Changing Or Keeping Your Name After Marriage

June 6, 2013

To keep or to change: that is the question. Today’s Australian bride is even more traditional than their mother when it comes to changing names after marriage, with a whopping 94% taking their husband’s name, according to Easy Name Change’s annual survey. So what’s motivating them, and what are some other options?

Double barrelled names are less popular

Double barrelled, or joint names, was once seen as the best of both worlds but now is only popular with 4% of respondents. As joined names are considered too clunky, a popular choice was to retain use of a maiden name in some capacity. In 2010 this was popular with almost a third, but now only appeals to 18%.

What’s motivating brides to take their husband’s name?

The three most cited motivators were ‘wanting the whole family to have the same name’ (89%), ‘as a sign of commitment to my new family (84%), and, surprisingly, ‘traditional and ritual’, which resonated with 75% of respondents.

Interestingly, more than half of brides surveyed agreed that changing names reflects their achievement in getting married.

…But they’re not happy about it

While more brides than ever are rushing to change names, it’s not creating a positive impression. Emotionally, brides are better off with their own names. Only 10% are happier, 21% more confident and 19% have an improved sense of identity post-name change.

Other options

As with prior years, there are some women taking a different surname altogether. In the US, creating a new joint surname has been trending over the last few years.

Also, a handful of men take their wife’s surname after marriage, and some change names after divorce.

Did you keep your name or take your husband’s name?

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