There’s just over a month to go until Stephen and I tie the knot and almost everything for the big day is sorted. However, there is still one issue that I’m completely undecided on. Should I keep my maiden name once I’m married? I seem to keep going back and forth on whether or not I want to keep my current surname or take my husband’s.
So I thought I’d do some thinking out loud, here on my blog, in order to help make a decision. I’m going to list the pros and the cons for changing my name and see if I feel any clearer at the end of it.
And before anyone suggests it, a double-barrel name is out of the question – honestly, it would sound ridiculous.
Should I keep my maiden name – the pros and cons:
Con: It doesn’t sound right
It’s not that I don’t like Stephen’s surname, in fact it’s far more unusual than mine (my surname is Richards). Until I met Stephen, I’d never even heard of his surname before. I do like that it’s a bit different. BUT when I put it together with my name it just doesn’t sound right. Does that even matter? I mean, it didn’t stop Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, did it?!
Pro: We’d all have the same name
I think this will probably be one of the main factors in making my final decision. Jasmine has Stephen’s surname and I do think it would be quite nice for us to all share the same name as a family. From a practical point of view, I never want to be in a situation where I have to prove my daughter is mine because we don’t have the same surname, when travelling through an airport, for example. I know people who have experienced this kind of hassle first hand and recently one of my favourite bloggers, Charlotte, wrote a very moving post about such an experience. (You can read that post here.)
Con: I don’t like paperwork
I’ll be honest, I am extremely lazy when it comes to paperwork – I can’t stand filling out forms. The thought of having to change my bank details, passport and driving license, plus countless of online account details etc. fills me with dread.
Pro: I feel like a new name could give me a fresh start
Sometimes life presents you with opportunities to wipe the slate clean and start again. Opportunities such as starting a new job or moving to a new area. You can reinvent yourself a little. I feel the same way about a name change – perhaps Mrs Jenna L***** will be a bit more sassy (I just giggled at the idea of me being ‘sassy’) or a tad more confident. Or… maybe I’m just talking out of my arse. And I’ll be the same old me… with a different name.
Pro: The feminist in me wants me to keep my name
I can recall my much younger self (we’re talking 7 or 8 years old) saying that I would keep my surname when I got married (although I did think that I’d have to marry a man with the same surname to do that). Obviously, now I know that I can indeed keep my own name or change it to something completely different if that’s what I want. Part of me thinks “Why should I?”. Why should I be the one who has to change my name. I’ve been Jenna Richards for almost 28 years – do I really have to take a man’s name just because I’m marrying him? Is it really that important in this day and age? I don’t believe it is and I don’t believe I should (nor does Stephen by the way).
Pro: I don’t have to make a decision right now
I can, of course, change my name at any point in the future – it doesn’t need to be as soon as we’re married. I can think about it a little longer and decide how much it bothers me that I’m the odd one out or even if it bothers me at all.
From looking over the above points, it would seem I’m leaning towards keeping my name (at least, for the immediate future anyway) but I would love to hear your thoughts!
What do you think, should I keep my maiden name?
Did you/would you keep your name or change it? Why?