Taking My Husband's Last Name & The Metal "Jahraus" Sign

6:53:00 PM

I was the girl who always wrote her name with her crush's last name, over and over again... first in print, then in cursive, then with my middle name, then my initials.  And repeat.  Entire notebooks... wasted.  One time I even decoupaged my name with a guy's last name onto an empty Altoid tin.  Yeah, they say that anticipation is half the fun.  There was a lot of anticipation in my world.

The idea of taking my husband's last name was really important to me.  I didn't know what that name would be until I met Wesley, but I always knew that there would be a day when I would no longer be Dylan McCann.  I loved my old last name and I felt like it represented my Irish roots quite nicely. And then there was the time where my high school math teacher and football coach kept calling me "McCann't."  Isn't high school fun?

When Wesley proposed last February it finally became real to me.  Dylan Jahraus.  Dylan Maureen Jahraus.  DMJ.  Oh, I was excited.  I started looking into the name-changing process.  I started buying "J" items to decorate our home with.  I created a new email address. And I started shopping for "J" and "Jahraus" motifs for wedding decor.  This was So. Much. Fun.

Everything was flowing smoothly until we hit Michael's one Sunday after church when they were having a sale.  Go with me on this one.  It was an incredible sale.  All of their "Alphabet Soup" items were 70% off, plus another 15% off with military ID.  The "Alphabet Soup" were home decor and craft items that came in every letter of the alphabet.  You could piece the letters together to make your own words or initials.  Basically, it's wedding planning heaven.

I found these really cool 3-D 7" galvanized metal letters that you could stand up on their end.  First, I found an "A", then an "S", then a "R"....  The vision hit me.  We should find all of the letters to spell our last name "Jahraus" at our wedding!  Yes, yes we should.

Unfortunately this store only had 4 of the 7 letters, but that wasn't going to stop us.  We drove to or called every Michael's in our vicinity... Point Loma, Clairemont, La Mesa, Santee, Poway, El Cajon, Chula Vista, Encinitas, and several more, even calling the ones in Minnesota.  We tracked down every other letter except for the "U", that darn "U".   We couldn't find it.  I toyed with the idea of dropping the "U" and calling it an oopsies, but that wouldn't leave a good impression on our wedding guests.  Wes thought he might be able to make one by soldering some metal.  Oh boy.  Should we just scrap the idea and return the letters?

On our last phone call to the Michael's in Carlsbad we found the "U."   It was two days before we flew to Minnesota for the wedding.  I was running around like crazy and packing everything into suitcases (including all of our flowers and wedding decor). Driving in traffic to Carlsbad would take me over an hour each way.  Ugh. It was the last thing I wanted to do, but I had to do it.  I had to go buy that letter "U."

The drive gave me some time to think.

First I started thinking that I was nuts, like maybe I was being a psycho bride.  I asked myself why I was so obsessed with completing this metal "Jahraus" sign.  Was it really that critical for the wedding?

And then I remembered that in just a week I would be marrying the love of my life and taking his last name.  To me the "Jahraus" sign wasn't just a decoration.  It was a way to honor Wes. It was a way to honor his family.  It was a way to showcase the family name.

I knew that our guests probably wouldn't remember the sign.  It probably seemed super insignificant.  But in my heart this sign represented so much more.  It represented honor, respect, unity, and the blessing of joining his family. I am so glad we found that letter "U."

Mrs. Dylan Jahraus

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