The Name Game
In all the chaos of wedding planning, your minds will be caught up in planning the day, choosing the dresses/suits, writing vows, inviting guests, sampling foods… it’s easy to overlook one of the most important things: your marriage! A key part of your status changing from single (legally speaking, aka unmarried) to married is your name. In traditional marriages, the woman takes the man’s name as her own, and it’s the name that’s given to their children should they have any. But what happens if the marriage is between two men, or two women? Here’s some ideas of what you can do.
Keep Your Own Names
If you don’t want to, you don’t legally have to change your name once you get married. This is a particularly good idea if you have a career tied to your name (if you are a writer, for example), if you really like your own surname, or if you really don’t like your partners surname! This is an easy option, you don’t have to change identity documents, and you don’t have to change your signature!
Double Barrelled Names
Double barrelled names used to be only associated with British aristocracy, as they didn’t want to lose their high-profile names (for a modern-day example, think Kim Kardashian-West). Nowadays, double-barrelled surnames, also known as ‘second surnames’, are an increasingly popular way of keeping your identity while still showing that you’re married. Alternatively, you could keep your respective names, but choose the double-barrelled option for any children you have.
Use Your Name as a Middle Name
You’d have to decide whose name to use as the ‘main name’, but you can always retain a part of your identity by keeping your name as a middle name. For example, Mary Marsh and Lucy Francis would become Mary Marsh Francis and Lucy Francis. You can then decide if you want to give your children a double-barrelled name or not.
Make One Up
If you want, you can create an entirely fresh surname. This is a great option if you don’t particularly care about your current surnames, and allows you to get really creative. You could take inspiration from the place you met, your favourite song, your favourite actor – just try and avoid gimmicky names, unless you’re prepared to spend the rest of your lives getting asked questions!