Ah yes, the age old debate of keeping your last name when you get married or taking the new one. Or now the new version is creating a whole new one altogether. Although I’ve heard that’s a lot harder than what Friends lead us to believe. You can’t just become Princess Consuela Banana Hammock all of a sudden (bummer).
Anyway, after I got engaged, as many women can attest, I was asked if I was going to keep my last name or take his. I always thought I would do that when I got married, but when I finally had to make the choice, I paused. I love my last name, it was very unique and a huge part of my identity. It was hard to spell, hard to pronounce, made people think I was Jewish (nope), was so cool people would call me only by my last name, and it was exactly who I was. Since I have a good relationship with my family, it meant even more to have the same last name.
Although if you think about it, this marriage was going to be the start of a new family between the Sailor and I. I knew the Sailor would want me to take his last name (he’s southern and traditional), although he would never make me feel bad about not taking it. It was just hard realizing that my name would no longer be as unique. There were already women with my same first and potential new last name out there, I checked. The other option is to hyphenate. I met kids in high school with hyphenated names and they all rolled right off the tongue. Mine however, would not. With my three syllable last name and his two syllable one, it seemed like a nightmare waiting to happen. And even if I didn’t subject that to our children, I would still be the woman with the longest last name ever that was self-inflicted. So that wasn’t really a good idea.
After thinking about it, I decided to take his last name. It meant something to him, and we were coming together as a couple to create our own little family someday. And it’s still an uncommon last name, not Smith or Johnson. So the only logical thing to do was to drop my middle name and take my maiden name as my new middle. So it would look like:
First Name Maiden Name New Last Name
This decision just felt right with me. It’s what my mother did when she got married and it’s what a lot of my friends have done as well. That way, if anyone asks, I’m still part of my old family, but have become part of a new one as well. And I did like most have on Facebook and put all three up there just in case anyone forgot. I did find out when I went to the social security office that I could have kept all names since they would all fit, but it just seemed excessive.
This is just one girl’s solution to the always prevalent problem of brides. What’s been your maiden name experience? Did you keep it, move it or drop it?