“I’m keeping my name after marriage – and I don’t care what you have to say about it.”

keeping your maiden name

I can clearly remember the exact moment I decided I was going to keep my last name after marriage.

I was in primary school and I was driving with my mum when I suddenly started to panic about having to change my name if I ever got hitched.

My mum calmly reassured me that no one was going to force me to change my name and that it was perfectly acceptable to keep it, if that’s what I wanted.

keeping your maiden name
Alexis with her fiance. Image supplied.

And that was that - since that moment, the possibility of changing my name never entered my mind again.

Fast forward 20-odd years though, and now that I'm engaged the topic has come up again, with lots of people expressing surprise when I tell them that I'm keeping my name.

I guess their surprise is understandable - a 2013 US study revealed that 71 per cent of women take their husband's name after marriage.

But even though I'm clearly in the minority, I still assumed that in 2016, it would no longer be controversial for a woman to not take her husband's name. How wrong I was.

Because countless well-meaning people have questioned my decision over the past few months.

digital divorces
Image via iStock.

Many have asked 'Won't your future kids be confused if you have a different name?'

Well, I'm not planning on raising stupid children, so that question is null and void.

They ask why I don't want to build solidarity with my fiance - but in my opinion, getting married, taking out a mortgage and building a life together are bigger indicators of commitment and solidarity than a name change.

They also say that keeping my surname isn't exactly a feminist statement, as it was originally passed on to me by my father, and from his father before that.

But even though I do identify as a (proud) feminist, that's not why I'm keeping my name. The truth is, I just like it. I've grown up with it. Everything I've ever done or achieved has been done by Alexis Carey, and I just can't bring myself to abandon that name.

I honestly don't care what any other woman does. Obviously, I have strong feelings about keeping my own name, but I couldn't care less what anyone else decides to do.

My mum changed her name, as have most of my married friends, and their decision is not my concern or any of my business.

destination weddings
Image via iStock.

So why can't strangers show me the same respect?

Did you keep your last name after getting married? Why or why not?

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