Posted in Guides for Brides (and Grooms), Uncategorized

A guide for Brides (and Grooms): How to Change Your Name after Marriage, if you want to

Now that you are married, you might want to change your last name to your spouse’s, or both of you might want to change your last names.

You are not required to change your name after marriage; it’s a personal preference. Whatever last name you choose to use, recognize that changing your name is a process; everyone will need some time to get used to your new last name. Including you!

If you do want to change your name, be consistent. You don’t want to cause confusion or difficulties when you file your taxes, apply for a mortgage, open a bank account, or manage your credit.

You can manage the name change process yourself, or use a name change service/kit. Regardless of your approach, you will need to:

  1. Obtain several copies of your marriage certificate from the marriage bureau where your license was filed.
    • What is a marriage certificate?
      The official document from the County that demonstrates that the marriage is on record.
    • Is the marriage certificate different from my marriage license?
      Yes.
      Step 1: You obtained a marriage license to get married.
      Step 2: Your Officiant signed and filed the license with the county, making the marriage legal.
      Step 3: Now you need proof that you were married legally, and that’s the marriage certificate (sometimes called the “certified copy of your marriage record”). An official marriage certificate has a raised seal on it.
  2. Change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
    • Go to the SSA first, before you change your name anywhere else.
    • When you change your name at the Social Security office, they enter the name change in their database.  Many other places where you will change your name will check the SSA database.

Do it yourself: The following guides walk you through the name change process:

Brides Magazine’s Definitive, Step by Step Guide to Changing Your Name

LegalZoom’s guide to Changing Your Name After Marriage

Nolo’s Name change FAQs

BankRate’s guide to How to Change Your Name After Marriage

Use a Name Change Service/Kit: (Note: I don’t endorse any of these in particular, and the names of these kits make me cringe. They each cost money and you still have to complete a bunch of forms. But, if they make it easier on you, go for it.)

Hitchswitch Name Change

MissNowMrs.com

NameChangeKit.com

How did your name change process go? Do you have any suggestions for others?

Author:

Located in the Philadelphia, PA region, Celebrant Robin is a wedding officiant, memorial service officiant, and life-event officiant.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s