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Last Name wobbles -help

Hi all,

On Saturday we have Marriage Preparation at the Church. I remember 6months ago when the vicar came over I mentioned not being sure about changing my surname, we all laughed it off but it's a feeling that still lingers. The vicar had told me that I wouldn't need to decide until Marriage Prep. 

Over the months I came to the conclusion I would be fine taking the name, after all it's a name. But with Saturday looming I can't help but feel undecided.  


My other half said he'd happily have a double barrelled name. I suppose I just feel like I belong to my name, it's been with me my whole life & even though we've been together 8 years I still don't feel overly 'part' of his family. I don't want a family name I don't feel a belonging/part of. 

I'm probably just being silly but has anyone else had these Surname wobbles? I guess it will be alright on the night but once it's done I can't change it. Perhaps I should blog it out.



also over at (my planning wedding blog)




  • JodielouJodielou Posts: 4,058

    Why do you have to decide by Saturday?

    Even on the wedding day itself, you sign the marriage certificate in your maiden name. Taking your husband's name is something you can choose to do (or not) afterwards... anyone can change their name, it's just that getting married means you don't have to do so via deed poll (you have an automatic entitlement if you like) and just need to send copies of your marriage certificate as evidence to the relevant parties.

    Surely there's no difference between civil and church weddings in that respect as it's a legal thing, no?

    I got married almost a year ago and couldn't decide whether I wanted to take my husband's name or not... so, for now, I've decided to 'officially' stick with my maiden name, but I do go by Mrs J 'unofficially' if that makes sense?! I will probably change it if we ever have child(ren) as it would be our family name then...

  • laurapjlaurapj Posts: 726

    I'm sure it's very common to feel this way. Doesn't help that it's a total pain in the backside to change your name on absolutely everything.

    Do the names work together as double barrelled? My OH's legal name is double barrelled and that's how it appears in his birth certificate/passport etc, but day to day he only uses the second half and this is how people know him and how it appears on bank cards/car insurance/PAYE etc. a lot of our  friends don't know his full name. This will be the case for me when we get married (although I actually quite like the full name!)

    Could you so something like that so it offers you flexibility? I have a friend who kept her name, he kept his and now they are having a baby who will have the double barrelled name! There is no 'right' way to do it, it's whatever you feel comfortable with. Some people feel very attached to their name, others really don't care.

  • TadpoleTadpole Posts: 2,134 New bride

    Hi there, I've also had some wobbles on this issue but with 4 months to go I've made the decision and I am taking OH surname - no double barrels or anything even though it would have been quite a nice double barrel. Just for background, I currently have a first name which is notoriously misspelt and am about to embark on a life with a surname that is notoriously misspelt too!

    My reason is that we are spending our lives together and I want us to be a family unit from the outset - and think that will cement further if we are lucky enough to have wee ones. Having a different surname will not change who I am or any part of my character or personality but it does cement us as a wee family. Know it is not for everyone and I will admit to having a complete change of heart on this issue as I read threads on this issue after we first got engaged and scoffed at girls stating what I have just said but it is now the way I feel.


  • Karis MKaris M Posts: 51

    Thanks guys, I didn't know about the change oc surname thing afterwards, I think the vicar just wanted to know for formalities (he likes to be organised) I guess I'll find out Saturday.  I'm sure it is common to feel like this. Our names do work as a double barrel he has said he'd keep his for professional use.


    I suppose it doesn't matter really and I'd get use to it over time. Thanks for the support though and it's good to hear about others not changing their name legally.  Thanks image 

  • Karis MKaris M Posts: 51

    @Toad Bride 3 months to go how exciting!  thanks for your words, I suppose the only thing that makes me feel uneasy about it is the not feeling overly accepted in his family circles 8 years down the road; it can just be very dry, a complete contrast to how he has settled into my family. 

    K x 

  • Karis MKaris M Posts: 51

    Thanks guys, I didn't know about the change oc surname thing afterwards, I think the vicar just wanted to know for formalities (he likes to be organised) I guess I'll find out Saturday.  I'm sure it is common to feel like this. Our names do work as a double barrel he has said he'd keep his for professional use.


    I suppose it doesn't matter really and I'd get use to it over time. Thanks for the support though and it's good to hear about others not changing their name legally.  Thanks image 

  • TadpoleTadpole Posts: 2,134 New bride

    No problem Karis - it is a difficult subject and one I have had a lot of soul searching on but to be honest - feeling a lot happier now the decision is made! I honestly think that families are the most personal thing ever and trying to be part of someone elses family is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole so try not to worry too much about that - it'll come naturally. Best of luck with your wedding - whatever you decide! Here I might be back here a month after my wedding bemoaning my new surname and the associated hassle of it! xx

  • thanks for this post! i have been having a little wobble too, just for the same reasons, that i dont feel part of the in laws family, despite trying really hard to create a relationship.

    but then i do feel that for the sake of us starting our own family it is important to have the same name ( just my opinion )

    its been good to read everyones opinions.

  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    I have always known I would keep my surname. It is Arabic and although I've always lived in the UK, it gives me some tie to my heritage and it's very different. I love having a surname that people ask me about and sounds a bit foreign.

    H2B has always known and so we thought we would have separate names when we got married. However he felt it was important to have the same name so he is taking my surname. It was the most romantic thing he could have ever done.

    I really think you have to be sure as it's a hard thing to go back on once you've done it. If you're wobbling over it then you must need a good old think about it but listen to your heart.

  • BexgreenBexgreen Posts: 505
    I will always be part of my family but by marrying someone and taking their name shows the commitment you have made to that person plus as another poster has said if ever have kids then i want us all to have the same surname.

    However, my new surname is going to be a nightmare because i will need to spell it all the time x
  • moonpiemoonpie Posts: 166

    Kitten2, that's lovely! I would love to be in your position! I'm similar in that I am from an Italian family from a really small town in Italy. There is only one other family in the UK with our surname and my siblings and I are the last from my own line that could possibily have children and pass the name on.

    I have always known that I would keep my surname. My partner knows and understands this although when we first got engaged and I said about it he was quite hurt that I wouldn't even consider taking his name. He is very close to his family and is worried that they will be insulted by me not taking his name so there is no question of him taking mine. We are only now just starting to talk about the possibility of going double-barrelled so will see how it goes with that. Secretly I would love for him to take mine although I know that I can't expect that from him when I'm not prepared to take his.

  • kitten2kitten2 Posts: 2,240

    My H2Bs mum and dad were not impressed in the slightest and it caused a massive argument but H2B put his foot down (the first time ever) and told them that he wanted to do it and they couldn't change his mind. I would never have asked him to take my name because like you chicat I couldn't expect him to when I wouldn't take his but he came up with him by himself and I am so excited that we'll have the same surname. We don't even want children so it's not even as though we'll be passing it on.

  • MrsG23MrsG23 Posts: 231

    Some men arent so fussed about changing names and so on... My OH however was really put out when I (jokingly) said I wouldnt change my name. Luckily his last name is Gentle so I will then formally be known as Sister Gentle (as I am a nurse) so its cute and I love it... although I dont feel a massive part of his family, he is my family. x

  • MrsTaylorMrsTaylor Posts: 500

    I am having HUGE wobbles over taking h2b's name.

    I want to because I want a married name, to be a Mrs, to be united, for when we have children etc...

    But me and his family don't get on at all, and my surname now is unusual and it feels part of my identity! I can't comprehend changing my name, it just Taylor will never feel like my 'real' surname if that makes sense?

    As a teaching assistant my surname is used every single day, so it feels like a bigger deal now than it used to! Plus my surname will die out unless my brother has children image

  • Jenny88Jenny88 Posts: 33

    It will feel quite sad giving up my surname but it will be exciting to have share my husbands after the wedding...we will be family image  I decided to take his name as I want to have the same surname as my children when I have them.  Even though his surname is Asian and people will look at me funny!  Haha I'm not overly close to his family but I don't see taking his name as becoming a part of their family...I just see it as starting our own!  

    It is a huge decision so do whatever you feel comfortable with!  Maybe see what your parents/family/close friends think if you are still unsure! xx

  • I was adamant I wasn't changing my name! However, after realising how upset Mr Barbados was, relented and agreed to go double-barrel. I didn't really want to change it at work as I am a 'contact' type person working in marketing and PR and spend a lot of wasted time looking for people (ladies) who have married and changed names (very frustrating) plus, it was my name!!!! I should point out, he hasn't changed his and doesn't want to (he's a firefighter so understand that double barell doesn't work well on radio etc and to be honest, I'm not bothered either way...)

    However, once I got married and done the deed poll I thought 'in for a penny in for a pound' and changed everything (well, except NHS as that is just difficult and I am moving so haven't bothered yet with that or Passport or Driving Licence).

    Since November, I have been called allsorts from my maiden name, his name and my new name and everything inbetween - for hotel bookings, it is easier to just use his name (although last weekend we went away and were called Mr & Mrs double-barrel! HE HE HE) and it can get confusing using different permitations (hence my decision to just go double-barrelled across the board)

    It is only a name, however, I am glad I kept mine and compromised... For the record, although my email and signature has changed at work, everyone still refers to me as just my maiden name (although they know I am married and officially there is an added bit!).

    Talk it through with H2B - mine actually said a few weeks ago (after me having a tantrum about the amount of time and cost it has taken to change - real PAIN!) that he was really touched I had taken it.

    PS - The dog is double barrelled now too so I guess I win! image

  • MrsMc9814MrsMc9814 Posts: 422

    I'm 100% changing my name, it's never been a question in my mind! My name isn't changing that much anyway, I'll still be a Mc! image

    It's definitely one of those personal decisions though, and I think you should do what feels right to you... Don;t worry about what anyone else says - as long as you and your h2b are happy with it that's the main thing! xx

  • J14J14 Posts: 121

    I'm struggling with this one too.  I have always liked my surname and after my father died it became much more important to me.  I have a strange sense that I'm losing my history. I dont have a issue with my partners surname (even though his ex wife has the same first name as me making me the second!).  I know two people who kept their maiden name initially but said it just got too complicated so they ended up taking their husbands name anyway.  My other half wouldnt want to take on a double barrelled name i'm sure, and I dont think I would either, he realy doesnt mind which name I have and we will not be having children together so theres no complication there but when we go away now or stay somewhere and we have different names I feel like we are not a 'proper' couple although we've been together for a long time.  I'm feeling quite torn.

  • Lynsey ShawLynsey Shaw Posts: 517

    Like you I am not sure at the moment.  The problem I have is that I am planning to be an academic historian.  If I publish before October with my maiden name, it will follow me around for the rest of my career.  I was thinking of moving the Shaw to a middle name, rather than double-barrelling because Dr Shaw-Cobden sounds stupid lol.  Plus there are no boys left in the family to continue the name on.  All of my children will have Shaw in their name somewhere.  

  • J14J14 Posts: 121

     Lynsey we actually have the same surname! I understand about carrying on the family name as my siblings have no boys and my partner and I wont be having any children as he has two older children already and we are no spring chickens anymore!  When I was thinking about having children in the past I was definitely going to include Shaw in their names so i think thats a good idea and I have been thinking of using Shaw as a middle name too and perhaps dropping my middle name altogether (though my mother wouldnt like that as that was the name she wanted as my first name but my dad won that discussion!).  I am definitely going to keep it in my name somewhere. The career is a difficult one, could you publish under what will be your married name or is that not legal? 

  • sooz84sooz84 Posts: 378

    I'm a bit sad about losing my last name as it's a little unusual and people ask where it's from etc. What I won't miss is no one being able to pronounce it or spell it!! I'm sure everyone can spell Middleton, it'll make my life so much easier ha ha!

  • Lynsey ShawLynsey Shaw Posts: 517
    Jules250714 wrote (see)

     ...The career is a difficult one, could you publish under what will be your married name or is that not legal? 

    I don't have a definitive answer for that one.  I have a few friends that are lawyers - I'll ask them.  

  • I am also yet to make a decision on this for two reasons. The first is I'm in medical research and don't want to change my name after I've published papers. The second is my husband to be has a very (possibly the most common in Wales) surname and mine is unusual. The problem is my h2b doesn't really want to double barrel or change his name because he's also in research and has published quite a few papers, as well as being very traditional. I have no idea what we'll do but i want it to be a decision we're both happy with. I think I'll decide after the wedding, as I'm sure planning will be stressful enough!

  • MrsKGMrsKG Posts: 403

    I decided to take my husband's name even though I'm a journalist and it will mean my byline changing forever more. I have had some family problems recently but his family have been ace and made me feel so welcome. Also, I wanted us to start our own family and be a unit together. At the end of the day you're swapping one man's name (your dad's) for your husband's name so the bit about losing identity doesn't really bother me - I don't change in myself just because my name does! However it is a bit weird (but also lovely!) getting used to my new name, although I could do without the headache of having to send our marriage certificate everywhere to change it. Admin nightmare...

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