Should you change your last name after your wedding?

should-you-change-your-last-name-after-the-wedding

More and more these days it's more common to hear of a bride who isn't taking her partner's last name. Whether she decides to keep her own last name, or choose to hyphenate, there is a lengthy decision process before she lands on her answer. And maybe you're at the point where you aren't sure what YOU want to do, but skipping the name change is on your mind. If this IS you, I have written a few things for you to consider below. There are some benefits women find in skipping the change, and some minor downsides as well. No matter what, without the influence of anyone around you, it is YOUR DECISION. Let your heart tell you what is right for you.

1. You don't have to update your legal documents

This makes the honeymoon abroad that much easier. The only issues you might run into - document wise - is the potential people will assume your new last name on checks and letters. 

2. If you have a baby, your child will take on your last name rather than your partner's

This could either be a big deal for your growing family, or a non-issue, depending on your own values as couple. 

3. Your decision to change your name says nothing about the state of your relationship

Odds are, you and your partner have discussed in length what other people will assume of you for not taking their last name. But if keeping your name is important to you, and your partner fully supports it, nothing else matters. It does not mean your relationship is unusual, and is more so a sign of love an acceptance if anything. 

4. You will still be addressed by your partner's name

Regardless of if you've skipped out on the name change, you will still more than likely be called by your spouse's last name. It can be a slight annoyance, but it's not hard to correct people. 

5. You can have both names, without the hyphen

If the hyphen is too much work for you, and you're not entirely attached to your middle name, you can make the change to either replace your middle name with your current last name, or your partner's. Getting the name to change legally is the easy part, updating the documents will be where all your time is consumed. If you know you want their name anyways, but are seeking a compromise, this is a great option to consider!

6. You don't have to decide right away

Some women have waited until their anniversaries to make the name change official. It's not an easy decision to make in your 20s or 30s if you aren't 100% sure one way or another. So keep your name. Wait five years and see how you feel. There is no rush. You're still married. Decide based on your social life, your professional life, your married life, and of course your gut. It's easier to go forwards, than forwards and backwards again.