As I sit here and write this blog we have less than 50 days until our big day in Chamonix and, as we’ve both had our Hen and Stag Do’s now, it really feels like we’ve passed a major milestone and this is the final countdown – eek!!
I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite pictures of me and my friends from the Hen Do (below) I would share one of Mat’s Stag Do too but unfortunately he had his phone confiscated for the weekend – boys are so mean!
Passing this last major milestone has certainly got me thinking about how this year is a transitional one. The thought of getting married feels very serious and ‘grown-up’ and for me personally very definitely like a turning point in my life – a new chapter if you like.
I don’t know what our new chapter together will contain but I certainly feel as though it’s a genuine opportunity to reflect upon where I am in my life and evaluate what it is that Mat and I want to achieve together and what our aims are for the future as individuals and as a couple. Whether it be work, travel, where we live, children and so on and so forth.
One part of the process of change is my name and whether or not I should change my name after we’re married, after all what’s in a name? It’s something that I’ve been mulling over pretty much since we got engaged, so it would be great to hear from you if you’re having, or have had a similar dilemma when planning your wedding.
Mat and I have discussed it at length several times and being totally honest it’s the one wedding related matter that we don’t necessarily agree on.
Mat feels that I should take his name so that we’re a “proper” Mr and Mrs. He feels that by having the same name we will be more unified and more of a family.
Whereas I really want to keep my maiden name, not because I don’t like Mat’s name or don’t want us to be unified in that way, but quite simply because I like my name and feel that by giving it up, I’m giving up a part of me.
The topic cropped up on my Hen Do recently and opinions amongst my friends were very divided, one friend, although she understood and respected my point of view, was adamant that I should take Mat’s name for similar reasons as those Mat had raised. Whereas another friend who is currently planning her own wedding, seemed almost pleased that she wasn’t the only one contemplating not changing her name.
Of course there’s lots of options; we could double-barrel, but both our names are quite long so it would be a bit of a mouthful. Or I could keep my name for work and take Mat’s name for personal matters but again that feels quite complicated. However, it does lead onto the question of what we might do if we were to ever have children.
Although Mat and I have talked about children, it’s not an immediate priority for us but if it happens then yes, they would take Mat’s name.
If I was speaking from an equality perspective, I could argue that that isn’t right either, but that isn’t really the basis for me not wanting to change my name and ultimately, they have to have a name so I’m happy for it to be Mat’s.
I completely understand and respect Mat’s points about us being unified and coming together as a family, and I love the romance of sharing the same name as the person I intend to spend the rest of my life with, but at the moment at least I just don’t quite feel ready to give up my name.
Actually what chatting to my friends about it has made me realise, is that I don’t have to make a decision right now if I don’t want to. If we do decide to have children in the future (or even if we don’t) and I find then that it’s awkward or difficult or that it fundamentally just doesn’t feel right for us to have different names, then there’s nothing stopping me from changing it then if I feel it’s right.
I am certainly more open now to the thought of maybe changing my name one day and Mat is certainly more open to the fact that I might not, so for the moment at least I do plan to keep my maiden name but, as is a women’s prerogative, I do fully reserve the right to change my mind!
I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts. Is anyone else out there unsure about whether to change their name? And if you have decided one way or the other, how did you make that decision?
Hollie’s Wedding Suppliers so far:
If you are looking for ideas and inspiration on planning your wedding in France, don’t forget you can catch up with Hollie C and fellow Belle Bride Fiona and you can find all the Belle Brides past and present here.
Alternatively see more Chamonix weddings here.