weddings

'When I get married, this is what my name will be. Should I change it?'

When it comes to getting married, there are so many traditions to consider – will you be wearing white? Will you don something “old, new, borrowed, and blue”? Will you get married in a church? And will you take your husband’s surname?

Of course, the long tradition is for women to take her husband’s surname. It wasn’t even really a question to consider until recent years and we’ve seen a growing number of women eschewing custom to keep their maiden names.

Other couples opt for the double-barrel last name. And there have even been men who decide to gasp take their wives’ surnames. (We know this because it always tends to spark headlines as it’s news apparently?)

Look, it’s a decision for each couple to make. There are no wrong answers as every couple has their own factors to consider.

For me personally, I hate my last name (it looks like a typo and always get auto-corrected). I’ve spent too much of my life being called “Melody The”. Yeah, “The” isn’t my surname but you can see how it happens.

So even though I have mixed feelings about getting married/taking a husband’s surname and the tiny unimportant fact that’s I’m not even engaged yet, I’ve already decided I will definitely be taking my future husband’s surname. Whatever it is.

But one bride-to-be is facing a conundrum I’ve never considered before. You see, her fiance’s last name just happens to be her first name…

Yep, so if she were to take her fiance’s surname when married her legal name would be “Shannon Shannon”.

Taking to wedding forum Weddingbee, Shannon asked for help about her awkward name dilemma.

“My first name (Shannon) is my fiance’s last name,” she explained.

“We have dated for nine years and will be getting married next year, so I guess I need to finally face the decision of what I will do.

“Honestly it never bothered me even when people made jokes. His last name didn’t matter to me because I love him.”

Shannon said she’s considering whether to keep her maiden name, go for a double-barrelled surname, or even going by her middle name.

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“Others have suggested changing my first name or going by my middle name, but I couldn’t imagine being called by another name and I like my first name,” she wrote.

Although the most obvious option to the commenters was for Shannon to simply keep her maiden name, she said that while she’s not against keeping her last name, she “would like to have the same last name as my future children”.

She ended her post with a plea: “Has anyone else been in this situation? Also would love some thoughts on how to navigate this in the ceremony. Is it OK for them to announce my name then his followed by our last?”

Shannon was inundated with advice about her unique situation. Some advised her to keep her own last name, others said for the couple to make up a new surname. and a few even said they loved the idea of double name.

“I don’t personally see a problem with being ‘Shannon Shannon’ – I think it’s kinda cool and would jump at it,” one user shared.

Another joked that the bride-to-be should start introducing herself as “Shannon²”.

One commenter suggested: “This is your opportunity to become like Cher or Madonna… just be Shannon! On a serious note.. I would keep my maiden name.. or if he wants to switch to your last name that is cool too.”

The overwhelming consensus was for Shannon to ask fiance Mr Shannon if he’d be open to taking her last name.

Shannon replied that she would put the idea to him, but also seemed to be warming to the idea of Shannon Shannon.

“A salesperson at our cell phone carrier once said I could be the next Duran Duran. It’s definitely a good icebreaker to bring up!” she wrote.

What would you do in this situation? Let us know in the comments. 

Planning a wedding? You can listen to every episode of Mamamia’s wedding planning podcast here.

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