Would YOUR husband take your surname after marriage? Research shows over a third of men would swap to their wife’s last name in a ‘growing trend’
According to what experts are calling a ‘growing trend’, more than a third (35 percent) of British men would take their partner’s surname after marriage.
Nearly one in five brides (16 percent) say they don’t want to change their name when they tie the knot.
Also described as ‘increasingly popular’ by experts is couples adopting a double surname when they get married.
According to new research from Guides for BridesThe topic of whether or not you should change your surname after marriage is becoming increasingly a topic of discussion.
More and more women are now choosing to stick with their own surname (16 percent) rather than taking the more traditional route of switching to their new husband’s name.
New research shows a growing number of grooms are changing their names after tying the knot (stock image)
At the same time, more and more men are now more open to changing their surname to that of their partner after marriage (35 percent).
A survey conducted by the Guides For Brides lists three main reasons for women wanting to keep their surname:
They want to continue your family name; preference for your own surname; and loss of identity appears to be the most popular.
Industry expert Cécile Mazuet-Eller, Founder and Managing Director of NameSwitch, shared her thoughts on the study’s findings, revealing that in her opinion, arguing with your partner over a name change is never the solution.
Although traditions are slowly changing, the survey data shows that people will still adopt their partner’s last name after marriage.
However, there is now a significant proportion who would refuse this (40 percent).
When we further break down that data by gender, it appears that the majority of women still want to follow the tradition 84 percent of respondents answered yes to changing their name, and only 16 percent broke protocol and said they would not or would not have changed their name after tying the knot.
According to Cécile says: ‘People will do what feels right for them. If you want to stick around, you can stay. The couples of the past decade, and certainly the past three to five years, are paving the way for people who don’t expect every woman to become her husband’s name.
‘We continue to see the vast majority of women going the traditional route and taking their partner’s surname.’
Talking about men, she continued, “The number of men changing their surnames has increased dramatically. I like the fact that men are making the changes. It is a growing trend. I would say it has tripled in the last three years.
“We’re just coming out of this wedding season and I’m definitely seeing more this year than last year.
‘We have already helped many boys change their surname. They had very popular names, like Smith or Jones. They took their wife’s surname for specific reasons, as their wife may have been at the end of a family line. It is also important to understand family heritage.”
Also described as ‘increasingly popular’ by experts are couples adopting double surnames when they get married (stock image)
When it comes to dual surnames after marriage, research shows that one in four people would have chosen to merge both their surname and their partner’s surname.
There is no major difference in the distribution between men and women, with a significant proportion of adults surveyed being insecure.
According to Cécile: ‘Double-barrelling is extremely popular and growing in popularity. It has tripled in the past year alone. This used to be one in eight couples, now it is one in six.
‘You join two names together, in any order. Traditionally, the man’s name came second, but nowadays people do what sounds good. It used to be reserved for the fancier people, like the polo players or someone like Camilla Parker Bowles.
“If you do double-barrell, it’s up to you whether you do it with two people or with one person. That is the most important thing, it is about making choices and doing what is good for you and not what is expected of you.’
She added that another new trend we’re seeing more often is commingling, where two names are merged, like Dawn Porter became Dawn O’Porter after her marriage to Chris O’Dowd.
Cécile said: “We see some families coming together, being quite cheeky and coming up with team names. That makes me excited because they’re essentially drawing a new line in the sand.
“Some of the reasons people do things differently, like meshing, are also because they tried double-barreling and it didn’t sound or feel right.
‘Meshing, which is still quite rare, probably occurs in about one percent of couples. We find that same-sex couples may be a little bolder about working together.
‘People can also make their maiden name their middle name. One in four of our brides at Name Switch will do that.”
When it comes to reasons for keeping your own surname (see table), they range from preferring your own name to wanting to hold on to your sense of identity.
Cécile said: ‘A person may have a family name that he would like to keep and respect, rather than a name that he marries.
‘The world has changed. Another reason is that people get married later, which means women have more careers and more established values.
‘It’s all kinds of different factors. The most important thing is: if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.’
Keeping your surname for professional reasons – for example because you have built a career under that name or published work related to that name – means that it makes sense to be known by that name after marriage.
Some people keep their own surname professionally, but change it privately.
According to Cécile, “If you keep your maiden name professionally but change it in private life, you can change your passport to your new name but make a note saying that you are known professionally as.
“It doesn’t mean you can travel under that name, but it does help establish a legal position that you legitimately have two names: a professional one and a personal one.”
When it comes to her expert advice on how to lead a conversation about changing your name, Cécile said, “I think it’s important to have the conversation early.
‘First of all: don’t argue. It’s a passionate topic, so you have to listen to each other and be able to understand each other’s motivations. It can be a multi-part conversation.
“Ultimately, how you deal with something like this is an important skill to have in marriage. How to understand that you need to listen to each other and how to reach a compromise.
‘When you share your life with someone, you don’t always want, need or feel the same things at the same time. Reflection and time are important. People rarely come to a good conclusion in a discussion.’
If you want to change your name, she recommends ‘two to four copies of whatever document you are using, marriage certificate, civil partnership and deed poll.”
She explained, “You can send multiple copies with it. If you only have one passport or driver’s license, half of the government authorities need to see the original.
‘Most financially regulated companies must also see the original. If you only have one, it will drag away. Two to four versions, that’s a tip I tell everyone.’
And another important point she notes is that once you’ve made your decision, you’let your wedding party and suppliers know, especially if that decision deviates from the usual.”
“They won’t know what names to write on the cards, or how to announce you on the wedding day,” she explained. “That’s important and it’s up to the couples to let them know.”
Her third tip is to talk for as long as it takes to reach a decision.
Cécile said: ‘One of the things we always say to people is: consider your options, weigh your options and calmly talk to your partner about your reasons.
‘Especially if it’s something they might not expect. When you’re going through things that are really important, you have to time those important conversations.
‘Talk about it calmly, listen to each other’s reasons and opinions.’