real life

Only 2% of new husbands do this thing for their wives after their wedding day.



Tamara and Simon Pace are a regular couple from regional Victoria — who made an announcement at their wedding that shocked their guests.

It wasn’t a pregnancy.

It wasn’t a move overseas.

It was the fact that Simon had decided to take on Tamara’s surname.

“They (Tamara’s family) were blown away actually, a couple of them were in tears over it,” Simon told Channel Ten’s The Project.

“I got bumped up in the popularity stakes real fast,” he said, laughingly adding: “I’ve gone downhill a bit since then.”

But Tamara says the move was met with scepticism by some. “A few people were like, “they’ve made a mistake, they’ve got that wrong, it can’t be right’,” she said.

“A few people were like, “they’ve made a mistake, they’ve got that wrong, it can’t be right’,” Tamara said.

It’s a response that’s disappointing but perhaps understandable, given that the latest statistics show an overwhelming minority of husbands — around two percent —  took their wives’ last names after marriage.

That’s right: A 2012 study found that 64 percent per cent of married people in Victoria had the same last name, and that around 98 percent of those women had taken their husband’s surname.

The study, by Swinburne University of Technology sociologist Deborah Dempsey and Monash University’s Jo Lindsay, drew on data from an online survey and records from the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

And while the study couldn’t determine exactly how many Victorians changed their surname upon marrying (due to a lack of mandatory reporting requirements), its online survey found more than half of married women assumed  their partner’s surname — and Dr Dempsey believes the overall figure to be closer to 80 and 95 per cent of women, as in the US or Norway.

The Codringtons share Leisl’s maiden name.

As Fairfax reports, that’s because the survey was from a highly educated sample, and overseas research suggests educated women are less likely to change their surnames.

For Liesl Codrington and Brendan Uppill from Canberra, the surname issue has been a complex one.

“When we got married, I changed my surname to Brendan’s surname automatically,” Liesl told The Project. “I just saw that as an expected thing to do.”

But she had second thoughts about her new surname after their wedding day — and ultimately reverted back to her maiden name.

“I didn’t like the sound of Liesl Uppill,” she said. “I guess my reasoning for changing back to Codrington my maiden name was a vain reason.”

When the couple had kids, Brendan took his wife’s surname. And now, the entire family shares Leisl’s original name.

It works just fine for them, as Brendan told The Project.

“Not to say that this is the way that it should always be,” Brendan said. “but it should be an equal opportunity for guys or girls,” Brendan said.

The Project will air at 6:30pm tonight, Friday 5 September, on Channel Ten.

Did you take your husband’s surname? Would your partner ever take yours?

A few celebrities who took their wives’ surnames: