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.