Today, we’re so excited to announce we’re tapping into the expertise of Danielle Tate—the founder and CEO of MissNowMrs.com, an online name-change service used by over 400,000 brides. Below, Danielle breaks down her top tips for broaching the sometimes-tricky topic of name change after marriage with your fiancé. Read on for her expert advice!
As you plan your wedding day and your life together with your future spouse, it’s important to discuss name change after marriage. Both of you may have assumptions about what will happen after you say “I do,” but if you don’t discuss those thoughts now, they can brew into a newlywed nightmare.
Make Time To Talk
Set aside time to talk about your name change two to three months before your wedding. This timeline is important, as you ideally need to know your name change choice before completing your marriage license application or receiving mis-monogrammed gifts from your wedding guests (trust us—it happens).
Choose an evening with no other obligations to discuss the topic, so you’re not under a time constraint or overly stressed. No one makes good decisions in those situations—especially on potentially sensitive topics.
Know Your Options
Changing your name is a very personal decision. Fortunately, there are numerous options available, which can make the decision-making process easier. Brides have the choice to hyphenate their maiden name with their spouse’s last name, take both last names without a hyphen, take their maiden name as a second middle name, replace their middle name with their maiden name, replace their maiden name with their spouse’s last name, or not change their name at all.
If you’re not totally sure which option is best for you, you can play the Married Name Game and let the patent-pending quiz give you your ultimate name-change option based on key life data points and your personal style. Once you have your results, you can discuss them with your fiancé.
Know Your Motivations
Open communication is the key to a happy marriage. So, openly discuss both of your feelings about married name change and where they come from. One of you may be the last member of their family and want to carry on the family name, or one of you may have hated your name from birth and can’t wait to change it. There are a myriad of motivations behind changing or not changing your name, so explore the ones that are part of your relationship. It’s vital to make a decision that makes you both happy, and honors your opinions and traditions.
Be Open to Compromise
There’s no right or wrong choice. Finding an option that meets both of your needs is a great start to newlywed life. Women don’t have to be the only ones to change their names. California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, and North Dakota are states recognize a man’s right to change his name. And, in California a couple can elect to blend their last names to create a new married last name (but only if they write that name on their marriage license application.)
Many women don’t consider how they will feel as mothers with a different last name than their spouse or children. So, if children are part of your married life plan, take some time to explore how your name change would potentially affect that aspect of your future.
No matter what decision you come to as a couple, celebrate the fact that you’ve met the love of your life and you’ve managed to plan a wedding and a life together! If one of you do elect to change your name, you can commemorate the change with monogrammed jewelry or even a restaurant reservation made in that new last name. Cheers to that!
Hero image courtesy wedding photographer Kym Ventola
Looking for an easy way to change your name after getting married? Check out the Miss Now Mrs. website!