Yesterday was my last birthday as a Miss, my last birthday as Hayley Goddard. This time next year I will be coming down from the highs of my first birthday as Mrs Hayley Williams aka Mrs Willow, Little Willow.
After 28 years of being Miss Hayley Goddard (Richard and Julie’s daughter and, recently, more annoyingly, Matt’s sister), it seems a little bizarre. I guess a huge part of who I am is my connection to my family, my name. I love the new nicknames, but I find it craaaazy to think that my name will actually change to Mrs Williams.
It’s surreal to think of seeing Hayley Williams on my post, on the intranet at work, or my driver’s license. Ryan will randomly call me Mrs Williams-to-be and I love it – it’s a whimsical feeling that makes the butterflies start fluttering again (I find I have butterflies a lot since getting engaged – probably because I spend most of my time daydreaming and living in a bubble of wedding planning bliss). I can’t wait to hear our name announced for the first time on our Wedding Day… Mr & Mrs Williams. Thinking about it now makes me smile.
However, I think it will take time for me to adjust to my new surname, to being Mrs Williams – after all, Carol is the real Mrs Williams. It’s funny to think that we will soon be sharing a name, in addition to sharing our love of bunny rabbits, chocolate and sweeties.
I’m told that the only thing that changes once you’re married is your name – everything else remains as it was before your special day. I look forward to being Mrs Williams in Ryan’s phone, giving my name as Williams when I make a reservation and hearing Ryan introduce me as his Wife. But most of all I look forward to the day we share our name with our own little family of Williams’s, Baby Willows.
Since 2nd July I’ve been floating around on Cloud 9 thinking of little other than becoming Ryan’s Wife, but I have had moments of reflection where I’ve worried that in changing my name, I would somehow be losing part of my identity. I didn’t think for a minute that I wouldn’t take Ryan’s name, I just felt a little like I was, somehow, abandoning Hayley Goddard. I have the tendency to be a liiiiittle melodramatic and am possibly way too sentimental, but I am very attached to my name. However, since putting this all into writing, I’ve realised that taking Ryan’s name means so much more than I had thought – its more than just an archaic traditional obligation.
I’ve realised it is the biggest statement of commitment, trust and love that I can make …
316 days and counting