Caitlyn
Just Said Yes June 2019

Two last names non-hyphenated

Caitlyn , on June 23, 2019 at 11:38 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 12
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Hi all!

Here are my questions:
For those who have tacked your spouse’s last name onto yours and did not hyphenate, do you have any grievances doing so? Is signing your name daunting? Does explaining your other last name (whichever it is) cause any problems (talking to customer service, doctor appointments, buying a car, insurance)? Is your name too long on your credit card? These are the things I’m worried about.

Background information:
My my last name and my middle name are 8 letters long. My fiancé’s last names is 6 letters long.

My mother did not change her last name when she married my father. My middle name is my father’s last name, and my last name is my mother’s last name. Reasons being, I have three half-siblings with my father’s last name (one brother to pass it down), and my mother’s last name is very rare. Only her and I have this last name in our state, and we are related to anyone who shares our last name. My mother loves genealogy. Our last name can only be traced back to the early 1700’s when one of our ancestors sailed to America; From where, we don’t know. Even using DNA testing, Ancestry.com, etc. we cannot pinpoint where the name originated. “Somewhere in Denmark or Germany” is not a good enough answer.

Problems:
My fiancé was married once before, and his ex-wife kept his last name because they have two children. My father was also married once before, and his ex-wife kept his last name for the same reason. My parents having different last names has caused them so many issues. Customer service never believes that my mother is married to my father. Car dealerships have called my father’s ex-wife THREE times even though my parents gave their phone numbers to a car dealer in-person.

Here is what I’m worried about:
I want to keep my maiden name (and middle name) because it’s so neat that my parents named me that way. It’s also a symbol of pride and independence passed down from my mother. Not doing things the same way has been a part of me since I was born (because of the name). My last name is also very rare, and it would be easier to trace ancestry for any relatives if I kept it. Even if I had two middle names and my fiancé's last name, it’s harder to research your ancestry when there are name changes. I also will not give up my middle name. My father allowing his last name to be my middle name is something I want to respect.


Thank you you for reading!

12 Comments

Latest activity by bevbabe, on October 24, 2021 at 5:12 PM
  • Cheryl
    Expert November 2020
    Cheryl ·
    • Flag
    Sounds like you really don't want to take FH's last name, but you're worried about confusion among other for things like bills and that sort of official stuff. How does FH feel about you not taking his name at all? Is that an option? What would your children's last names be? My mother was remarried and had a different last name as me growing up and it was never an issue. I think in our current time families come in lots of shapes and sizes so it's more common than you think for society to work with people who don't have the same names. Also, if you're worried about future relatives trying to figure out genealogy, our methods of documentation are better now than they were in the 1700s.
    • Reply
  • Nikita
    VIP April 2019
    Nikita ·
    • Flag

    No matter what, your name gets a little complicated when you get married. From everyone calling you 'ms.' so not to offend, to calling you the wrong last name, etc. Just decide it based on what is right for you and your future.

    I did not hyphenate and chose to take my husband's name entirely. With my family dynamics, it really wasn't a question for me. My maiden name had a better flow with my married name, and my new one is as unoriginal as 'smith' or 'henry', but it doesn't matter to me. I can always find my family's legacy if I really want to. Services like ancestry.com are actually rather useful.



    • Reply
  • Gmm
    Devoted October 2019
    Gmm ·
    • Flag
    I am adding my FH’s last name to mine, non hyphenated. I’ll be marrying for the first time at 47, closer to 48 and to give up my identity after all those years just doesn’t work for me.
    • Reply
  • Laura
    VIP November 2019
    Laura ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    This why I’m doubting the decision to take FH’s name too. I’ll be 43 when I walk down the aisle - I’ve always been a (MyLastName), I cant imagine not being one at this late date.
    • Reply
  • Gmm
    Devoted October 2019
    Gmm ·
    • Flag
    Laura, I understand where you’re coming from. I feel because I am getting married later in life, I just don’t want to toss my identity that has established me in my career as well as my tight family connection.
    • Reply
  • Caitlyn
    Just Said Yes June 2019
    Caitlyn ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I knew I would leave an important piece of information out! I definitely want to take my FH’s last name. My future step-daughters are so excited to share a name. It really boils down to whether I want two middle names or two last names; Whether having two last names is worth any little problems it may cause.

    I feel so silly not thinking king about how much better we are at recording information nowadays. DUH! That definitely wouldn’t be an issue. You’re right!
    • Reply
  • Cheryl
    Expert November 2020
    Cheryl ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Aha! I see now. I'm glad your step-daughters are excited! Personally, I think it would be great to have two last names because how often do we use our middle names. Can you have two last names without hypenating?
    • Reply
  • Caitlyn
    Just Said Yes June 2019
    Caitlyn ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Yes!! You don’t have to hyphenate, so you can use your last names interchangeably. You just have to write out both last names when you’re signing important documents.
    • Reply
  • Cheryl
    Expert November 2020
    Cheryl ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I just read an article about the Disney siblings. The two daughters go by Disney and then their husbands names with no hyphen. I wouldn't want to give up that name either!
    • Reply
  • Janice
    Just Said Yes September 2021
    Janice ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    So do you just put a space where a hyphen would go?
    • Reply
  • Kim
    Just Said Yes September 2021
    Kim ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Yes, a space where the hyphen would go. Like Hillary Rodham Clinton, Kim Kardashian West, Angelina Jolie Pitt, Laura Jean Reese Witherspoon, and so on. Smiley winking. I took my 1st husbands last name and ditched my own. Upon divorce, I took back my birth last name, dropped my (non important) middle name and took my mon's maiden name as my middle name (honoring both parents names, as THAT is who I REALLY am). After my 2nd marriage, I dropped my middle name (mom's name)… moved my birth last name to my middle name and took hubby's last name as mine. AND>>>> upon THAT divorce I reverted back to mom's maiden name as my middle name AND my birth last name (dad's). Thus honoring BOTH parents again! Well.... at 57 I married my 2nd husband AGAIN!!! (yes I did) Well, over the last 10 years I had BECOME and ESTABLISHED myself as -->>> My first name, mom's maiden name as my middle name, and (Dad's surname as my last name AGAIN. NOW upon remarrying, WHAT TO DO???? I toiled over this for MONTHS and MONTHS and settled on "Who I am, who I FEEL is me" which now is. My given first name, Mom's maiden name as my middle name, and TWO last names: (Maiden name) (Hubby's last name) NO HYPHEN. I get to use them interchangeably. I did NOT have to change my name on many things. Just the legal things like Social Security Card, Drivers license, some banks accounts. I did not even have to change it on credit cards as I was told as long as the last name on the card is (1) of my last names as shown on my SS card and Drivers license. CRAZY HUH??? Whew, That was a mouthful! Smiley winking

    • Reply
  • bevbabe
    Dedicated June 2023
    bevbabe ·
    • Flag

    I'm having two last names. If you put it in the middle name spot, sometimes it won't be included. I want to be Ms. MaidenName FianceLastName

    • Reply

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