In marriage, the first question is usually pretty easy to answer: will you marry me?
But it’s the multitude of questions that follow that are really leaving women stumped: Where will we live? Do we join bank accounts? Will we have kids? And, a big one – will I take his surname?
One of the oldest wedding traditions in existence, the taking on of a husband’s last name was an unquestioned ritual until the sexual revolution of the 1960’s.
All of the sudden, women stopped viewing themselves as objects to be acquired and owned. They didn’t want to abandon their surname and walk blindly into a whole new identity as ‘his’.
And so, a whole new can of wedding worms was opened: will you take his name, or won’t you?
For a time, the answer from many women was a resounding: No Fricken Way.
One of the Mamamia senior writers notes that she can actually approximate the age of someone as to whether or not they have taken their partner's last name. For women of her age-group, keeping your maiden name was the 'done thing'.
Brisbane nurse Mary-Ann Beresford-Smith is a great representative of this baby-boomer era, who was among the first to really consider what was in a name.
"Deciding to get married brought up many questions that we explored together," she told me. "It seemed like everything was up for discussion. Where to live, when to marry, where to marry and by whom, did we want kids, a mortgage and so on."
"Suddenly my identity was in sharp focus and I thought about “losing” my name and having some one else’s’."