The decision about whether or not to change your name after marriage is a struggle for many women, despite it being something the majority of men don't consider for themselves. Though taking on a married name is the choice that comes with a lot of paperwork, keeping your original name comes with its own set of logistical issues. Typically, this is due to other people’s assumptions: receiving mail or checks with a name that is not legally or socially yours.
The first hurdle to overcome is at the wedding itself, when you and your beloved are first announced as a married couple. Sometimes this is included at the end of the ceremony, but that can be easily skipped, with you and your new spouse walking back up the aisle after your first marital kiss without introduction. However, at the reception most couples employ a formal announcement as they make their entrance into the space. Traditionally, the MC would say, “For the first time as husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. John Doe!” or the more progressive, “Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Doe!”
Obviously, if the bride is choosing to keep her maiden name, such an announcement would not be accurate – not to mention the complications that can arise for same-sex couples. Thankfully, there are options to make the grand entrance fit for the pair it is celebrating.
Sticking to first names is probably the simplest way to skirt around this issue. Announcements could be: “For the first time as husband and wife, John and Jane!” or for gender-neutral versions: “For the first time as a married couple, John and Joe!” or even “Now introducing the newlyweds, Jane and Joan!” That said, if you would prefer to make it crystal clear that your name is not changing, these same introductions could be used with both people’s full names instead of just their first, i.e. “John Doe and Jane Smith.” The important thing is to make sure it represents who the two of you are as a couple – after all, that is what the big day is all about.
Discover nine reasons why someone might not change their last name, as well as the legal steps involved if you do make the switch.