Wedding woe: naming names

23:00, Sep 11 2012

Today's wedding woe brings up a couple of different side issues in my mind. Here goes:

Hey Greer,

I've got a bit of a question for you, or maybe your readers can help!

FH and I are getting ready to send out our save-the-dates (!!). Thing is, last year I changed my surname and while I did it for my own reasons, I saw no need to announce the change to my father's extended family as I thought I might catch some grief for my choice. 

But what do I put on my save the dates and invitations? Most people know me as [newname], but my father's side of the family still know me as [oldname]. Some of them haven't even met FH, so if they get a save the date with only my new name on it they may not even know who it is! 

Any thoughts?

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Cheers,

MJ

***

Hi MJ,

I think there are a few things going on here and maybe some people will see it differently.

First, good on you for changing your name if that's something you've always wanted to do. I know a few people who have done this so it's something that happens and I can understand the family issues around it.

Looking at our save the dates, we didn't even use our surnames anywhere on it. That wasn't a conscious decision, just something that happened design-wise. Here's an example of where the couple has just used first names and I don't think it's confusing: 

When I first saw ours, I did wonder - for all of a split second - if people would get it in their letterbox and wonder who on earth we were, but the more I thought about it the more I realised that if that was the case, why on earth was I inviting them? (It also helps that I've got a rather distinctive first name. If we were "Sarah and James" I can imagine there could be confusion.)

Another option for you could be to use the phrase "The future Mr and Mrs [new-new name]" - but that would only work if you were taking on your future husband's surname. 

I don't know what kind of design you're going for with your save the dates but including a photo of you both somewhere on it could also solve your problems.

Just to repeat though, if you honestly think your family (or other guests) are going to be confused by who you are, I would have a serious sit-down and re-look at the guest list because that just seems bizarre to me.

Put yourselves in their shoes: if any of your guests did the reverse, would you not know who they were?

Do you have any advice for MJ? Have you had similar issues? Ever received a save the date from someone and you couldn't work out who it was?

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