Name changes after marriage

Yesterday there was an article in the New York Times Weddings & Celebrations section about name changes after getting married.  There have been 391 comments since then.

One says:

I always cringe when this subject comes up. I think this entire debate is idiotic. It is, however, highly useful in weeding out liberals. I took my husband’s last name when we married, and I would never have wanted to do anything different. I think anything else just shows how pervasive that militant, socialistic feminism is, and is simply another way of undermining marriage. Women who refuse to take their husband’s name only do so because they want to “be prepared” in case the marriage fails. Of course, with that mindset the chances of failure increase dramatically.

— Husband’s Last Name and Proud of it!, Michigan

Useful in weeding out the liberals?  Guilty as charged.

I plan to keep my last name the rest of my life, regardless of my marital status.  It’s easy to pronounce, spelled exactly as it’s pronounced (although a surprising number of people get it wrong), not too long or short, not too common, and I’d like the continuity for professional purposes.  Assuming I’m not forever working in low-level cubicle jobs, that is, and a professional life becomes important.  I’m the #3 google hit for my name, I just discovered.  The woman with model horses and the winner of a 2004 teen pageant are still ahead of me, though.

Besides, I’ve already changed my name once — over 20 years ago — and that’s enough.  I don’t know what my spouse will do or what name any children would use.  Possible solution?  No children.

December 4, 2007. Words.


  1. Sandy Craig replied:

    Amy – The whole name-after-marriage thing is fraught with complications. To begin with, YOUR last name was not what you were born with. Right? So, should you have taken your mother’s or your father’s last name? How about your mother? Should she be a Gannett? And her brother a Wegner? What if you do have children? Males – Dad’s last name, Females – Mom’s last name??? Should husbands take their wives’ names? What’s so important about a last name anyway? And you and I both know that you HAVE to spell your last name most of the time since others hear
    WAGNER when you say WEGNER. So, why not change it to Wagner or perhaps Vegner to honor your Granddad’s German heritage? By the way, is this topic of theoretical or practical interest?

  2. admin replied:

    Theoretical in the sense that I’m not about to get married or anything.

    Why not change it to another name to honor my Granddad’s German heritage? Because I don’t plan to change my name, including for such a reason. Also, how would I choose which of my four grandparents to honor? If anything, my paternal side would make more sense because the Finnish heritage is 50% of me and only a few generations back.

  3. Ana replied:

    Wow, what an offensive attitude. So because I didn’t take my husband’s name, I’m waiting for my marriage to fail? I never even considered that option. It’s sad when women can’t be respectful of other women’s choices that don’t concern them at ALL.

  4. admin replied:

    Update: I’m no longer on the first page of Google results when searching for my name. A friend was linking his blog to this one using my full name and I asked him to change it. If already here I don’t mind people knowing who I am, but I’d rather that Others out there can’t find it right away with a simple search (i.e. potential employers, exes, etc.)

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