Did you change your name when you got married?

(67 posts)(50 voices)
  1. I can honestly only think of one person who goes by her maiden name (and I never know how to address Christmas cards to them), and she lived previously in New York City. She is a scientist and married later which I'm sure plays a role, but I think it must be much more common in certain regions. I have 4 SIL's and not a single one of them kept their maiden name. Also, most of the people I know got married in their early to mid twenties and it's probably less common for younger women who aren't established in a career to keep their maiden names.

    It's interesting -- so I would say that most of my close friends from work, law school, college or growing up got married in their 30s and basically did what I did -- last name as middle name and used professionally -- or kept their own name. My sister certainly kept her own name.

    I have a few friends who got married in their 20s and for them, it's about half and half. I would also add that, until recently, most of my friends would have proudly called themselves feminists. Of this crowd, most work at least part time, and most live in or in the burbs of large cities -- New York, SF, DC, LA, Philly...

    Now of my new friends, including stay at home moms, I think most took their husband's name -- even though some of them had careers. I am definitely of the school of whatever-works-for-you-and-your-family.....

  2. I never particularly liked my maiden last name (plain and rather common) and so was happy to take DH's last name (unique and easy to mispronounce).

    I also am of the type that thinks that it's great for all members of the family to have the same last name. Having said that, if the tables were switched and my DH had the plain and common last name and I had the unique name, I would probably have kept the maiden name and maybe just added DH's name.

    I do have to say that after I got married and started using my new last name, I felt like I was losing an identity - but I got over it rather quickly.

  3. what will be interesting is when this generation of hyphenated name kids grows to marrying age. when jennifer jones-johnson gets engaged to john smith-patrick is she going to become jennifer jones-johnson-smith patrick?!?!?

    it will be interesting to see if the trend changes in one way or another due to sheer logistics.

  4. I think hyphenating has already had its day -- I don't know anybody personally who hypenated. Kept their own name, yes. Put their original name as their middle name, yes. But I think hyphenating was big a couple decades ago.....

  5. Oh and I also know a few people who chose a completely different last name upon getting married. Not for me, but it was kind of cute. One couple chose the last name of "Loving".

  6. Rachel,

    I'm MN born and raised and married in my 20s (26). My STBX-SIL kept her name when she married my brother, also MN born and raised, married at 23.

    To be fair, most ppl I know do change their names, but just wanted to offer up that it isn't limited to big city folks and ppl marrying older.

  7. Can someone explain to me the spanish tradition re: names. Don't the kids take the mothers name typically? Does the husband? I recently had a Spanish client and didn't want to botch it!

  8. Quote:
    can honestly only think of one person who goes by her maiden name (and I never know how to address Christmas cards to them), and she lived previously in New York City. She is a scientist and married later which I'm sure plays a role, but I think it must be much more common in certain regions. I have 4 SIL's and not a single one of them kept their maiden name. Also, most of the people I know got married in their early to mid twenties and it's probably less common for younger women who aren't established in a career to keep their maiden names.

    Really??? Although, I will sat that none of my friends (except one) kept their own names, but as I said before 4 of my cousins did, I did, and my sister did, and three women I work with did. All of my friends except the one mentioned who didn't change her name, are SAHM. I, as well as my four cousins are all working mom's. Which I didn't realize until now....hmmmm. My sister just married last summer and does not have children yet, but she did not change her name either.

    As far as the Christmas Card thing.....You can address to "The Ross Family" but if she is very adamant abt it, which you would know if she corrects people etc. I would address it like this:
    Mr. Peter Jones and Ms. Sally Smith and family ( if they have kids)
    222 Pine Bluff
    Anywhere, NY 11111

  9. I was surprised a few years ago when a friend of mine took her DH's name. I happened to have a chance to talk to the person who married them -- I think she was a unitarian minister. She told me that about 20% of women keep their names when they marry.

    My half sister changed my name for me on her e-mail list. So the rare e-mails I get from her say fabio DH's last name. WHen I told her I had kept my (our) name, she was very surprised -- even though I married late and have (and had) a professional reputation. She asked what it was like not having the same name as the kids. I was kind of p.o.'d, and just told her that the kids know who their mama is. She was about to get married and said she was keeping her name, and that her kids would have her (our) last name. She's expecting a baby this month, so we will see....

  10. Can someone explain to me the spanish tradition re: names. Don't the kids take the mothers name typically? Does the husband? I recently had a Spanish client and didn't want to botch it!Most Spaniards and Hispanic people I know just use what we most often do in virtually all but quite formal/traditional situations: FIRSTNAME FATHERSSURNAME
    In fact, they use middle/religious names much less often than we do even.

    However, they've all told me that if they were ever to use the super, super formal, super traditional whole thing, it would go in this order:
    FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME RELIGIOUSNAME FATHERSSURNAME MOTHERSSURNAME PATERNALGRANDMOTHERSSURNAME MATERNALGRANDMOTHERSSURNAME
    but the vast majority of people never actually use it. I've only known one person who ever really used it for anything -- and I think she did so just because she thought it was funny -- she told hers to me once 25 years ago, and I still remember the whole thing!

    It's much more common, even in very formal situations, to drop off the GM's surnames, the religious name, and often even the middle name, leaving:
    FIRSTNAME FATHERSSURNAME MOTHERSSURNAME

    And generally, they do not take their spouses' surnames.
    However, the more assimilated second and third generation Hispanic folks living in the U.S. that I know take husband's surnames or hyphenate with about the same frequency that the non-Hispanics I know do.

    Also, in some parts of in Spanish-speaking countries, an old-school method is sometimes still used wherein a wife might often be referred to as e.g. Maria la del Diego (i.e. Diego's Maria/Maria, she of Diego), but such a reference could also be between daughter and father, and either way is not generally as a legal/formal name. Moreover, the same can be done for a man and his mother (e.g. Luis el de la Juliana -- Luis, he of Juliana/Juliana's Luis). It was a way of identifying a person in relation to a well-known relative in areas where surnames (a relatively recent invention in most parts of the world) didn't exist until more recently.

  11. FB i use my maiden name.. IRL I use married name. I do not hyphenate.

    I have a horrible maiden name, and my dad kept promising he would go back to our original family name...um, yeah, he did, a week after I got married.

    Gina

  12. Incidentally, my fundamental inclination has always been not to take a husband's name, or for both of us to hyphenate, depending on how the compound name sounded. However, I certainly would have been willing to take my husband's last name simply because I didn't really like mine.

    But by the time I actually got married, between the fact that all my degrees and publications were in my maiden name, and the fact that his was so often mangled by reservation-takers etc. I decided against it.

  13. Quote:
    Can someone explain to me the spanish tradition re: names. Don't the kids take the mothers name typically? Does the husband? I recently had a Spanish client and didn't want to botch it!

    LA, to add to what SuzyNY wrote, my family was surprised that I gave my kids our last name as their second middle name, since in the Spanish tradition it is Father's LN followed by Mother's LN (so in essence I switched the order b/c the MLN is essentially left off in practical usage, AND since we live in the US no one would know it anyway since it is not legally enshrined here in documents unless it's a middle name). My dad just sent me an email to my kids in which he reversed the order of their names to reflect the proper Spanish tradition--whatever!

    When I was growing up and would get in trouble my mother would rattle off the whole list of my names, down to the paternal and maternal grandparents.

  14. I did not change my name when i got married, nor did any of my friends. (I got married in 1998 at age 27). I think it is uncommon in some circles to change your name, while it is uncommon in others (I guess most) to keep it. I am in the former circle - in addition to my friends, in my office (I'm an attorney), the vast majority of married women have kept their names.

    Anyway - someone asked how to address cards to the whole family. It's not that hard - we just address as "The / family."

  15. I really had a hard time with the idea of changing my name when I got married.

    However, it meant a great deal to my husband that I do change my name. To him, it meant that we were a new family and he had trouble capturing that same feeling if we both had different last names. I didn't necessarily feel the same believing we were family regardless.

    I was already established in my field, held two degrees in my maiden name and felt that my identity was in part my name.

    He heard me out and as important as it was to him, he let it go. For that reason, my wedding gift to him was to change my name.

  16. I'm a hyphen girl for work, licenses, etc, but I took on McNasty's name for all formal records.

  17. I never particularly liked my maiden last name (plain and rather common) and so was happy to take DH's last name (unique and easy to mispronounce).

    Funny...I felt the same way but opposite sides. I didn't love my maiden name (unique and always mispronounced), so I was happy to take dh's last name (plain and rather common). To each their own...I just always hated it being butchered. Even my h.s. graduation they mispronounced it! (and I won a bunch of awards--so mispronounced several times!)

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