Friday, May 14, 2010

Playing the name game

The infamous post-wedding name change is always a hot topic for discussion with brides. It seems I have four (realistic) options. I haven't made up my mind yet — and I know there's plenty of time — but I'll introduce this early as I'm sure the process will evolve.

Something to keep in mind... (source)

(1) Do the traditional change = MyFirst MyMiddle HisLast

This is the most popular choice, and I admit that throughout our relationship, I've doodled my name in margins that way. Of course, it feels funny (a few more letters than I'm used to), but like anything, something that can be adapted to. And beyond the usual symbolism of becoming a family unit, there'd be an added bonus. My new initials would be the same as the code for an airport Greg used to frequent pretty often. And we're all about airports, as the proposal showed. :)

One big downside to me (and I know it sounds petty, but I really despise this) is the bureaucracy and paperwork I'd have to endure to make any change. I hate calling customer service as it is; I get angry and emotionally distressed; it ruins my whole day. This would involve lots of interaction with a lot of (possibly exasperating) people and some fees.

Another part of me holds back because of my past as a journalist. I've written articles under my fairly distinctive name, and I like that when I google myself, the (relevant) results that come up are actually me. I also did some nerdy cool things in college that got me interviews and the like, so of course those would be great to keep on the radar. I'm afraid that if I change my name, I'll pretty much be abandoning all that hard work.

(2) Compromise and hyphenate = MyFirst MyMiddle MyLast-HisLast

Phew. I got tired just typing all that. It's long. I knew a gal in grade school who always had issues with getting back results of standardized tests because she had a hyphenated last name. It was a pain. Though not as bad as couples with unfortunate names, I suppose. (Don't worry, we don't have that problem.)

This would possibly help with recognizing my previous name, though. Future employers could look up my maiden name and see the fun stuff, but there's no guarantee that'd come to mind.

Also, not that we're anywhere near this, but there's the possibility of kiddies to think about. If I go to the trouble to hyphenate, would we have to make another name decision when Greg Jr. or Sharonette comes along? Thinking about more name changing gives me a headache...

Note: There's also a spinoff of this option that I've read about. It's got all the same words, just no hyphen. Brides on blogs and message boards call it having a "communal last name," where both yours and his would go in the last-name box. This is just too complicated for me, so I'll just leave it at that.

(3) Get confusing; make your maiden name your middle name = MyFirst MyLast HisLast

I can just see this one being messed up by banks, airlines and the like; I've heard some states don't even let you mess with your middle name. Plus, I am not thrilled with what my initials would be. I have a very common middle name, but I feel like my supershort last name would sound brash wedged in the middle. And I'd have to mention my middle name all the time to make it matter? I think this one's pretty much out of the running.

(4) Do nothing = MyFirst MyMiddle MyLast

A gal's easy way out! No "what if I get googled" worries, no paperwork to fill out, no new signature to practice. Greg tells me he wouldn't mind this, but would I look back when I'm older and care that I have a different name as my husband and, possibly, kids? Would the meaningfulness be lost? Hmmm.

Please feel free to give your input (even anonymously) in the comments; there's no name requirement to post. :)


  1. I say go with some randomness for fun. Maybe QWERTY. Sharon M. Qwerty (SMQ) ... maybe not. This is harder than I thought; good luck.

  2. How about Sharon Marie Yep-McLovin??? Sounds like a cool name!