When Jay and I started talking about getting married, we took on the conversation of me changing my name almost instantly. When I was in my late teens I had made the decision that I would keep my last name. It took a long time for me to truly love it – I am sure you can imagine all of the names I was called as a child. Not to mention I am proud to be my father’s daughter and feel proud to carry his name.
But it is important to Jay that I carry his name, so I agreed to change it. Honestly, taking his name became important to me, too. Just as I am proud of my father, of being his daughter, I am proud of my husband and of being his wife. While I am yet to file the papers to make it official (soon, Jase, I promise!), I have started taking his name in my private life.
My professional life has been a different story.
I think that Ruchika Tulshyan’s piece for Forbes sums it up best:
Keeping your own last name after marriage is not about feminism anymore. Women are holding on to their maiden names because of their careers, especially if they work in the media, or other fields where they cultivate a brand name.
As a reporter I was published with my maiden name. I’ve been in PR for nearly a year with my maiden name. To me, it made sense to keep my name as is in this context. Naturally, several people disagreed with this train of thought (including my husband, I am sure) and think I am young enough in my career to make the change seamlessly.
So, what is a young, newly-wed professional to do?
Well, at least for me, I will be changing my name. Both personally and professionally. There is so much time for me to build my brand with my new name and it could even be an exciting adventure. I just hope that nothing crazy happens with Jay’s band that could circle back to me and tarnish my good, new name (I joke, of course). But I will also be keeping Paine as a middle name. I just can’t let it go.
So, fellow wives: did you decide to keep your maiden name or change it to honor your new husband and your new life? Future wives: will you be changing your name?