• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

19 August 2009

take a wife 'cause life is beautiful

Decades ago, I think it was pretty much decided that the bride would change her name when she married. If her intended was Ima Buttlicker, she'd be Mrs. Ima Buttlicker. There was no discussion; I doubt it occurred to many women that they had other options. Most brides today find themselves open to choose the option that suits their lifestyle, values and preferences. Various bridal message boards and blogs are always "buzzing" with name change issues, from drama to logistics.

Through my posts on the wedding website* I blog for, many of the readers noticed my esoteric approaches to various aspects of wedding planning. In a comment on one post of mine, a reader said:
"...Most of the time I am surprised and refreshed by your unconventional approach to weddings... I would really say keep with your non-traditional (non)wedding theme..."
I'm not consciously trying to project a theme on my wedding, but it's pretty much impossible not to when you're getting married in a courthouse, not having a reception, wearing a short dress and pretty much taking a blasé approach to almost everything traditionally wedding-related. Yes, through my wedding blog posts, I've become the Girl Who Isn't Doing Traditional Weddingy Stuff.

But read this post of mine. It discusses my very traditional views on some aspects of marriage, family, and husband/wife roles. Today's post is related: it's about my intention to take my husband's name at marriage.

As my wedding day approaches, friends and acquaintances occasionally approach the issue with me. "Pink Heli," they say. "You aren't going to change YOUR name, are you?"

But I am. It's a "traditional" thing, and I'm 100% for it. There's never been any question in my mind. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to think that soon we'll be Mr. and Mrs HisName. We'll be a duo, a team! Legally, outwardly, and on paper. With sexy black outfits and shiny guns, like Mr. and Mrs. Smith!

Well, maybe not with the guns.

But guns or no guns... I don't feel that it's worth it to have to explain my last name situation every time we do paperwork. I don't want to have to prove that we're married whenever one of us has to deal with the other's account, bill or other identity-sensitive situation. And in the future, I don't want to deal with confusion about our children's last names. I'm also not terribly attached to my maiden name. I respect and love my family dearly... but I also have one of the most common names in the United States. The social security records department isn't going to miss a Jones**. By contrast, Bf has an unusual last name (but a good one! He's not Mr. Angry Boogermonkey or anything!). By taking his name I will be the only one with my first/last in the country. That's pretty cool! (Yes, I will have to spell it to people. I already have to spell my uncommon first name everywhere I go, so why not take it all the way?!)

Meg at A Practical Wedding has done a couple of posts about addressing invitations - namely how to avoid absorbing the wife's identity in the husband's name. I think it's awesome that she provided this resource, and I can't stress enough how important I think it is to make sure people are called what they wish to be called. But both of Meg's posts deal with the idea that addressing a couple as "Mr. and Mrs. Joe Blow" is an awful practice. Personally, I don't mind being "Mrs. Joe Blow". If or when Bf and I begin to receive mail addressed this way, I'll be flattered. I think it's really cute, romantic, and old-school. In a few years, we'll be "Dr. and Dr. Blow", which will be hella cool too.

I feel fortunate that it wasn't at all hard for me to decide on my new moniker. This is what I want for myself and for Bf. It works for us.

*No, I you haven't missed anything. I didn't give the link. This explains.

**Not my last name.