On the flip side, how many of the clients you have 10 years from now, will it ever matter that they knew you as Michelle Wallace? If you're using your married name for personal things - which it sounds like you will be - then you'll meet friends and acquaintances and leads who will want to look you up online. You definitely want to be searchable by your new name too.
Do you have a corporation or LLC? For example, I have a corporation I run my business from which is just called Richard D. Schulman Inc. For legal reasons, I include this on all of my marketing. Perhaps you could do something like this with either your married or maiden name... so that you are now Michelle XXXX, President of Michelle Wallace Inc. (or vice versa). Then both names can show up on your marketing, website, etc.
Maybe think of some similar ideas like that which will help you transition over over time!
Good luck and congrats on the marriage!
Keller Williams Realty
Don't change your name. Keep Michelle Wallace. Keep it simple. Changing your name in general is fine but when it comes to it impacting your business, that's a different story. The cost to you goes alot further than reprinting business cards and sign-riders. If past clients can find you, your new name will cost you valuable business now and into the future.
Best of luck.
Ken Dooley, CIPS, ABR, TRC
Conlon: A Real Estate Company
(312) 305 4919 cell
If you have created a business around Michelle Wallace, you could just continue to use that as your "business name".
If you want to change your name to your married name, either do it quickly and rebuild your reputation or keep you maiden and married name over a period of some 2 years to build brand recognition with the new name, then you can drop the maiden name.
To my mind, it is incredibly effective to simply use your name in your business. Michelle Wallace, Chicago's Finest Real Estate Agent.
I like cleverness as much as the next guy, but really, we as real estate agents get too clever by more than half. Mitchie's Marvelous Mansions, for example, really, would be so over the top.
If you do change your name, it is a fabulous excuse to send a notice and a pitch to everyone in your contact list. But, personally, I think HE should change HIS name!!
One young woman I know in the biz kept her maiden name until she had a baby and has only now shifted over to her married name. It's not uncommon for women to change their name when those little ones come along. They just mess everything up - 'cause, after all, you want to be identified as the mom.
No matter what/when you do it, there's never an easy solution. Might as well bite the bullet and change your name now I guess. Unless, like Jo, you are well established in your career.
Congrats on getting married!