While I know it's not for everyone, I personally think marriage is romantic as heck. You get to start the rest of your life with the person you love, and that start is usually marked by beautifully declaring your love for one another in both big and small settings. But, of course, before you make it to that stage, there are a lot of questions you need to answer — one of them being whether or not you will take your partner's last name.
If your answer to that question is yes, that is perfectly OK. But it's also OK if you don't really want to. The tradition is popular, but it's also tied to old and heteronormative traditions of women being seen as property and marriage being a union between a man and a woman only. Luckily, marriage has come a long way in recent years (love is love, y'all!), and that includes surname situations. If you're thinking you want to go a new route, here are a few creative options!
1. Hyphenate Both of Your Names Together
Why pick only one name when you can use both? You're starting a family with your significant other, so it only makes sense to have both your last names signify this union. Romantic, right? Plus, you will most definitely end up with a name that makes you sound like royalty. If you want to go all out and hyphenate a couple last names together for maximum effect, follow your dreams! Don't let anybody stop you!
2. Keep Your Last Name as a Middle Name
So, you want to take your partner's last name, but the idea of parting with yours forever is too much. Worry not, because there is no rule saying you have to lose it forever. Once you get your partner's last name, you can keep yours as a new middle name. This way, you will both keep your ties to your history and get to have a cool-sounding middle name that probably nobody else has.
3. Adopt a New Last Name Altogether
Nobody said you have to be the only person changing your last name. Why not come together with your partner and pick a new last name? (Remember that scene from Father of the Bride Part II where they came up with new last names by combining both of theirs? Yeah, channel that!) It's the perfect opportunity to start your new life fresh. Besides, you now have the chance to find a really cool last name that's going to feel extra special because you chose it yourself.
4. Have Your Partner Take Your Last Name
You might not want to say goodbye to your last name just yet, but who knows, maybe your partner does. So why not keep your last name as the new family name? Besides, if you're part of a straight couple, it will feel like you're taking a stand against the patriarchy and starting your new life.