Changing to your married name

If you are planning on (or even just considering) changing your name after you get married, there are some important things you need to be aware of before you begin the process.

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It is true that wedding planning comes with lots of items on that all-important ‘to do’ list and some of those tasks even go beyond the date of your nuptials. If you are planning on (or even just considering) changing your name after you get married, there are some important things you need to be aware of before you begin the process. What you need to know first is that your name doesn’t automatically change just because you get married- this is something you have to actively do yourself, if you wish to be known by the same surname as your partner.

What needs to change?

This is entirely up to you: it depends whether you want your new name to replace your old one completely, or just in particular aspects of your life. It would help if you made a list of all the important places where your name is registered. For example, your bank account(s), your passport, driving license, any other accounts you may have with different companies and memberships to various different businesses such as gyms etc.  You might find that you want your ‘new’ name to be transferred to important documents but want to continue to be known by your maiden name at work.

Be careful though: you often need identification to open new accounts and by changing your name on documents such as passports and driving licenses, you will lose any ‘proof’ of your old name. Some of the changes will cost you money, so be aware of this. For example, changing your name on your passport means you will need to apply for a new one, which currently costs just over £70. However, do be aware that you are permitted to travel using the name on your passport until it expires, so don’t feel rushed into changing it as soon as you are married.  Your driving license, on the other hand, needs to be changed as soon as you possibly can, as you can incur a fine for failing to inform the DVLA of a name change

For many brides it’s very exciting to go on honeymoon under your ‘new’ name and at the time of writing the passport office will let you change your passport up to 3 months before your wedding.  If you do this, you will not be able to use it before the wedding, but you will be able to use it when you go on honeymoon.

How do I change it?

You do not need to do a Deed Poll to take your partner’s surname. However, what you do need is a copy of your marriage certificate, which will need to be sent to the various different places listed above, in order for them to process the change. Most company websites contain a section where a ‘change of name’ option is available and you just follow their simple steps to make this happen. Certain official authorities will require your original marriage certificate or a certified copy, to be able to change your name, for example, the DVLA.  Therefore, it is a good idea to request additional copies of your marriage certificate, if you want to apply to change your name simultaneously on different documents. Otherwise, you will have to send your original certificate off one at a time to different authorities, waiting until they return it to you before being able to send it to a different place. This all depends on how quickly you want the process to be completed.   It can be more economical and faster to order a number of certified copies with your original marriage certificate so if you make a list in advance and check their requirements you will know how many copies you need.

If you are wishing to take your partner’s name, but continue using your maiden name as a middle name, then this is something that will have to be done by Deed Poll. You can do this quite easily by following the instructions on the Deed Poll website.

It has become increasingly common for couples to double-barrel their names. In order to double-barrel the surname, a Deed Poll can be used. The easiest way to do this is for the husband to change his surname by Deed Poll before the wedding to the double-barrelled name he and his wife-to-be have chosen. Then, after the wedding, the wife can use her marriage certificate to get her records changed into her husband’s new name, which avoids the need for two Deed Polls.

Don’t be put off by the admin- changing your name, if you choose to do so, should be an exciting part of your marriage. Remember that there is no pressure to change your name- just go with what feels natural and right to you and your partner.

If you are intending to change your name the download the BWR name change helper.  This interactive name change checklist will help you organise all of the people you have to inform with links to the relevant pages of all of the websites you will need and links to standard letters that you can edit with you own details and post or e-mail.  There is also a hints and tips section to help you avoid the pitfalls.  It’s available at the reduced price of £2.50 and it will save you hours of time and research.  Name Change Checklist – Bespoke Wedding Rings London (bwr-london.co.uk)

At BWR-London, we believe your wedding should be tailored to you, which is why we work closely with our clients to create the perfect wedding rings. We specialise in crafting bespoke wedding rings that you’ll love forever.  We can make almost any ring so have a look at our portfolio for inspiration and get in touch for more information.

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