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]

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