As a wedding planner, I can tell that one of the most common questions out there is how to change your name after you get married. Many brides want to take their partner’s last name after the wedding, but they are not sure where to start and have many questions about how to do it. If you are thinking you would like to change your name after the wedding, this post is for you! I’ll be covering the process of changing your last name and providing you with some helpful tips and resources to make the process easier.
How Do You Change Your Name?
Step 1: Select Your New Last Name
There are a couple of options available for changing your name. The first method is to adopt your new spouse’s last name. Traditionally, a bride would adopt her new spouse’s last name after the wedding. But the groom has the option to adopt his bride’s last name instead too. The other option is to create a new last name using both partners’ last names. You can create a hyphenated version of both partners’ last names. Or you could also create a whole new last name using parts of each partners’ last name. This step should be completed prior to applying for your marriage license.
Step 2: State Your New Last Name on the Marriage License Application
Once you have selected your new last name, you must indicate this choice on the marriage license application.
Step 3: Submit Your Signed Marriage License
Once you have completed your wedding ceremony, have your officiant and witnesses sign the marriage license and submit it to the county clerk/recorder.
Step 4: Obtain A Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
Once the county clerk/recorder has processed the signed marriage license, a marriage certificate is issued and your new last name is legally in effect. Once you have a copy of the marriage certificate, you have the necessary documentation to change your name everywhere else.
Step 5: Obtain Paperwork With Each Agency/Organization You Wish To Change Your Name With
You will need to contact each agency or organization you wish to change your name with and request the appropriate paperwork. (Tip: You can request this paperwork in the final months leading up to the wedding, so you already have them when you receive your marriage certificate)
Step 6: Return Paperwork To Each Agency/Organization With A Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
Complete, sign, and return the paperwork to each agency you wish to change your name with, along with a copy of your marriage certificate. In some cases, you will also need to submit your updated driver’s license/state identification and social security card as well. So you will want to start with the DMV and social security office.
What Organizations Should You Change Your Name With?
There are many places you should contact to change your name. Here is a handy checklist that lets you know all the organizations you will likely need to change your name with:
Additional Resources to Help You Change Your Name
If this process makes you feel overwhelmed, there is a service that can help make it so much easier for you. To save time and energy, order The Official New Bride Name Change Kit from NameChangeKit.com. For less than $20, they will send you a kit containing instructions, a checklist, government forms, ancillary record change forms, and labels for your envelopes. And everything is customized for your state and local jurisdiction. Just open the pretty pink box and you’ll have everything you need to go from “Miss” to “Mrs.” without the hassle. Click here for more info on The Official New Bride Name Change Kit.
If you have additional questions about the name change process, A Daydream Wedding is here to help! We’d love to guide you through the wedding planning process, including the process of changing your last name. Contact us today or schedule a free wedding planning consultation.
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