General chatter - Name changes with marriage? Advice?

12-02-2010, 10:12 PM
Alright, I need to make a decision on this like...soon. I've been flipflopping.

My fiance and I are getting married in just over a week (YAAAAAY!), and I still can't decide how I want to do my name.

I'll absolutely be taking his last name, and I'm thrilled about it. I'm pretty old-fashioned and traditional. I do not want to hyphenate the names and I don't want to keep both names. But I can't decide if I want to be Megan Jewel Hislastname or Megan Kendrick Hislastname. Jewel is my middle name, and I love it. It's pretty, and has some sentimental value (my great grandmother's name). But I also love the name Kendrick. I like the name, I feel like I'd be able to hold onto some of my family heritage/identity, and the Kendrick family is actually a pretty historic and impressive family in my hometown. People know the Kendrick family, and since we eventually planning on moving back to my hometown, that might be advantageous. Most of my aunts have all kept Kendrick as their middle name after they got married.

So I'm torn. I'd assume that Megan Jewel Hislastname is a bit more traditional, but either of them seems to be common enough. Right now I'm leaning towards Megan Kendrick Hislastname, but I'm really going to mourn "Jewel" I think. As thrilled as I am to take his last name, I'm going to be sad about losing either Jewel or Kendrick. I can't decide which one I want to keep more.

12-02-2010, 10:14 PM
Well you don't have to decide soon. I changed my name about 6 months after I got married. I know other people who never changed their name or did it years after. And I also have some other stuff still in my maiden name since it is still considered a legal name.

12-02-2010, 10:25 PM
It's traditional to use your maiden name (original last name) as your middle name, so if you want to be traditional, go with Kendrick. I did that because I didn't want to lose my family name (and unlike you, I hated my original middle name, which was my grandmother's maiden name. Ugh.)

We named both our children with my family/maiden name as their middle names, so all three of us now share the same middle name. We always told them that they're as much a part of Mom's family as they are of Dad's. And DD continued the tradition with her daughter (my granddaughter), who has our family name as her middle name. :)

Another option is to keep both names as middle names. Megan Jewel Kendrick Hislast name. :)

12-02-2010, 10:29 PM
it took me 3 years to finally change my name after getting married. a lot of it had to do with the cost of getting new id's and the hassle of changing things at my bank, creditors, work, etc.

I think you could keep both, lots of people have two middle names. Why not? Otherwise if children are in your future Jewel is a pretty little girls name. :)

12-02-2010, 10:58 PM
I think Megan Kendrick sounds lovely. :)

12-02-2010, 11:02 PM
I dropped my family name, and wish I hadn't. Although I do often use my family name as my middle name (in most states it's perfectly legal to use a name that doesn't match your social security card as long as you're not doing so to hide your true identity for a dodgey purpose).

On tax forms, and life insurance I always sign the name as it appears on the tax documents, but signing leases, personal checks, credit card receipts and such, I sign whichever way I feel like at the time.

12-02-2010, 11:05 PM
I just took hubs last name and kept my original first and middle. Mostly because my maiden name had no real "meaning" for me. I know you said you didn't want to keep both names but have you really thought about it? You could just have two middle names (my sister and my step-daughter both have two middle names - they were born with them ;) ).

Two middle names aren't really that uncommon and honestly how often do we really use our middle names anyway? It's just a thought.

Nola Celeste
12-02-2010, 11:08 PM
I went to school with a girl who had five names and used all of 'em, and to this day I remember her very cool name. Why not go ahead and use four: Megan Jewel Kendrick Hislastname? It sounds beautiful and gives you the best of all available options.

I use my first and middle name as my pen name, my first and last name on checks, and my husband's name for legal documents. That way I never get too bored with who I am. :D

12-02-2010, 11:10 PM
Why not keep both? Or, if you only want to keep one, I vote for Jewel. As for the small town thing, a) it's not like most people use their middle names in common interactions, and b) if it's a small enough town, people will know you're related to the family anyways. (Not that my opinion really matters - it's your name! :) )

Fortunately, it wasn't much of an issue for me. My maiden name is ridiculously long and complicated, so keeping it would have been silly. I miss it sometimes - I think the goofier your last name is, the more you kind of identify with it - but it's not like I'm a different person without that family history just because my name is different.

12-03-2010, 12:09 AM
For my wife and I it is our second marriage...she dropped her middle name and replaced it with her maiden name then took my last name, no hyphen....

now, my ex-wife has always kept my last name...

which sometimes complicates things, even after 20 years....but no biggie...

12-03-2010, 12:41 AM
My mother kept her married name even after the divorce. Now my father has TWO women walking around with his last name ;)

I was married over 2 years ago. When I get around to changing my name (eventually), I will use my maiden name as my middle name (my married name is so....boring. There will literally be a million people with my name. It has already been a problem when I've used it because I get mixed up with other women with my name. Blech.) Some states may have laws on only using one name as your middle name. There was a big fiasco in CO a few years ago when they stopped letting women drop their middle names. That didn't last long.

I will miss my middle name because it belonged to my grandmother whom I loved dearly, but I will pass her maiden name down.

12-03-2010, 06:48 AM
Two middle names isn't too complicated, if you want to go that route (better than two unhyphenated last names, which creates problems EVERYWHERE). Perhaps you'd consider Megan J. Kendrick Hislastname? Just a thought that hadn't yet been mentioned.

Someone made the argument that no one will really ask for the middle name in interactions (unless you print it on a business card or something?), and that a small town may very well recognize you without the name attached. That makes plenty of sense. However, it's about what YOU want.

If you WANT to keep your maiden name, I vote for Megan Jewel Kendrick Hislastname. That way, you get to keep them all *grins* It's YOUR name, you're the one that has to write it out...if you like them all, keep them all.

One piece of advice, though: when you go about making the legal changes, make a list and get them all done. Any bank accounts, credit cards (and the 3 bureaus!)*, DMV, Social Security, Passport, subscriptions/mailing lists, your email accounts, PO Box, all of it...obviously, you can't get them all done at once, but after you make a list, set aside some time and do all that you possibly can from home. It'll make it that much easier to get the rest done.

*The credit bureaus will likely just adopt your new name as an alias and your credit score/info will stay relevant. However, one of them had a mix-up and put my married name as my maiden...caused issues with a credit card company. Not a big deal, and a quick fix, but avoidable altogether if I would've just called and dealt with it in the first place.

Also, it was easier to change my last name on all of my credit cards than it was to change my name on my World of Warcraft account. *grins*

12-03-2010, 11:13 AM
Megan, here is the solution, name your first son Kendrick and name your first daughter Jewel.

Wild Vulpix
12-03-2010, 12:15 PM
If you plan on having kids, you could give them the middle or first name Kendrick or Jewel :) Then you're doing your duty of passing them down.

12-03-2010, 12:23 PM
I kept my middle name and just took his last name. My middle name is a family heritage thing and I didn't want to lose it at all. I also live in a small town now, and grew up in another one. Every time I go back there they still know me, even without my original last name. And if you go back and they don't know you, well you at least have something to talk about as you explain who you are.

12-03-2010, 12:44 PM
I use my family name as my middle name, but I wasn't as attached to my given name as you are. One unexpected benefit is that while there are several people named Joy Moll on the internet there is only one Joy Weese Moll, so joyweesemoll is always available as a username.

Also, the thing about people not using middle names? Since I kept my family name, I use my middle name much more than I would have otherwise. It's a little odd sometimes in speech. People don't know whether to use two names or three names when they introduce me. But it works great in writing and I think it helps people remember my name better (that librarian with three names), so it has helped with name recognition in my professional life. I use all three names pretty much everywhere I write my name. Even my emails are signed "--Joy" on one line and "Joy Weese Moll" underneath.

12-03-2010, 12:55 PM
I hated my maiden name, I love my middle name but it rhymes with my married last name so kind of sounds funny using all 3. I generally just use my first name and last night although my passport and drivers license have my middle name on them.

jess jp
12-03-2010, 01:04 PM
i decided on 2 last names and dropped my middle name. so i used to be Jessica Marie Jaynes and am now Jessica Jaynes Paez. i gave my daughter (she was stillborn) my middle name-Joslyn Marie.

12-03-2010, 02:44 PM
After I got married, my SS card and driver's license read: Jessica M. (maiden name) (hislastname). for example: Jessica M.Smith Johnson
I did this for a few reasons:
1) I wanted a reference to my middle name (starts with an m) so that if there was ever legal documentation that had my middle name, I could still prove it was me.
2) I liked claiming my maiden name--it's who I was for 26 years.
3)My college diplomas and teaching certificates had my maiden name on them.
3) with my maiden name on my ss card and driver's license, people can still write checks to me using my maiden name (like my mom who can't spell my married name, lol) or to my married name.

edited: actually I think my name on my ss card read Jessica M-Smith Johnson. I liked the hyphen better and no one at ss or the dmv cared.

12-03-2010, 07:09 PM
Also, it was easier to change my last name on all of my credit cards than it was to change my name on my World of Warcraft account. *grins*

LMFAO that seriously made my day...

I'd say keep it as it is, or do as the two poster's above and give the names to your children. If I ever get married, I'm keeping my lastname and he can keep his, only because my name won't sound good with anyone else's last night.

12-03-2010, 08:46 PM
I use my maiden name and I've never felt like I "gave up" my middle name. My legal signature may not include it but I'll always be Heidi Jean to my family and childhood friends. :)

12-03-2010, 10:03 PM
Well, it was easy for me, because I don't have a middle name! I thought about keeping my birth name (ftr, I hate the term maiden name. Bugs the cr@p out of me :lol:) as a middle name, but since my father is an a-hole that I'm glad is not in my life, I don't really have a huge connection to it. I just use it on facebook as my middle name, so old friends can find me.

Anyhow, if I were you, I'd keep them both, or hyphenate my birth and married last names.

12-03-2010, 10:27 PM
Don't hyphenate ....this causes nothing but confusion, say you are Smith-Jones, half the world will file you under Smith the other half will file you under Jones.

12-03-2010, 10:43 PM
I guess I didn't even think about keeping my maiden name as an option, I don't know why..?

I think Megan Jewel McKendrick hislastname would sound good! :D

12-04-2010, 12:52 AM
If I had it to do over, I would have used my middle name, maiden and then his.

As it is I use my middle and took his last name. Might have to change that.

The one thing I did NOT do was become Mrs. John Doe. We still have little old ladies who come in to pay the bill, and sign the check, Mrs. John Doe. It just seems so weird to me, it's like these women, once they married became some non person.

One other thing that bugs me, our checks read his first name/last name, my first name/hislastname. Now we could be married, but we could be brother/sister, cousins, father/daughter, mother/son, family business partners, etc., but some clerks insist on saying thank you Mrs. xxxx. How do they know? Just one of those little things that bugs me for no particular valid reason. ;)

12-04-2010, 09:31 PM
I don't have a middlename, and it never crossed my mind to use my maiden name as a middle name when I got married. Now I am in the process of a divorce, so I need to decide if I want to keep my married name (15yrs worth) or go back to my maiden name.

12-04-2010, 09:39 PM
Thanks so much for all your input!!! Mucho helpful :)

I'm still leaning towards Megan Kendrick Hislastname. I love the name Jewel, but I don't think it really defines my identity as Kendrick does. "Megan Kendrick" is who I have been for 22 years, not "Megan Jewel."

I am considering Megan Jewel Kendrick Hislastname, it just seems like...a lot. Too much name-age, lol.

And as has been suggested, "Jewel" is definitely at the top of the list for little girl names. I have a female cousin named Kendrick and a male distant cousin named Ken/Kendrick. So I'll be using the names one way or another :)

12-04-2010, 11:50 PM
The first two places I changed my name were social security & driver's license. Both recommended keeping my maiden name as my middle name for continuity - much like the comment above about being able to prove it's you. Since I never actively used my middle name and liked keeping the heritage of my last name it was a good choice for me. Oddly for house purchases they created all the documents with my middle name and required me to sign my name with my middle name instead of my documented maiden name. I believe there's only one other person in the country with the same first/last name combination that I have. And I can be really sure there'd be no one else with my first/maiden/last name combination.

12-07-2010, 12:15 PM
Make sure you really love the one you choose, because reverting to a former name is a big pain in the butt. The most pain was with the phone and cable companies. I had to fax them a copy of my changed IDs along with a letter explaining. I am back to my maiden name on all fronts now, but took a better part of 4 years to do it.

12-08-2010, 03:09 PM
I never considered dropping my middle name, but I added my maiden name as a second middle name. It is a little long, but not really. both my married last name and my middle name are only one syllable, so the whole long name only comes out to seven syllables.

Also, I never use all four names. They are on my drivers license and social security cards, but that's it. I've never liked the way my first name (Jessica) looks in cursive (I have terrible s's) So I sign my signature as JMR Lastname.

I actually waited almost two years to change my name after I got married- I really wanted to take on his name because I love the sentiment, but I was attached to my maiden name. I played sports for so long growing up and Jessica is EXCEPTIONALLY common, and so in some ways, my last name was just as much of my first name as my first name! I had a hard time dealing with the thought of leaving that all behind, until I decided to keep it as a second middle name. Sometimes I still miss my maiden name, especially since my married name is unusual and a derivative spelling of an illegal drug (not on purpose, it's just what most people think of!) But, I'm happy with my big long name. And really, you pretty much never need to write out the whole thing. (I'm thinking less than ten times in the last three years)

12-08-2010, 03:17 PM
I kept my middle name which is Lyn and dropped my maiden was boring anyways lol

I vote to Keep your Maiden name and if you don't want two middle names then possibly give it to your little girl if you have one.

12-08-2010, 03:20 PM
I just went traditional. Dropped my name and took his.

We've been married for 9 years. We moved into this house 3 years ago and I started getting stuff to my maiden name again.

Arctic Mama
12-09-2010, 02:26 AM
I kept my middle name, it is just more 'me' and I didn't know keeping one's maiden name was more proper. So I ended up Taryl Jordan G______. Works for us :)