We all love a good love story, and as name-change experts we love the backstory of a good name change decision. Today’s Shaina’s real name change story has both! Read on for a story including high school sweethearts, broken bones, high heels, and a name change decision that spanned several years!
Mark and I went to the same grade school, junior high and high school. Our first date was in 2008 to his junior prom and we dated for 1.5 years after that. Mark went to college and I was still in high school, so we broke up for about 10 months. Then I went to the same college he did because I was continuing as an athlete, not just because of him. We dated off and on for most of my freshman year and then we took a long break, but we were constantly together, or texting, just like we were together. We officially got back together the second semester of my sophomore year of college, and have been going strong ever since!
I had thought about my wedding day for most of my life. I knew I wanted a late fall wedding, on a 3 day weekend and my heart was set on November. I did just that. We had our wedding and reception in the same building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. It was a very chilly day, but when you’re so excited to marry the best person in your life, you don’t really care. Also, two weeks before our wedding day we went to a Halloween party. My foot was stepped on by someone who had had too much to drink and they lost their balance, pushing me over, while my foot was stuck under theirs breaking the top of my foot. I was in a boot for 14 weeks, but you better believe I walked down the aisle in my wedding heels, significantly worsening the break, but it was 100% worth it
We talked about name changes long before we even got engaged. At the time, I was sure that I would just take his name and that would be the end of it. However, the closer we got to getting married, the less excited I was about getting rid of my maiden name completely. I went back and forth for a year on what I wanted to do. In our state you have to get a new license at 26, so I said I would wait until then to change my name. But when the time came, I didn’t change it at 26!
I said we had to move before I would change my name, but the 2 year window of only having to provide your marriage license was quickly approaching, so I really sat down and thought about what I wanted my name to be. I wrote it out every which way, I thought about if we had children how would I want them to have their names. I even thought about how I felt growing up when my mom married my step-dad and I was the only one who didn’t have the same name in their family. Did I want to spend the rest of my life feeling like that with my husband and children? Finally I decided, I was going to have two middle names. My middle name and my maiden name. It felt like the perfect combination of keeping who I am and my grandfather’s family name, but being a part of my family that I am creating with my husband.