Soon I'll be getting married and changing my name to Elise Annesley Towle Snow.
Some people who know Justin and I may be wondering "How does Elise Towle marrying Justin Symington equal Elise Towle Snow?" Well, it figures that the marriage of two tricky non-traditional types would result in a tricky non-traditional custom name changing solution. We both labored over the decision and have decided that Snow will be our married name and it will be added to our existing names. We both wanted to keep our names but we also wanted to share a last name. It was important for us that the name change reflected how we view our marriage.
I had always expected to get rid of the Towle name joyously when I got married. I thought it was clumsy sounding and people always invert the letters and think my last name is Towel. That was an aggravation that I was so keen on being rid of that I developed crushes on boys whose last names sounded nice with mine back in middle school. But, as our wedding plans congealed, I found myself unable to give up the name I had never really liked much. I became sentimental about the fact that I'm the last Towle in our family. My father's siblings had no children and my parents just had me. I suppose there is something about that which makes me feel special. Another consideration I had was more professional than sentimental regarding how I've been trying to "make a name for myself" and how impossible it is to send everyone who has ever seen my art a memo about the name change.
The main reasoning behind our decision to deviate from the traditional name changing format was more symbolic. We both felt like it didn't reflect our idea of the marriage. If I took the Symington name and got rid of my maiden name, I'd feel like I was being "given away" and that the marriage was about me becoming a Symington. Instead, we wanted to show that the marriage is a union of the Symington and Towle families. While each of us retain our family names, we also add another name that shows that we are a new family combinining two families. The name Snow was chosen first because it is simple and pleasant and also because it contains two letters from each of our family names.
It may seem convoluted but it feels like the right thing to do for us.