Changing Names Revisited

posted on 25 May 2012 by The Tie The Knot Team
posted to Wedding Tips & Advice


We’ve looked at whether or not you can / should change your name on getting married before. But it’s a good idea to ask your friends to see how their choices have impacted on them. Sometimes asking frank questions helps, and other times you simply need to experience it for yourself.

In places like Montreal, Canada, it’s illegal to change your name on getting married. In Belgium a woman must use her birth name for offical purposes, whilst in Cambodia women retain their maiden name after marriage. That makes things a little challenging; a bit like wearing the shoe on the other foot. In South Africa it’s almost expected that we’ll take our partner’s name – after all, what will we call our children if we have different surnames? (another thorny debate).

The lovely thing about this name-changing fiasco, is that there are various options open to you other than the obvious:

  • You can change your name, experience it for a little while, and then change back again (you can just postpone the paper work)
  • You can decide you’re going to change your name, live with how that feels until just before the wedding, when you then persuade your partner to go hyphenated
  • You can change your name, but be known as Ms not Mrs (that way no one can tell that you’re married)
  • You can NOT change your name, but be known as Mrs (I’ve taken this option)
  • Your darling husband can take your name (don’t think I know anyone who has been this brave)
  • You can change your name, mourn the fact, but stick by your decision
  • You can keep your own name and face another naming issue when it comes to your children (our son goes by my husband’s name and this has presented no problem at all, but then I’m one of several of my generation to do similar)

This is not an easy decision for any one marrying, even if we follow tradition and undergo a name change when getting married, there is a certain loss involved in the process.

Best not to judge those who’ve chosen something different…

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What Do You Think?

  1. 30 Aug 2012
    Kar says

    Can anyone who has changed their surname to their husbands – share what costs were involved?