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Name Change: My Decision

There have been a few posts on the subject of name changing lately and the choice women have; I thought I would let you know what I chose to do.

I thought about it for a long time and went over all the options; I wasn't ready to lose my name but at the same time I wanted us to have the same family name, especially when/if we have children. My dad and his brother both had daughters so if we all change our names, our family surname wont continue. The same thing already happened with my grandads name as my mum and my aunt both changed their names, however, I was given that name as my middle name so its still here! Also all of my degrees and professional qualifications were completed before I got married so I never wanted to lose any of my original name.

After ruling out hyphening {which was my original plan way before I really thought about it in any detail} I chose to take Grahams surname and keep my maiden name as a second middle name, effectively just adding Grahams name on, without removing any of mine. My full name is now Gaynor MyMiddle MyLast HisLast, making me the third Mrs HisLast in Grahams family!

Since I started my new job after the wedding it made sense to use my new name from the beginning; if I had still been with my old office, I was going to keep my original name professionally as I also had to change it with my professional organisation. The bank changed it for me with no issues, although the teller was a little confused at me having 2 middle names! I hoped that everything else would be as simple, but of course its never as simple as your think! After I wasn't able to change it on my driving license {I now have a license saying Gaynor MyMiddle HisLast, which I still haven't changed}, the lady on the phone helpfully told me I would have to do it officially by Deed Poll since my marriage certificate only lets me switch my surname. {It did seem silly since all I really did was add another surname on to the end of my name, but never mind.}

There are loads of deed poll websites out there but I chose the UK Deed Poll Service, as they are recommended by the DVLA and the Passport Office. It was really easy to do, you just fill out the details online and they send you your deed poll all done, you just need to sign it and its ready to use. I paid a bit more to get 2 certified copies of my deed poll so once it arrived I had to get a witness to sign it before sending it back to them to be copied. I also added a title change from Miss to Mrs. The whole process didn't take too long and the total cost was £48 including the deed poll (£33), the additional copies (£15) and the title change (£4).

When we went to Italy last summer, my flights were still under my old name so I couldn't change my passport until we got back. I then had to change it as Graham helpfully booked our Florida flights with my new surname! I did the passport renewal online and once I had received the form and got my photos, I sent it back with my deed poll then received my shiny new passport less than two weeks later. So I can confirm that the UK Deed Poll Service is definitely accepted by the Passport Office.

I still need to do my credit cards and little things, but nothing else important. It does still feel, look & sound weird when people address me with my new name, especially when they use Mrs! Its not that helpful when I have to remember which card / document says what since I have 3 different name versions at the moment!


  1. That's exactly what I did, just tacked his last name onto my full name. Although technically my surname is now legally "Myname Hisname" -- I think if you want to change anything but your surname you have to go through a tedious court process or something. I'm still using my maiden name at my job, but I'm hoping to leave it soon and will then probably switch over to the name on my drivers license, passport and at least one credit card. Clearly I still have some things to take care of!

  2. I changed my name, too, and I've gotten used to it, but the "Mrs." thing still catches me by surprise sometimes! I think you made a great choice, and think it's important for every woman to do what's best and right for her in this situation.

  3. The little feminist in me had multiple breakdowns over this! In the end we just stayed the same. Neither one of us changed. If US law was easier for a man to take his wife's name, I think I would have been more open to it.

    Truthfully: In the end I found out I'd have to get a new passport. It is way easier just keeping my name!

  4. I ended up just taking Dave's name. I figured two double barrelled names would be silly. Also, there are loads of Dempster boys in my generation' and only one other Hughes man in Dave's whole family. We figured we have to carry his name on as a family.

  5. Thats a good point Lisa-Marie; Graham is also the only son in his family so this way his name is carried on as well.

  6. I did a post on this as well a few days ago. I really struggled with the decision initially. I consider myself a feminist and had to remind myself several times that the feminist movement is about choice, and, in the end, I was the only one who had to be happy with my choice.

    I am toying with adding my old surname in as a middle name and hearing you say it was fairly easy is good!

  7. Anonymous21/3/11 16:57

    That's what I think I'm going to do... except drop my middle name and make my surname my middle name. I'm pretty sure it will take me a while to adjust to having his name though!! I keep thinking that I should make him take my last name as a middle name just so we're even ;)

  8. i think having surname as a middle name is smart thing to do in order to carry out the family name,


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