From related problems to readers’ reacting, there has been a bit of correspondence in relation to this column in the edition of Irish Country Living dated 4 September – ‘His mother wants us to get married in the Church’.

Dear Miriam,

I read with interest your column recently on the humanist v church wedding. It’s similar to a situation I’m in myself.

Myself and my fiancée are getting married next month. It’s all very exciting, but we’re disagreeing on one thing – whether or not I take his name! I guess it’s something we never really spoke about before this.

Shortly after we got engaged last year it came up, and I said I was keeping my name. He then asked would I not take his, but to be fair, he never really pushed it then. I think he thought he’d get around me handy enough.

I’m not too keen on changing my name, it would be a hassle

Anyway, the closer the wedding gets, the more of an issue it’s becoming. I can’t even say there’s really been an argument, but he said he really wants us to have the same surname. I told him that our kids can have his name, but I want to keep mine. Still, I’m starting to feel guilty now and don’t really know what to do.

Workwise, I’m not too keen on changing my name, it would be a hassle. Most of all though, I just don’t agree with it on principle. What should I do Miriam, hold firm on my morals or change my name?

What’s in a Name?

Dear What’s in a Name?

Certainly, it is clear from recent correspondence that weddings throw up many issues. At least you know others are having similar experiences.

In general, the issue of women taking their husband’s name is a divisive – with some favouring the idea and others opposed to it.

I would like to state that how I feel about this issue is largely irrelevant in this context. What is important is how you feel about the issue. From your letter it is quite clear you are opposed to it.

Therein lies your answer. If you don’t want to take your husband’s name, then don’t feel pressured into doing so.

If I was in your shoes, I would also ask him would he be willing to take your name

Just tell him, as you have already, that you want to keep your own name. Be honest, tell him you just don’t agree with it.

If I was in your shoes, I would also ask him would he be willing to take your name, or would he be open to having a double barrel name.

At the end of the day, all that is important now is that you both keep your cool on the issue. I wish the best for your life together,


Readers react

Dear Miriam,

I read the letter from the bride not wanting to get married in a church.

If she gives in to her future mother-in-law now with this, God help herself and her husband in their future life decisions, with mother-in-law waiting in the wings to give her tuppence worth.

Make decisions with your future husband, not your mother-in-law.

The mother-in-law will always feel she has the right to interfere if they let her start now.

Country girl

Dear Miriam,

As a mother of four, all of whom I hope someday will get married, I am amazed and saddened as to why a parent feels they have a right to interfere in their son or daughter’s wedding.

Surely where a couple decide to exchange their vows is their, and only their, decision. Everyone else should get behind them and support them in every way possible.

It’s the bride and groom’s big day after all, everyone else in just a guest.

Wishing the couple every happiness in their future married life together,

Leinster Mother