In New Zealand neither of you have to legally change your name once you're married. What is important during your marriage ceremony here is that you say or acknowledge your full name and that you take each other to be 'my lawful wedded husband or wife or partner'. Two witnesses must hear this and the celebrant, who will then pronounce you married. All five then sign the marriage licence.
The last piece of business I complete in a wedding ceremony is to present you to your guests as you would like to be named. Sometimes it's just first names, and often it's Mr and Mrs or Mr and Mr or Mrs and Mrs. The choice is yours. You've no legal obligation to state what your last names are.
More and more women are choosing to retain their own surname when married. They actually like their identity and being married in this day and age does not mean you have to lose anything! A lot of women have achieved reputation and qualifications in their maiden name and work and wish to retain their given name, even if only for business purposes.
Often, but not exclusively, done to prevent a family name from becoming lost. A lot of modern couples are choosing to do this, as they want to acknowledge they have joined together and are committed to each other within the bonds of marriage, but neither wants to lose their individual identity.
Some couples, especially among millennials, blend the two surnames into one, giving equal status and value to both names.
What's in a name? It's entirely your choice. Have a wonderful wedding filled with love, smiles, laughter and tears.
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