If you're feeling a little hesitant on taking your partners last name, you're not alone! Many women have chosen to keep their maiden name, whether they've established a successful career with it or are simply not wanting to give up their family name just yet.
Another reason is that women are voting to throw some traditions out the window in todays modern times. Then, of course, there's also same-sex couples who may have a hard time deciding whose name to use. In all of these cases and many more, the perfect solution for you may be a hyphenated last name, using a combination of your maiden name and your new, married name.
A hyphenated last name is when a bride decides to use both her maiden name and her new partner's last name. It's fairly simple, once you've chosen to hyphenate you just follow the same name-change process. A hyphenated name is legal, however the tricky part is that you'll need to stick with it. All your formal documents require your exact identity and will call for both names and the hyphen. In other words, you can't flip-flop between your maiden and partner's name for the fun of it when signing forms!
The best part of hyphenating your last name - is not having to make the choice! By combining your names you get the best of both worlds. This always allows you to keep your professional identity (yay for the corporate women!) The only negative backlash is the hassle of signing all the documents with your double barrel name and whether or not your children will have to do the same, too.
To start you'll need your marriage license to initiate your name change, so when you fill out and sign your license make sure you use your hyphenated last name. However, if you want to save yourself the hassle of mountains of paperwork and long standing queues at the department of Home Affairs, try using your marriage officer to beat those queues.
Honestly, which comes first? Thankfully, there are no set rules when it comes to deciding how you hyphenate your last name. You can stick to the traditional route, with your maiden name coming first or twist it and have your maiden name listed last. Or you could try bribe your Hubby into hyphenating his name to match yours too!
Just remember that no decision you make regarding your name, won't leave someone having their own opinion about it but whether they love it or leave it, the choice is ultimately up to you and is something you 'wear' for the rest of your life.