It’s the question of the year… will I be staying Dr. Majestic?
We all know it’s tradition for a woman to adopt her husband’s last name, when she marries. Tradition that dates back to the ninth century. It used to be forbidden legally for a woman to keep her last name, under the premise that the married couple were viewed as “one person” by the law. That one person happened to be the husband. It actually wasn’t until 1972 when every state in America legally allowed a woman to use her maiden name as she pleased.
Surprisingly, 80% of women still change their last names, both professionally and legally.
Chris and I went back and forth many times on this topic. Should I change my name? Should I hyphenate? Should HE change his last name? I told him he was welcome to be Chief Chris Majestic, and we got a laugh out of that. But then we went wine tasting with my parents in Michigan and my dad was less than thrilled about that idea. He’s very traditional.
My decision wasn’t just based on becoming “one” with Chris. It was based on the work I would have to do as a physician, to change all of my documentation AND the fact that I always dreamed of becoming Dr. Majestic. I didn’t even know where to start.
Depending on the state you live in, the process for marriage is obviously different. First the marriage license, then the marriage, then the social security office, then alllll the places where you have to change your name legally. Nightmare! I did find a couple of resources called HitchSwitch and MsNowMrs, a couple of companies that help you change your name in all the important, hard-to-find places! I had to chuckle, they each have different packages with the best package including your own personal name change concierge. I don’t know anyone personally who has used this resource, but it seems like a great idea.
They mention that although they try to make the process easy for you, there are many steps in the name changing process that require direct interaction due to the confidential information involved. Honestly, there were mixed reviews on the wedding boards for both of these resources.
I slept on it, I thought over it, I dreamed about it. I toyed with hyphenation, one way or the other. Chris’ last name doesn’t bother me… but as a physician, I wanted so badly to stay Dr. Majestic. Do I keep one professionally and the other for personal use? Do we combine our last names? Niggestic anyone??
After much conversation, we realized that there was just a lot more to this name change thing then a few signatures and papers. We both came to the conclusion that yes, we are each others’ soulmates and are becoming one, but we have still established successful lives on our own, with our own last names.
So… without further delay…
I WILL be staying Dr. Majestic! Legally and professionally.
Chris and I decided to insert his name as my middle name so that I’m still legally a Nigg. What can I say? We got creative! Whew, that decision was a long and difficult one!
Now when the kids come into the world, we got a whole other discussion to have!
How do you all feel about name change after marriage?
22 thoughts on “Will I be keeping it Majestic?”
I had the same exact dilemma last year when I got married. I’m also a physician and have established myself with my maiden name. To complicate the matter, my husband is also a doctor. I had always dreamed of being a doctor and wanted to keep my name. My husband completely understood and was supportive of me keeping my name. Our last names are too long to hyphenate so that just seemed like a bad idea. My mother-in-law keeps referring to me by my married last name…she unfortunately does not seem to understand that I kept my name professionally. My husband and I have decided that any future kids we have will take my husband’s name. As for what friends of our kids will me…remains to be seen.
I love how you’re incorporating Nigg. I had a really hard time letting go of my maiden name since it basically ends with my sister and I. I thought about making it a second middle name since I love my middle name and didn’t want to get rid of it but I thought it would’ve made the name change process a lot harder from what I read online. I ended up just doing the traditional thing and dropped my maiden but learned a friend did exactly what I originally wanted to do and she said it was just as easy, so I kinda regret not doing that now. I would tell anyone having a hard time deciding to go with what will make YOU happy not anyone else. Congrats Dr. Majestic!!!
I also kept my own last name! I got married when I was nearly 28, and the idea of changing my name seemed so scary and final. My last name is a huge part of my identity and I actually love it. I do joke that I kept mine because mine is better than my husband’s, but really it’s because I’m just happy being who I am! He also considered changing his to mind. But we decided to just keep our names! I definitely don’t regret the decision! 🤗
Truthfully I never really liked my last name growing up. It is difficult for people to spell by ear and people would screw it up sooooooo often. My husband’s last name is so easy and simple. Plus, I find it incredibly romantic to take my hudband’s name. We are one, I am his, and I am a Mrs. and I LOVE being called Mrs.Packer. If I were in your position I don’t think I would change my name with all that paperwork!! Yikes!! And you have a coolest last name!! Changing my name was very easy. Totally support your decision. Changing your name isn’t for everyone.
I hyphenated because I didn’t want to lose my idenitity, but now wish I hadn’t! Computer systems all approach hyphens differently. Some take the hyphen, some break it into two names, some combine it into one. Others drop the first name altogether. I have to run through all the combinations if someone can’t find me in their system before they can pull up my account.
I always said when I got married I would keep my last name due to the potential of my career and I wanted to keep my last name because it was unique also….glad y’all came to an agreement since this is a hard discussion.
Congratulations!!! The name change is such a personal choice… and a TON of work and stress if you do decide to change. I got married during my first year of medical school (currently in my last!) and it was a given to everyone in my husband’s family that I would legally change my name… but not my family. And that’s because I had already established a pretty good trail of research papers and degrees in my own last name and would be following in my dad’s career path and practice. It just made sense to keep my name. My husband is awesome and supportive so it really came down to what I was comfortable with. Socially I go by Mrs. P… but professionally/legally it’s still going to be Dr. T 😉
Hyphenate. Most only use the first or last of the hyphenation. You could still be dr majestic at work. But then when you have kids you will still all have the same last name and be the Nigg family.
Thank you for this! I recently got married a year ago, but haven’t changed my last name yet. I am also a first year med student so I’ve been toying with the idea of changing my last name or keeping it. I’m not in a hurry to make a decision nor is my husband asking me to, but seeing more women like you keep their last name is inspiring. It also shows that marriage isn’t just a name. 🙂
You made the right decision! As a physician I went back and forth a lot for the same reasons especially since I met my husband (also a firefighter 😊) after I finished residency and had already taken my specialty boards with *everything* in my maiden name. In the end, it was the easiest move and he was always on board with me leaving it. Now, when we had kids it did get confusing… Both of our daughters have their last name legally as Mine-Dad’s last name hyphenated. At school they are known only by their dad’s last name to keep it easy and when they get married, they can decide what they want to do! Congratulations on this new chapter of your life! Love following you on insta ♥️
In similar situation as well. I’m sure you both considered hyphenating the names. What made you choose against Nigg-Majestic?
Seems like a wonderful idea to add Nigg in as a middle name! I have my mother’s last name but my father’s last name is my middle. I am very much looking forward to being Dr. Britton in 5 short months – I think it would be super hard to change my name! Best wishes to you and Chris
I am an emergency medicine medical officer and I was always dead set on keeping my maiden name.It`s my identity and my family name. I always wanted to be Dr Reddy and I`m proud of it everyday.My husband is the most precious thing in my life and we both believe that things like surnames and religion don`t define our relationship so it was a very easy decison to make at the time of our wedding. As for kids,I`m happy for them to take his last name,it`s never been something I worried about..their happiness and health will always be my number one priority X
Good for you! Proud to hear you take this stance and you’re right, it doesn’t mean you love him any less!
I am also a doctor who did not want to change last name due to logistics and pre internet day hassles. I kept it hyphenated both married n maiden names in my papers. UNFORTUNATELY … hubby was also the world’s worst abuser in every way … clawed scratched my face due to my decision to have maiden name in a hospital form before my surgery. After again the world’s worst divorce, I faced so many hassles due to having his last name on cards and more headache trying to convert it back legally on paperwork. In 1990s. It is a fake expectation, to be only one way lane conforming. Feminism had to intervene to make sense.
Wondering if anyone else was pressured to change last names.
Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry to hear about your experience with your ex husband. But always important to share your experience and story because it could really help others going through similar experiences. Thank you!! I’m happy you are on to a new life 🙂
I love this story so Much. So unique.
I will be interested to see what you decide when you have kids!! This part is what I worry about most in my future! I have also worked hard to become Dr. Masters and always dreamed of reaching this goal (plus, its kind of a cool last name!). For professional reasons I want to keep my last name, but legally I want to have the same last name as my kids, combination, hyphen, or him taking mine just isn’t a great option.
That being said, I will be staying tuned for future updates on this topic!
I am a PhD, and thought about the surname “issue” for a long long time! I just cannot find it in me to change my surname! I came up with the same idea as you! To keep my name legally and professionally and add his name as a middle name! I was really curious to see if anyone else did a similar thing! I looked for it everywhere online, and I think you are the very first person I came across who had done the same thing!
For us, when kiddos come into the game, we will give them my surname as their middle name and they will have my partner’s surname! A win-win situation in my opinion 🙂
Love that!!! Glad I’m not alone 🙂
Love this post! I actually wish I read this before I got married or at least around the time I did. I graduated with my bachelor’s in my maiden name. I changed my last name to my husband’s last name after I got married and honestly, I wish I hadn’t. Not that I don’t love him BUT I am pursuing medical school and I really would have liked to have it under my maiden name. I didn’t think it would mean as much to me as it does. I love being a MRS., but in the professional world where I’m the one busting my chops, I think I deserve to have my name on there.
Well… the good news is you can always change it back if it bothers you that much 🙂