After the wedding, a bride may wonder if if she should change her last name or not. The traditional married couple has the same last name. However, it is perfectly acceptable for a modern day woman to keep her maiden name.
Photograph by: Austin Gros Photography
It is more convenient if a couple has the same last name, especially if you are planning to have children. His last name might be better than yours. If you have a family name such as Zentgraf or Macknovitz, this is your chance to upgrade. It is a simple way you can feel connected to the man you love.
“I absolutely loved changing my name from Macknovitz to Jones because it’s so much easier to write, spell and pronounce,” said Krista Jones, co-founder and editor of Bayside Bride. “In some ways it feels more official. Like the two of us have really started our own little family. I also feel more like a part of his family, his dad, grandparents and siblings all feel like they’re mine too.”
In order to change your last name, you will have to complete four simple steps.
First, get proof! Make sure you obtain a certified marriage license with a raised seal and make sure you get an extra copy. Second, contact the Social Security Administration to set your social security straight. Third, drive to your local Department of Motor Vehicles to get a new driver’s license. Remember to bring your certified marriage license for identification purposes. Finally, let your employer know for payroll purposes, credit card companies, banks, insurance policies, and last but not least you will need a new passport. Keep in mind that you should not do this before the wedding, according to Christi Rogers, owner of Travel Bug, LLC. Your passport name must match the name on your ticket and hotel reservation for your honeymoon.
“One thing to keep in mind is that not everything will change,” said Jones. Your marriage license does not automatically mean your last name is changed. It will take your family and friends some time to adjust. In addition, there are little things that you might have to remember to change such as: usernames, email addresses, domain names and etc. A newlywed should not feel rushed to make the change; it takes time.
If a bride chooses not to change her last name, two of the most common ways to keep your maiden name is to hyphenate or make it your middle name. This allows you to have the best of both worlds.
“I think it’s okay to keep your maiden name especially for professional reasons,” said Shauna Ploeger, photographer and owner of Photography Du Jour. “I couldn’t name my photography business with [my husband’s] last name because it would be too hard to say. That said, I think that taking on a family name is a very nice gesture of unity.”
In a way, a woman might feel as if she is losing her identity by changing her last name, but being married and starting a new life together with your husband means becoming one.
Even Katie Yuen of Kate Yuen Photography said, “I’m really excited to start [my] new life together [with my husband] as one team, sharing one of the most important parts of a person’s being is their name.”