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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

After I Do: Name-Change Decisions

If you debated changing your name before the wedding, what did you eventually decide and how has it worked out for you thus far?  If you could go back and do it differently, would you have?

I thought this would be an easy decision for me, but I actually changed my mind at the last minute leading up to the wedding day.  During those 5 years of dating, I told H that I would take his name.  My name wouldn't drastically change.  I would even have the same number of letters.

Then I realized how attached I am to my name.  It is part of my identity, and I couldn't part with it.  Yes, that means every single part of my name, including that dreadfully sounding middle name.  In Chinese traditions, you can identify a generation by their middle name.  I share the same middle name with most of my sisters (the youngest being the exception).  I feel a sense of belonging and connection with my given middle name.  Also everyone in school somehow figured out my full name at some point.  I wouldn't be the same without my first, middle, and last name.

So I can't eliminate my middle name.  I also can't get rid of my last name either.  I feel even more attached to it, and it reminds me of where I came from.  I'm sure it can be a common name, but it is rare enough for me (by no means is it equivalent to Smith).  If I need to keep all of my names, then what happens to my last name?  Do I move it to the middle?  Do I add H's name to my last name to make a doubly long last name?  Do I hyphenate?  So many possibilities!

Well I went ahead and asked H what he thought of my decision.  He was on board and fully supported my change of heart.  The great thing is that we never fully discussed what I would do with my last name.  We only talked about me keeping all of my names.  A few weeks later he filled out my information to add to his insurance policy.  He decided that I would have two last names.  Oye.

I didn't exactly want that either.  I wanted to move my last name in the middle name position.  Yup, that means I have two middle names.  That way I could still keep my identity, and I can share the same last name with our children.  No worries.  I took an extra step and corrected everything that was possibly wrong with my name, and I did so through the court system.

I went to my court hearing last week, and my name change was approved.  I am currently in the process of switching my name on everything possible, and it's a lot of hard work.  Every department and company does it differently.  So far I have successfully changed my name with the government (social security administration) and my bank.  It'll be a long drawn out process, but it is so worth it.  I enjoy sharing the same last name with  my husband and soon to be Ninja.

Check out other responses from the famous bees themselves over here!

After I Do:
Wedding Regrets


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