Wedding Advice: Taking a New Last Name?
It has long been customary for the bride to take the groom’s last name after the wedding ceremony. This is a symbol of joining the two lives together into one, and for hundreds of years, the custom was not questioned.
We live in a much different era now, where women are just as powerful as men. Even as women continue to seek equality, traditions everywhere are being broken. There are several things to consider before deciding to keep your own name or hyphenating the two, but there is no denying that this new custom is gaining popularity.
The first reason that women may decide to keep their own maiden name is that their professional life dictates that they should. Women who have found success before marriage will find that clients or customers confuse easily when a new name is introduced. If you do want to change your name to reflect your new life, you might consider a slow introduction to the new name so that your clients will remember the change when it occurs.
Many women may also just feel a bit of anxiety over losing such an important part of their identity. The groom may feel a bit offended if this is not addressed quickly and correctly, but you must make him see that gaining his name is not the problem, but losing yours is. This might be the best time to consider a hyphenation, which would join the two names together for you. If children are later involved, you will have to discuss whether to hyphenate the child’s name or simply give the child your husband’s last name. There are several details that will need to be discussed, but as long as you address them all, rather than running from them, you should be able to find some common ground that make all involved parties happy.
If you do decide to change your name, whether it is to hyphenate or take your new husband’s last name, there are several things that will need to remember. Think of all of the identifying documentation that you have. Every bit of it will need to be changed to reflect your new marital status. The best place to begin will be with your Social Security card, because that particular identification is often used to procure new identification. By visiting the Social Security Administration website, you can download the necessary forms to apply for a new card. You will need to take the completed form, along with your marriage certificate, to your closest Social Security Administration office.
Once you have changed that, you will need to change your driver’s license, which also requires your marriage license and a visit to your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Your passport can often be changed by mail, but you should be sure to consult the required documents closely before sending in your application. By changing these three identification articles, everything else that you need to change should be a snap. Just remember to change them as soon as possible to avoid any delays later.