When the Groom takes on the Bride’s name

It could happen to you, too. Your fiance could have a last name that is so hard to spell or pronounce that he wants to adopt yours. He may have been awaiting marriage his entire life, just so he could finally get rid of his awkward last name. But how does one go about this, one reader wonders of Miss Manners: “Should we inform family friends, colleagues and more distant relatives of this unusual situation before our marriage? How would you suggest we do this? Any advice will be greatly appreciated!”

In case you too wanted to know the answer, Miss Manners has got one for you:

GENTLE READER: You are going to get plenty of advice from just about everyone, and Miss Manners is afraid that your appreciation will soon wear thin.

For that reason, she suggests telling people when the change is an accomplished fact. At the wedding reception, for instance, when people start calling you Mrs. Twiddledom, you can say “No, I’m still Mabel Harris, but now he is Alexander Harris” – and then move on to greeting the next couple while they process this.

Another way is to send out At Home cards after the wedding with both your married names. (Ms. Mabel Harris/Mr. Alexander Harris/At home/address/ after the thirtieth of July). And to keep sending your full names on every occasion you write. Your husband might have cards and writing paper made with his new name.

And you know what? Many people will get your names wrong anyway, but fewer of them will chime in with their opinions. Please try to be patient with all of them.

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