He’s kissed the bride, and you are now pronounced Mr. and Mrs. But, just because you’re legally husband and wife doesn’t mean you’ve legally changed your name. After the wedding, the bride and/or groom will begin the process of changing names legally on all identifications and accounts. For more tips on the process of completing a legal name change, check out last week’s blog on What to Remember When Legally Changing Your Name. But before you begin this process, it is important that you and your fiancé become familiar with and discuss the different name change options. While there are many suggestions to choose from, read on for some of the most common choices!
1. The Bride takes the Groom’s name
The most popular choice for newlyweds planning to make a legal name change is for the bride to take on the groom’s last name. For example, Miss Jane Jones marries Mr. John Doe and becomes Mrs. Jane Doe. Many brides consider it an honor to take on her new husband’s name. If a bride prefers this option but worries that changing her name could cause confusion in her profession, a bride can consider legally changing her name, yet keeping her maiden name professionally. In this case, Miss Jane Jones legally and socially becomes Mrs. Jane Doe but remains Mrs. Jane Jones professionally throughout her career.
2. Making your maiden name your middle name
Another common alteration many brides make when changing their name legally is taking on their maiden name in place of their middle name. In this case, Miss Jane Elizabeth Jones marries Mr. John Doe and becomes Mrs. Jane Jones Doe. Brides often choose to do this for several reasons. Not only is it a way to help clarify their previous name in many potential scenarios, but many brides also feel the need to hold on to their family name out of respect. While this is a sweet and honorable decision, you should make sure that you and okay with losing you middle name. For some brides, their middle name may be just as special of a family name as their maiden name, in which case some brides choose to drop their maiden name all together. So, Miss Jane Elizabeth Jones would become Mrs. Jane Elizabeth Doe.
3. Using hyphenation
A nice compromise for a bride torn between keeping her last name and taking on her groom’s name is using a hyphenation of both. In this instance, Miss Jane Jones would marry Mr. John Doe and become Mrs. Jane Jones-Doe. While this option does add a bit of extra work when saying and/or writing your new name, it is a great way to pay tribute to both families. Sometimes, both the bride and the groom decide to take on the hyphenation legally, taking on each others’ names. If brides and grooms are considering this option, they should take into account how well their last names flow and sound together.
4. The Groom takes the Bride’s name.
While this is a much less common approach, many modern day couples are choosing to switch things up by having the groom take on the bride’s last name. So, Mr. John Doe marries Miss Jane Jones and now becomes Mr. John Jones. Whether a couple is just a bit more progressive or perhaps the bride’s family name would end with her name change, couples choose this option for a variety of reasons. But, after all, there are no rules saying the bride must take the groom’s name, so why not be a bit different!
All images courtesy of Brittany Conner Photography.