I’ve worried about my wedding day my entire life. Chalk it up to my divorced parents and horror stories from folks who “knew” they were making a mistake as they marched down the aisle, but one of my biggest fears growing up was that I would never find a person I really, truly wanted to marry.
Then, I met Josh. And though I’ll admit that I had second thoughts during our five year courtship (like that time he moved to Mexico for 20 months), when he asked me to marry him, we’d already worked out a lot of the kinks. I was so relieved to be staring my marriage square in the face with only one hesitation: changing my name.
I’ve spent 32 years as Molly Marie Mogren. It’s been great. I have very high name satisfaction and love that I am a triple M. Frankly, the thought of giving up my name made me sad. That being said, eventually sharing a last name with my husband and kids will be my preference. Josh and I both agreed that the whole women changing their name is totally unfair and ridiculous… but what I did eventually end up with seemed better than the following options.
1. Molly Marie Katt
I could ditch my last name completely, but didn’t want to. Though Mogren is regularly butchered (Molgren, Morgan, Mahgren), I like that it’s pretty uncommon. It’s also a part of my family history– allegedly, when my great-great-great-great grandparents (or something like that) left Sweden, they changed their last name from Johanssen to Mogren. Our family hails from Mo County, and the word gren in Swedish translates to branch. Hence, we’re the Minnesota branch of Mo County. At least that’s the story my family tells. I don’t know if that story is true, but I like it.
2. Molly Mogren Katt
I could’ve kept Mogren as my middle name and axed Marie… but Marie was my grandma’s middle name (and her grandma’s middle name). It felt weird getting rid of that, too.
3. Molly Mogren-Katt or Molly Marie Mogren-Katt
This seems like an “everyone wins” situation… but don’t be fooled! Your last name will be a mouthful. As a friend who recently ditched her hyphenated last name for her husband’s one-name-last-name, keeping it simple is preferential. A hyphenated name is impossible to explain to, say, your doctor’s receptionist over the phone (it’s Mogren-Katt…. Mogren dash Katt… No, you don’t write the word “dash”… it’s a hyphenated last name… no, like when you add two last names together…. let me just try spelling it out again). And what happens if you marry a person who also has a hyphenated last name? Do you become Jennifer Mogren-Katt-Carlson-Clark? Just make a decision already!
The Verdict: Molly Marie Mogren Katt
This is what I ultimately settled on. Molly-two-middle-names-Katt. I know it’s still a mouthful, but allows me to keep all the good stuff I want, while taking Josh’s last name. Katt is a great last name, by the way– it’s short, sweet and pretty darn cute. He’s the only one to carry on the name in his family, so maybe it’s as unique as Mogren after all!
We made it official at Hennepin County when we applied for our marriage license. I felt pretty sweaty and anxious as we waited in line, but when I finally wrote “Katt” as my last name for the first time, I only winced a little. Then I saw it written in my own penmanship and it was actually awesome. You know how people say nothing felt different when they got married? My new last name made me feel different. It marks a new beginning for Josh and me. I actually like it a lot more than I thought I would. I know it sounds cheesy, but it feels like home!
Of course, introducing myself as Molly Katt is still real weird (and I’m planning on using my maiden name for work). I’ve gotten some flack from women who didn’t change their name and are doing just fine, as well as from people who think it’s a no brainer. Maybe I will find my four-part name to be a bit much as life goes on, but I’m very happy with my decision for the time being.
Did you change your name when you got married? Did your husband change his? Are you currently mulling over this decision? Share your stories in the comments ’cause we all wanna know how you arrived at your decision.