'My fiancé and I couldn't decide what to do about surnames after we marry. So we're 'name blending'.

Taking your husband's name.

Keeping your last name.

Hyphenating but only for the woman. 

Both hyphenating. 

When getting married, these are the main options you have when deciding what to do with your surname. But nothing seemed quite right for me and my fiancé, so we have decided to combine our last names (Evernden and Gillman) to create the entirely new name: Everman!

We will sound like superheroes. Or a battery company. Either way, we are stoked.

This idea is underutilised, but it is by no means new. It's referred to as 'name blending' and is considered an alternative custom intended to assign equal value to each partner's surname. It's also starting to pick up steam in same-sex marriages where there are no time-honoured traditions regarding the taking of one partner's name by the other. And I assume it's what the song 2 Become 1 by the Spice Girls is about, right? Right??

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Video via Mamamia.

One issue we considered when making this important decision is when it comes to having kids. If you both have different surnames, what surname will your children have? If your kids have your hyphenated surname, what will they do if they get married? How many hyphens is too many? In 3023 the world may be run by a bunch of people with names like Sarah Smith-Edwards-Rodrigo-Dousset-Chard-Hanks-Connell-Arazny the Third.


I don't know about you guys, but this feels like an actual issue that needs to be ironed out in society. As the concept of women automatically taking their husband's last name is dying out, the future ramifications and solutions need to be considered.

That being said, my fiancé Myles and I are very lucky our surnames happened to meld together seamlessly. This option unfortunately wouldn't work for everyone. Sometimes it could be cute but weird, like if Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Pacino got married their combined surname would be Dicappacino. Or sometimes it could be a disaster like if Stuart Little grew up to marry Alfred Hitchcock their last name would be... well... you know.

We did grapple with the decision and took it very seriously, and there were a couple of issues we had to iron out before feeling confident in our choice:

Issue #1: Tradition.

The idea to name blend was actually my fiancé's, and despite being forward-thinking "modern man", he still had to wrap his mind around the fact his last name would be changing. It simply wasn't something that he remotely considered in his life, due to being a straight man and not having any other option on the table. So as the time got closer to decide, there was some hesitation. This is completely normal to feel, and after talking it through and taking some time to consider, he became sure of the decision to become a Deluxe Combo with me.

Issue #2: Telling our parents.

We discussed it with each of our parents, who being somewhat traditional did take issue with it. Which, to be honest, is totally understandable. It is an "odd" thing to do and family names and trees are a big deal. But after talking them through the reasons and being steadfast in our choice, they all came around and are supportive. Some people may not be so lucky in this regard, so it is something to consider when deciding to name blend. But at the end of the day, it is you who has to live with your name, and you should do what feels right for you.


Issue #3: Logistics.

While feeling overwhelming at first, logistically it isn't so bad. In Australia, one of you must change your name legally before the marriage, so the other can change their name the regular way afterwards. It's surprisingly easy to change your name and the process, while a bit cumbersome, is straightforward. Initially Myles was bummed out he'd have to go through all the legal paperwork and I.D. changes which I very kindly and definitely not passive-aggressively pointed out that I would have to do that no matter what and women have had to do that since, well, forever.

Ultimately, the reason we combined our last names was because it felt like we were genuinely uniting, on even playing ground, a team in the truest sense of the word. No one had to "concede", we came to the decision together and it just feels right. And we are so freakin' excited to get married! Plus, I now have the esteemed honour of starting a new lineage. Hell, why not go all out? We could design a family crest. Hang banners from our (non-existent) entrance hall with "House of Everman" emblazoned upon it. Have an elephant sized painting of me, my husband and our children sitting on a wing backed couch and staring mournfully outward for some reason. Introduce myself in an epic way such as "Fiona Everman. First of her name. Mother of Spoodles." The options are endless!

Image: Supplied.


At the end of the day, you should do whatever makes you happy and what feels right for you. Take each other's names, hyphenate, keep your own, or start anew, this is an exciting time and you should feel excited by your choice!

Would you consider combining last names? What would your combined last name be with your significant other or even your bestie? Perfect, beautiful, gross or hilarious let me know, I'm dying to hear!

Fiona Gillman (soon-to-be Everman) is a Sydney based writer, director and actor, originally from Townsville North Queensland. You can see her in the Mamamia Sketch "Explaining Consent With Dinner."

You can follow Fiona on Instagram @fionagillman.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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