I made the decision that I should keep it topical or need driven. Back last month in January in “Your Weekend” there was an interesting article written by Michelle Duff that asked the question “I Do but do I take your name?" The article suggested that the question of changing your last name after marriage can be a tricky issue – even if you think you’ve made up your mind. And then there was this article back last year asking that question again – Should you take your groom’s name? So what is the right answer? Only YOU can decide.
Have a read of this and see if it helps at all!
Should you take your groom's name?
Last updated 15:28 15/02/2012
You're at a wedding, the vows have been made, rings exchanged and kiss sealed when the celebrant makes the announcement to the standing party: "Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the loving couple Mr and Mrs Benjamin Jones."
Depending on your point of view, those last five words can sound romantically unifying or they can rankle. What happened to the bride's identity?
While there are no official records to verify if more brides are taking their husband's surnames than, say, 20 years ago, evidence suggests that more are returning to that tradition.
An Australian Bride to Be magazine survey from 2010 found that 80 per cent of women planned to change their name.
Vice President of Australian Marriage Celebrants Ann Dally estimates it happens in 60-70 per cent of the weddings she presides over but says the figure would be higher if she didn't take into account Chinese brides who "rarely or almost never change their surname".
There is no universal rule in the name game. Recently in Japan, five people brought a lawsuit against the government claiming that the civil law forcing them to take their husband's name after marriage violates their constitutional rights.
Japan is the only G8 nation that requires married couples to have the same family name, and according to custom it is usually the man's.
And in the Canadian province of Quebec, women are not permitted to adopt their husband's name at marriage, not even if they apply for an official name change.
The US is seeing a swing back to tradition. A Harvard study saw the number of college-educated women in their 30s who kept their name dropping from 23 per cent in 1990 before declining to 18 per cent on the 2000s.
"One way is to read the trend towards not taking your husband's name as a blip in itself - part of a feminist moment," says Dr Zora Simic, Lecturer in Women's and Gender Studies at the University of New South Wales.
"And now we're allegedly post-feminist, at least in the sense that those sorts of gestures such as keeping your name, not shaving your legs - are not considered as necessary or meaningful as a political slash personal statement."
"Personally for me, it's very important to go through life with my own name. I know it's my father's surname, but I was born with it and it's the most obvious marker of my identity," says Dr Simic.
"Historically and politically, I've also got a huge issue with the institution of marriage itself, and it seems to me that the practice of taking his name is one of its most blatantly sexist features. That said, I am reluctant to judge other women's decision to do so."
Psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg has a different perspective.
"I don't agree with the feminist view that it is an agreement to become a man's property; I am rather big on ritual and tradition, so taking a bloke's name is a worthy custom and a choice to honour one's partner," he says.
Recent newlywed, Naomi Lynn had no hesitation in changing her name.
"Marriage to me is about starting your own identity together by merging family traditions and your own personal values," says Lynn, a marketing executive.
"It's a daily reminder of the commitment to each other and pride that comes with a new chapter of your life."
According to the 2010 Bride To Be survey, most brides take the husband's surname because they feel it makes them more of a 'family unit'. And if the name isn't changed at marriage it comes under consideration again if children come along.
This is the reason Rachelle McDermott, a digital executive producer and mother of three changed her name. "I left it for ages but always knew I would change it so that I could be in the same "gang" as the kids, I always felt a little left out."
While some argue that a mother having a different surname to her children could be a bureaucratic and social nightmare, Belinda Norman, a university librarian and mother of two hasn't had any problems.
"There has never been any kind of hassle with forms or anything - it is quite widely accepted that a mum and her kids can have different names," she says.
Of course, there are other options, some choose to double-barrel and some grooms take the bride's name, a trend Dally is noticing, "I have had three grooms take on the brides names and this has all been in the last 6 months," she says.
It's a contentious issue, the choice about identity is very personal and as such, if views differ, feathers can be ruffled.
Internet forums can erupt into slanging matches - posters call wives 'bossy' if the husband chooses to take her surname while others are frightened their child will be labeled a 'bastard' if he or she has a different surname to their father.
What we do have, thanks to feminists in the 1970s, and unlike the Japanese plaintiffs, is the freedom to choose. Today, for many brides, it seems the decision to change your name is more one of convenience, whatever works.
Zoe, a US-based art director for a cosmetic company recently married into a family with a name that she loves - Sabbath.
"The only reason I changed my surname was because his was better than mine - he often quizzes me and asks me if his name had been something like 'Wiener' would I have changed it and I answer him quite plainly - 'No', " she says.
So has this helped at all?