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The Name Game: Mr. & Mrs.

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I know a lot of women go through the name debate of changing their name, especially now that more women are getting married later, once they’ve already established themselves in a career. I’m not that old (22) and not that established (what, you hadn’t heard of me?), but I still feel a bit of attachment to the name I’ve had my whole life. If you don’t know already, facebook announced a week or so ago that they’d be allowing usernames for easier access to profiles (you can send them a link to facebook.com/theirusername , a lot like twitter.

Since I’ve been getting into the photography business now, while I’m still unmarried, and have my maiden name, I struggled over naming the business, knowing I’d be married and changing my name. The web address for my first name and maiden name is mysteriously on backorder and my first name and his last name was some guy who likes to fish. I felt like my full name + photography was a lot to type in, and since I was so unsure of my identity I decided to go with something different.

So my business is Spindle Photography, mostly because I really like the aesthetic sound of spindle. And as a bonus it is whimsical and fairy-tale esque. Problem solved, right? Not really. I’ve gone my whole life as my name and I used it for my twitter username, my facebook username (will I regret making that decision this morning? Maybe. I could’ve gone the route of the big famous unmarried photographers like Jessica Claire and used my first and middle name. But my middle name is Scott so it would probably seem like I was stuck between three last names. Plus, I’m not famous. I’m sure it’s not that big a deal, people change their names and business names all the time and come out fine.

I like the ring of my current name, and my new name will be alliterative, and it hasn’t sunk in yet since I’ve only been mistakenly called it maybe twice (and oh, I sure got goosebumps, it’s exciting!) I like the new name, but even Garrett has thought about us creating our own new last name, (he also says his name is Gideon at restaurants, so if you work at one and get a Gideon, party of 2, come by and say hello!), and so far there’s Maus. Kelly Maus sounds really cutesy though, right?

I’d be interested to hear if any other business owners have struggled with the name change. I could just tack on his name to mine for the sake of business cards and facebook I guess. But how do you become a new name when you know everyone looking for you thinks of the old one? Is it not that big of a deal? Do I just suck it up?

The whole concept of the name change is interesting to me. I’ve always thought I’d change my name when I got married, so that’s never been the issue. My feminism is mild and does not stretch that far. If you don’t want to change, I think that’s fine and really acceptable now. My grandmother was so sure that my mom would get married that she didn’t even get a middle name. And about the middle name, I don’t like that it just drops out. I want my name to legally stay the way it is with the new last name added on, and Amelia informed me that when she went to the SS office hers did, which makes me feel better. I also have a weird pet peeve about calling a couple Mr. & Mrs. John Doe. I’m sorry, but I won’t be a female version of my husband. I am taking his last name, not his identity. I prefer Mr. & Mrs. Doe, or Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Doe. Does that make me insanely weird, or does it irk anyone else?

I know this post must sound bizarre, like I’ve clearly lost my mind. You’ll remember from my previous posts that I have. That wedding planning has driven me nuts, I have lots to do, and I’m kind of an avoider. But, I have the veiling for my birdcage veil, and that is progress!

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    12 comments on “The Name Game: Mr. & Mrs.

    1. I enjoyed this post. I made the decision not to change my name (or as my best friend put it, was changing my name ever an option for me?), and I really enjoy hearing from other women how they made the decision for themselves. It’s a unique decision-making process for each of us, as it should be. I celebrate the fact that it’s no longer as assumed as it once was that we’d change our names without question. The majority of my friends, in fact, have either kept their name or hyphenated along with their husbands.

      But “Mrs. John Doe”?? Um, NO. :-)

      Maggie @ Eat, Drink, Marry’s most recent blog post: Salty sea air

    2. Molly Gann writes...

      This post really sunk in that my name is changing! I have always wanted to change my name and can’t wait for it to happen in November. But now that I think of my email and my facebook, and myspace, and business cards etc etc etc…it really freaks me out! This is going to be tons of work!

    3. Ahh the age old question…well sort of. Do what feels right and keep it simple. If you plan on having kids then remember they will need to write their last name over and over again. If it is two really long hyphenated names then their last name may end not fitting into most databases.

      THANK YOU for using my Mr. and Mrs. Button key chains as inspiration for this blog post. Off to read more!
      xo, Katy

      Katy’s most recent blog post: Twenty Thank You Envelope Seals

    4. So funny! I was just trying to decide today whether to make my Facebook username Emily + the last name I’ll take in just 73 days (!!). I’ll also need to get a new blog/website URL and change my Twitter name and yada yada yada. Wow, it’s more than just driver’s license and passport these days, huh?

      Emily’s most recent blog post: Favorite Finds (part 3)

    5. It has always driven me crazy when my parents would receive invitations to parties addressed simply as The John Doe Family or at weddings when they say “I would like to introduce Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.” I always think…not only does my last name change, but I’m gonna lose my first name too?! I’m planning on taking the same route as you and just adding my new last name at the end so I can keep my middle name.

      Shannon’s most recent blog post: 6 Months!

    6. Dawn writes...

      I have not married yet, and I am still young as well… but I really have grown to like my last name a lot. (I used to not like it so much). But changing your last name is a BIG deal, and even hyphenating it is just as big a deal, especially if you name your company after it. Now, that’s a lot to think about!

      Something you really need to think about… I agree, not a fan of the whole, Mr. & Mrs. John Doe…

    7. Kelly-I had a similar dilemma with my name situation.
      For me, though-changing my name has never been a question. I’ve always personally thought there is something very uniting and romantic about getting married and taking my husbands name. I started my wedding planning business this year, and I knew it was going to be difficult to start as my maiden name and then switch so soon-so I just went ahead and registered everything as my new name! My business cards, facebook group, twitter etc all have my new last name. For me, that was the easiest way to do it. Good luck with your decision!!

      Brittany-For the Love of Brides’s most recent blog post: Thirsty Thursday Thoughts

    8. Apparently, without my knowledge , I am an older bride, at 28, who knew?
      (I have been told by mult people, including my own mother)

      But I AM established in my career, with my maiden name. and to complicate, my fiance REALLY wants me to take his name.

      UG.

      I have decided to just add it so I will be First Middle Maiden New/Last name. No hyphen, no loss. I will legally be both, so I can continue my business, no worries on how I am percieved or how the check is written and no confusion when kiddies come along.

    9. I changed my last name and kept my middle name. I wish I had kept my maiden last name as my middle and new last name. That’s what I’ve started using professionally and on Facebook.

      Rebekah’s most recent blog post: Volume 1, Issue 3: Block Party

    10. It’s good to know so many other people feel this way! I think I might just bite the bullet, but I feel pretty attached to my twitter name. I know that’s silly. I’m thinking I’ll list myself as Kelly Lastname Newlastname at least at first, and on facebook, so people can still find me!

      Another thing I don’t love is hyphens… I’ve known a few hyphenated people through high school and just thought “what if you want to hyphenate when you get married?” Although some hyphens sound really cool. And you could always merge your names in some crazy way.

      My fiance doesn’t agree with my feminism at the thought of Mr & Mrs. John Doe, but I think that’s because he’s never had to consider it. I just feel like it’s such an antiquated mark of possession. I will love uniting us and our potential future kids with one name, but I don’t want people to think that our family is one person. We won’t have one breadwinner or anything.

      and eachofthetwo: 28=not old by any means! congrats on being established and making it work!

      kelly’s most recent blog post: Ceremony Program Mock Up

    11. I really liked this post as I too really believed that my maiden name – Amanda Diamondstein – was part of my identity. It represented who I am and who I had been since I was born and I really didn’t want to lose that. So I took my husband’s last name and added it to my name to create a crazy long name – Amanda Diamondstein Cieplinska. It has been a bit of a hassle to change credit cards and book airlines tickets specifically because my new last name never seems to fit on anything! For my new wedding consultancy, I took chose not to use my name because a.) it was was too long and b.) I love the idea of Stellina Events – it just came to me and was inspired by my own wedding last summer. I think for your business and for your last name, just go with what feels right to you.

      http://stellinaevents.blogspot.com/

    12. katarzyna writes...

      I am an artist as well and people seem to recognize my name from exhibitions I’ve been in, grad school, etc.(maybe my first more than my last). So I am adding his last name to mine, no hyphen, though. Luckily, my last name is 5 letters long and my fiance’s only 4, so even with a long first name, I should be okay. We also do not plan to have kids so no worries there (he has two from a previous marriage and I’ve never wanted any…I know, I’m weird)

      And that REALLY makes me feel old…old bride at 28? So what does it make me? I’ll be 33 when I marry next summer! Yikes!

      Oh, and Mr. and Mrs. John Doe? HELL NO! How antiquated and presumptuous! As I see it, we are equals.

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