Image by Abigail Seymour Photography
I have to tell you that on my wedding day, I wasn’t sure if I was going to change my last name. I indicated to everyone that I would (note the hanger from which my gown hung), but I still had an inkling of doubt. You see, I’ve always been a Bowker. Losing my last name was taking away a little piece of my identity. I consider myself to be an unwavering feminist and I’ve always prided myself on being just as strong and smart as all of the boys around me. So taking part in such an old tradition, from a time when the husband took all the legal rights for the couple, went a little bit against my sense of self. Does it change who I am? All the things in my life that I am so proud of are tied to a name that I won’t have anymore. My engineering degrees, my articles in scientific journals, even my high school tennis awards. I am a person who over thinks EVERYTHING so a decision with such life changing implications was scary. So I waited. And I thought. And I started to see the other side of the decision. The side where I would share one name with my husband and we could be our own little family. Which still feels weird to say. With our (very future) children. A different name means losing a piece of my old identity, but it also means a new identity with a new beginning, and this was enough for me. Something that seemed archaic and old-fashioned suddenly seemed romantic. I have just started the name changing process, and although I am currently knee-deep in a list of things/places/websites where I need to change my name, I have no regrets. What do you guys think? Did you/would you keep your last name after marriage?