Changing your name can be a big decision
Many couples look forward to sharing the same surname after they marry. One or both partners changing their name after the wedding may act as a symbol of unity in their marriage.
Traditionally, a bride was expected to relinquish her surname for her husband’s after the ceremony, but today, the name change is not automatic and many couples think long and hard before choosing whether to change either partner’s name.
Changing your name is optional
You are not required by law to change your name after marriage. However, you can decide to drop your previous surname if you desire. As a marriage celebrant, I always advise couples that making a name change is a very personal decision.
If you opt for changing your name after the wedding, there are three main options that you can consider.
- You may take the last name of your spouse
- You can create a surname that combines both your last names
- You can use both your last names in varying circumstances. This final option is common for couples who want to adopt names for social or personal reasons but still retain their previous surnames in professional circles
Changing your name is simple
Going through the name changing process can be a hassle if you don’t know where to start. The only legal document you need to change your name, on everything from your driver’s license to your passport, is the Official Certificate of Marriage issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages of the state in which you were married. This is legal proof that you are married and buying this certificate makes changing your name relatively simple.
I can make the process of changing your name easy. Before your wedding, I will ask you whether you wish to purchase the Official Certificate of Marriage and I can lodge your application at the same time that I submit your marriage paperwork to the BDM immediately after the ceremony. After your marriage is registered the BDM will contact you to arrange payment for the Official Certificate of Marriage. After they receive your payment the BDM will issue your certificate and post it to you. The time taken to do this varies but it is usually less than four weeks.
If you’d like more information about changing your name or have any other questions regarding my services feel free to CALL ME.
Photo courtesy of Eve Wheeler, Catch Me Kiss Me Weddings