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Love is a Battlefield

Whether it's dealing with a difficult mother-in-law or contemplating a name change, the months leading up to a wedding are rife with tricky situations. Here, five real brides tell us how they navigated their less-than-perfect engagements.

The Name Change

Stacey Waxtan,
November 20, 2004

Before I met Wayne, I was dead set on keeping Waxtan, my maiden name. It was part of my identity. I think it's hard for anyone to be called one name for 26 years and then suddenly have to respond to another. But things don't always work out as planned.

When Wayne and I were first dating, I asked him, "How do you feel about the whole name issue?" He said, "Whoever I marry should want to be a Sellers." I could tell that it meant a lot more to him than it did to me. There were no dishes thrown at the wall; it was just one of those "I guess we're going to be more traditional than I'd imagined" moments.

My name change was actually a game-day decision. I was writing Stacey on the marriage license and said to Wayne, "Waxtan-Sellers?" He said, "No, Sellers." I'm a strong-willed person, and if I'd wanted to put up a fuss I certainly could have, but I think my taking Wayne's name gave him more confidence in starting a family with me. He's definitely proud knowing me as the Mrs., and in feeling that we are one unit: the Sellers family. That means a lot to me too.

I did want to keep my maiden name professionally, but my work said I couldn't, that I'd have to use the name that was on my Social Security card. I was pretty pissed because I'd worked at other places where that wasn't the case. But recently I purchased the URL because I thought, Maybe someday I'll name something I'm doing Waxtan. And, as for Sellers, I think of it as something Wayne gave to me, and I gladly accept it.


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