Sex & Love

My Big Ol’ Jewish Wedding: What’s In A (Last) Name?

If we end up bucking tradition, then so be it. Read More

By / October 27, 2011

We had the big talk last week about picking out the chair that my future wife will sit in during the Bedeken (veiling ceremony) at our wedding.  We’re trying to find something that is elegant, but that hasn’t proven to be the easiest thing.  Most of them look like they were stolen from the set of Anne of Green Gables, or even worse, pawned by a local pimp.

But the even bigger discussion was about our last names.   As some of you may know, I changed my last name to Diamond for personal reasons that I’d rather not discuss, because, well, they’re personal.  It’s a name from my mother’s side that seemed a more comfortable fit, and so I became a Diamond.

The process of legally changing your name is quite complicated.  You have to gather up every document with your former name and change those, you have to tell people that you are no longer using your old name, and in some cases, deal with a family that feels slighted by your rejection of the name they gave you.  But what can you really do to make them feel better?  It isn’t personal.

Now, as tradition would have it, my bride is supposed to take my last name when we become husband and wife, but that probably won’t be the road we take.  Maybe she wants to keep her last name, or hyphenate hers and mine?  We even discussed an option where we both use each name hyphenated.  It might be unorthodox, but why should a woman lose her name just because she’s married?  We’re in this together, and I’ve already undergone one name change, so why not another?

This decision hasn’t been made yet.  We’ve still got a lot to do before the big day, but it’s an ongoing discussion, and if we end up bucking traditions, then so be it.  It wouldn’t be the first time.