Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A Change of Name

What Will You Do?

Traditionally, the European/Christian bride will take signingthe groom’s name once they are married because a dowry has been paid and she is joining his family.

In China, a bride keeps her own family name as, although she is married and a dowry has been paid, she is still part of her original family.

In Islamic weddings, brides keep their own names as many surnames aren’t family names but specially chosen names.

But what will you do?

In the 21st Century the choice is yours and there are many options available to the modern bride.

  • Take his namesigning-the-register
  • Keep your own names
  • The groom could take the brides name
  • Double barrelled with a hyphen
  • Double barrelled without the hyphen
  • A combination of the two names
    (eg. Wong + Cuthbert = Wongbert)

Many brides keep their own names, but then you have the tough choice of who’s name do the children take?

As a teacher, it’s a lot less confusing for us if the entire family have the same name, but what if you’re a lady who likes her name? What if your groom likes his name?

My h2b is a traditional guy and there would be no signing-the-register (1)option of him changing his name. We have toyed with the Wongbert idea, and even Cuthbert-Wong (although he thinks it should be Wong-Cuthbert!).

Double barrelled names are becoming more and more popular. When I was little, double barrelled names were only for the rich but more children in my classes through the years have double barrelled names.

A Whole New Name

A trend that is growing in popularity is making an entirely new name.

You could make it a combination of the two names, such as Smones or Joith or even put all the letters of the names in a bag and create an entirely new name by just picking out the letters.

Your Decisionistockphoto_7066054-bride-and-groom-signing-wedding-register

In the end, names are just names and they don’t define who we are. If you and your groom both like your names, why go through the legal expense of changing them? Keeping your own surname doesn’t mean you love him any less than if you took his name. Do what makes you feel comfortable!

My Decision

I have been looking forward to being Mrs Wong for the last few years! I’m a traditional gal and I would love to take his name!  However, I really believe that brides should make their own decisions about their names and should discuss it with their h2b’s.


  1. This is a good post, Fran - I agree with your advice: it's a case of ignoring all the outside influences, traditions, relatives, opinions - and going with what your heart wants to do.

    I did giggle at Wongbert.

    Claire (English Wedding) xx

  2. Thanks for your comment Claire. People do read my blog! Yay!

    I have my views of how a wedding 'should' be, but mainly, I really think brides should do what they want for their special day. (And sometimes grooms too.)