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Tying the Knot

The Name Game

Trash the dress? Our resident wedding planner Tami Smallwood-Brown shares tips on handling your gown after the big day.

To change my name or not to change my name? That, my friends, is the question plaguing my mind recently.

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of the day I’d become Mrs. Somebody. In high school, it was Mrs. Justin Timberlake and I’d “practice” my married signature in my notebooks.

But then I became a journalist. And social media happened.

In short, my byline is my reputation. My social media handle (@LTintheCity on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest) is my brand. So what’s a writer supposed to do once she becomes married?

Well, it appears as though I have several options:

A) Keep my name: L’Oreal Thompson
B) Hyphenate my name: L’Oreal Thompson-Payton or L’Oreal Payton-Thompson
C) Make my maiden name my middle name: L’Oreal Thompson Payton
D) Change my last name altogether: L’Oreal Payton
E) Combine our last names: Paythomp? Thompay? How about no?

A quiz on the online name-change service MissNowMrs.com recommended I take two last names: “Perfect for keeping your professional identity, two names sans hyphen allows you to keep your maiden name and take your spouse’s without being tied to using both names at every introduction!”

Which sounds great in theory, especially given my profession. After all, my name is my identity. But what about our (future) children? I like the idea of our entire family having the same name.

Jeff, ever the gentleman, is being extremely supportive and ultimately just wants me to be happy.

And even though I think “L’Oreal Payton” sounds weird (it could be that I’m just used to the sound of my own name…after all, I’ve had it for almost 27 years!), I like how it demonstrates unity.

While I’m still on the fence about what to do (or if I’ll do anything at all), I know ultimately I’ll be happiest if I follow my heart–which is what I’d recommend to anyone in this situation.

I mean, if the most powerful woman in the world…I mean, Beyonce…can hyphenate her name to show she and Jay Z are a team, then surely I can become Mrs. Payton! 😉

YOUR TURN: Are you keeping or changing your name after your wedding? Share your thoughts in the comments!

About L’Oreal & Jeff

L'Oreal and Jeff

L’Oreal and Jeff met in May 2008, became friends and went on their first date at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium in May 2011. They currently reside in Chicago and are planning a fall 2014 wedding in Baltimore with a LOT of purple details. Despite rooting for rival NFL teams, they love laughing and having fun together and look forward to getting married!