Why I’m Not Changing My Name When I Get Married

rory-z
The letter Z is awesome.

Here’s my deal: I’m keeping my last name when I get married. Actually, I’m keeping everything about my name. Title, first name, middle name, and last name.

I’ve been Jasmine Zick my whole life–why would getting married mean that I change that part of who I am? My name is my identity. That’s what I learned to write in print and pretty cursive for my signature, that’s the reason my assigned seat was in the back corner of the classroom, and why I got to walk across the stage to thunderous applause during graduation. Turns out, there are some perks to being at the end of the alphabet.

I also had to defend my name (all of my name) against people who thought Aladdin jokes were funny in the 90s, those who thought my middle name should be something like Jean or Marie instead of my mom’s maiden name, and all the jokers who figured out that Zick rhymes with a lot of other words. Adversity makes you stronger, you know? I’m kind of attached to it at this point.  Continue reading

January’s Ridiculous Prize Goes to…Wedding Media

Wedding media (also called “bridal,” because you know it’s geared toward women) is a particular niche of media, both digital and print, that I’ve gotten a large dose of lately. Out of all the things out there that could have crossed the line (a silver bubble wand from Barneys as a bridesmaid favor! A “budget” post with a sentence that starts with “If your heart is set on serving caviar,”!) the one that did it for me was an ad that came on Pandora. I can’t remember which jewelry company it was for, but it ended with the phrase, “Because you shouldn’t have to compromise when it comes to your engagement ring.”

It’s hard for me to put into words the way that makes me feel, but it is some combination of blind rage, sadness at the state of our culture, and insane laughter at how ridiculous that is. But this is where it all starts: marketing aimed toward women and girls before they even get engaged that makes no bones about telling them that they should have everything they ever wanted, cost be damned. That kind of message carries on throughout all wedding media, whether it’s directly from a company trying to sell you a ring/dress/venue/cake or not.

For the record: YOU MAY HAVE TO COMPROMISE. ON A LOT OF THINGS. When you’re planning a wedding, but also just in your relationship in general. That’s life, ladies.

Continue reading

The Great Photography Fight

While being engaged to my best friend has been a delightful and insanely happy time in my life, it’s also brought some really strange fights. Fighting is inevitable when planning a wedding as long as you a) are two different human beings b) have opinions c) care. My fiance and I hit all three marks, so some things have come up we disagree on. I’m basically 0 for 20 at guessing what these particular things will be, but The Great Photography Fight really caught me off guard.

Here are the basics: I really enjoy photojournalistic wedding photos, especially candids of real emotion. I love how talented photographers can capture the feel of an event, which is way more important to me than staged and posed portraits. My fiance? Doesn’t care. I thought it was promising when he turned up his nose at some of the cheesy wedding albums we saw when venue hunting, but it turns out: he doesn’t care.

What he does care about is copyright. Specifically, he cares about owning the copyright to our wedding photos.

Now, this is not anything that I have spent a great deal of time thinking about, but I did some research once he threw that gem at me. It turns out, the vast majority of professional photographers retain the copyrights to their images. This is in part because they created them and want to be able to protect their images from being stolen (from their website, for example) and credited to someone else. The other reason photographers retain copyright is because they accept clients (including weddings) with the hope that they can add some of those photos to their portfolio.

Lovely fiance, love of my life, cares about none of this. He feels that since we are paying photographers to shoot our day, we should own every bit of it. For the amount of money we’re paying (which, while more than we have ever paid for anything besides the venue, is reasonable for the market), we should own the photos and be able to do whatever we want with them. Turns out, this is a thing: it’s called work for hire. Some photographers who normally retain copyright will agree to work for hire…for an additional (large) fee. Lovely fiance was able to find a couple of photographers in the area who advertised working for hire, but frankly, the quality wasn’t anywhere near the ones I found who did not work for hire.

This whole argument strikes me as more than a little silly. I can see that he really has a problem with the idea of someone else owning something he pays for, but I have a problem with asking a photographer to give up their claim to something they created. This fight has technically been solved, by which I mean he has bowed out of this decision and allowed me to hire someone who I think will do an amazing job on our wedding day. However, something makes me think that this isn’t quite over…what do you think?