During the holiday season, I always find myself reflecting over the previous year. It’s a time to look at the big picture and really take in all life’s milestones over the last 12 months—career, personal, family and relationship wise. It’s nice to also think about where we’ll be in 365 days, too.
If you’ve been following along, you know that my high school sweetheart S and I got engaged this past August. You can read more about the absolutely amazing day here. I still have butterflies thinking about it!
The last few months have been some of the most exciting and love-filled ones we’ve ever experienced. Wedding planning and marriage preparation has been such a fun ride to be on. S is my best friend, so it makes sense that everything seems to just be falling place stress-free. Of course, our support system within our friends, my dad and his parents has been an enjoyable aspect too.
Most our ‘check list’ items [like nailing down a DJ, finding the dress, deciding on a venue, picking a date] have been honestly.. pretty simple. With all the online resources nowadays [vendor comparisons, reviews, dress look-books, etc.], you can really nail down a lot of decisions from the comfort of your couch. Very… Millennial, ha! S and I are both very thorough and decisive people. So when we pull the trigger on a decision, we 100% know it was the right one so maybe that helps with planning too [since there are hundreds of thousands of options and ideas for everything].
With that being said, there’s one piece of the marriage puzzle that wasn’t as easy as a simple check off the list. This time next year, will I have an entirely new name?!
While traditional norms may make you think, “Mindy you’re silly for putting that much thought into something so obvious”, making a decision to change your entire identity isn’t a small decision to make. With S and I dating almost nine years, you’d think I’d have put some thought into this even before we were engaged. And honestly—I did think about it from time to time! I suppose I thought that once the time actually comes to make the decision, I’d know which felt the most like “me”. I always used to think “If your parents spend nine months thinking of your name, why should you feel required to change it?!”.
To me, my last name represents more than just something I’ve been called for 25 years. I’m proud to be a Thompson. I’m proud to have so many of my father’s qualities. I’m proud of the morals he’s instilled in me. I’m proud when someone in my small hometown hears my last name and asks if I’m “Ed’s daughter” or “Arthur’s granddaughter”. My dad is my best friend and Thompson is a part of my identity, so thinking of throwing my last name away to replace it with another sparks a lot of different emotions.
Another thing to consider is my career. I’ve built a reputation in the Boston marketing/tech community as ‘Mindy Thompson’. Plus, this entire nook of the Internet. While I’ve kept my last name out of social handles and most blog related items for greater privacy, it’s still something to consider. If you have a business built upon your last name, this honestly ties into a business decision for you too.
Then there’s the flip side. I’m so excited to be S’ wife. I absolutely adore every piece of him. He’s my better half and I would be so proud to identify myself with his last name. Being “The Servello’s” gives me a sense of unity… one team… family. Sharing one name almost makes your marriage seem more “pinch me real.” Also, being the planner I am.. the effect on our [future] children needs to be considered, which is an entirely different ball game when thinking about this! It’s much more practical and easy on them if we’re a one-name household.
So with that and many months of debating my options, I wanted to share what’s been on my mind because I know there are other women out there contemplating the same thing. In today’s world, women have so many options to consider! I wanted to share 5 naming conventions to consider for marriage. While there are other people that will be affected [husband, children, families], it’s YOUR identity and you should be happy with your decision.
1. Keep Your Given Name
2. Take on Husband’s Name
3. Take Spouse’s Name Legally, Keep Yours Professionally
4. Incorporate Maiden Name into Middle Name
5. Create a New Name by Hyphenating
After weighing my options, I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing option four. I’ll legally move my maiden name into my middle name while also taking on S’ last name. That way I still have my dad’s name to carry with me and I have the new chapter of my life with S represented as well. I haven’t yet decided what I’ll go by professionally, but I still have some time to decide ;-).
With that said, it’ll require a lot of paperwork. My friends that have recently married have said that legally changing your name is such a headache and once it’s finally done, you’ll be so happy. That’s why I was so excited to find HitchSwitch, which is an online service that makes name-changing for newlyweds painless by eliminating forms and filling out paperwork. If you’re a bride-to-be and tend to avoid paperwork and long lines at all costs like me, this service is for you!
HitchSwitch offers three different unique name changing experiences to fit your needs:
1. Print@Home: Sorta like the “Hey tell me what I need, but I can execute” option. Just complete the EasyForm which takes three minutes. Then you can access everything you need from a personal dashboard. You can print, prepare and send in your forms. I think this is the option I’m going to choose!
2. Full Service: Most popular package: After completing the EasyForm, you’ll receive your paperwork in the mail completely filled out by HitchSwitch! Just sign and send them in.
3. Platinum Full Service: This package includes everything about, but you’ll also get assistance from your Personal Name Change Concierge anytime and a free passport photo.
Whether you’re adjusting your middle name to reflect your maiden, or just taking on your husband’s last name – HitchSwitch is such a helpful service. Check out their video for more details. I know come this time next year, I’ll avoid all the paperwork hassle and just utilize their services!
If you’re a bride-to-be or married, did you decide to change your name? Also, if you are married do you wish a service like HitchSwitch was there for you to reduce the legality headache of changing your name?
Thanks so much for reading. Xoxo Mindy
Thank you to HitchSwitch for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are authentically my own.
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