Changing your name after your wedding: a male perspective

Changing your name after your wedding: a male perspective: Image 1 What do men really think about this? We find out


From Wayne Potts to Wayne Potts-Brennan

Why did you decide to change your name?
I didn't have much of a connection with my surname, Potts. I was brought up by my mum and we lived with my Granddad for 15 years. He was a huge and positive influence in my life and I resonate much more with his family name. I had no qualms with changing my name upon marriage - it is something that had been at the back of my mind since a family friend took his wife's name about 20 years ago. She came from an Indian family and was at the end of her family line.
As a couple, we came to the decision very quickly. I've always been open about taking or creating a new name. Our original thought was to create a completely new name by meshing both my Grandfathers and my wife's name together. In the end we opted to preserve my wife's family name and collectively become Potts-Brennan.

How did people react?
So many people have been confused, and intrigued! Many didn't know that a man can change names or have a choice. Whilst I've sensed a little bit of negativity to it, the main reaction is one of surprise - particularly in the older generation.

How did you go about doing it?
I investigated it and did quite a bit of research. You need a Deed Poll to effect the change initially. NameSwitch gave us some good advice too about the order of things, for example, changing my name by deedpoll before the wedding ceremony allows the marriage certificate to be created & signed in our new name and my wife can assume that name thereafter without need for a deed poll herself.



From William Jones to William Lawrence-Archer

Why did you decide to change your name?
My wife Sally is at the end of her family line and she has kept her surname. We spoke about it quite early on and I was open to the idea. We always knew we wanted a family and Sally asked me how I would feel about us all being Lawrence-Archer as a family - I didn't hesitate, there are plenty of spare Jones' in the world!
We are expecting our first child in November and she will continue the family line - even though she is a girl, we hope she will be inspired by us to continue with this new tradition!

How did people react?
People have been absolutely fine! My parents weren't bothered at all. My father's line will continue with my older brother and they have been really supportive. Friends were initially slightly bemused and there was the odd bit of banter in the workplace but everyone got used to it very quickly. The surprising reaction came from some companies who were procedurally confused. I had to explain to a few that there was absolutely no reason to treat my name change request after marriage any differently just because I am a man.

How did you go about doing it?
New legislation came in force in 2014 that meant I could legally assume my wife's name without a deed poll. In practice though I found this wasn't always that straight forward or understood by many companies. I was able to change my name in many places but still had some straggling when I came across NameSwitch. They have equipped me with all I needed to cover the rest and I think it's a brilliant idea and service.



From Andy Smith to Andy-Trisconi Smith

Why did you decide to change your name?
My wife Lisa was always Lisa Trisconi. She didn't want to become a Smith and said it felt a bit dull and a bit of a let down. At the time - 10 years ago - I was working for a huge corporation and was one of seven Smiths at the company. I was always getting other peoples emails and got pretty fed up with it. This was a great opportunity to change it up a bit. We toyed with creating a new name like TriSmith but nothing worked or rolled right. Trisconi-Smith worked well and we decided quite early on that's what we would go with after getting married.

How did people react?
Friends and family were super happy and some found it quite humorous. A few macho men made the odd throwaway remark but they really didn't bother me. Lots of our friend's wives were in awe and openly wished their husbands had done the same. My parents are pretty liberal were really supportive - they had no qualms at all. It took me a little while to get used to it but it's been 10 years now and with our daughter we are a Trisconi-Smith family and able to continue my wife's family name and Italian heritage.

How did you go about doing it?
I recall reading that it wasn't going to be easy - little be known to me how hard it was going to be! I had started one of the most frustrating experiences of my life having to continuously articulate that:

A) I was a man
B) I was changing my name after marriage.
The hardest people to convince were my employers who were reluctant & ill equipped to deal with my request. I found that banks and mortgage companies very questioning about my motivations to do it and I ended up cancelling a few accounts all together. Government bodies were far more straight forward and geared up to deal with it. I created a self-certified deedpoll and was able to change my name on my passport, drivers licence, electoral register with no problems. My wife conversely didn't face the same challenge as me. Changing jobs a few years later was a brilliant fresh start, without the baggage of my old identity confusing things. It wasn't easy but I don't regret it and I'm glad that companies are moving with the times and there is more help out there now.



From Paul Grant to Paul Burbridge-Grant

Why did you decide to change your name?
Like many I spent my formative years coming to terms with being gay. I had my first relationship at 24 and didn't think that marriage was applicable to me - I'd been brought up around the boy meets girl, boy marries girl notion. Then the law changed in 2014 and it has provided me with a sense of feeling normal and accepted. Richard and I wanted to have a real marriage with all the bells and whistles and not just a civil ceremony. We also decided that our celebration would be inspired by aspects of other cultures and religions that have touched us and we also took some things away like a top table to make it fit with us. Our mothers walked down the aisle first and then Richard and I walked each other down the aisle together.
We found ourselves in a quandary about who's name to take. I am the last Grant in my family and preserving our names and our collective heritage was important to us. Also important was showing our union - combining both names felt like the natural choice and the order was simply chosen because Burbridge-Grant flowed more naturally.

How did people react?
Everyone was totally fine and on-board with it! I think a few may have secretly wondered what we would do with our names, everyone was supportive and recognised that it shows our union and commitment together and also honours our heritage. We haven't decided on exactly when but the prospect of extending our family is something we are considering.


How did you go about doing it?
We've partially changed our name on legal documents but haven't worked our way through all of the companies yet. It's been a bit stop start and to be honest requires a little bit of motivation to tackle each one. We were happy to speak to NameSwitch and share our story with them and find that they could take away our remaining niggles but equipping us with all we need to tackle the reaming companies.



From Ross Poole to Ross Searl-Poole

Why did you decide to change your name?
Darren and I married in 2012 we wanted to take each other's name and we didn't want to lose our names! It was about showing commitment and we wanted to be the same name and not loose our identities because we had nieces, only nieces. Both being at the end of our family line we wanted to preserve our family names and keep options open in case we had children further down the line,
In general, people's reactions were very positive, they seemed to expect it really. It took a little while for people to get used to it but I think that is normal - even we found it a little weird to see our names side by side initially but we soon got used to it!
We had a PA, who dealt with the deed poll change but she didn't seem to want to go beyond that (despite being paid!) as it seemed too much hassle and I think daunting to navigate through all the official loops and hoops! We did it ourselves, over time. It took a good 2 years. Even now we have the odd renewal that comes through and realize that we didn't quite catch every single company. Not that many of our gay friends have taken each other's names - for us it just seemed right!



For more information, visit www.nameswitch.co.uk

 
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