Planning 101 25th June 2021

5 Newlyweds Explain Why They Chose to Double-Barrel Their Surnames

In 2021, the conversation of whether you’ll be taking your partner’s surname is an ever-present one, and no longer just a given. Will you keep your maiden name, merge the two or consider double-barrelling? 

Research published by the London Mint Office in 2017 found that 11% of married couples between the ages of 18 and 34 joined their names. This is a trend that name-changing experts, NameSwitch has also seen growing. Founder Cécile Mazuet reported a 12% year on year rise in couples double barrelling – citing its popularity being driven by the ‘need to preserve heritage and mark the merging of two families’ amongst key reasons. 

They spoke to 5 newlyweds to find out their reasoning for choosing to double-barrel and how the people around them reacted to their choice. 

Craig Mitchell-Wheadon 

Why did you choose to double-barrel? 

"Part of the reason for moving to a double barrelled surname was making a joint change with my new wife. It ties both our family names together to form our new family.  Also since this was my second marriage it made it feel different and unique."

Did your partner offer to change their name?

"My wife was also keen to change and make this unique connection." 

What did your family and friends think?

"Friends and family have found this to be a great idea. They feel it really highlights the coming together of two people into a partnership, sharing both their histories in one combined way."


Chris Giles Photography

Hannah Swain-Evans

Why did you choose to double-barrel?  

"To me, completely wiping away and losing the name I have had since birth, and the surname my parents and family have, just didn’t sit comfortably with me. It is a huge part of my identity and I now sit as part of two families, which is what my new name represents to me. It also felt a tad old fashioned!" 

Did your partner offer to change their name? 

"He didn’t, although I think he would have considered it. I didn’t push it and was happy for him not to. For many men in a heterosexual relationship, I feel that changing their name is just not something that has ever even crossed their mind." 

What did your family and friends think?  

"Friends were very unbothered by it- I think it is something quite usual for our generation. My mum wasn’t impressed and thought it was something I was playing around with until I was ready to change my name. Lots of ‘well what will your kids be?’ And the answer is- not sure yet, and that’s fine! Maybe they can take the double-barrel and pick their fave name when they are older ;)"

Val Stewart Howard 

Why did you choose to double-barrel?  

"We chose to double-barrel as it unites two warring families (from legions ago!) of the Stewarts and the Howards.  It also meant I retain my father's name in my married name, which I did when I was previously married and preferred to do now. However I will answer to whatever people call me - providing it's polite!  Mrs Howard is quite common since getting your mouth round a long surname is a bit of a pain, but I don't mind folk shortening it in common life - just in legal life I am Mrs Valerie Eleanor Stewart Howard - thank you!"

Did your partner offer to change their name? 

"My partner was quite willing to take my name as well but we decided that for family and business sensitivities he wouldn't do that.  I'm just about to retire and he probably never will, so he will stay plain Mr Alvin Howard."

What did your family and friends think?  

"The family still call me Val or Valerie and get very confused trying to send us cards so most often we get Mr and Mrs Val and Alvin Howard which kind of works."


Penny Browning Perry 

Why did you choose to double barrel?

"A bit of background, I married quite late so have had my much-loved maiden name a very long time. I think I would have changed to my husband's if it had been different, but the problem is I would have been Penny Perry which is a bit of a tongue twister! Hence Penny Browning Perry." 

Did your partner offer to change their name?

"Kevin did offer to change too, but it would have been quite a lot to do. He'd have to do it via deed poll and it would have meant lots to change in his business. It would’ve helped me to automatically become Browning Perry, but nevertheless he was in favour of me doing it."  

What did your family and friends think?

"All our friends and families agreed it was the best idea and sounded lovely. It took a while to decide whether to have it hyphen or not, but I decided not to. I’m still getting used it as it’s a bit of a mouthful but very happy. If we were both the same that would be great too, but equally I’m still happy when just called Mrs Perry." 


Lucy Wallace Photography

Dami Bakare-Kennett

Why did you choose to double barrel?

"My wife didn't want to lose her identity and after a little thinking time, I was happy to have a double-barrelled name." 

What did your family and friends think?

"My family didn't like it, but I guess it broke tradition that they grew up with so I wouldn't question their opinion."

If you’re due to be married or have recently married and the admin of changing names feels like A LOT right now, then NameSwitch will be your new best friend. Their neat website makes the whole name changing process a doddle. With over 650 companies mapped onto their systems you wimsply choose who you want to notify of your new surname, enter your details and out pops all your pre-populated letters, forms and personalised instructions.

The lovely team at NameSwitch are currently offering WeddingPlanner couples a 10% discount on the following packages: On their Digital Package, use WPDIGITAL. For Print Package, use the code WPPRINT. On their new Deed Poll Premium Print Package, get 10% off with the WPDEEDPOLL

Via their website, you simple submit your details and where your name needs to be changed and they’ll do the legwork for you. Perfect right now when your evenings and weekends should be filled with the renewed opportunity to properly socialise again, rather than post-wedding admin! 

You can find out more via their website here.