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Should A Bride Change Her Name?

Should a bride take her husband's last name or keep her maiden name?

There are many reasons that taking the spouse's name has been such a long-standing tradition, but there can also be some benefits to keeping your maiden name. Here we explore the issue from all sides so you can make an informed decision.

Reasons To Take His Name

Man wearing light tan suit holding out a pink ring box with two wedding bands insideTradition

For the most part, it's still expected that a bride will change her name. Those who do otherwise are considered to be "going against the grain." If you go with the flow, no one raises any questions and there will be no explaining to do. You may even get personalized wedding gifts for the Mr. & Mrs.!

The Two Shall Become One

Many brides consider taking their husband's name to be symbolic of their joining together in holy matrimony, til death do they part. Not taking it can be seen as a disconnect or level of separateness.

He Would Be Honored

Many guys dream of marrying a woman who will one day take his name. This can be very important to your future husband, so if you are on the fence about this issue, try discussing it with him first.

One Family

Having the same last name makes it easier to label your mailbox, personalize a blanket, record an answering machine message, order mailing labels, make reservations and many other small things traditional families share.

Think Of The Children

Taking your husband's name means that if you have children together, there will be no discussion as to which last name will be written on the birth certificate and no questions later on in life.

Reasons To Keep Your Maiden Name

Family Legacy

If you are an only child or have no brothers to carry on the family name, you might want to consider keeping your maiden name to keep the family legacy alive.

Your Career

You may want to keep your maiden name for business purposes. Career-minded women often find it difficult to go through a name change. If your clients and coworkers have been dealing with you by your maiden name for a long time, it may cause confusion if you take his name.

Why Should You?

Some women view it as a sign of inferiority to take their husband's last name. Some feel they would rather keep their individuality. Others don't want to go through the hassle and paperwork it entails. Keep in mind, a name is just a name, and there's no one who can tell you that you have to change it.

His Doesn't Flow

Maybe it doesn't sound right with your first name. Maybe you would have a difficult time trying to sign it. Maybe it's an altogether ugly last name! Let's face it, your parents chose your first name to flow with your last name. Sometimes it's best to stick with what you were born with.

Think Of The Children

If this is your second marriage or you have children with your current last name, you may want to hold on to that name to avoid any possible confusion or questions.

Creative Alternatives

Close up of bride and groom holding a bouquet of white flowersMaiden To Middle

Many brides opt to drop their middle name and replace it with their maiden name. If you do this, you get the best of both worlds! You can still take his name without giving up your own.

Ask Him To Take Yours

It's true: many husbands aren't emotionally attached to their own last name and would be willing to take their new bride's maiden name instead. You may want to discuss this with your future spouse.

Think Of The Children

Your maiden name may work as a unique first or middle name for one of your children. This is a great way to ensure your family name lives on even if you decide to drop it for his. If you are sad about giving up your name, ask your husband how he feels about this alternative.

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