When we first got engaged, lots of people warned us not to take things too seriously. And luckily, Z and I are pretty good at remembering that the font on our wedding invitations and the exact style of bentcher we choose and the color shade of the dresses that our sisters wear are not crucial decisions and also not the parts of our wedding that will make it special for us. This doesn't mean there's no stress in wedding planning—there's plenty, but I think we're decent at mostly getting stressed about the right things. (I should probably speak for myself here. The only thing that seems to get Z stressed is how stressed I am.)
But it's funny to see which things end up bothering me and which don't.
I didn't think twice about changing my last name after I get married. I think it's nice for a family to have the same last name, and though I recognize the convention of the woman taking the man's name has a sexist feel, I have no particular inclination to be unconventional on this. I don't have a strong attachment to my own last name, which is a run-of-the-mill Jewish one, and any combinations of my last name and Z's last name sound horrendous. Had I published extensively under my name and built a strong professional identity, I would have considered using my maiden name, at least professionally, but, alas, I haven't published extensively. So, taking on Z's last name was an easy decision for me.
But you know what does bother me? The way our parents' names are supposed to appear on our invitation. A standard invitation looks something like this:
Mr & Mrs. Joe Schmo
Mr. & Mrs. John Doe
request the honor of your presence
[Also lots of people seem to feel the need to spell "honor" the British way, which makes no sense to me since this is America and all.]
at the marriage of their children
blah blah blah
But why does the only way to make our parents' names formal involve pretending that women don't have names at all? I've scoured the web for solutions to this problem, and there really isn't one. "John & Jane Doe" is too informal for some tastes, and "Mr. John & Mrs. Jane Doe" seems remarkably clunky. This
blog post–"Addressing Wedding Invitations (and staying a feminist)"—helped a bit but doesn't really solve the clunky problem. I don't want to erase my mother and mother-in-law from the wedding invitation. Does that seem unreasonable?