10 Pros And Cons: Changing Your Name For Marriage

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Love, Self

Changing your name for marriage is a big decision, here are 10 pros and cons.

Many of us spent our childhood years doodling our names with the "Mrs." pronoun into the margins of our diaries. We experimented with our crushes' names, imagined ourselves with famous names (Mrs. DiCaprio, anybody?), or dreamed up names that were completely random altogether.

Now that we're a little more seasoned and—hopefully—more in tune with our sense of individuality, we figure that changing our last name for marriage isn't newlywed protocol. Taking a man's last name might be the default in this country, but there are plenty of reasons to reconsider or heck, to be traditional. Here's what we cooked up, but do chime in with your own thoughts and experiences. 

Reasons to take his last name: 

You dislike your maiden name. Whew, you can be rid of the unpronounceable, clunky, difficult-to-spell moniker at last! You might also consider adopting your husband's surname if you want to distance yourself from a reputation associated with your family name.

It's a change. Change, like marriage, can be the good kind of scary. Taking on his surname not only signifies the new direction you've taken, but it also represents the new identity you'll have as a wife, and perhaps, a mother. Of course, being married doesn't make you any less of an individual or any less "you," but there is nothing wrong with choosing to identify yourself as part of a unit. 5 Guys You Should Have Fun With Before Marriage

It bands the family together. Speaking of units, a shared last name can help create a sense of family identity if you decide to have children. At the risk of being cheesy, haven't you ever wanted to yell, "We Joneses stick together!" during a family pep talk? At the very least, you'll have an easier time deciding on the children's surnames.

Monogramming is easier. Sure, Mr. and Mrs. towels aren't such a big deal in the long run, but if you've ever fantasized about having a doormat imprinted with your new family surname, you might want to consider taking a married name.

People will already address you as Mrs. [Insert Name]. According to a study conducted in 2009, 77 percent of Americans said that brides should take their husbands' name. Since the vast majority of people you meet will call you a Mrs. Husband's Last Name by habit, it may be less of a hassle to change your name than it is to correct them every time. A Key To Happy Marriage?

Reasons not to take his last name: 

You dislike his last name. Remember how Drew Barrymore's character in The Wedding Singer was almost called Julia Gulia? Yuck! A good man will excuse you from adopting his surname if it either sounds awkward with your first name, or if it's just an awkward surname, period.

You love your maiden name. On that note, maybe your last name sounds poetic, exotic, or is alliterative with your first name. Plus, plenty of women keep their maiden name because of its sentimental value: it indicates their ethnicity, it has an epic story behind it, or it's associated with a famous family member. 7 Deadly Sins Of Marriage

You don't want to modify your professional identity. If you're a bestselling author, an expert in your field, or have a business named after you, it might be easier career-wise to just stick with your maiden name, at least in the workplace. Think about all those business cards you'll save yourself from reprinting!

You're the last descendant of a long family line. If it would break your father's heart to see the line end with you, you might want to consider keeping your name—or, if your guy has an open mind, coaxing him into taking yours! If anything, you can use your maiden name as your children's middle names. 

You dislike the hassle of paperwork. People do it everyday, but if you would rather not deal with changing the name associated with your Social Security, driver's license, and credit cards, among other things, you can save yourself a lot of time by just sticking with your maiden name. 

Readers, would/did you take your husband's last name?