THE VERDICT: Changing my last name after getting married

A few months back, I wrote about whether or not I should change my surname post-wedding. I can’t tell you how many people told me they have struggled with the same question, and although there were many strong, wise opinions offered, I still agonized over (as have many others) with what to do.

So I have to say I still question my decision, but I feel I owe an explanation of what I actually decided:

I’m not Lauren Bercovitch Kelly.┬áProfessionally I am Lauren Bercovitch, personally I am Lauren Kelly. Let me further explain.

At work, and when I write, my name is Lauren Bercovitch. It is what I have built my career in, it is unique, and it is memorable (I mean it sounds like the word BITCH is in my name!). It’s like a screen name or pen name, but I am basically doing the reverse of what movie stars do! Instead of trading in a very Jewish sounding name for an easily pronounceable name, I’m choosing to keep my character-strong-name instead of the simple-to-spell option.

But at home, I’m Lauren Kelly. This name doesn’t have a strong presence … yet … but I imagine once we have kids (far into the future!) at PTA meetings, soccer games, and when I’m running the school play I will be known in my community as Lauren Kelly.

So you might be wondering about the most important name-related question: Why are you still Lauren Bercovitch on Facebook? Well, little did you probably realize, but over the last year my Facebook has evolved into Grown-Up Party’s Facebook, so it makes sense to keep it under my “pen name”. But beyond that, I have very consciously decided that Lauren Kelly will NOT HAVE AN ONLINE PERSONA, at all. She will exist in real time, but not on instagram, facebook, twitter, or google+ (yah right – no one uses that anyways).

Because in a time where we all exist online and therefore inherently are forced to craft online versions of who we are (whether you realize it or not, that is what you are doing), I would like a part of me to not have to do that. A little slice of life kept sacred, just for me and my family, no matter how confusing the two-name system may be.

[Top image by Marcus Jolly]

9 Responses to “THE VERDICT: Changing my last name after getting married”

    • lberco

      Phil I really think you touched on something important here – the ART OF THE SCREENAME FOR GROWN-UPS!

  1. Amanda Watson

    Interesting post! I dig the idea of “situational name users,” but find it troubling that many hetero men aren’t participating in the two-name dance. Otherwise, family name + movie-star name makes sense to me. It’s so superhero! Thoughts on the one-sidedness of it all?

    • lberco

      I love seeing my decision as a classic superhero move! And I have definitely thought about the one-sidedness, but I do think it’s something that we’ve both had to deal with. We’ve talked about all options (hyphen, new last name of combined, etc), but it still has come down to not wanting to give-up Lauren Bercovitch as my career name (and Chris not wanting to either). So it comes down to what our “family name” is that is up for grabs. And even though we are going with “kelly”, that is a decision that we both talked a lot about and are invested in.

  2. Jo-Ann Roberts

    Sounds good…I like your logic. Wish I had thought of the social media persona thing.
    It also keeps it simple. J.xoxo

    • lberco

      Who knows what the social media situation will be in 10 years Jo-Ann! I have a feeling the name decision will be an ever-evolving thing.

  3. Marvin Frackt

    My name given to me at birth by my parents was Moishe Leibe ben Mordechai but to the world I deal with outside of my very personal life I am Marvin Lee Frackt. The concept of having more than one name is not unusual in the annals of humankind. Lauren, you are a very special person and regardless of what you wish to call yourself I will always know you as my niece who I have watched from birth grow into a beautiful and intelligent woman. A name is your personal brand and I love how you have differentiated one from the other. I love you, Uncle Marvin………

  4. Jasonk

    I don’t get it. So did you change your name legally or not? So since I don’t work with you do I know call you Lauren Kelly?


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