Wedding Edition | What's in a Name?

July 15, 2013

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Hello ♥

For centuries women particularly in the western world have taken the name of their husband when they marry.  Nowadays, many feel that this is an outdated tradition that stemmed from women being regarded as property to be given from their father to their new husband. Completely understandable but, for me, it seems as though you can not choose to take your new husband's name without being considered somewhat anti-feminist.

I consider myself a feminist, just not in a "I won't shave my legs or wear make up" kind of way. I strongly believe that all women are equal to men and should be treated as such. I believe that women are still, in some professions and situations, seen as inferior and that this is unacceptable. I believe that there is still an underlying sexist mindset in our culture even to this very day.  Of course, we have come so far and things are much fairer for women than they were, say, a hundred years ago. So when I take my husband-to-be's last name does that make me anti-feminist as I am buying into a tradition that essentially considered women inferior?

I choose to take my other half's last name when we get married. Choose. It is my choice as it is the choice of women in our society to keep their own name.  I want to take his name for a number of reasons. For me, it cements us as a family, our kids can grow up having one name.  Taking his name is no longer about ownership or dependency but about stating to the world that we are a partnership, that we are united and 100% committed. Also, it does help that his last name is four letters shorter and, therefore, quicker to write!

It is interesting to note that when asked whether he would take my name if I asked him to do so, my other half was hesitant. He was open to the idea if I really wanted him to (I don't. It's all hypothetical) but would rather have a double-barrelled last name.  In my opinion, our names don't go all that well together and I would feel awful subjecting our children, and ourselves, to writing it on every form and letter for years to come. What he did insist though was that I in no way need to take his name unless, of course, I want to.

I think, for him, a lot of this stems from him being the only son. As his sister married and took the name of her husband, he will be the only one to carry on his family's name. Family is important to both of us and so I can understand this deep-seated fondness of the name. Moreover, I think it has been built into our mind sets by the culture that we live in that 9/10 women to take their husbands name. Even as a child I think that I knew it was expected although never a concrete rule.

My parents only had girls therefore should we all marry and take the name of our husbands, there will be no one to carry on my maiden name. I will be honest, this does make me a little sad. I am fiercely proud to have my last name. It is something that ties me to my wonderful parents as my mum took my dad's name some 34 years ago. Changing my name will be done with an ounce of sadness and an ounce of anticipation. I believe that by taking my other half's name it is a declaration of our commitment of spending our life together and that means a lot.

This seems to be a subject that everyone has an opinion on and whatever you choose to do you can't please them all.  To be honest, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. I am all for changing my name but if you want to keep yours then that is a-okay with me. After all, it's the twenty-first century and women now are allowed to have this wonderful thing called choice. 

I choose him. I choose his name.

What are your thoughts on changing your last name when you marry? Is it outdated?  I am sure lots of you, whether married or not, have an opinion on this. Let me know what you think in the comments section.

Until next time!

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  1. I don't think it's outdated. I think it's a lovely thing and it doesn't have anything to do with being your own self. but that's just my opinion! xx

    Nice topic x

  2. wow, this is quite a tough subject

    I am getting married soon and I've been thinking a lot about changing my last name. I have a German surname (I am Polish though), short, easy, 4 letters, and it's easily pronounced by people who speak all different languages

    his surname is Turkish, still short, but contains one letter that sounds differently in all languages and I bet we will have a lot of problems with that in the future if we move to another country; but that's just one part of the problem

    the other one, just like in your case, is the fact that I have a sister and if we both change our surnames there will be no one left in our family to carry it on, which makes me very, very sad, but my fiance is in a similar situation - his sister got married and changed her last name so he is the last one to carry it on.

    part of me wants to choose his surname, because even though I am a feminist too, I like the idea of "belonging" to a man - not as a property, but being "his" in a way (so hard to explain!)

    I think in the end it will be Olga X-Y, I am also thinking about keeping my maiden name, but I don't want to have a different surname than my future kids and husband, I would feel kind of excluded (so stupid, I know, but my brain works this way :) )

    I am still thinking, but it's definitely not an easy decision :)

    1. It's a very personal choice I think. For me, it's a really easy decision but I can understand why it's a difficult decision for you. All I would say is to make sure you make you're own choice whether or not to change your name. Don't worry about what others say :)

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Debi x


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