Planning a wedding involves making a lot of decisions. For me, one decision was very easy: keeping my last name.
I have never thought too much about marriage. Even as a little girl, I never fantasized about my dream wedding or husband. I will admit I sometimes like to binge on wedding reality shows when I’m bored, but that is about the extent of my wedding obsession.
When I recently became engaged, I suddenly became immersed in wedding planning. My fiancé and I started getting asked tons of questions about venues, food, dress, and bridal parties. It was a little overwhelming. I still don’t know what the purpose of a rehearsal dinner is.
One thing I have known for a while though is that I want to keep my last name after I get married. I love my last name — not because it is a unique or exciting last name, but because it is my identity. I am very close with my immediate family and consider them my primary family, first and foremost. It’s not that I don’t love my fiancé’s family; I just don’t want to lose my identity and roots.
My family may be a little dysfunctional at times, but we are a strong group. People will talk about us like, “Oh that’s a classic Grant move” or “Wouldn’t expect anything less from a Grant.” I don’t want to lose my sense of identity and don’t want to feel like I’m changing as a person just because I’m getting married.
There are some other reasons I don’t want to change my last name — such as not wanting to feel like my husband’s property (even though I know I’m not!), and honestly, all the paperwork. But I have respect for all people — both the ones who choose to take their husband’s last name and those who choose to keep their own. Choosing your identity is a deeply personal task, and women should be able to make the choice that they are most comfortable with. For me, that choice is not changing anything at all.
What do you think? Did you change your last name when you got married? Did you keep your own last name? Let us know in the comments below!
This article was originally written for Our Community Now at Maryland by Brianna Grant.