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Name changes with marriage? Advice?

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Old 12-02-2010, 10:12 PM   #1
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Default Name changes with marriage? Advice?

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.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:14 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:25 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:29 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:58 PM   #5
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I think Megan Kendrick sounds lovely.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:05 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:08 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:10 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:09 AM   #10
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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...
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:41 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:48 AM   #12
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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*
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:13 AM   #13
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Megan, here is the solution, name your first son Kendrick and name your first daughter Jewel.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:15 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:23 PM   #15
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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.
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