Recent research by events planner and founder of Your Planning Angel, Heather Angell, has revealed that more than 20 per cent of women consider creating a new surname by merging their own with their groom’s when they marry.

The online study, carried out by Heather among brides-to-be, also showed that a further 20 per cent would probably keep their maiden name.

Surname merging is a growing trend and one that has led the UK Deed Poll Service to create a new system to cope with demand. According to the organisation, more than 800 British couples – the majority in their twenties or early thirties – blend their surnames every year.

Reflecting on these findings, Heather said: “When I got married in 2010 I faced a difficult decision about my surname. At the time, I was climbing the career ladder in the banking industry and I worried that changing my surname could damage my career.  Equally, I wanted to have children and wanted our family to share the same surname. So what to do? Have a double barrelled surname? Just stick to tradition and take my husband’s surname? Use a different surname professionally? After much debate my husband took my surname and we became a family of four happy Angells! However, this was still seen as quite an unusual option and it caused quite a stir within our family.”

Retaining your maiden name can cause confusion when children come along as, traditionally, the child takes the fathers surname. This can imply that those children ‘belong’ or are more closely connected to the father than the mother. This is why many people choose the merging option.

Another option is to take both surnames and create a double barrelled surname, however, Heather is not convinced this is viable in the long term. “If the couple have children who marry and then their children marry, the surnames become unmanageably long. Interestingly, none of the women who took part my survey would consider hyphenating their names.”

However, creating a completely new surname is not without its problems either, as Heather cautions: “A brand new surname could upset your family as it can be seen as a rejection of your past and family tradition. It can also bring about the end of a family name if there are no siblings to perpetuate it. So, if you’re thinking of merging your surnames, remember to be respectful to your parents and explain why you’re doing it.”


Your Planning Angel is the creator of beautiful, bespoke weddings and special occasions in the UK and internationally.

Entrepreneurial, experienced and qualified in hospitality, Heather is uniquely placed to provide professional, personal planning expertise.

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