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'I regretted it.' 19 women on whether they changed their surname when they married. And why.

When it comes to getting married, there's a lot of questions you’ll usually get asked. 

When is the wedding? What dress will you be wearing? Are you going to take their last name? 

The latter is one that continues to be hotly debated and often sees people fall into two very different camps. 

While some prefer to follow tradition and take their partner’s name, others opt to keep their maiden name to hold onto their sense of identity (and skip out on all the paperwork). 

However, there is of course other options, including hyphenating your partner's name or asking them to take your last name instead. 

Watch: Things people at weddings never say. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia.

The decision to change your last name after getting married was discussed on last week's episode of Mamamia Out LoudHere's how the conversation went down.

"My friends who have gotten married, almost all of them have taken their partner's name," Jessie said on the podcast. "The women I know have been so excited to do it because to them I think it represents family... they see it as a new chapter and a new identity."

While Mia said she sits "very much on the fence", Holly pointed out that having a different surname to your kids isn't as difficult at some people might think. 

"I have a different last name to my children and it is not that hard.They still know that they are my children. I still know that I am their mother."

Whatever the choice, every woman has their own personal reasons to change or leave their surname after getting married.

So we decided to ask the Mamamia community to share what they decided on, and what influenced their decision. 

Here’s what they said.

"I liked his surname better." - Laura.

"I changed my name for a few reasons 1) I liked his surname better, 2) I wanted to have the same surname as my kids when we had them, 3) I loved his family (and him at the time) and loved the idea of being one of them. Fast forward to separation and I kept his name for the first two reasons."

"It was a no brainer for me." - Natalia.

"It was a no brainer for me. I am the last in my line and kept my name. On Facebook it’s double barrel but everywhere else it’s my maiden name. That’s who I am."

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'I changed my name and regretted it.' - Sue.

"I changed my name so I would have the same surname as my kids. And very much regretted it (despite being happily married) - especially when I realised that heaps of mums kept their maiden name. Motherhood changes and takes the old identity enough as it is - the name change amplified the loss to me."

'Nothing can make me get rid of my father's name.' - Meghna.

"I decided to keep my name after marriage. I am an out and out daddy’s girl and nothing can make me get rid of his name! It’s an emotional thing."

"It completed our relationship." - Shannon.

"I love having my husband's surname. I feel it completed our relationship. I would not even consider not changing my name."

'My maiden name is part of my identity and personal brand'. - Elecia.

"I decided to keep my maiden name because it is a part of my identity and personal brand. Also, my first name with his surname would make for an ugly signature, but mostly for the first part!."

"I’d change my name in a heartbeat." - Kristin.

"I think I’m in the minority but if my son's father and I were to marry I’d change my name in a heartbeat - to me it’s about connection. I do not have the same surname as anyone in my family and, although it’s only a name, I think sharing a name is a bond of sorts. Its down to the individual of course; do what works for you."

'I still work under my maiden name.' - Sarah.

"I earned my degree under my maiden name, registered in my profession and still work under my maiden name. In all other aspects of my life I have taken on my husband’s name. I kept my signature the same for both names though so I only have to concentrate on which name I need to print after it - still trips me up occasionally and it’s been nearly six years."

Listen: The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss changing surnames after getting married. Post continues below. 


"Having a different surname is a slight annoyance." - Elle.

"I have to engage with a dozen or more ever changing healthcare providers for my kid and having a different surname is a slight annoyance multiplied by five to six weekly interactions with reception staff. Spelling out both of our names is minor but geez it’d be one small but significant thing taken off my plate. I’ve no intention of changing my name but can totally see how others would feel it’s the best choice for them."

"It was important to me to have the same last name as my children." - Liz.

"I took my husband’s name. It was important to me to have the same last name as my children. For me, it makes me feel like we are unified as a family and I just like having the same name as those who are most important to me." 

"Sometimes it's not about traditionalism or feminism, sometimes it’s about doing something for someone that you love." - Deseri.

"The reason why I have chosen to take my husband's name is because of what it meant to him, rather than what it meant for me. I’ve always had a career where I could fully support myself. I’ve not been financially dependent on anyone so when I married my husband - not being very traditional -  I decided that I didn’t need to take his name. A name to me is just a name. I knew who I was, I didn’t see it as ownership either like I know some people do but I also didn’t see the need to change my name – dealing with the paperwork was enough of an incentive not to.  

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"After speaking to my husband, though he offered to change his name to my name for him, it wasn’t about ownership it was symbolic to him and a sense of belonging.  That was enough for me - clearly it was more important to him than me. I can’t judge what he places his importance on so I happily changed my name for him – sometimes it's not about traditionalism or feminism, sometimes it’s about doing something for someone that you love."

"I kept my surname and always will." - Millie.

"I originally talked my ex-husband into changing his surname. It was one of my conditions of agreeing to marry him.  Alas, he changed his mind months before the wedding. I kept my surname and always will no matter how many marriages I end up having/not having. 1) Why should I change my surname, its such an old tradition and I disagree with it. 2) Men should change their surnames these days. 3) The end of my Carter family line ends with our generation. So my siblings and I are the very last Carters. 4) I like my name. 5) I would hyphen any future kid’s names. 6) I’m also lazy and it all sounds too hard. 7.) Super-super lazy and it all sounds too hard to change it back if I ever had to."

"I love my fiance's last name." - Tamara.

"I'm hyphenating my name when we get married next year. Even though I use my last name in my professional profile as a writer, I love my fiance's last name. So this is a way to have both. And yes, I will impose this on our future children too. Sorry kids."

"Having the same name as my husband makes me feel like I'm part of our own little family." - Isobel.

"It took me a good year and a half after getting married but I changed my name. I always thought I'd be like 100000% change straight away, but it took me a while to separate myself from my old last name, I felt like I was losing a part of myself a little bit? I went ahead with the change because a) I like being part of a 'unit' - having the same name as my husband makes me feel like I'm part of our own little family (even though there's just the two of us) b) I'd want to have the same last name any kids I have in future c) Much easier for travelling when you've got the same name as what the hotel room is booked under (had a few average experiences there)."

"Technically, I have two names." - Rebecca.

"I took my husband's name because why would I not want to be Bex Sonnex? - essentially making me sound like a super hero. My maiden name was Massingham  - or as my bestie called me Moosington - as that's who all my post at uni was addressed to. However, in saying all of this I still have my maiden name on my passport as I didn't know I could change it pre-wedding and we had already booked out one way flights here, so I guess technically I have two names."

"The history nerd in me loves following the path of a surname back through time." - Claire.

"I have spent 20 years creating a career around Claire Murphy so professionally I will always be Claire Murphy but personally I like being part of a family with the same name and the history nerd in me loves following the path of a surname back through time so privately I am Claire Yukich. I also have no middle name so I just shifted Murphy to my middle name and my daughter has the same middle name as me. As far as my husband taking my surname, he would then be taking my father's name so it's not the break from the patriarchy that I think people believe it is. If I take my mother's maiden name, it's also HER father's name so how far back do we go? If we're going to bust up the patriarchy, I feel like there are bigger hills to die on." 

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"I didn’t think at all that I would change it when I got married, but when I met my (now) husband, it just seemed so natural." - Vanessa.

"I LOVED my surname and it was my identity for 36 years. I didn’t think at all that I would change it when I got married, but when I met my (now) husband, it just seemed so natural. It’s truly a personal choice, and for me, in the end it was an easy choice and I feel closer as a family unit with him and now our children because of it. That said, I didn’t have any professional reason to keep my name, which is still quite a big consideration. Go with your gut."

"My husband decided to take my name." - Gianna.

"When I got married... I just couldn’t decide about the name and it was tearing me up inside. We decided not to do anything when we got married. A year later, my husband decided to take my name. Getting married is a big enough thing, you don’t have to decide now what you want your name to be for the rest of your life. You can always change it later."

'I was with my husband for 10 years before we got married, so I wanted to feel 'different' afterwards' - Nicolle.

"I changed my name because I wanted to have the same last name as my children, mainly because I am so interested in ancestry and the history of names so I like the idea of starting a 'new family line'. I was also with my husband for 10 years before we got married, so I wanted to feel 'different' afterwards. The last names are much of a muchness - Meers vs Stuart. It is nicer saying Stuart because people get it straight away.  I don't know if it was to do with the fact I met my husband young and I moved in with him when I was 18, that we felt like our own family so I wasn't particularly tied to my last name. I have a brother though - so there is no added pressure of the name dying out. It felt weird for a few months, but now I find it odd when I see Meers. I really love having the same last name as Hudson (my son) it gives me a thrill. I can't really put my finger on why."

Did you decided to change your surname after marriage? Let us know in the comments below. 

Feature Image: Getty.

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