9 Reasons Not to Change Your Name After Marriage

If you're still deciding on whether to keep your name, these reasons may sway you.

There are certainly benefits to taking a new surname after becoming a Mrs., but here are some reasons why that decision may not be right for you.

Photo: KingenSmith

There was a time when a woman not taking her husband’s name after marriage was unfathomable. Now, while it still might not be average, it is much more commonplace. However, there are still those who raise an eyebrow when they learn a woman will continue using her maiden name.

There are certainly benefits to taking a new surname after becoming a Mrs. For example, having one name for a family can make things simpler. You’ll never have to explain that your children are, in fact, your children; but that doesn’t mean assumptions that a woman who doesn’t change her name is less committed to her marriage are appropriate! After all, how many men who consider such a decision a deal breaker would be willing to take their wife’s name? When you take a moment to wonder what same-sex couples choose to do, the double standard becomes alarmingly clear. There is nothing wrong with either decision, but for those who are unsure why a bride wouldn’t take the groom’s name, the below list should provide some insight.

- She likes her name better. Perhaps his is difficult to spell or pronounce, or she’s just always liked how her name sounds.
- It connects to her culture. If you marry someone of a different heritage, changing your name may feel like you’re washing away your ancestry – especially if your first name is not a cultural choice.
- Her professional career is established in her maiden name. A doctor or lawyer with her own practice, an academic or writer with published works, and an entertainer with her own credits and brand are just a handful of professions that can be adversely affected by suddenly going by a new name.
- She has no brothers, and wants to extend the life of her family name.
- The paperwork and bureaucracy seems like too big of a hassle.
- She feels the practice is outdated and based on when marriage was more of a transaction than a declaration of love.  
- She is referred to by her last name or a related nickname by friends or colleagues, so removing that name feels unnatural.
- Her email address (work or otherwise) features her maiden name and creating a new one would complicate certain accounts and correspondence.
-She simply doesn’t want to. 

See more pros and cons of changing your last name, find out what happens when you change your name, and learn about the legal steps involved in the decision.