Becoming a Farrant: My Thoughts On Changing My Last Name

Losing your surname when you get married

There were a few things that Tom and I discussed properly when we first started planning our wedding, like where it was going to be held, UK or abroad (I lost the battle for a beach wedding in Portugal, although I think he’s beginning to wish we’d gone for a more low key day with all the admin that’s going on at home right now). One thing we didn’t need to discuss was the fact we both wanted to get married in a church, whilst the other one is the fact that I’ll be taking his name from September 9th onwards.

I know a lot of people are very attached to their surnames, they see it as part of their identity, their independence.

I can’t wait to get rid of mine.

Watson. A harmless name, easy to spell, easy to pronounce. Yet it means nothing to me.

My Dad hasn’t been in my life much, actually the last time I saw him was when I was 12, and the only correspondence ew have is a birthday and Christmas card each year. Without going into details (mostly because I don’t have any), I don’t know him. He’s not my family.

For years my Mum and I were a family of two. Then when I was 17, she got remarried and changed her surname. Suddenly I was the only Watson.

thoughts on losing my surname

When I think of taking Tom’s name, becoming a Farrant, it symbolises more than just a marriage to me. I become part of his family, a family I couldn’t be happier to formally join. I feel so lucky to have friendships with both of his sisters (they’re coming on my hen do in a few weeks time 🤗) and their husbands, I adore his nieces and nephews, and am thrilled to be gaining the best in-laws ever. I have such a great relationship with my future mother in law that we were planning a little pre-wedding holiday, just the two of us, to get some sunshine and relaxation in before the big day – those plans quickly got hijacked by the rest of the family and now 11 of us are headed to Portugal at the end of August! I can’t wait.

thoughts on losing my surname

So although I’ll have to get used to spelling my surname over the phone now (Farrant…F A double R A N T) I am so excited to become part of their family unit and to create a unit of our own in the future.

I’m not losing my identity, I’m creating a new one. I won’t lose my independence, I’m just increasing my back up team.

Links of London Aeroplane necklace

Tom gave me this necklace on our first anniversary, I love it as a reminder of our love of travelling, flying (obviously he’s a plane geek but I actually love airports and planes too) and each other. I wear it a lot unless it disappears into a gym bag pocket for a few months as it’s been known to do…

I’d love to know – what are your feelings on losing your last name/taking your partner’s last name? Would you? Have you? 

Also I didn’t realise how many places I had to notify of my name change, I am NOT excited about the admin side of things! 

Photos by Anna Jackson 

24 Comments

  1. Terri
    22nd July 2017 / 11:00 am

    This was lovely to read. Congratulations

  2. 22nd July 2017 / 12:35 pm

    I’m getting married next year and I won’t be changing my last name, I’ve already changed it once, as soon as I turned 18 I chose to have my mothers maiden name rather than my dads as I haven’t seen or heard from him for 10 years, I’m closer to my grandpa than my parents, so it meant a lot to him for to choose his name as my new identity!

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2017 / 9:29 pm

      That’s really interesting, I feel the same and actually when Tom proposed, he spoke to my Mum and Grandfather together about it! (He’s very traditional and asked permission!) My Mum’s maiden name actually have a Scottish surname that doesn’t translate well to those who can’t pronounce it!

  3. Prefer not to say :-)
    22nd July 2017 / 2:11 pm

    It’s a strange one, isn’t it. I have the birthday/Xmas card ‘relationship’ with my Dad too, rarely see him and when I do it’s like a polite conversation with a stranger. I have nothing to do with his family either. But I do feel attached to my name, it’s who I am, so wouldn’t change it if I got married.

    I know it’s not a great way to think but a lot of people get divorced too, then the name situation comes up again. Also, people think that having kids will be a problem in what surname they give a child, feeling a child can’t have a different surname from mum/dad. But coming from a family like that, it really doesn’t matter and isn’t an issue!

    Saying all that, I feel quite moved by your explanation to change your name! As always, do what’s best for you 🙂

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2017 / 9:25 pm

      Aww thank you and thanks for sharing. Totally agree it’s such a personal one, and having been a child with a parent of a different name, I don’t think it matters at all however I just don’t feel attached to mine at all now that I feel like I’m the only one with it!

  4. Barbie Baran
    22nd July 2017 / 3:04 pm

    I’m excited to be taking my fiance’s last name next year. My mother passed away unexpectedly in her sleep end of November 2016 which was a massive shock to my life. I’ve never had a great relationship with my father, he’s sort of an ass. Not even 6 months after my mother’s death he’s already dating and considering remarrying. He doesn’t care about the feelings of his 7 children. I cannot wait to shed my last name for a new one. I want nothing to do with my father anymore. I get along great with my fiance’s family and they make me feel like one of their own.

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2017 / 9:23 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear about your Mum but so happy that you’ve got an awesome relationship with your fiancees family. Thanks for sharing Barbie xx

  5. 22nd July 2017 / 6:02 pm

    I think changing your name is an incredibly personal choice and it’s all about what works for you. I do really love the idea of everyone having the same name (like a team!!) but which name depends on those involved, you’ve good really solid reasons to become TeamFarrant, other people I know have opted to adopt the rarer surname, I suspect we’ll go for a double barrel and both change it! It’s a nice way to formalise a unit, but equally whether you choose to do things one way or another is personal.

    Good luck with the last stretch of wedding planning, and for the next exciting step in life!

  6. 22nd July 2017 / 7:15 pm

    I think everyone has their own preferences and reasons for changing or not changing their names. I was pretty adamant about not wanting to change mine, because my name is a big part of my identity and I am proud to carry that with me. Part of the reason could also be cultural, in a way, as my mum didn’t change her name, and part is that I’m a feminist and think it’s silly that, in a heterosexual relationship, the woman traditionally takes the man’s name (as back in the day, and still today in many countries, she literally becomes his property). I’ve heard from a number of women that name-changing was a bit of a tense topic with their husbands-to-be. Ridiculous, in my opinion! And what about same-sex couples? I agree, however, that it is ultimately a personal choice, and it sounds like you’re making the right one for yourself.

  7. 22nd July 2017 / 10:03 pm

    I got married in June and was not sure what I was going to do. Ultimately I decided to keep my name for now. But I’m open to the idea of changing it when we have kids if it bothers me to not share a name with them.

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2017 / 9:22 pm

      Its a big decision, definitely something to think about but a very personal decision!

  8. Memphis
    23rd July 2017 / 12:54 am

    Love it. I also had no particular attachment to my surname, and my husband didn’t either. (Neither of us is close to our families of origin.) So we actually made up a whole new name when we got married. It’s the same idea — this is the family that matters now, the one we’re both happy to be joining.

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2017 / 9:20 pm

      That is awesome, what a fun idea!!

  9. Elisabeth Marnik
    23rd July 2017 / 2:56 am

    I have a similar situation with my dad and mom so I was very excited to change my last name when I got married a month ago. I love being part of a new unit!

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2017 / 9:18 pm

      Me too, love the idea of a unit!

  10. 23rd July 2017 / 3:35 am

    I totally respect your decision, and I think everyone is allowed to have their own reasoning for whether or not they want to change their name.

    My mom didn’t change or last name and I don’t plan on it either. To me it just feels weird to be required to change my last name as the female getting married. I also do feel like my name is part of my identity, but I imagine I would feel differently if I wasn’t close with my dad or his side of the family like I am.

    I know my parents had wanted to combine their last names for my brother and me, but Kleinman-Worthman would be a mouth full. I do think it’s cute, though, when combining last names works.

    • charlotte
      23rd July 2017 / 9:19 pm

      of course, I wish I had a better relationship with my Dad and that I felt differently about my name but I feel lucky to be marrying into such an awesome family! Tom has never put any pressure on me and I know he’d be fine if I wanted to keep my name (or double barrel but Watson-Farrant is quite a few T’s!) xx

  11. 24th July 2017 / 11:54 am

    It’s so lovely how well you get on with your inlaws, and how you see taking their name as having a new sense of belonging.I’m so happy for you!! I definitely wanted to take Cristiano’s name but I was also sad to give up Howitt, so came up with a compromise. I’m the 3rd generation Dr Howitt, and giving that up wasn’t an option. I now do all my professional work as Dr Howitt, but use Alberigo for everything else. My official surname is Alberigo on my passport, and I have changed Howitt to be an official second middle name. Best of both worlds!

  12. Amanda
    24th July 2017 / 1:57 pm

    I was excited to change my name. My maiden name is hard to spell & pronounce, I thought I was taking on an easier name. Turns out, my new last name is only well-known in our community, apparently the rest of the world struggles with it just as much (sometimes more) as my maiden name. Oh well. I have traditional views on name change with marriage, and although it’s ultimately none of my business if a bride takes her husband’s name or not, I always knew I wanted to.

  13. kristi
    24th July 2017 / 2:05 pm

    Child of divorce myself. My dad and I had a rocky relationship, but I was proud of my last name. My mother; however, was not. I really didn’t think of it as losing my independence for my first marriage, but I’m nearing 40 and women often changed their name without it being a thing. It’s just what you did. It wasn’t a big deal. For my first marriage, I hyphenated my last name mainly because my ex husband was previously married to a woman with my same first name. I felt weird being that second bride with the same name. I’m not going to lie, I got shit for being a hyphenated woman. I had lots of random strangers complain to me about my independence and blah blah blah. I had a cop even yell at me for being hyphenated. Although, now, I do see more woman hyphenated than I was back then.
    I’m remarried now and didn’t think twice about taking his name. I loved his last name. I loved his family. He didn’t care and in fact, was surprised I was okay with it since I was pushing for him to take my last name. My mother was happy, but that’s not why I did it. Maybe it was because my father has since passed away and I have moved on or maybe it just felt right. I don’t know. I didn’t do it to become his property and I know my husband wouldn’t think that way either.

    And yes…so MANY things to change. I’m still finding stuff that I need to change to the new last name.

  14. 26th July 2017 / 10:53 am

    That necklace is so sweet! and so great that you get on so well with Tom’s family.

    PS- I got a spot on the dietetics post grad course starting the beginning of October so we should catch up at London Met!

    • charlotte
      27th July 2017 / 6:04 pm

      Amazing, congratulations!! Yes definitely!

  15. 27th July 2017 / 11:58 am

    I think it’s lovely to take someone else’s name and an entirely personal choice. When I got married I wanted to take Ben’s name (Smith) but also keep my own because of two reasons: I wanted to keep my family name just because we’re a small family and my sister wasn’t keeping hers and, simply, I wanted to jazz up my name a bit with combining two boring names (Smith and James) to make a more interesting one. It IS a faff though, which is exactly why I’ve chosen to keep Smith-James for the time being despite being divorced. I like my name and it’s my own identity. I do joke though that I’ll just continuing adding names onto it as I go through more husbands 😉