Skip Nav
Budget Tips
Don't Panic! You CAN Recover From These 5 Major Financial Mistakes
Job Search
How to Stay Positive When Your Job Search Stalls
Budget Tips
4 Ways to Find Out How Much You Need to Save For Retirement

Should I Keep My Maiden Name Professionally But Take My Husband's Name Personally?

Should I Keep My Maiden Name Professionally But Take My Husband's Name Personally?

Even if a woman doesn't get cold feet about getting married, she may experience them when it comes to changing her name. Toying with this decision can be tougher for some than tying the knot, and there's a lot to consider besides the fact that you're giving up the name you've always had.

Depending on where you are in your career, changing your last name can be complicated beyond all of the paperwork. Check out some last-name options when you


A woman who has worked hard to establish her name may consider keeping her maiden name professionally, while taking her husband's name personally. Another option would be to include the maiden name as a middle name (unhyphenated). So, if your name is Jane Doe and your husband's last name is Smith, you would use Jane Doe Smith for your work-related matters.

I've also encountered women who sign "Jane Smith, formerly Doe," until their contacts were used to their new last name. This last option seems more complicated than the others, but the key is that every woman finds a solution she's comfortable with and makes good sense professionally and personally.

What are your thoughts regarding the last name issue?

Check out all of our wedding season coverage at IDoSugar.


Join The Conversation
A-D-D A-D-D 8 years
I'm getting married in 2 weeks and whether or not to assume my husband's name is the only thing that I'm still struggling with. I'd always wanted to keep my maiden name and I'm obviously known professionally known by my maiden name thus far, but somehow I don't think that convenience should be a factor. I don't like hyphenating or having a long name as it's has a very complex, clumsy identity, and I really don't want to be the only one in the whole family without the same last name when we have kids, so I'm leaning towards assuming my husband's name and then putting in brackets (nee maiden name, or formerly maiden name) for the transitional period until my contacts get used to it. However, I'm still undecided.
flameapocalypse flameapocalypse 8 years
I use my Maiden name proffesionally, and my Married name personally. I have had it come to question on plane trips- I had work reserve the ticket in my married name so my driver's license would match. They said that would create an issue on which cost center to bill for my ticket since the name is wrong, so I had them use my Maiden name as a nickname on the travel request. Confusing, but work never came back and questioned it, so it must have worked.
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 9 years
I say do what makes you feel good either way no matter what everyone else thinks of your idea. Personally I would take the middle and last name, that way people would reconize my name and his on my paperwork.
sugsug sugsug 9 years
I can't decide. I'm getting married in two months and have made tons of pro/con lists to try to decide, but I'm not getting anywhere. My name is just cute as it is, but I like the idea of having a family someday where we all have the same name...I have a very memorable name which has been beneficial in my career, but I'm young enough where it'd be ok to change it careerwise...UGH!
BridgetJones BridgetJones 9 years
I am newly engaged and contemplating the name change... I have always, always (since my first feminist thoughts as a tiny girl) been determined to keep my maiden name. This became complicated in college when I really started to dissect my attachment to this name - it did, after all, belong to my father first, and so I have this name in the first place because of patriarchal practices and male dominance. I am very close to my father and that side of the family, so I still feel very attached to this name; however, there are clearly some logical problems in my 'feminist' argument against taking my future husband's last name. He has a lovely last name and a lovely family, but I can't help feeling like I'm giving up some part of who I am if I choose to lose my maiden name. I've considered taking his name as a middle name, but I'm not sure what purpose that serves - I wouldn't use it much and it surely wouldn't assuage any hurt feelings on the part of his family. Tough stuff!
Ryot Ryot 9 years
I switched over to my husband's name as soon as humanly possible, once we got back from our honeymoon. I actually looked into legally changing it *before* the wedding, so that my passport and plane tickets would have my new name, but no dice. Don't get me wrong, I had a great maiden name. I changed my last name because I knew I was about to start working for my dad, managing contractors who didn't know we were related. Having my first initial and my husband's last name as my email address side-stepped any issues about being the boss's daughter until after I had proven myself to them. That was five years ago, and I still work with my dad very often, and it's nice because *I* get to choose when I want to let people know we're related. But then, I was at a transition point in my career at the time, so the switch was beneficial and not detrimental. For women who have credentials or clients with their maiden name, I can understand not wanting to change.
kmckay kmckay 9 years
i kept my name when i got married- everyone is entitled to do what feels best for them. however i can't help but say "are you kidding me?!?!?" to those women who wrote that their bfs said they had to take his name or find someone else. joke or not, that sounds horribly sexist and chauvinistic. are you sure he's the right man for you???
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
After changing my name after I was married, then changing it back when I divorced, I'm never changing my name again! Unfortunately, I have a degree that has my married name on it and I doubt that can be changed. BOO!
ilovecandyfloss ilovecandyfloss 9 years
Wow, this is a huge dilemma. I'm Chinese, and all the women in my family have always kept their surnames for their full names, which is fairly common in Hong Kong, although people will still call you Mrs. Whatever. However, I live in New Zealand, and my fiance is a Kiwi boy. I can't hyphenate cos it just sounds stupid, and I don't want to lose my surname since its such a huge part of me... BUT. I've recently been looking for jobs, and I've found that even though I speak perfect English with NO accent at all, people will look at your name and assume you're a new immigrant. So from that POV, taking his name means less discrimination. Which is very sad....
Heart-Holland Heart-Holland 9 years
I love hyphenated names, so I'll do that unless I dislike the sound of it, in which case I probably won't take his name at all. I refuse to give up my middle name because it's my mother's maiden name and it just sounds great all together because it binds the two sides of my family together.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
you know, i've been thinking about this one and i think that i'll probably keep my name professionaly and then use his personally - it really is just easier sometimes. granted i'm not at such a high level in my career that it matters - i just think that it'll be easier for me. i don't know.
sashak sashak 9 years
I'm not changing my name when i get married in November. I *might* change it later, but I doubt it. my fiance would prefer that I take his name, but its not something he'd push. I don't know what his parents think cause it hasn't really come up, but Iguess they'll have to live with it. If we have kids, they'll have his last name. Simple as that!
redtigerlily8 redtigerlily8 9 years
I'm going to be doing First, Maiden as middle, Married as last for my personal stuff, keep my nickname and maiden as last for professional, and my given middle name will be our first daughter's name. This way, I can keep my hispanic maiden name, which I love, but I don't have to lose my middle name, which is a great one as well.
TheMissus TheMissus 9 years
I think one thing that needs to be considered before you even THINK about changing your last name is the fact that in some states, if you get divorced and want to go back to using your maiden name... YOU HAVE TO SUE TO GET THE RIGHT TO DO SO. And for me, that sealed the deal. I don't need to be be "Mrs. Newman." God forbid, if we ever got divorced, I wouldn't want to have to sue for the right to use the name I was born with. Also, if we ever had kids, they would have his last name. I don't need to have the same last name as my kid in order to know that they are mine. I think changing the last name is silly. And antiquated.
ElizabethRae ElizabethRae 9 years
It was a little hard to give up my last name, but I want to share that with hubby, so I just took the plunge! I've got first, middle from birth, married. I totally dropped my maiden name.
ann418 ann418 9 years
Caroline - my friend who is a teacher changed her name mid-year, and she teaches pre-K. I imagine that wasn't exactly the easiest change! In the school district that I'm teaching in, my mom is really well-known so when I visit a school or interview, people know right away who I am because of our last name (it's fairly unique). I'll definitely be taking the last name of my husband when we get married, so I'm hoping to have a permanent position before then! I'm right there with Katie, where I can't wait for them to not call me "Mrs." But my boyfriend's last name is fairly familiar, so all the kids will think I'm Oprah at the beginning of the school year. That could be good for a few laughs.
heyxu heyxu 9 years
I'm engaged, and we've talked about this. I don't like having to change my last name because I'm the female of the relationship. Honestly, if my fiance was very adamant about me changing my last name to his, I would still refuse. Why do the females have to do it, why do I have to change because we're getting married? My fiance has said he would like it if I changed my last name to his, but I asked him if he would do the same. He says it's weird for him to do it, and I said the same back. I told him that either we both change our last names to a hyphenated combo, like biolabchick, or neither of us change our last names.
biolabchick biolabchick 9 years
I hyphenated my last name, and so did my husband. So we're both First Name-Middle Name-Maiden Name-Husband Name. We got married just as we are establishing our careers, so that's how all my contacts know me. We have not discussed kids, but I think we might just give them his last name. People still screw up our last name (almost everything that isn't official or from our employers has us listed as Mr. and Mrs. Husband's Last Name); I have become used to it.
valancyjane valancyjane 9 years
reena2, I wish more people considered that option. I would have asked my husband to do it (all he wanted was for us to have the same name) but my maiden name is sort of ugly and I didn't want our kids to have the same grief growing up that I did, so ... that kind of settled it. My preference would have been not to change at all, but it meant a lot to him, so I considered it a gift that only I could give him. A very big gift. I know a couple in which he took her last name. Problem is, he's sort of a submissive type and she very much runs the show, so most people consider it kind of a joke. They're not the best poster children.
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
I took my husbands last name and had no problem with it, i wanted to. It just took a while for me to get used to it and when people said Mrs. ---- i would always look around for his mom and then realize they were talking to me. :) But i am glad i changed it.
aanyanka aanyanka 9 years
I had a really hard time deciding whether I should change my name or not. I've been married 1.5 years and still haven't done it. The problem is I want to keep my maiden last name but if I keep it and add his last name then my initials are A.S.S. (and that's just no good). Also my husband wants me to either take his name and drop my maiden name or not take his name at all (he thinks having two lasts names is silly). So I decided to just not change it. I had this name for 30 years before we got married and am not interested to detaching myself from it.
caroline_1 caroline_1 9 years
im going to be a teacher, so if i get married in the middle of a school year, i would keep my maiden name so that i wouldnt confuse the kids... but then the following year i'd take my hubby's name...
When Should You Move in With Your Partner?
Nurse's Viral Picture of Her Employee Badges
Los Angeles Arts District Engagement Photos
Perks of Using a Menstrual Cup
From Our Partners
Latest Career & Finance
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds