Deciding to keep or change your last name when you get married is a deeply personal one. Whether you're making the decision based on tradition, your profession, your personal beliefs, or the fact that changing your name can be a huge hassle, what you decide to do is totally up to you! But that doesn't change the fact that people often assume that women will change their names when they get married. So if you're in the minority and decide that you like your maiden name, #thankyouverymuch, how can you let people know? Our experts have some advice.
Spreading the word about keeping your last name starts way before you say "I do." Expecting a few monogrammed items from friends or relatives as gifts? Add a note on your wedding website alongside the link to your registry specifying both of your individual monograms — and adding that you'll be staying Mrs. Jones instead of becoming Mrs. Smith. Encourage your mom, future mother-in-law, and bridesmaids to spread the word, as well. They don't have to offer an explanation, but if anyone asks, they'll be prepared to say "Nope, she's not changing her name!"
On your wedding day, be sure to have your officiant announce you as as Mr. Jason Smith and Mrs. Elizabeth Jones, and ask your band leader or DJ to introduce you the same way when you make your grand entrance into the reception. Those post-wedding thank you notes? Put both of your full names above the address, or use both last names (like "The Jones/Smith Family" or simply "Jones/Smith") — you may want to avoid a hyphen, which implies that you've combined your last names into a single name.
There's a good chance a few people will mess up, which is the time to politely let them know. Don't get mad, but say something like "Thank you so much for the monogrammed towels! I did want to let you know, however, that I won't be taking Jason's last name. But we will definitely still be using such a generous gift!"