December 28, 2017


The biggest day of our lives was fast approaching and my now Wife asked me to consider taking her name and creating a double barrel surname, I was a Gordon and my wife a Millen. My initial thoughts were no. I was the man and therefore she must take my second name as thats the tradition, right? and after all what real man takes his partners second name. I walked out the room and sat on the end of our bed and thought over what she had asked, I felt a mixture of emotions, emasculated, concerned what my family would think, am I going to break the family tree and most of all confused.

After a short time to think about this I began building up reasons why I shouldn’t and reasons why I should, and to be honest the reasons why I shouldn’t simply didn’t stand up. I could only reason with why I should. I came to realise my masculinity comes from my own strength, my own power to make a decision, not from a tradition that I can’t relate to, the idea that it’s emasculating to take your partners name is ridiculous. I would be asking her to take my second name as if she was my property, she had no say. But I don’t want her as my property she is my equal, we strive for equality yet this tradition seems to have double standards, it removes her voice. The idea that simply by taking her second name would show my respect for her as not just my partner but as my equal became one of the strongest factors in my decision.

Family Unit 

I considered the future, the possibility of having our own family is of course to be taken into account, I wanted to share a family name. I believe it creates a stronger family unit. Sharing a surname sits in alignment with my beliefs and I intend to action that. Not only is it important to me to create our own family unit in sync I also marry into my wifes family, marriage interlinks me with them and I could not be prouder to share and champion the family name alongside my own. It was starting to become a no brainer, taking her second name wasn’t such a daunting idea and after all it does have a nice ring to it Millen-Gordon.


My outcome came down to my beliefs and reasonings. I felt this was the right decision for me & our future, I stood for what felt right and without the idea from my wife perhaps this may not have happened, she helped me be more open minded and I hope that this inspires other men to consider taking there partners second name or for women to suggest the idea, only of course if this is something you would want, I share no negative opinions which ever way name change is driven in a marriage it’s down to the discretion of the couple involved and if equal voices are heard & both parties satisfied in the end it’s a success. Thats my story Mr. Mrs. Millen-Gordon and I could not be more proud.

Photography by – Wish Wish Weddings 

Suit – Saint Crispin Bespoke 

Cufflinks – Monica Vinader 

Fragrance – JoMalone 

Dress – Kate Halfpenny

Shoes – Manolo Blahnik

Champagne – Moet

Rings – Tiffany 

Flowers – Maison de Fleurs

Candles – JoMalone 

Cake – The Natural Cake Company 

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  • Jessica Howe December 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Beautiful! I never thought of it as becoming equals by using both last names. It does have a smart sound to it the photos are gorgeous!

    • Tamara December 28, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      Men often have the wrong idea on marriage and equality and need to have a think about what really matters ❤️
      I think this post is fantastic you both have Ali so much respect for each other it’s lovey and inspirational xx

  • Amelia December 28, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    So lovely! And such a week written post and of course beautiful photos!!xx

  • José Couto December 28, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Looved what you did! This as so major, a true feminist act. Equality!
    Congratulations on escaping the rules and traditions and on your wedding.
    You two looked amazing!
    Wishing you the very best!!!!

  • Katerina J December 28, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this blog post. You two are my favorite Congratulations and lots of happiness from the Czech Republic!

  • Alyse December 28, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Good on you, Ali! I worked with a lady whose husband took her surname when they married. When he wanted to update his details with bank accounts, bills, etc the people on the receiving end didn’t know how to do it… He had to explain to them you’d go through the same process as you would for a woman changing her miden name! It’s no different. Congratulations on your marriage to lovely Lydia and thank you for shaing your experience with us 🙂

  • Nicolette December 28, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    I love this! Honestly, it made me cry a little. I live in a pretty conservative area in the US so I worry about any future guys from the area that I might date being close minded about this issue. I’ve never felt the need to take my future husbands name, so this gives me hope that I’ll meet someone who’ll respect that decision. Thank you for this!

  • Emma Smith December 28, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Such a lovely post. Think the Millen-Gordon’s has a lovely ring to it. Congratulations to you both xx

  • Kamran Benyamin December 28, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    I am a big fan of embracing change and breaking away from the norm, it’s great to see someone using there voice and rebelling against the anachronistic morality of tradition, a bold and courageous choice as there is still is a lot of stigma associated with a guy taking his wife’s last name, unfortunately a major set back in my opinion when we live in a world that fights for sexual equality. I salute you, for being brave enough to listen to your gut, and strong enough to live the life you want, no harm in changing the rules!

  • Amy December 28, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    My husband and I combined surnames and went double barrelled, there was never any doubt from him that he wanted to and it’s lovely having our own special surname!

  • Robin James December 28, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Good on you, Ali.
    It may only be a name, but it’s what it stands for – a partnership – that counts.
    Best wishes to you both in marriage. x

  • Dasynka December 28, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    That’s really so sweet and honest from you. Equality can became a reality only with this mental direction.
    Thank you for being the personification of perfection, you two.
    I love you so e you two inspiring me so muchc day by day.
    Congrats from heart❤️

  • San December 28, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Great decision Ali. This doesn’t change anything from who you were and who you are right now. It shows how much you love her.
    Nothing to say but to wish you both all the best for your new chapter, much love, joy and happiness. The video of your wedding was stunning. Best wishes from Germany

  • Gabrielle Seaborne December 28, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Stunning Ali! Congratulations to you both.

  • María December 28, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Aww Ali!! <3 <3
    I have no words to express what I have felt reading your words and seeing the photos of your wedding. And now I blame you (and also Disney) for my high expectations of men :'D
    I get chills repeatedly seeing this post.
    Congratulations, the love that you profess Lydia and your, reaches our hearts.

  • Areli December 28, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Wow this is how all couples should see their marriage, as equals. Beautiful thing that you added her name!

    Areli’s April // Bloglovin

  • Victoria December 28, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Your message is absolutely beautiful and demonstrates how beautiful of a person you are and how much love you have for your wife. Love it!

  • Katy December 28, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Congratulations, how very lovely and very respectful of your beautiful wive’s wishes, to have taken a hyphenated name so that you and she have children named after you both is such a wonderful and blessed idea! Best wishes for a long and happy life together with many wonderful memories. You and Lydia are my very favorite youtubers and I can not wait to follow your journey as you come together as a family! Thank you for sharing the beautiful photographs of your special day!

  • Natalie December 28, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Inspiring! Love this! Congrats

  • Monica December 28, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Definitely an idea to consider, beautiful pictures ali. Congratulations to you and Lydia!

  • Fiona December 28, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Honestly, such a beautiful thing to do! Also, congratulations!

  • Alexander December 28, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    It may be 2017, but in many circles, a man taking his wife’s last name is still considered unusual, unheard of, unmanly. “If hoards of men started taking their wives’ surnames, it would be an unfortunate and perhaps irreversible step towards a matriarchal goddess culture, which blows for guys because those cultures used to routinely kill male infants and treat males like slaves. In a world where there are already very few incentives for men to get legally shackled, this is one slippery slope I wouldn’t want to slide down. only men should have that honor.

  • Fazena December 28, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    One step of changing the world. It takes a strong man to commit to such a big decision.

  • Karina December 29, 2017 at 12:24 am

    Hello Ali and congratulations to you and Lydia! I think it is a very interesting idea that you decided to take Lydia’s name.

    This is a little awkward, I’m trying not to sound weird or too forward, but the picture where there are a few men holding glasses of champagne with you in the middle caught my attention. Is the 3rd men from the left (second to the left from you) single?

  • Nadia December 29, 2017 at 12:31 am

    I love this post! Men usually domt tend to touch on this topic but it’s so lovley to see you doing it!

  • Jay December 29, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Congratulations! That’s beautiful, however I still don’t know how this works. Is your name became Ali Gordon-Millen or Ali Millen-Gordon?

  • Steph December 29, 2017 at 9:55 am

    So Lydia’s name is Millen-Gordon also ? I’m a little bit confused because English is not my first language ‍♀️

  • Mel | mediamarmalade December 29, 2017 at 11:42 am

    The photos are just sooo beautiful, absolutely love the editing style & you both look so happy. Love the double barrelled name & the meaning behind your decision.

    Mel x mediamarmalade.com

  • Luc December 29, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Well, this is really a great blogpost, I really enjoy the pictures what really reflects a great day.
    Keep up the good work !

  • Kay | Style Unsettled January 5, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Your post is so beautiful and amazing that it inspired a new goal in life for me. Thank you so much for your hard work and for sharing your thoughts!

    Much love
    Style Unsettled

  • Gitta January 7, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    What a great gesture. Haven’t thought of it from your perspective, but it totally makes sense. And what wonderful photographs of your awesome day <3

    x Gitta // http://www.gittawitzel.com

  • Nick Bryan-Brown January 9, 2018 at 3:52 am

    Its lovely that you have done that. But having lived my life with a double-barrel name, just a warning it can be frustrating at times!
    Congratulation on the big day anyway – its looks amazing!

  • Ayesha January 9, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    Amazing words Ali, this post made me cry. You are an inspiration and an incredible role model for our generation and the future. Congratulations to you both, with you a lifetime of love, success and health. X

  • Ayesha January 9, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    Amazing words Ali, this post made me cry. You are an inspiration and an incredible role model for our generation and the future. Congratulations to you both, wish you both a lifetime of love, success and health. X

  • Vicky Chatterton September 10, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Ali, I have just stumbled across this post on your blog and I have to say as a woman it never actually accrued to me! Marriage is a partnership, hopefully one that lasts a lifetime, its about respect not only for your partner family you are choosing to become a part of (it seems you can chose your family). Having spent most of my life disliking my surname ‘Chatterton’ (Chat-ter-ton) it doesn’t roll off the tongue very easily does it? I couldn’t click off this post without relying as I really can’t stop thinking about all the truly wonderful points you have made, and I may have just had a change of heart about keeping my own surname and also taking my future husband name too!

  • Sally Alexandria La October 9, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Wow.Mr. Ali .You & Lydia are English roses..You had a truly , lovely ,royal wedding with an amazing love story.. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness,success , and 10-20 happy children as perfect as you and your wife…