Weddings unite not just two people and their families, but also their entire identities. While this romantic partnership has important meanings as old as time, its impact varies around the world and has changed over time.
Modern brides are just as dedicated to their spouses as they always have been, but whether or not to change their names after marriage is a bigger issue today. According to Forbes magazine, we need to market ourselves as a brand to be successful in business, and if you change your name, that can change your brand identity.
Customs about changing your name after your wedding can vary based on where you live in the world.
Here are some of the various international customs include the following:
United States, Canada and the United Kingdom: Women in these countries can change their last name to that of their new husband or can choose to keep the surname they were born with. According to Live Science, most American women choose to change their names after marriage, and those who keep their birth names are often harshly judged.
China: According to the website Speaking of China, Chinese women are more likely to keep their last name after they get married. However, even if they don’t legally change their names after marriage, it’s common for people to call them Mrs. (Husband’s Surname) even if it’s not official.
Although not confined to any geographical location, some couples are participating in a growing trend of combining the woman’s maiden name and the husband’s last name. These blended names combine the syllables from both names to create an entirely new name. One of the best known examples of this was the former mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. His birth name was Villar and his wife’s surname at birth was Raigosa; combining both names created Villaraigosa.
Despite the fact that today’s modern culture allows for a wide variety of options, the majority of North American women still choose to adopt their husband’s last name and to wear the title of “Mrs.” with pride. But in an era where our identities are a brand which plays a major role in our professional success, changing your name can have a significant impact on your career.
Even though you’re thrilled to merge your life with your new husband and to take his name, it can be a big headache to change your professional identity. In addition to needing to file the appropriate government forms, you also need to make the change to the rest of the world. You need to present your new identity to the world, particularly in a professional setting, as soon as possible.
Although recreating your identity takes time and a lot of effort, luckily it’s not a burden you need to bear alone. You can hire a service to make the changes for you, which allows you to enjoy the first days of being a newlywed instead of spending all that time re-establishing yourself.