When my husband and I were planning our wedding, I was intent on keeping my last name. Not because I was particularly fond of my last name. Not because it was my family name or because I didn’t want to deal with the paperwork involved in changing it. My decision was mostly because I was, and always have been, Jaime Lownsbery. And with so many changes happening in my life at one time (besides getting married, I’d just started a new job, and I was getting ready to move into my husband’s home, which was an hour away from mine). To be honest, I was feeling anxious. And adding a name change into the mix wasn’t helping things.
My husband, who is much more traditional than I am, assured me that he was okay with me not changing my last name. He wasn’t doing back-flips at the thought of us not sharing the same name, but it wasn’t so important that he was going to call off the wedding. Even so, I could tell that it bothered him. I knew he’d be happy to have us both share the same last name. So I decided to compromise – I would hyphenate my last name. And that’s where the trouble began.