Changing your name after the wedding

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Changing your name after you are married

So you have planned every detail of the wedding and honeymoon to within an inch of your life but you still have one decision to make… are you going to be changing your name after you are married?

Changing your name after you are married

Photo: iStock


This tradition has been around for centuries and came about because a woman became a part of the man’s family, and was attached to him, she became his dependent.

Traditionally, women after getting married move-in to their husband’s home. They were generally seen as caretakers, homemakers to their husbands and they would be recognised through their husbands and their family members. It was men who went out to work and earned bread for the family. A name change was one way to let people know that a woman is married and no longer single.

Changing your name after you are married

Photo: iStock


Of course, today this is certainly not the case. Women today are outgoing, well educated, hard-working, emotionally and financially independent. They take care of kids, husbands, family members, keep the house tidy and also go out to work.

There are hundreds of thousands of women worldwide who don’t change their last name after marriage. Some don’t feel the need to. Some don’t want to as it might affect their career. Some don’t want to go through the legal name change process. Some feel that they don’t have to change their name to get noticed or accepted by the society at large. It’s basically an individual choice.

Changing your name after you are married – Checklist

So if you do decide to take your new husband’s name there are a number of places you will need to notify of the change. Your marriage certificate acts as your proof of name change and many places will require an original certificate so it is a good idea to purchase extra ones.

Changing your name after you are married

Photo: iStock

  • Employer – notify your employer of your new married name so they can update your contract and your postal address.
  • Inland Revenue for tax and NI records – obtain your reference and tax office address from your employer and send an original copy of your marriage licence as proof of your name change.
  • Bank – visit your bank with an original copy of your marriage certificate to prove you’ve changed your last name.
  • Credit card companies – you may want your new name on your credit card, and they will need to be updated with your new name for payments etc.
  • Finance/loan companies – they will need a marriage certificate and a covering letter
  • Local Authority (Council tax and register of electors) – they will need a marriage certificate and a covering letter
  • HM Land Registry (if you own land or property) – they will need a marriage certificate and a covering letter
  • Pension providers – send them your marriage certificate and a covering letter.
  • Passport Office – To apply for a passport under your new name, they will need the original certificate
  • DVLA – send off an original certificate so you can have your married name on your driving licence. This is currently free in Northern Ireland.
  • Motoring organisations – update any breakdown or car insurance organisations you have any cover with to avoid confusion.
  • Utility services – they will need to update their records.
  • Telephone provider
  • Internet provider
  • Mobile phone provider
  • Insurance companies (buildings, life, motor, endowments, contents etc.)
  • Doctor & Dentist – your medical records will need to be updated and you may need to produce a copy of your marriage certificate here.

Changing your name after you are married

Photo: iStock


So as I said previously the choice to change your name is totally a personal one but if you do decide to change your name then I hope this article has helped make the process a little easier!

Paul Crawford

Wedding Photographer Paul Crawford

Paul is married to Patricia (who helped him write these Wedding Hints & Tips posts!!) and the proud Dad to 2 fantastic sons.

He has been a full-time professional photographer since 1990 and been privileged to have been asked to photograph well over 1300 weddings since then.

He worked in his own High Street Photography Studios up until December 2010 when he decided to downsize and work from home. He now splits his time between running Photography Courses and Workshops and Wedding Photography, limiting himself to 30 weddings a year to maintain the quality and high level of customer service to each of his couples.

Based in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland

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