Do You Have to Take Your Husband's Last Name?

Etiquette, Relationships
changing your last name

Photo: Getty Images

As if choosing between a destination wedding and a hometown wedding weren't stressful enough, brides are also confronted with an even larger question before they walk down the aisle: whether or not to take their hubby's last name. Our etiquette experts weigh in on the delicate issue of married name versus maiden name.

Your name is an integral part of your identity, so make sure to look before you leap into a new name, but also factor in the importance of your relationship with your hubby. Forsaking your last name for your fiancé's is hardly a small act, and requires significant thought before you make your decision. Though taking your future husband's last name is a longstanding tradition, and perhaps why your fiancé wishes you to do the same, modern etiquette encourages brides to keep their own last name if they so desire. The commitment to a married name, like your marriage itself, is one that you'll need to stick with, so set aside a time to really discuss the options with your fiancé. List your reasons for wishing to retain your name and allow your fiancé to give his own opinions on the matter. You'll likely find common ground more easily than you anticipated.

See More: What Are You Supposed To Call Your Future In-Laws?

If retaining your name is a manner of preserving your independence and maintaining your professional profile, by all means do so. However, if your fiancé is still adamant about changing your name, you may wish to consider a hyphenated last name. Both your maiden name and your husband's name would be present in your new title, pleasing both parties involved.

The bottom line: There's no right or wrong answer. It's a totally personal decision.

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from