Why I Won’t Take My Husband’s Last Name


A wedding is full of ritual and tradition, but so many of the things that come with marriage (specifically, the wedding) are pretty unnecessary and uncomfortable.  Weddings are getting more and more complicated with the excessive bachelorette parties and 15 different showers, but none of these extra things are replacing the outdated parts of the wedding.  It is all adding up.

Of course, there are many small traditions that I will be nixing, like the whole garter ordeal.  (C’mon, do you really want everybody in the world watching your new husband biting a piece of lingerie from your thigh?) There is another tradition that I have an issue with: taking my future husband’s last name.

I have had a boyfriend for a year and a half now and people keep asking when he’s going to pop the question. Let me make something clear: I am 20 years old and far from the point of being ready to be engaged. All of that being said, the thought of marriage in general has crossed my mind.  Weddings can be fun and exciting, and I think most girls (and maybe guys) have thought about their wedding at one point or another.

The reason I bring up the issue of the name change, is that recently I have been meeting more and more women who keep their maiden names, but will only occasionally go by their husbands’ last name.   These women have typically been women who excelled in their careers and adult lives in their pre-marriage era.

Not that marriage puts a cap on your ability to accomplish great things, but there is so much I would hope to accomplish before I am married.  As I have mentioned in a recent post, I am working on having some writing published, which would obviously be under my maiden name.  I feel that I have accomplished some great things as Emily Krings, and it would be such a shame for her to perish.

I am Emily Krings.  My name is a huge part of my identity.  I understand that there are a lot of sacrifices when it comes to marriage, but I will never sacrifice who I am.  I want to maintain my identity.

Taking your husband’s last name is rooted in the tradition of your father handing you over to your husband.  It is as if you are just property being transferred.  I know that this tradition is must less apparent in my society (in the US at least, but not necessarily true in other parts of the world) but it’s the idea of it that doesn’t sit well with me.  The same goes for my father “giving me away” at my wedding; I will be walking myself down the aisle.

Another reason that I do not want to take my future husband’s last name is that it basically reassigns me to a new family.  The new family may not really be one that I fit in to or one that even wants me to be part of it.  I could also end up with some really great in-laws, but I think keeping my name allows me to keep a healthy amount of separation that really keeps me tied to my roots and where I am from.  On another note I have heard women say, “I am not Mrs. ______, that’s my mother-in-law.  Call me by my first name.”  I could end up with a wonderful mother-in-law, but I still don’t want to steal her name!

There are a lot of little things that come with changing your name, too.  You need to change your name on all documents, passports, license, and all that fun stuff.  Your social media accounts all have to be changed, too, and who knows if you will be able to find a good Twitter handle or Instagram username with your new last name? (#firstworldproblems…am I right?)

I think a bigger little issue is that connections you have made as a single person can be lost, too.  If you have done some networking at some point that was pretty casual but enough to get you a job or help you out in the future and you add that person on Facebook or LinkedIn, the person may not know that you got married and would not recognize your name.  Of course, this may be a bit of a stretch, but it could happen.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours.  Take his last name or don’t.  I am interested in hearing some other opinions on this topic from both guys and girls.  What do you guys think? Let me know!



    1. When I was single I didn’t want to change my last name because I wanted to hold onto my identity as well. But once the time came to marry I changed my mind once I realized I wouldn’t be losing myself. I’m still me even with a different last name.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m still grappling with this decision. I am engaged at the moment, so it’s somewhat of a pressing issue. My immediate family consists of my parents, my brother and myself. If my brother were to get married, he would most likely care on the family name with his bride and future children, but we’re all fairly certain that my brother is A-sexual, which means he won’t get married, thus ending our family name. I always thought I would take my husband’s name, but now I’m not sure. It’s kind of sad to think our family name with stop with me and my brother, but it doesn’t have to…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Changing or not changing surname should completely be the affected parties decision. Sometimes things are easier to do when you change your surname like getting children’s passports, proving you identity etc. But even if you have a different surname these things are possible…it might just take a lover time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post! I definitely agree with shedding the some of the outdated traditions of a “typical” marriage. Things have changed so much in society that it just doesn’t seem suited to the current lifestyles of many people nowadays! My mom kept her maiden name and I think I’ll follow suit as well. Although I’m not very connected with my father and have kind of lost touch with that side of the family, I still proudly carry my surname because that is who I am and always have been.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved my maiden name, but when it came time to marry my husband, I gladly took his name. No matter what one’s last name is, their family is always their family. And no matter if you take on the hubby’s name or not, a woman still becomes part of his family. Marriage is the joining of two families, some more tightly than others, but joining, none-the-less. Changing docs and social media is no big deal. It’s totally doable. If I decide to give my whole self to someone, forever, then why would I want to withhold anything from the start. When you’re with the right person, yes, you will totally be lost in them, but no, you won’t lose who you are. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Actually you can mix your maiden name along with your husband’s last name….like if ur husband name is ‘X’ den maybe Emily krings X ….actually this is what my sister did…however it’s just a suggestion it depends entirely on you..

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  6. This for sure was my biggest struggle with my wedding. It felt strange, because you’ve been called one thing your whole life, and for it to all of a sudden change, it’s a little overwhelming. I ultimately decided to change my name, solely because I wanted to have the same last name as my future children. I don’t regret it, but I do really respect your decision to keep yours! Here’ my post on my wedding! I kept it small – no guarder in my reception either hahaha https://dailylifeofdenley.com/2017/11/02/my-simple-but-perfect-wedding/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m originally Latin and we don’t take our husband’s names. In my family only my brother and I have the same surname, which is a combo of our parents paternal surnames. My parents have different surnames from us and each other. As we all inherit one surname from our father and one from our mother. Can be complicated for others to understand.
    As I married an Irishman, with single surname tradition, I still have kept my own in all official paperwork and solved the situation with my kids by giving them my paternal surname as a middle name.
    My mother always said:
    “I married into your fathers family, I wasn’t adopted. I have my own parents and name”
    This works out fine when your children get part or your name as well.


  8. Loved your article! I didn’t want to change my last name either but my Ex ended up being a very controlling narcissist and pretty much demanded I change it. Needless to say, over 1.5 yrs post divorce and I’m still trying to “change it back” to my maiden name. But, like you my name was party of my identity and I really wanted to keep it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gray post! I’m also married but stuck to my maiden name for two reasons. One being that I really didn’t want to go through the whole paperwork change (too lazy for that!) and also my maiden name is part of who I am and although being married is being a unit I wanted to keep that part of me. Our boys have my husbands name and it’s only when I travel with them in my own brings all kind of challenging situations 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It took me 3 years to change my last name. Not because I didn’t want to, but because of the process! I’m not connected with my dad’s side of the family, so I really didn’t want to keep my maiden name. I love your take on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s certainly another approach that I️ thought about a lot too growing up! I’ve gone back and forth a lot but as I’ve really found who I️ am I’ve decided that this is the decision that I️ felt best about


  11. Arty but your mother-in-law might not have changed her name either …. but seriously a great blog written well and on a topic as females we all struggle with when getting married …. cheers Karen.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, this is interesting! I honestly never looked it at that way. I got a different perspective reading this. My mindset was that when I got married one day, (if I do) then I would take my husband’s surname without a doubt. I never considered losing myself because I took his surname, so to read this let me open my eyes to a different way of thinking. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you don’t want to “lose yourself,” please don’t get married. Marriage is a relationship where both parties lose themselves. You want a business partnership, not a marriage.


  13. When people get married they create new family, so having the same surname make sense if you look this way. If you keep your maiden name, what about children then? Anyway, whatever you decide, you (and your future husband) must be comfortable with it and others should respect your decision. It’s your life.
    There is also other possibility – your husband can take your surname 🙂 It rarely happens, but I know a few couples who did it.


  14. Love your take on this issue. My family has a long standing tradition (starting more than three generations ago) of female members of our family dropping our middle name, move our maiden name to our middle name then add our husbands’ name to the end. This made the transition of my professional identify very easy because I just added my hubby’s name on the end without hyphenating. I get to honor my maiden name, honors my husband’s name and maintain my professional identity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is very cool too! I would possibly consider this, as I’ve been thinking about what I’d do in the situation of when we have kids. Legally having both names but even going by and publishing work under my maiden name is an option for me!


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