Is the age old tradition of the bride changing her name after she gets married, a thing of the past?


I remember being a young teenager and imagining what I would change my name to when I was married; Kristine Depp, Kristine Gere, or perhaps Kristine Michael (I wasn’t quite right with that one!). Anyway, I assumed that when I married I would change my name. I suppose this assumption was because that’s what my mum had done, along with all the other married women I knew.

Then I went to uni and became an upwardly mobile professional. At least half of the married women I worked with did not change their surname to that of their husband. It seemed to be a real ‘thing’ that the professional/qualified women didn’t change their name. It was like a matter of principle to show that they were their own woman.

When I met Neal, we knew we were going to have kids and got started on this pretty quickly because we were both considered older than the average new couples. We got married when our first born was just 2 years old. A year later our beautiful girl came along.

Neal and I spoke about whether or not it was an issue for me to change my name. Neal’s opinion was that it was my name and my decision, so was totally supportive when I decided to keep the name I’d had for the past 37 years. Both of our kids have Neal’s surname.

I could have gone down the hyphenated name path; then I worry about what happens if my kids with hyphenated names get married and then hyphenate their hyphenated name with their partners’ name it will just be nuts! How does all of that work?

Now I’m a marriage celebrant and am surprised by the number of women, particularly younger women who are so keen to change their name. It seems that, most couples live together before getting married. Then, they get married, with one of the main reasons being to start a family and it appears to me that changing the bride’s name to that of her husband is part of this process.

Recently, at a business networking night I sat with a couple, and noticed that they had the same surname - the woman who had changed her name to that of her partner said “It was the best $30 I spent in my life. I just went to Births, Deaths and Marriages and it was all done in half an hour. Much cheaper than a wedding".

And that got me thinking, is this something that brides think a lot about when they think about getting married - does it play a huge part in the decision they want to get married? Is changing your name still considered a tradition or have the times changed and it’s no longer important whether you change your name or not?

For my own professional growth and out of curiosity, I would love to hear some thoughts on this debate and learn about the conversations you had with your partner about name changes, when you got married. Even if you’re not married but have an opinion on this I welcome those too. There's a comments box on the bottom of my Vlog page that you can leave your thoughts and comments for me - cheers!

Let's celebrate love,


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