Monday, December 6, 2010


An Odd Blog reader recently sent in a question regarding marriage and the idea of changing your last name.

Before I jump in and tell her how I handled this very question, I'm going to open this one up to fellow readers who may have some insight.

To take his last name, hyphenate, or stay with the maiden name?

Bride-To-Be asked...

I'm currently engaged (to be married 2011) and I started thinking about my last name. Traditionally, the wife takes the husbands last name. However; I am not really what you'd call traditional in any way and am worrying (maybe to much) about the message that taking it really has. I don't really feel that names are all that important..its the people attached to them that matter the most (a rose by any other name..) but its MY name. I feel sort of weird having to give it up. Also.. I want to bring my future children up in a household where men and women are treated equally (a safe-haven from the outside world where that is not the case).

What kind of message would be taking my future husband's name send to my future daughters? Sometimes I think I'm thinking too much about this and my thoughts get all jumbled together.
Its just a name... I guess its just one of those things where I feel like its unfair towards the woman. Why does she have to be the one to give up her name? Who decided that the son is the one who is to carry on family names, you know?
Anyway, I'm not really sure what I'm going to do yet but I'd love some perspective. Will it even matter 20 years down the line?


Briana said...

I think that this day and age it should be the decision of the individual. I changed mine when I got married, (I wasn't too attached to my maiden name) but that was my decision. It seems more and more people these days are going against whats considered "tradtional", so why not do what makes you comfortable. Marriage is about love and promises....not names.

Why not start a new tradition and combine the last names? A few letters of yours and a few of form something that's legible.

Chrissie Williams said...

i've heard of a lot of couples going that route Briana, where they "make up" a last name rather than choose between theirs...

i think like you said, it's an individual decision, everyone is different and some aren't too attached to their last names at all anyway.

of course i'll have a lot more to say when i tackle this one later :)

Lindz said...

I always think it's cute when the couple hyphenates both of their names together, i.e., my aunt Amy Parker married Billy Flinn, and now they are Amy Parker-Flinn and Billy Parker-Flinn.

Now that just begs the question of whose name should go first :)

Anonymous said...

You're going to have to make much bigger sacrifices if you want your marriage to survive than just giving up your last name. Get over it.

Chrissie Williams said...

i think the hyphen is cute too lindz, and i think whichever names sounds better should go first :)

but that only works with short cute names, once you get into 13 plus letters per last name, hyphens don't work quite as well anymore.

and as for anon's comment, i tend to think that some people consider giving up their last name a big sacrifice, and rather than looking at marriage a series of "sacrifices" it might be nice to look at it as a series of "compromises."

of course, what is important to some people won't make sense to everyone... but that doesn't mean it's something to "get over" so much as something to consider/discuss with your partner.

Alea Zubkin said...

That's the fun part of getting married- getting a new married name. But if you are the last of your line or REALLY dislike the sound of your new name, you can always keep yours or hyphenate. Just think about this, even Katy Perry, the singer, wants to change her name to Katy Brand (she married Russel Brand). Try not to think about it as a sexist thing. It's a married thing!