Miss to Mrs: A Guide To Marriage Name Change
I remember when completing my application for my marriage license. As a wedding planner I thought I knew what I wanted to do. But found myself still contemplating whether to change my name, make my maiden my surname, or hyphenate? Leading up to applying for my marriage license, I flip-flopped like Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. I thought I had made a decision, but once it was time to complete the paperwork I realized I was still unsure. In the end I took my husband's surname when in fact I thought I was going to hyphenate. This is something that many women struggle with. But regardless of what you choose, it is YOUR personal decision. A decision that no one should make for you. It is your identity and you are the one that should be comfortable with it.
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The Marriage Name Change Process
Marriage name change though simpler than legal name change, can be a tedious process. And may even raise more questions than answers. Though the details vary from state to state, to make the process a little easier, here is a mini guide to help.
- It is important to note that a marriage name change will require a copy of your marriage certificate. The actual process does not begin until you receive your marriage certificate, and in some states you need to actually request a copy.
- Marriage certificates takes at least two weeks to arrive. So if you’re going on your honeymoon right after you wedding, it would be smart to book your honeymoon in your maiden name.
- In states like New York (where I live), Georgia, California, Massachusetts, and Iowa, when you apply for your marriage license, you just have to include the new name on the it. While in some states you will need to do a “Petition for Name Change” at your local county clerk's office and get a court order. You might even need to run an ad announcement.
- The same goes if you’re looking to get creative and creating a new name by blending both names. You will need to appear and get a court order. However, California is currently the only state that allows for this option; and the name must be listed when the marriage license is applied for.
- Now that you've gone from Miss to Mrs, there are some places you'll want to change your name - including at the Social Security Administration, DMV, IRS and at your job.
- If your spouse is opting to take your name, and you don't live in New York, California, Iowa, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Hawaii, North Dakota or Illinois, then you need to petition the court for a legal name change order.
- If after reading this, you're still not sure what you want to do. Then play the name game over at marriednamegame.com to find your the best option.
In the end, if you the Bride decides to take your Groom’s Surname or combine your surname with his you can make life simple with the New Bride Name Change Kit. But If you decide to change your name to a single or combined surname, whether you’re a Bride, Groom and or a Same Sex Couple, you’ll want to use The Newlywed Name Change Kit.