Compare Wedding Insurance asks: Which Surname?

When a couple get married traditionally the bride changes her maiden name to her husband’s surname. This certainly seems to be the most preferred option of brides, bar a few who have kept their maiden names which they have built their careers under.

Here at Compare Wedding Insurance we understand that changing your maiden name to your husband's surname is certainly the simplest option. It makes life easier once you are married to share the same surname (for social, financial and domestic matters) and much less confusing once you have children together. If you (or even your husband) are not keen on sticking with the tradition of you taking his name then how about one of the following options:

  • You could use a double barrelled combination of both of your surnames - this has become an increasingly popular choice amongst couples. The two elements of the new surname could either be linked by a hyphen or kept separate.
  • How about using your surname as a middle name for both of you?
  • You could “mesh” your maiden name with your husband’s surname to make a brand new surname for you both – it could be great fun choosing a new name together!
  • Alternatively, if none of these options appeal to you both then there is no reason (if he is agreeable) why your husband cannot change his surname to your maiden name when you get married.

Although many couples in recent years have chosen to combine their last names it is still unusual for a man to take his wife’s surname upon marriage. Whilst you might have pondered this with newlywed friends and even discussed the topic of name changing with your own husband prior to our wedding, you may have never really considered it to be a serious option (unless the man’s surname is so humiliating that it just is not an option for the bride to consider taking it!). Here at Compare Wedding Insurance we wondered if this might well become a new wedding trend in years to come. Recently, in Seattle, newlyweds Donna and Mike Salinger were met with chuckles and confusion from their wedding guests last November as they were announced on their wedding day with the wife’s surname. Mike bravely chose to take his wife's last name instead of her taking his.

"It is still unusual for a man to take his wife’s surname upon marriage"
"Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought it would have caused as much of a stir as it did," said Mike Salinger, 27, who was married in November. "We knew people might be surprised, but we figured they'd say 'Huh' and get on with it.”

This is a very unique and modern idea and one which we don’t think should be ridiculed. Here at Compare Wedding Insurance we think that with all of the new trends in weddings this break with the norm is refreshing.

According to a newspaper report in January of this year, groom-to-be Michael Buday of California decided that he wanted to honour his fiancé’s family by taking her name upon their marriage. The only obstacle in his way was the law! Under California state law he needed to pay more than $300 and comply with their laborious and strict legal requirements before his name change could happen. He decided that this was unfair and alongside the ACLU decided to go to court to battle it out. It was stated that:

“California is one of 44 states with unequal name change laws for people getting married. Right now, only six states — Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York and North Dakota — explicitly allow a man to change his name through marriage with the same ease as a woman can.”

Is it right that women can change their names so easily upon marriage yet men are forced into an expensive and laborious labyrinth of red tape in the USA? Without doubt it is a lot easier for men in the UK as they need only execute a change of name by Deed Poll, pay up the £29.99 fee and this guarantees that their new surname is legal and accepted by everyone without question.

"It is a lot easier for men in the UK as they need only execute a change of name by Deed Poll"

Whether newlyweds choose to merge names, create a completely new one or both be known by the bride’s surname, isn’t the most important thing that it should be personal choice for them how they wish themselves to be known upon their marriage?


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