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last name issue on graduation announcements?

I am about to graduate with my Master's degree in May and have been planning on sending out graduation announcements, especially because I did not send any out for my undergrad graduation. I was getting married a couple months later and my mom and I both agreed that it would be in bad taste because it would look like we were asking for money twice, even if it were just to let people know.

Anyway, many of the family members who would be receiving the announcements are unaware that I never changed my last name. I am concerned that to those people, who have not heard from me since my wedding, may take my name as a sign that I have gotten divorced. My mom thinks this is a valid concern and suggested that maybe I tack on my husband's last name after my last name on the announcements, but I would much rather use my real name that is going on my degree and my husband agrees.

I thought about putting both of our names on the return address as I typically do to show that we are still together. Does anyone else have any suggestions? Do you think this is silly for me to be concerned about in the first place?
Anniversary Birthday

Re: last name issue on graduation announcements?

  • I think it's kinda silly to be worried about what other people think. I would not want a name on my announcements that I haven't taken, personally. (and then your family might think that is your name now and continue to use it...)

    I would put your return address as you usually would.
  • Congratulations on your graduation!

    I would leave your name as is, as you and PP said you don't want a name on there that isn't you. A generous family member may send you a gift with the married name on there if you add that to this document thinking you did in fact change your name.

    Did you spread the word before getting married that you weren't changing your name so that family and friends didn't purchase personalized gifts with your new married name on them (assuming they wanted to buy gifts)? If so, I would hope people got the message already. Otherwise, sadly some folks won't notice, others might think you just haven't updated all of the paperwork yet. No matter what it's really not worth stressing.

    Just be ready for some folks to still address you back as husband's last name. I didn't change my name either and I still get cards and mail 4 years later from friends and family with Mr and Mrs husband's last name from people who know I didn't change my name. It's silly, but you can't get worked up about it. Some older people can't wrap their head around this idea so they just address you the way they know.

    To your point about looking like you're asking for 2 gifts, does the graduation announcement serve as an invitation to a graduation party as well? I'm not familiar with graduation announcements, when I graduated with my Bachelor's and Master's I didn't send anything out other than what I posted on social media (photos and such.) My parents threw me a small, surprise graduation party for my Master's, so I believe the invitation also served as the announcement for family/friends who couldn't come. I believe the spirit of the invitation was celebrate by joining us for brunch or call and say congratulations, you're not expected to give a gift too (especially to those who can't make it.) I was raised never to expect gifts for any occasion, so personally I think it's rude for adults to assume a gift (I don't think that's what you're doing here) will be given. I guess I can just see the point that this could look like you're asking for a gift when all you're looking to do is celebrate your accomplishment. If you plan on having a party, maybe use the invitations as a form of announcing the graduation instead.
  • It's YOUR name.  Don't worry what they think.  They can think whatever they damn well please.  People probably think that all the time about me until I mention "my husband".

    Announcements are not asking for gifts.  They are completely proper as long as you do not expect they will lead to gifts.
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper

    Use the name you go by.  You seem overly concerned about people thinking you're divorced.  You're not, so... why does it matter if people think that?  If they ask, you just say "No, I'm not.  I didn't change my last name".

    But past that, in this day and age, it's not a given that women change their names. Youre FAR from the first to keep her name. I'd give your relatives a bit more credit that they'll figure it out.

  • I can understand not wanting to deal with any family drama (nosy aunt or something, I don't know your exact situation!) or a bunch of questions from different people. I really wouldn't want to either!
    Given the fact that you do know these people and are aware that they will have questions, I think you should address the situation head on rather than let it go. Otherwise, you'll end up in the very situation you're looking to avoid!
    My suggestion is to put a note inside the announcement that will indicate (directly or indirectly) you are still married. I'm not sure what you're saying in the announcement as it is, but this would be a way to "kill two birds with one stone."
    So let's say you're putting an invitation to come to a gathering, or the graduation event itself, on the announcement. Say something like:

    "Tom and Kathy humbly request your attendance
    for the Graduation (ceremony/party)
    of Kathy MaidenName
    from Brilliant University
    on May 9, 2015 at the Amazing Center
    in Small Town, USA"

    Or, if you would like to add a second note, it could still read generically:

    "You are cordially invited to attend
    the Graduation of Kathy MaidenName
    from Brilliant University
    on May 9, 2015 at the Amazing Center
    in Small Town, USA"
    BUT then have an additional Thank You card (of sorts) to put in the same envelope as the announcement. This can be a hand written note or something printed in a mass amount on those business card perforated sheets from the store, that can simply say:
    "You've been an inspiration to me, and I want to thank you for always being there for me. My husband & I appreciate you and everything you have done for us. Thanks for stickin' close!
    - Tom & Kathy"
    The person will feel even more special (even if they are just someone you tolerate!) and will address the marriage/maiden name situation!

    Hope this helps!
  • Is this just for an announcment or does it include an invite to a graduation party?
  • I think putting both names in the return address would be just fine :) Congrats on your graduation!
    Stusanto Anniversary
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