Since Ryan and I got engaged in 2019, the question I get asked most of all is: will you be changing your name? And really I’ve thought about it and have gone back and forth for the past two years. One day I’ll wake up and think “absolutely not” and others I’ll be so in love with the idea. I didn’t think I’d struggle so much with the decision, but the amount of pro/con list in my head is endless. Our wedding is now less than 2 weeks away and it seems like I should be making that decision. So here’s what I’m thinking:
– Just because I change my name personally, doesn’t mean I have to professionally. That could the best option to have the best of both worlds.
– I don’t believe that changing your name makes you any less of a feminist or advocate for women’s rights. The only factor in this decision is what’s right for me.
– I’m not in love the hyphen of our last names, so that’s out for me personally. Plus that’s still paperwork.
– Paperwork. Like a lot of paperwork that just seems overwhelming and like a pain in the ass. Who wants to go to the DMV? On the other hand, and hear me out, I could make Ryan fill out the forms for me. That feels like a fair compromise, ha!
– Name recognition. I’ve spent 33 years as Rachel Mae Smith, which means everyone I’ve met for those past 33 years knows me as that. That’s how I know myself. It would just be an adjustment to think of myself as something different, even if I’m the same person.
– Ryan’s last name isn’t easily pronounced and I’m a soft talker. The ease of having the last name Smith has been pretty wonderful as someone who doesn’t speak that loudly in public.
– I’m just going to list paperwork here again because that’s really most inconvenient thing.
– Big life moments like buying a house and having kids seem easier with the same last name, but so do those smaller items like taxes, bills, etc. It’s convenient once all the paperwork is said and done.
– I’d be able to share a name with my partner and grow our family as the same last name, which is a really lovely thought.
– There’s something to be said about marking the next chapter of my life and growing as a partner unit. A name change feels like a commitment to that in a romantic way.
So that’s where I am with the idea!
I know that ultimately nobody can make this decision but me, but I’d love to hear from you about what you did! Did you change your name? Did your partner change theirs? Or did you do something completely fun and non-traditional? Tell me everything!