So whenever I think about the name changing process, I always think of this episode of FRIENDS.
I was actually a late comer to watching this series, usually because I had a Ballet class or was coming home from one right at the same time every Thursday. So I started watching Friends in re-runs and got hooked. The final season of Friends was broadcast when I was studying abroad in France, and it was so funny to watch Friends dubbed over. The voices were so different. And of course the jokes weren’t quite the same. But when you’re an American in France, feeling a little homesick, you take what you can get.
A friend recently asked me about my take on changing my name. The simple answer? It’s a personal decision.
For me, I knew that when I got married, I couldn’t just drop my last name. It’s been a part of me and my identity forever, and something about just wiping my name slate clean and writing in a new one, just felt wrong. Mind you, this was long before I was ever engaged or even dating Cent.
When I worked in an office, I had three co-workers who were married in the span of a year and I watched them go through the process of changing their last names to their husband’s last name. I also had a co-worker who kept her maiden name, and she and her husband are married five years strong. To me, both of these options just seemed incomplete. I couldn’t wrap my head around “deleting” my last name – Ronquillo. (While people have trouble pronouncing it, it’s typically unique and get excited when I meet another person with my last name.) At the same time, I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable with just keeping my last name either.
So I’m doing what works for the both of us. I’m adding Cent’s last name. My maiden name gets upgraded to my middle name spot and add on his last name. No hyphen though. My last name barely fit on an SAT scantron, so imagine what it would be like for my name and his in one bitty box! While I kind of had to sell Cent on this idea, I gave him my reasoning, and it was all good. This is also what my mom did, so that’s probably where I got the idea. I’m thankful that she didn’t do the hyphen thing either. Otherwise, my maiden name would be 19 letters long! 20 characters if you include the hyphen!
Alright Internet, here’s another confession: I haven’t changed my name yet! (Although I did on Facebook, so that’s makes it real, right?)
I do have a legit reason for this. And a couple of other reasons. I won’t be changing my name until the new year because:
- We have air travel plans for Christmas. Tickets are issued with my maiden name.
- We were in process of buying a house and my maiden name was on the stack of paperwork.
- I moved states and needed to figure out the requirements and process for Texas, and our marriage certificate was issued in CA.
But I will! Promise.
Here are some handy steps for changing your name in the state of Texas :
- Get two certified copies of your marriage certificate.
- Change Driver’s License at the DMV. Bring your previous license and marriage certificate.
- Change Social Security at the Social Security Administration office. Bring your new license and marriage certificate. (And bring a book.)
- After these, you can proceed to your passport (online here), bank accounts, credit cards, etc.
(Special thanks to my friend, Stephanie of Stephanie Michele Events for sharing this with me!)
Also, if you’re looking for a one-stop shop to get you through the name changing process, check out MissNowMrs.!
These days, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer. It’s totally a personal decision that you should make with your fiance/spouse. Come to a decision you can both be comfortable and live with happily.
What’s your opinion about changing or keeping your last name?
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