When I was 18 I was working a part time job in The co op. I was still living at home with my mum and we had recently moved to a new home and area. Well the area was where I had grown up but we left and came back again years later. I still kept all my friends so I was always in that area anyway and my nan lived a few doors down from the co op. I mostly worked weekends in the shop and after a few months a lad kept coming in and speaking to me. I thought he was good looking but I was with another boyfriend. The lad kept coming in and would always make an effort to talk to me. My boyfriend and I split up and within 2 weeks of the lad finding out I no longer had a boyfriend he hounded me haha!! Every time he came in he would mention getting my number. We had a laugh together and banter back and forth for a few months. The lad started waiting outside the co op the time I finished work and walked me home all the time asking for my number haha! I had turned 19 and was really loving my life, partying and enjoying my friends etc. One night the lad came in the shop and asked for my number in his flirting way and a man behind the lad said ” Go on give him a chance” and I said come back tomorrow and he laughed and said ok. The next day he came in and walked straight to me handed me paper and a pen and told me to write my number and I did. The lad was Mark. The rest is history haha!!
We ended up getting together and within a year were living together. We defiantly have had our ups and downs but mostly ups. So were nearly 10 years on and have 2 children together. We’ve been engaged for about 4-5 years but we’ve never felt like we are the type of people to actually get married.
However, when we had our children we automatically gave them marks surname it never even was a discussion I wanted them to and so did mark so it was never even a question of what name.
Now the children are 2 and 4 years and schooling has started I really felt a need and want to have the same name. Mark more so than me did too, we just wanted to feel like a unit. We hated when a teacher or who ever called me Mrs Charnley and then have to correct them. For me it kind of felt like mark and the 2 kids were a family and I was left out. We have talked about just going and signing the wedding documents but if you know us as people we are like a comedy duo hah! We can not be serious at all we are so full of laughter all the time. We only have to look at each other and that’s us laughing hysterically we are just want for a better word immature haha!! We just joke about way to much. Plus we are both really quiet people, we hate being the centre of attention. I personally couldn’t think of anything worse and the thought of a wedding dress just isnt me at all! So the thought of a wedding just doesn’t feel right for us. Neither of us want that, especially me I just couldn’t stand it! I was never a dreaming of my fairy tale wedding type of person. I never have and the thought of it just feels me with dread. I do have some personal reason about why id like to change my name too that only family would know. Plus every person ive ever known has got divorced! haha! My whole family have both brothers and parents have! Great examples there guys ha!
But all that put aside I wanted my children to have the same name as me and mark. Corey has a few times noticed my name is different to theirs, like when ive said it in the doctors he’s asked why are you not the same. And in those moments my heart has hurt alot. It has came up alot in conversations between me and mark and we would tell ourselves well lets do it next year we even booked the registry office date but cancelled it through cringiness of not wanting to actually go and do it! We’d thought about just going just us 2 but then felt like family members would be hurt. So we tried to include the most important but then if you invite this person you can’t leave this person and before you know it theres a room full 15 people to a wedding you don’t even want!
Last night we were lying in bed talking in the dark about it and the conversation of doing it alone came up then the same routine played out about this person and this person blah blah blah haha! Then it ends with us both just hating the whole idea of having a wedding. Mark said don’t you wish we could just go and sign a form no vows no one there no suits or dresses just leave out all the things we hate but still have your name changed. And I suddenly had a brain wave.
I reached for my phone and said ‘What if we just change my name by deed poll”. Mark said what why have we never said that can that be done? What will it change or mean. So I google it straight away and I literally felt my heart beaming. I had no idea you could even do this. Literally just changed my name by deed poll. It makes no effect to anything. Yes we aren’t Legally married. But we have the same name the one thing we would be doing it all for. We couldn’t believe it we hadn’t even thought of it. It was really late by now so we waited till the morning.
When we woke up mark said go online see what you have to do. I read up on it to check that this was actually possible. I asked family what they thought our mums and I know it wasn’t what my mum especially wanted I know she wanted to see her daughter get married but I would only be doing it for other people and thats isn’t fair on myself. The cost of the average wedding is £30,000 according to Brides Magazine which of course is not what I would have paid. Lets just say I would have paid £1000 all just to change my name whereas as changing it by deed poll I paid £25 and that included 4 documents to send out to the bank etc.
I found the website and just did it online it as SOOO incredibly easy I couldn’t believe it. I pressed the change button and the screen came up saying my name would legally be changed to MRS NATALIE CHARNLEY and I would receive my deed in the post. I couldn’t believe it I cried! It was the best and is the best thing ive done. We both were beaming and then we told Corey he was over the moon! He keeps telling me your just like us now!
My name is now legally changed. No we are not married. On formal documentation I would still tick Single not married. That is it! If we in years to come ever separate I can change my name back for £25 instead of £100s on a divorce and lawyers. On the 27th October I became NATALIE CHARNLEY and we are on cloud 9. All the time we’ve talked about a wedding and the stress its brought us both when all I had to do to get what we wanted was change my name! And if in years to come we do for some reason want a wedding (HIGHHHHHLY UNLIKELY) we could. I felt today like we finally become a family of 4 and The Charnley Family.