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Name Change After Marriage Ideas

The Name Game: 5 Different Ways of Changing Your Name After Marriage

Although marrying your true love is a romantic and happy occasion, you'll have a lot of paperwork to catch up on after the big event. And if you're thinking about changing your maiden name or surname to celebrate your new status, there are a lot of factors you need to think about before making the switch. For example, what are you going to change your name to? Here are some examples of the choices you can pick from.

Not changing your name. This is the easiest choice, because you don't have to file a name change. It can make a lot of practical sense to stick with your maiden name or surname — in some countries such as China, it has long been a common practice for women to keep their last names after marriage. You might want to stick to your birth surname for sentimental reasons, preference, because the new last name doesn't fit with your first name, or because it's just more convenient. A lot of women also keep their last names not to hurt career prospects because they either have built a brand around their last name or their name is already well known in their industry. In fact, our friends at LearnVest tallied the true cost of a name change, which is a whopping $500,000. The figure is based on a Netherlands study, which showed that women who keep maiden names earn $1,172 more per month.

Dropping your maiden name. Taking your partner's name is a common tradition and is often seen as a way to embrace the marriage. Another reason for taking your partner's name is to lessen the confusion, especially when it comes to your children. Maybe your first name just sounds better with his or her last name, and you've been wanting to drop the embarrassing birth name combination for years now. The process of changing your name after marriage can be tricky, so make sure if you go this route that you get started early.


Put a hyphen in it. Some believe that the hyphen combination is the best of both worlds — you get to keep your last name and stick to tradition by adding on your partner's name. There can be some issues with this, depending on the length of the last names. Your new name might end up being too long and confusing, but overall this option can make a lot of sense for couples and for their future children if they choose to have them.

Creating a new name entirely. Some couples opt for a whole new name. You can decide on a last name you both love and have both of your names legally changed together. You could also randomly mix up the letters or parts of your last names together and create a new last name, or simply pick a word that has great significance to you. This method of name changing can be both fun and very sentimental for you both!

A mashup. If none of the previous options sounds appealing, you can go the more unique route and mash up both of your names. To have a true mashup, you'll have to take part of his or her name and part of your last name and line them up next to each other. In other words, you can't just take random letters and insert them wherever you like. This might be a hit or miss; the end result may sound refreshingly unique or just bizarre.

— Additional reporting by Emily Co

Image Source: Jake and Necia
Megan3036058 Megan3036058 5 years
#7 change the spelling of yours, or his, last name and you both take it so neither ONE of you has the original name.  Ex: His last name sounds like "Smith" but it's spelled "Smythe" and yours is McLoughlin but sounds like "Mc-Loff-Lin" - take whatever name you both thinks sounds good as a couple (or both of you MAKE A NEW ONE UP!) and change it so it sounds like it's spelled.  -Girl who has a really cool sounding last name, but is impossible to spell.
jadenirvana jadenirvana 6 years
Hey @Lauren-Well it was a mixed bag, so brace yourself. My parents are hippies so they were all for it, but my husband's side was not so amused. My husband is the last male carrying this name BUT I forgot to mention, he did what many women do, and kept his "maid name" as his middle name, and if we have sons, we'll probably give them the maid name as the middle. It was a bit tense but remember, it is SUCH a private and personal decision and completely between you and your husband. Whatever works for you two, needs to work for everyone. Good luck!
lauren lauren 6 years
@jadenirvana I love the idea of taking a new brand new name! Out of curiosity how did your friends and family react? I am debating on doing the same thing.
Kristy-Ellington Kristy-Ellington 6 years
I hyphenated my middle and maiden names. I didn't realize how hard changing my last name would be! I went through some anxiety about losing my "identity," and it's taken me almost a year to officially change it.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
Other than taking your husband's last name outright or keeping your own name, the most common thing I see is two use two last names, but not hyphenated (I've noticed this is especially common among work colleagues). I'm surprised that isn't even listed as an option.
amber512 amber512 6 years
Well thankfully Michaela, you have that option! :)
M-i-c-h-a-e-l-a M-i-c-h-a-e-l-a 6 years
Seems weird to me, to do anything else than take your husbands name...
jadenirvana jadenirvana 6 years
My husband and I both took a new last name together (not a combination of our names, completely new). We chose a Hawaiian word that means "gift." We have Hawaiian ties and we felt this choice would be most symbolic of BOTH of us changing into a new chapter of our life-not the woman changing into the chapter while the man stays the same. It's a life jump for both parties-naming traditions should reflect that, IMO.
Shortiegurl03 Shortiegurl03 6 years
I changed my name. I went from Garcia to Morales so really, whats the difference?!? hahaha =) it was very involved but I like my new name...I feel like its a new chapter in my life (cheesy but true)
Italia_Girl Italia_Girl 6 years
I like my last name and I am over people at the bank giving me dirty looks over not changing it.
amber512 amber512 6 years
I like my last name and have kept it. My husband's and my future children will have both of our last names, although not hyphenated.
runswimmerrun runswimmerrun 6 years
Weird post.
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