Once upon a time (well, 1 year, 1 month and 7 days ago to be precise), I was not the Mrs B you know me as today, back then in the olden days, I was little old Miss G. But on that fateful day I married the love of my life, Mr B, and so I became Mrs B.
It's traditional, and somewhat old fashioned to take your husband's name when you get married, but it's increasingly uncommon. Women today have their own identities and careers and reputations, some largely based on their name, and they don't feel the need or desire to change it (something I totally agree with btw, fair play to those women).
This article on the Guardian's website discusses the issues in a bit more detail, but I thought I'd share my personal reasons for changing. Essentially, getting married leaves you with 2 options, you either both keep your original surnames, or you both take the same name. Now to me, half the reason I got married in the first place was because I wanted to tell the world (shout it from the rooftops like) that this was my man, and I was his woman, and we were ridiculously in love, and us both having the same surname tells the world that. It says we're this unit and we've publicly made this commitment, and you have to respect that it's no longer the same situation as two single individuals. Being a Mrs is a bit like wearing a ring, it's a badge, it's a symbol of what I am now. I am a wife. But most importantly, I am his wife. That's what I'm saying by calling myself Mrs B, and that's really important to me. So not having the same name was never an option for me. We didn't have a big wedding to prove to ourselves our commitment and love for each other, there was no need, we did it so our friends and family could celebrate our love with us and so people would know, even at a glance, what we had together. And so we could call each other Hubby & Wifey :)
Taking your husband's name is not the only way for you both to have the same name though, some people consider double-barreling or 'meshing' - not really an option for us as we both have stupidly hard to spell surnames (his is actually worse than mine was) and it would've just been a terrible mouthful, although we are commonly referred to by friends as RolliB, which is a mash-up of sorts I suppose. But one option we did quite seriously discuss, was that he could take my name, and he would have done that in a heartbeat had I not wanted to take his, but I did. It's also a bit more fuss for a man to change his name than a woman, but that's not why we didn't go that route.
It's hard to explain why I wanted to, but I thought about it, I didn't just go with convention, I consciously decided that this was what I wanted. See, for me, I didn't feel like my identity was tied up in my name, part of it is now, because personally and professionally I use Mrs B a lot more than I ever used Miss G. Back then I was just Rosie, which obviously I still am now. When I changed my name, I didn't feel any less a part of my birth family (or my adopted one! - ha, just kidding, it's a running joke in my family that I'm adopted). I'm still a sister, daughter, cousin, granddaughter, niece and aunty, all the things I was before. Who I am hasn't changed. It doesn't change my ideals or my principles. As Shakespeare once wrote, what's in a name?
What do you think? Would you change your name if/when you got married? Did you? What are your reasons behind your beliefs? I think it's a really interesting topic and I would love to hear your thoughts on it.