How to tell family you didn't change your last name (…and how to cash those checks written to the wrong name)

By on Oct 28th
Mrs. Patton closeup

Photo by Amy McKenna

When I get married, I am not planning on changing my name.

Our families are not forward-thinking and are bound to assume I will take my future husband's last name.

My family tends to give money/checks at weddings and I am concerned that they will write out checks to "Mr. and Mrs…" and we wont be able to deposit them.

How do we let our families know that I'm keeping my name with out mentioning gifts on the invitation?

-Ticia

Ah, the never-ending Offbeat Bride issue of last names.

This specific issue's actually got an easy solution: there's no need to mention gifts or last names on the invitation.

If you receive checks written out to "Mr. & Mrs. His Last Name," check with your bank. At my bank, they just ask that BOTH parties sign the back of the checks and write "FOR DEPOSIT ONLY." (Your bank may have different policies — give 'em a call!)

But there's a larger issue, of course: letting your families know after the wedding that you're keeping your last name. That's got a relatively easy solution, too… thank you cards, which offer two opportunities to share the news:

  • Your return address on the envelope should include both of your full names.
  • Sign the cards with your full names — and you want to really drive the point home, draw a little arrow to your last name and note: Yep, I kept my last name! :)

Ultimately, it will likely still take your families a while to fully get it. But this will ensure that you've done your part to get the news out there.

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