Congratulations on your engagement! There are few moments more exciting in life than when you and your partner make the decision to tie the knot. It’s the first step on your journey towards spending the rest of your life together. Of course, it also comes with many decisions. Where will you hold the wedding? How many guests should you have? Who will be in the wedding party? Live band or DJ?
Although these are all definitely things you will have to plan, one key question you may not have thought about is what you will do with your last name. It’s a big decision for any engaged couple – after all, your name is a key part of your identity – so it requires careful deliberation. We’ve pulled together a list of some of your options, as well as the pros and cons of each.
Option 1: Don’t change your name
There’s no reason why you need to change your name, especially since doing so is an old custom from when brides moved from becoming their father’s “property” to their husbands. These days, it also makes sense for individuals who have their name associated with their careers, such as scholars, writers, creatives, doctors and lawyers.
It’s less hassle. You don’t need to update any documents or get used to a new last name.
Others may not see you as a family unit. Also, if you choose to have children, you will need to decide which last name to give them, or to double-barrel it.
Option 2: Hyphenate both your names
This is a wonderfully egalitarian choice that suits many couples. It’s seen as a way both the both of you to start the marriage on equal footing and combine your family heritages. It also means that you will both need to go through the process of changing your names on documents (think of it as bonding time!).
You both get to share your family names with each other and it will be easy for your children to have a double-barrelled surname.
It can be a bit long to write and may be an issue, especially if your partner already has a double-barrelled surname. You will also need to decide whose name comes first.
3. Take your partner’s name
Of course, one of you might also just decide to take your partner’s name (or they can take yours). This is a great option if one spouse has a surname that’s easier to pronounce, or simply sounds great! You also have the option of moving your current surname to become your middle name if you’d still like to keep it as part of your identity.
It’s a good choice if you decide to have kids as the whole family will share a single surname (which is shorter than a hyphenated surname).
One spouse has to go through the whole process of changing their name on legal and civil documents, which can be time-consuming.
4. Create a new name together
Although it might seem unusual, many couples are now deciding to create a new last name together! It can be a combination of your two surnames or be something completely original that represents your new family.
It’s the perfect symbol of the start of your new life together. Plus, it’s a chance to pick a name that you both love and identify with.
Some family members may be offended, and there will be more legal work required to change your names.
Whatever surname you decide on, embarking on this new journey with your partner is an exciting process! Make sure you have everything planned, including the rings and browse our range of stunning range of engagement and wedding rings.