10 Pros And Cons Of Changing Your Name After Marriage

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Pros And Cons Of Changing Your Last Name After Marriage
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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 hopefully more in tune with our sense of individuality, we know that you don't have to change your name when you get married. 

Taking your husband's last name might be the most common choice in this country, and there are lots of reasons to do that.

But there are plenty of reasons to keep your maiden name after you get married, too. There is no right or wrong answer, and some people may even change their mind down the line. But it's good to consider both sides.

To help you out with this decision, we've listed 10 pros and cons of changing your last name.

RELATED: What Every Bride Needs To Know Before Choosing A Last Name

Here are 10 pros in favor of changing your name after marriage: 

1. It's an opportunity to drop a maiden name you dislike.

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 your family of origin or a negative reputation associated with your family name.

2. Change can be fun.

When you take his last name after your wedding, you get a whole new name. You sign a new name, you introduce yourself differently. It's fun!

Of course, 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.

3. Having one family name can band a family together.

Speaking of units, a shared last name can help create a sense of family identity, should 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.

4. Sharing a last name makes 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.

5. People will already address you by your husband's last name, by default — so you may as well just take that name.

Whether we like it or not, people do expect you to change your name after you get married. In fact, a 2017 study published in the journal Gender Issues showed that more than 70% of Americans said that brides should take their husbands' name after marriage.

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.

RELATED: 4 Reasons I Refuse To Change My Last Name For My Future Husband

Here are 5 cons to changing your name after you get married. 

Why you shouldn't take his last name...

1. You may get stuck with a last name you dislike.

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.

2. You may lose a maiden name you truly love. 

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.

3. You will have 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 the people who see your new name in their inbox and assume it's spam or the disconnected Google searches. Maybe it's not worth it?

4. You may be 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, coax him into taking yours. If anything, you can use your maiden name as your children's middle names. 

5. Changing your name requires paperwork and sometimes a long line at a government office.

People do it everyday, and it's not horribly hard (here's our guide for how to change your name after marriage, for a sneak peak).

However, 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. 

RELATED: Why I Decided To Hyphenate My Last Name — After 6 Years of Marriage

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Denise Ngo is a freelance web writer/editor who specializes in pop culture, fashion, science, faith and relationships. Follow her on Twitter at @ngodenise.

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