Weddings Atlantic

Changing My Last Name, For Real

Brittney Toner

The day after my wedding I did what most millennial brides do, a new tradition that will be handed down to the generations to follow, a right of passage if you will – I changed my last name on Facebook.

A few quick clicks and there it was my new name, my new identity. It was weird, I would comment on a friend’s post and see it back after like hey, who’s tha… oh yeah, that’s me. Fast forward about ahhh 6 months and every document, identification card, (and well even Instagram), still had my maiden name. Every passing week I found a new excuse on why I couldn’t go down to Service New Brunswick to complete the name changing task. I was waiting for another document, or work was too busy, or it was too rainy, had another appointment, etc etc etc etc. Patrick reminded me I didn’t HAVE to change my name, it didn’t bother him either way, and for a while I considered that. I had to really sit down and reflect that there was more to it for me than just not wanting to wait in line at SNB, I was a little bit sad at the thought of changing my name… “it’s just a name!” my friend reminded me but there was something more to it for me.

SHORT BACKGROUND: When I met Patrick, I already had a pretty special guy in my life. A guy who I shared a last name with, my son. When Cole was born, I was set to be raising him myself and thus, I gave him my last name. As the story goes, Patrick came into our lives a few months later, and with time we became a family. Patrick and I then had our daughter, who has Patrick’s last name. Before the wedding, we had begun the process of having Patrick legally adopt Cole, but nothing was complete yet as the wedding approached.

After the wedding, I realized I was hesitant to change my name and that was because Cole and I shared that name… Back when it was just me and him, and we made up a tiny little family with a shared last name... sure there was my parents, my brother and extended family. But I realized, for me, having the same last name as Cole reminded me that him and I started out together, WE met Patrick, together. And when I thought of my family now, Patrick, our daughter, Cole, there was a part of me that still felt that extra little connection with Cole, and I probably always will. We were the OGs of this family! The first little paint strokes to this now, bigger and beautiful picture, and I felt like the two of us sharing a last name was a big part of that. Which is why I ultimately decided to CHANGE our names, both Cole and I. Because now, the four of us were a family, and as important to me as it was to share a name with Cole, I now wanted to share a name with my bigger family, my husband and my daughter. The adoption was completed and Cole’s name was changed and only then, did I proceed to change my own. And yes, it was as much a pain in the butt as I predicted, a lot of forms and fees and it was still difficult for me, emotionally, but I am happy now that the four of us share a name. A name that I cannot accurately pronounce, a name that is several letters longer than my last, but a name that unites us as a family even if at first, we came in different parts!

So, were you like me and took FOREVER to change your name or were you in line at SNB the next day, wedding extensions still in your hair?

xo Ashley