Most of the things that changed when we got married were admin-related.
Clearing up all the post-wedding decorations. Writing thank-you notes (which we are still yet to send, sorry everyone). And figuring out how to change all of my documentation with my new surname.
This actually ended up being the weirdest part for me. Though I was generally sad that all of the wedding excitement and honeymoon were over, it was the surname change in particular that was getting to me.
It was a strange feeling as I had of course known that it was coming. Marc and I have been together nearly 10 years so naturally throughout that time I had imagined myself with his surname (which incidentally is Easton and not too dissimilar from my maiden name Marston). I was happy to be joining his family and my family were excited for that too. So I was surprised at my sadness and resistance to it (it took me two weeks to change it on Facebook, which as we know, is the biggest deal of them all).
For me I think it was because of two main reasons. Firstly, because it is a symbolic distancing from my family, who I love and cherish. Secondly, I was scared of my identity changing. For 27 years I had been known as Stephanie Marston (sometimes just Marston at school), had made my friends as Stephanie Marston and built my professional career as a Marston, so to suddenly be known with a new name felt a little saddening and unnerving.
Now I know in this day and age you don’t really have to change your surname, husbands can choose their wives’ surnames and you can even pick out a new surname together. Marc even said to me that I didn’t have to change it if I didn’t want to. But I knew I would change it as it couldn’t be double-barreled (Marston-Easton is a lot of S’s for someone with a lisp and just sounds, well, stupid) and if we do decide to start a family then I’d like us to be all known as the same thing.
I think what made it easier was my friends and family all referring to me with my new name and being super happy about it. By them doing this, it began to feel like an exciting new chapter and extension of my life, rather than negating everything that came before it. And also by realising that names are so arbitrary! No one chooses their name and really your actions in life matter more than a name.
So my solution? Have two names! I have decided that legally I will change everything over to Easton but keep my social and blog profile as Marston. (Can’t have all that wasted SEO now, can I?) This way I can remember the old me and embrace the new.
Let’s just hope Stephanie Easton has much better outfits and eats much less chocolate…
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