? Or will you be doing some combination of the two?