I wrote earlier today about the technical details behind Brides changing their last names on their wedding day, and how you do it legally in Australia.
It’s often an awkward point in meeting with a couple, when I ask if the bride will be taking the groom’s last name. She looks at him, he looks at her, she sighs a little bit and then gleefully says “yes!”
I know for Britt it’s been a sore point, for no real reason at all.
I know she doesn’t hate my last name, she’s even using it on Facebook, she’s got nothing against it’s Old English heritage and I know she’s got nothing against me, because she married me! But nonetheless, it’s been kind of a sore point for her and I think Maude Standish rounds it out quite nicely in her most recent piece for the Huffington Post when she says that she understands why many girls are taking their husbands names and why she isn’t: “It’s just not the right choice for me.”
By taking their husbands’ last names, Millennials are not trying to define themselves as anti-equality, they are trying to establish themselves as part of a team and community. They are hyper aware of the prevalence of divorce, and they are taking every precaution they can to battle against it. Hyphenated and different last names were the route their mothers took — the same mothers who got divorced at massive rates. Instead they are looking to their grandmothers who gladly “teamed up” and stayed married so long they wore out the engravings on their wedding rings. I understand why Millennial women are making this choice. It’s just not the right choice for me.
I haven’t talked to Britt about this blog post, she’ll read it in due time, but she already knows that I’m divided on the issue. She already has a really cool last name, I kind of like it, and I’m 110% ok with her keeping it, but I’d be honoured if she took mine. After all, I’ve always had the last name Withers, I kind of like it.
Maude tells of how she reasoned with her husband-to-be:
I told my fiancé that I’d change my name if he truly wanted me to. He looked at me a bit like he had won a prize and just said, “You shouldn’t. If you did, you wouldn’t be you.”
There’s many reasons why brides are and aren’t taking their groom’s last name, what’s your reason for taking, or not taking his last name? Join the conversation in the comments below.