What’s in a name? Did you change it after marriage?

So, here’s a question for you married women: did you change your surname after getting wed?

I didn’t. Oh, and I did.

wedding ring

Image courtesy of Master isolated images/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve been married for a number of years, but before I walked down the aisle had always felt uncomfortable that I was expected to change my surname (from the older generations in my family, principally, but some parts of “society”).

So, once the confetti had been washed out of my hair and the Mr and Mrs congratulations cards had been packed away, nothing really changed, name-wise.

I kept my birth name and use it most of the time, but I also use my married name when it suits me (rarely, as it happens, but I’m sure it appeases my mum).

Call me by my married name and it doesn’t feel like you are talking to me. I’ve been known to be in the doctor’s surgery while my married name is called out and just sitting there, waiting for “Howarth” to reach my ears, and jumping up when I realise he actually means me.

I’ve tried to double-barrel it, but Howarth sounds a bit prim with another name and it also sounds as if I’m trying to be a bit posh.

It’s caused confusion when my husband and I have gone out for a meal and I can’t remember the name the booking has been made in; it’s also caused confusion when I’ve had to apply for CRBs because Birmingham City Council couldn’t understand why I would have *two* surnames.

My husband actually couldn’t give two hoots that I use my birth name. He has been addressed as “Mr Howarth” numerous times – particularly when we went on press trips. It irked him occasionally, but he was generally relaxed about having a different surname attributed to him if it meant he was able to enjoy a weekend in a five-star hotel that I was reviewing for work.

Changing one’s name has its roots in them there olden days, when women had to give up their rights to own property and essentially “belonged” to their husband and his family, therefore assuming no identity of their own.

Times have obviously moved on in many cultures, but some women feel that this ancient legacy is perpetuated if they change their name. For others, it might be as simple as the fact that they don’t like their husband’s last name or the change would give rise to an embarrassing set of initials.

There’s no right or wrong: you do what you want to do, of course.

However, I find it fascinating that young women today want to change their names when they get married.

So, tell me: why did you (or didn’t you) change your name? Or did you not even give it a thought?

(Thanks to bride-to-be Kate Hughes for this blog post topic after she tweeted today that she’s looking forward to changing her name to Reynolds so she isn’t mistaken for similarly named Playboy model! Hope you and your fiancé have an AMAZING day and a long and happy married life.)


Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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