The strangest thing I found about getting married was changing my name. I had been Emma Beardsley for 33 years, so I was well used to it!
I considered for a long time whether to change my name when I got married; should I just stick with what I had or form a united front with my new husband. It is expected that the female will give up her name and take her husband’s upon marriage. However in the light of modern living, this tradition may not be the best option. Perhaps you are a same-sex couple, or you may well be established in a job where your name is important, and to change it could have a detrimental affect on the business/your professional life.
Some people keep their maiden name or go double-barreled. I know of some couples who choose a completely different surname or make a mash up of both surnames. I even have one male friend who chose to take his wife’s surname when they married.
So what should you do? Well I suppose it depends on the surnames in question. I never thought there would be a problem with taking my future husbands surname, but then I fell for Chris. Now there is nothing fundamentally wrong with Murrills as a surname, it’s a little unusual and I find people struggle to say it, let alone spell it, but then I had that to a certain degree with Beardsley too. My main gripe was alliteration! Mrs Emma Murrills is an awful lot of M’s in one name! I have to consciously say it slowly or it can sound like a tongue twister!
I asked my husband if he’d like to take my name instead, but he declined. He also wasn’t keen on a Beardsley-Murrills hyphenation as, to him, it sounded “a bit pretentious.” So what options were left? There can be annoying issues if you have children with whom you do not share a the same surname, for example when dealing with a child’s bank or savings account, where you have to take proof that you are parent or guardian to that child before they will deal with you. I have also heard of issues at some schools, so I decided I didn’t want to go down the route of keeping my maiden name.
I couldn’t really see a mash up of Beardills or Mursley working, the latter having the exact same Mmmm problem! The only solution I could find was to take my maiden name as my middle name. It seemed the perfect compromise. I’d never had a middle name before, so didn’t have to worry about name length.
Emma B Murrills was created! But who was Emma B Murrills? I knew who Emma Beardsley was, but Emma Murrills…who was she?? It’s amazing how a someone’s name gives an impression of what they person will be or look like. It took me a little while to get my head about this new identity.
When people start using your new name, expect a silly grin to creep onto your face, as it brings back happy memories of your wedding day, the person you fell in love with and the happiness that comes with being a newlywed. This does wear off, but enjoy it while it lasts. 🙂
Quite often I would hear my new name being called but only half react, until I remembered that was me now!
Someone asking your name, saying the automatic response given so many times before only to have to say “oh, sorry, no it’s not!” Who on earth doesn’t know what their name is?! It wasn’t in the first few weeks of marriage, when you are actually aware of the newness of things, but a couple of months down the line, when you’re just feeling sure you’ve got this new name down now and bam…you forget! Oh the embarrassment!
So that was my story and lead to how EBM Photography got it’s name…in case you hadn’t spotted it, I used my new initials! There will be a related article coming soon about how to legally change your name, if you need to do so by deed poll, and how to inform important people/companies.
I hope this article was helpful. Have you decided what you will do when you get married? Let me know, I’d love to hear what you’re going to do.
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