My thoughts on changing my last name

By April

It wasn’t until we went to serve our notice at the local registry office that I got thinking about how archaic the whole process is.

I was sat outside the office feeling like I was back at school getting a telling off by the head teacher, whilst my fiancé was being interviewed separately about whether our request to marry was legitimate.

I pondered….

  • Why is it necessary for us to disclose our occupation for the paperwork? What would you say if you worked for MI5?
  • Is it becoming less and less common for a woman to change her last name when entering a marriage?
  • How can people easily get married in Vegas on a whim without having ‘served notice’?

It wasn’t until we received the ‘official’ marriage pack afterwards, that I realised that it wasn’t made very clear the rules around name changes after marriage. Do I automatically get given my husband’s surname? *Please fill me in on this if you have already done this research*.

This is where I revealed some underlying feminism inside me. Surely you don’t change as a person; you still have your own identity and personhood, but you would just be identified by another surname? I would like to think in this day and age that there is equality amongst married partners and that if a woman wanted to keep her last name she could. Some men completely understand if a woman wants to keep her maiden name, as maybe she has established herself professionally. For example, an author or lawyer may keep their name, but for some reason, some men may feel disheartened if their other half suggested keeping their name.

I do understand that not every independent woman is fixated on not keeping her last name, but here is just a little food for thought. Who has kept their name or opted for a double-barrelled last name? I would love to hear your story.

PS. I probably will be sat in the dentist completely oblivious when Mrs W is called up, which should give you a good indication of what I have decided to do regarding my last name.

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