They say a change is as good as a rest, and I’m willing to wager that by the time the wedding is over, I could do with a rest. But what about a change? Traditionally, the question of a bride taking their husband’s second name would not even be an issue, it would be done, simple as. But in more recent years in Ireland, we’ve seen the emergence of the O’Carroll-Kellys, a double-barrelled phenomenon borne from women unwilling or unable to leave their maiden name behind entirely.
And I can totally understand the reasons behind this. Let’s face it ladies, in these days of equality we’ve put a lot of time and effort into our personas, building our own unique brand as the CEO of Me, Inc. We’re kind of used to our maiden names, attached to the sound of them and the autonomy they seem to bestow upon us. In some cases, however, for example in the case of a young woman named Cheryl Tweedy who married a man named Cole, changing her name represented an opportunity to change her persona. In the end even divorce wouldn’t prompt her to return to her maiden name. The same, however can not be said for Kerry Katona.
If we are happy with the reputation we’ve built already, why would we take a man’s name? This in and of itself is not a very strong argument as the alias we’ve operated under since birth is, in the majority of cases, the name of our father.
But then there is a practical element to be considered for the long-term. In general, people such as teachers will call a woman by the surname of her child, even if she has not changed her name or is unwed. In the even longer term, it will make the lives of your descendants easier if they show an interest in tracing their genealogy – who wants to be cursed by some young thing years after you’ve kicked the bucket!?
As for me, the jury is still out on this one, perhaps like a lot of professional married women I will stick to my maiden name in work and slowly incorporate my husband’s surname into other areas of my life. Just not my gmail account!
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