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The Name Game: Changing Your Name after the Wedding

26 August 2011


"Day 303: My Identity" by KatBPhotography Flickr (CC)

What's in a name? A history. A lifetime. An identity. For some brides, the name change comes with the entire marriage package. For others, it can be a struggle to surrender the person you are for the person you will become in marriage.

From the moment I knew Mr. Collier was the one for me I thought taking his name would be secondary nature. I would be Mrs. Collier. But then recently as the wedding draws nearer, panic hit. Who was this "Mrs. Collier?" Certainly not the person I am today. Come January when I walk through the corridor at work will people think of me as Mrs. Collier? Will they even know? How do you even address that issue with acquaintances?

What about my job? My career as a scientist is solely based on the publications I submit to peer-reviewed journals. Could I still be known in science by my maiden name and personally by my married name? And what about all the legal documents? The credit cards, lease, car titles, residency, passport, mailing address, etc. All that paperwork seems larger than any "To Do" list I may have ever created.

But then I realized the greatest reason to change my name. Mr. Collier and I are creating a new family. We are joining as one. Therefore, we should have one name together. I realize some suggestions out there on theknot.com or similar sites that suggest couples could create their own unique last name. I'm too much of a traditional girl for that.

To quote the beloved Shakespeare:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man.
 O, be some other name! 
What's in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. 
From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, 1600

2 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful post. I had the same reservations as you, and still do on some days (when I'm jumping yet more hoops to change my name). But the beauty of becoming a FAMILY is much more rewarding. I think it'll feel even more so when we decide to have children.

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  2. Thank you! I actually let pubmed.com, the official scientific journal database decide what my new name will be. S.P. Collier. :)

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