Why I'm Keeping my Last Name

I've been wanting to write this blog post for a while, but to be honest I was afraid of the criticism. I was battling with myself because keeping my last name is my decision but people tend to criticize decisions like this. But Joey supports me and everyone else's opinion doesn't really matter. So here you go:

For the longest time, I dreamed about being Mrs. Ireland. I would practice my new signature knowing that I still had 5 long years before I could even think about being any type of Mrs. When Joey left on his mission, I changed a lot. I realized a lot of things about myself and the world that I didn't before.

As the thought of marriage getting closer came to my head, I started thinking about changing my name. I realized that every time I thought about being Mrs. Ireland, it just didn't fit. It wasn't me.

Maria Agurto is who I am.

So why am I not taking Joey's last name?

The number one reason I am not taking Joey's last name is because I love my last name. It is who I have been for almost 24 years and marriage does not mean losing my identity. And yes, to me, changing my last name would mean losing my identity. I am Maria Agurto, with all my flaws and imperfections, with my messy dark brown hair and my irrational love for dogs.

I was born in Peru and came to the U.S. when I was 10. I have since been "Americanized," I've lost my Peruvian accent, I've even lost some Spanish (something I am deeply ashamed of). My last name is the last thing I have of my heritage. It is simply who I am, who I have always been and who I will always be.

Keeping my last name does not mean I love Joey any less. It does not mean that I am afraid of divorce, it does not mean that I am trying to go against the Gospel and it does not mean that I don't respect my future husband. Marrying Joey Ireland in the temple has been my dream since I was 17. And come August that dream will come true! And we will be an eternal family regardless of my last name.


  1. I love your decision to keep your last name. It was hard for me to change mine as well, it almost took a whole year! Although, mine were selfish reasons, like the fact I thought Lauryn Lasko sounded better than Lauryn Hock! Keeping your heritage sounds like a beautiful reason to keep your last name.



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