Name Changing Options

Contributed by M. Elizabeth Hunter, with input from Sonja Kueppers

This thread has come up several times on, so I thought I would just summarize the options I've seen debated there. I've tried to put in some of the major pros and cons for each one. The thing to remember is that everyone has their own priorities and sense of what is right for them.

In no particular order:

Whatever the couple choses, let me suggest At Home Cards. These are small cards that can be enclosed in the invitation or in the wedding program (I've seen both), which say "Bride's Married Name and Groom's Married Name will be at home at Address after Date." These are useful in a number of different ways, as they advise the wedding guests what the couples' new names will be, where they are living after the wedding, and when they will be back from the honeymoon. They fell out of use for a long time, but I have noticed them making a comeback and approve wholeheartedly.

The Mexican Tradition

Contributed by M. Elizabeth Hunter, with corrections by Vilma Irizarry

The Mexican (and most Hispanic countries) naming convention is as follows (I'm using an example, to make it easier. A graphical representation of this example is available):

A woman is born and named Marta Alicia Marquez Contreras.

Marquez is her father's father's last name, Contreras is her mother's father's last name.

A man is born and named Pablo Patricio Garcia Nogeira.

Garcia is his father's last name, Nogeira is his mother's father's last name.

When Marta marries Pablo, his name remains the same and her name becomes Marta Alicia Marquez de Garcia, although she will often just use Marquez Garcia.

They have a daughter and name her Maria Isabel Garcia Marquez.

This, as you see, is her father's father's last name and her mother's father's last name.

If she marries Jose Antonio Vasquez Sanchez, her name will become Maria Isabel Garcia de Vasquez.

So by now, the Contreras and the Nogeira are gone. So this system holds onto the name of the mother's father, but only for one generation. It's still a patrilineal naming convention, but the woman's maiden name is a little stronger. With the North American cultural influence, many people are dropping their mother's last names altogether and going with the one name.

An interesting side note: Pablo Picasso chose to use his mother's last name, rather than his father's. I forget what his father's name was, but it was a more common surname and Picasso thought it was more interesting to use Picasso.

Page last modified: Sunday, May 16, 2004

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