The Name Game: Should you Change your Name after Marriage

We’ve all heard it: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” While ill-fated surnames spelled disaster for Shakespeare’s tragic lovers, it’s hard to imagine that names still hold that much importance today. After all, it’s just a word…isn’t it? Many people today don’t agree, and they struggle with the idea of changing their surnames after marriage.

For some, it’s the sensation that something is off – you’ve been referring to yourself one way your whole life and changing it now just sounds wrong. For others, it’s that they feel a loss of personal identity – being referred to as “Mrs./Mr. InsertNameHere” instead of your own name can be disconcerting. For some, it’s about equality – why should it be the woman who’s generally expected to change her name? Or maybe it complicates your professional life – if you’ve gotten an advanced degree or have an established career, why should you change your name now?

This may seem like a female-only problem, but that’s not entirely true. While it may not be traditional or even common, there are cases of men who change their last name to their wife’s –a perfectly acceptable option if that’s what you and your partner want. This is obviously also a concern for same-sex couples as well. No matter your gender identity or sexual orientation, your options are the same.

What’s in a name? Well, that depends on you. You can hyphenate your name if you want to keep both; you can use your given name professionally and your married name socially; or you can choose not to change your name at all. Not wanting to change your name doesn’t mean you love your partner any less than someone who doesn’t think twice about it.

The New York Times recently polled a number of married women, and about 20% of them chose to keep their maiden names, while about 10% hyphenated their last names. So, while it may not be the most popular choice, there are plenty of people choosing to keep the name they were born with. However, if you do change your name, you’ll have to remember to notify your bank, the tax office, your healthcare and insurance providers, and change your name on your passport and driver’s licence.

So, what’s in a name? There’s really no right answer to that question in today’s world. A name is what you make it, and whether or not you want to make it yours is completely up to you!

Here at Marry Me Ireland we have a wide variety of exceptional celebrants who can deliver the wedding ceremony of your dreams- traditional, unique or otherwise. So get in touch today and we can start planning your special day!