So it’s less than 10 weeks now until I get married and the excitement is building up and up every day. I have started to think a lot more recently about one big change that this wedding will bring (apart from the marriage of course) - that I will be choosing to change my surname.
For those who don’t know, my surname upon getting married will be Dobson. I keep saying it over and over again in my head. Hannah Dobson, Mrs Hannah Dobson, Mrs Dobson. Ahhh!!!
I think that concept of changing your name upon marriage is so different now to say 20 years ago. When my parents got married it was expected that you would change your name upon getting married. Now I know many people who have wed in the past 5 or 10 years who have kept their maiden name. And I won’t even hide the fact that at least one of those has found it weird and almost insulting to feminism that I am taking a different name upon marriage.
I thoroughly believe it is a personal chose whether a woman (or man) changes their name upon marriage. I understand that it is traditional which is why many women do it; but I have a few reasons why I will be changing my surname:
1. I get so fed up of having to spell my surname to people, I feel like I’m constantly saying “Harriman H-A-R-R-I-M-A-N” and yet people STILL won’t get it right. So far mishearing my name has lead to me being called: Harrison, Harrisman, Harryman, Hairyman, Horrible, Hannibal. You get the jist… At least when I change my name I shouldn’t have to spell it out to every single new person I meet.
2. The Hannah Harriman I was 10 years ago is very different from the Hannah Harriman I am now. A lot of people who have known me for a long period of time perhaps sometimes still see me as the Hannah Harriman who was very socially awkward, who didn’t really have many friends and was quite a loner. I don’t feel at all that I’m like that now. Perhaps Hannah Dobson will help to evolve my identity into something that I feel more comfortable with. New people I meet in the future will know me as the Hannah Dobson that I am now and hopefully not hear of the Hannah Harriman all those years ago. I understand that this sounds a bit pathetic, but when you believe something enough sometimes it just happens.
3. Hannah Dobson just sounds so grown up – and I think I’m finally ready now to become a fully fledged adult!
That isn’t saying that I won’t find it weird or perhaps struggle to adapt to the change. I will have been Hannah Harriman for 23 years on my wedding day – that is a long time to have something for isn’t it?
I would love to hear other people’s views on the matter. Did you change your name when you got married? If you did/didn’t then why/why not?