Growing up, it never occurred to me that some people didn’t change their last name after marriage. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a conservative Texas neighborhood and changing your name post-wedding was the norm. But, as I got older I started realizing that it wasn’t as common as I once thought, and that there were a ton of reasons why people do and don’t.
Did you change your name when you got married? Or if you’re not married, would you change it if you got married?
It took me nearly six months to get around to it, but I finally did change my name after we got married. I have to admit that the process was a huge pain and there were a few moments during the process where I asked myself why I even bothered! I had bought one of those services that supposedly makes the process easier, but it didn’t, so if you’re considering one of those, I’d recommend just doing the research yourself and saving the money.
I might be the outlier though, because my name change was not quite as simple as most people’s, ha! Let me explain. My given name at birth was Elizabeth Blair Culwell, but my parents never intended to call me Elizabeth. I once asked why they didn’t just switch the two names—their answer? “We liked how Elizabeth Blair sounded better than Blair Elizabeth!” My mom later told me if she had know how much trouble it was going to cause with my name change, she would have switched them when I was born, ha! Thanks, mom!
When I went to change my name, I figured it was the perfect time to officially make my first name Blair since that’s what I’d been called since the day I was born. I also wanted to keep my maiden name, Culwell, as part of my name so instead of doing the traditional switch-a-roo, I changed my entire name to be Blair Culwell Staky. Great idea, right?! Hmm, sorta…. The social security office had no issues with it, but when I got to the DMV and later tried to change my passport, things got complicated. I was barely able to get my driver’s license, thankfully the guy was nice enough and made it work, and when it came to my passport, I had to completely reapply rather than simply updating my name. It was quite the process, but after six months or so, I finally got it all switched over—phew!
So, tell me, I know everyone has different motivations for changing or not changing their names and I’d love to hear yours! If you changed your name, did you encounter problems when changing it like I did or was it an easy process? If you didn’t change it, what made you decide to keep your name?