To be or not to be: The changing your last name after getting married debate.

I got married 11 months and 1 week ago. And since I live in Canada, that means I have exactly 3 weeks left to DECIDE (well, free of charge) whether or not I am going to legally change my last name to my husbands.

I have seriously battled with this question. I’ve read all the positive (you can totally be a feminist and change your name) and negative articles. I’ve asked many incredible woman in my life their thoughts and to share their experiences (and appreciated every bit of wisdom), but the answer is still unclear to me.

So in order to get to the bottom of this, I have done what every normal human does. Made a list.

Here are a few of the pros:

1. His last name is beautiful. It’s KELLY. My name would be Lauren Kelly. How glamorous.

2. It means a lot to my husband and that means a lot to me.

3. I would like our children to have the last name Kelly, and I’d like to share their last name.

Here are a few cons:

1. I feel like Bercovitch is a big part of my Jewish identity, and I don’t want to lose that.

2. I’ve built a career as Bercovitch.

3. I already have (and!), there is NO WAY is available. (Just kidding, that is not the real reason, but basically I feel like I’m the only Lauren Bercovitch out in the world – google it! – but there are lots of other Lauren Kellys)

So after going back and forth on this for months, I’d like to put this question out into the universe for myself, and any other lady friend that may be crossing this bridge soon: Can I maintain my name as Lauren Bercovitch PROFESSIONALLY, but legally change to Lauren Bercovitch Kelly in my PERSONAL LIFE?

Does that work in the real world? Can I have both? Or will it just lead to more confusion and is just a cop out for me having to make a decision? (and for the record we have discussed combining our last name and becoming the Kellovitch’s, but neither of us are in love with it.)

Please let me know your thoughts. The clock is ticking!

[And here are some shots from our inter-faith ceremony where we took the leap to become a family. No matter what last name we end up with, nothing can mess with this love. All photos by Marcus Jolly]

Ceremony_CK+LB_8 Ceremony_CK+LB_35 Ceremony_CK+LB_46Ceremony_CK+LB_47

No Responses to “To be or not to be: The changing your last name after getting married debate.”

  1. Rebecca

    I have a coworker who does just that and it’s worked for her! Her taken last name also sounds very glamorous. The only trouble I’ve heard of is once security in our building hassled her a bit because her swipe pass has her maiden/professional name, and all of her other ID has her taken name.

    • Lauren Bercovitch

      So nice to hear of woman successfully pulling it off! And I guess as long as I don’t work anywhere with high security clearance in the buildings I’ll generally be ok!

  2. Jill

    My advice is to make Bercovitch your middle name and Kelly your new official last name. Your identity and cultural heritage will ALWAYS be yours, the career you have built (are building) will ALWAYS still be yours. Part of what makes your identity (and your career) remarkable is its ability to grow and change as your life changes.

    Also, those pics just made me cry, again.

    • Lauren Bercovitch

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful advice Jill! It really is what I am leaning towards and it means so much to me to have the woman I admire most supporting that decision!

      And now you just made ME cry!

  3. Holly

    It’s totally a personal decision and one that I struggled with. Dean and I joked around with the combined name as well and Broadloco is still our joke name! I thought I’d keep my maiden name as my middle name and take my husband’s last name, but when i went in to make the change, they said I couldn’t change my middle name at the same time without a full legal name change. I was surprised!

    Good luck with your decision!


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