Our last name. We’ve had it our whole lives and then one day…BOOM, just like that we are expected to change it. We fall in love and we begin to create a list of dreams where we would like to live, how many kids we want to have and how we envision our lives to be. So many changes are about to happen, so we have to lose our last name too? Truth be told…we don’t. But truth also be told, we can if we want to.
Decades ago, it wasn’t really an option to keep our maiden name. Women who did (in the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s) were considered radical feminists. Why WOULDN’T you want to take on your husband’s name- what is wrong with you? Well, just as everything else has progressed so has the idea of our last names. There is no reason to worry and stress about what is the best last name to have and whether you chose to hyphenate your name or keep your maiden name…society will accept it.
There really isn’t a wrong way, I promise you! I legally changed my middle name to be my maiden name so there was documented proof that my family exists in the states- my parents are immigrants who moved here for a better life, but with three girls our family name didn’t have much of a chance to live on. So, one of my sisters and I changed our middles names to include our maiden name. Granted, I have four names on my drivers license (one first, two middle and a last) but this arrangement made all parties happy but most importantly, it made me happy.
So, if you do decide to change your last name (even in the slightest), here’s what you should know:
~Have an official copy of your marriage license ready to go! This will show your new last name (hyphenated or however you chose) as well as your current last name.
~ Make sure you change your social security card! This is THE official document that every government agency will use so make sure you change this first. Your number won’t change, but you will be issued a new card with your new last name on it. Start with this link :http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber/ss5.htm
~ Make sure you change your drivers license too! You will need all the documents listed above as well as your old drivers license to change your name. Again, this is an important one because for most of us, THIS is our picture ID.
~Don’t forget the banks and make sure to bring all documentation listed above.
~Make sure you change it anywhere else your name appears- employment forms, schools, post office, etc.
Whether you decide to change your last name, hyphenate it or keep the last name you were born with, the decision really is yours and your husbands. There is no wrong way, just be comfortable with your choice.
Have you decided to keep your maiden name or change it or did you go a whole different route?
Email me and let me know!
As always, if you any questions or comments, email me at