Should you change your surname when married? Meet the people tackling tradition | ITV News

Published on 14 Feb 2019, 13:19
Marriage is often viewed as the ultimate declaration of love.

But, beyond the pomp and ceremony of a wedding – it can also bring with it a lot of bureaucracy.

Endless email exchanges, phone calls, forms and of course, the small decision of either taking your partner’s name or rejecting tradition and keeping your own.

The London couple married in August 2018 and opted for a new, more nautical surname and chose the name of their boat, Portfelix.

Samantha told ITV News they always knew they would choose something different, saying: “We thought about changing our name to something our own quite early on”

She added: “We were playing with the idea of like changing, me changing my name to Alex's original name and maybe Alex changing his name to mine but it didn't really seem to stick.”

The couple have been together for seven years and living on their boat for the last three years.

Alex said: “It just felt really nice to call ourselves the name of our boat because it's something that we've done together which has been really great for us.”

Both Alex and Samantha avoided tradition as they felt women are often expected to make the change.

Samantha said: “If you want to change your name to something else it's the same process, it's the same outcome, why can't you just write 'this is my new name' and then have it on your certificate or something if you get married?”

Their switch to a different surname was a joint decision to avoid unfairness.

She continued: “I guess changing our name is a mark of equality between us because we changed our name together and it was more where we're both from.”

However, the process of getting a new name officially changed was "a bit of hassle" for Samantha who is Australian.

Changing your name by deed poll in the UK cost only £15 but adding two lots of Samantha's passports to the list of things to change made it more difficult.

The decision was made easier for Alex, who has been estranged from his father for years, and has not felt attached to his maiden name.

“It's quite nice to start our own family name,” he said.

And the family name will continue as they are expecting a little Portfelix later this year.

They revealed that they would be open to their child changing their name if they weren't happy with it.

“I guess we can have no argument with that, it may not feel like anything they feel particularly linked to, they may have a different reason to change their name and our name's for our family now.”

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