Weddings are funny. You spend all this time, effort, thought and money on this one event and then it’s over but your life is changed in ways you never considered. It is the bit after the wedding that I am just now realising really changes things.
Let me get to the point. I am no longer who I was. That makes sense right?
Part of this relates to the fact that I changed my name, I took Laura’s surname. There are a number of reasons for this but the outcome was a joint decision. We didn’t want to hyphen, no real reason we just didn’t think out names worked together. We didn’t want to make up a name because we both hold stock in our family names and we didn’t want to combine because Smutley or Nith just don’t work.
In fact, my name is still my name - I just added on a new surname, making my original surname a middle name. As one of two sisters I didn't want my family name lost, and having it as part of my name means it won’t be. It also saves any future offspring from terrible nicknames!
Anyway I digress, so while my name of 30 years still exists in some format, to the outside world I am someone new. I am Sarah Smith, wife of Laura Smith. If you met you 6 weeks ago you would know me as Sarah Nutley - if you met me today, I am Sarah Smith – how weird is that? I am the same yet different.
The reason I am bringing this up is because at lunch today I went to the bank, marriage certificate in hand, and changed my name. It was a lengthy process with a lot of photocopying and signing, thankfully I had a pre-practise session with my new signature, but it’s done. As I walked out the assistant said ‘Have a good day Mrs Smith’ I had to look around to see who he was talking to. I walked in Miss Nutley and out Mrs Smith – just weird!
Then there is work. I hand out business cards with Sarah Smith, new customers ask for Sarah Smith and my email address says Sarah Smith but when I walk into receptions I sound like a fool as I go between ‘they know me as Sarah Nutley, but I am now Sarah Smith’ I'm sure they are just like - pick a name, it doesn't matter– I look weird!
Facebook, Linked In and all other things that feature my maiden name all needed updating, I felt like I was replacing myself. It is just a strange feeling. Not bad, don’t get me wrong - this is not a negative thing, I'm really excited to be Laura's wife, it’s just an adjustment I didn’t think about. The banks cards, the mortgages, the student loan – everything legal, everywhere Sarah Nutley put her name I need to track it down and replace it.
If you want the full list check out: http://www.prepareformarriage.org.uk/index.php/wedding-tips/featured-articles/8-wedding-tips-practical/18-legal-stuff-changing-your-name
Essentially, if you google Sarah Nutley I will end as a 30 year old, there will be no further photos past 30. Sarah Nutley went out in her prime and Sarah Smith is now starting a new, married journey! This Sarah Smith will never have been single (hopefully never will be) she will have a life happily entwined with the ever wonderful Laura Smith!
The moment we get a bill to Mrs & Mrs Smith I know we will be bouncing around excited, I can’t wait for our new joint bank account cards and I love making bookings as Mrs and Mrs Smith. I just never thought about how changing your name really is changing who you are to the outside world.