Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! Brainstorming ideas to personalize your wedding, sending out save the dates, or coming up with a fun wedding hashtag are all exciting aspects of the wedding planning process. Other things, like figuring out the cost of a wedding planner or changing your last name, can be quite tedious.
Preparing with your partner well in advance for a last name change will cut back on a lot of stress and last-minute scrambling. With that in mind, we put together a list of options and steps to add to your wedding checklist. Knowing your options, as well as what paperwork to file and when, will allow you to focus on other things like writing your wedding vows.
If you’re planning on creating a new last name for your family, we also created a unique last name generator to select the perfect surname that captures the essence and style of your relationship.
Options to Consider
Taking Your Spouse’s Last Name
If you’re a traditional or modern bride who’s excited to take your partner’s last name, this option continues to be the most common practice. Although alternative options are on the rise, many couples still find it romantic to take on a partner’s last name, and it really is. Whether it’s the bride or the groom taking on their partner’s name, keep a list of deadlines and parties to notify once you receive your marriage license.
Keep Your Given Name
More and more couples are deciding to keep their given names. Maybe you like your last name or just want to avoid as many hassles as you can—that’s totally okay. Wedding planning can be quite stressful, so it’s nice that you have the option to leave things as they are. With the time you’ll save, you can focus on things like your wedding decor and reception ideas.
Legally Changing Your Name
If changing your name professionally makes little sense, you can always choose to change your name strictly on paper. You have the option of keeping things like your social media accounts, email and other work-related communications under your given name while changing your name legally.
Taking Both Names
Marriage is an equal partnership and many couples want their last names to reflect that. If this is your preference, hyphenating isn’t your only option. Couples often choose a partner’s given last name to become a part of their middle name. This allows them to keep both names while creating a similar name-changing process for both partners. You can also come up with a new last name by mixing both of your given names. Don’t forget to inform your guests of your cool new name on your wedding invitations.
Create a New Last Name
Creating a unique surname to match your style as a couple is probably the most fun alternative in name-changing. Get creative and brainstorm with your partner on the types of last names that would go best with your first names, personalities and tastes. Maybe you’re a couple that bonded over your love for classic novels? Or your wanderlust led you two to meet while on a trip abroad? Pick a category that fits your story and use our last name generator to get a first glimpse of what your new names could look like.
Where to Change Your Last Name
Marriage will always require a fair amount of paperwork, but knowing where and when to change your name will help you avoid any delays or issues. First, you want to change your name on your social security card, driver’s license, voter registration and passport. The process of changing your driver’s license and passport varies by location so be sure to research the specific requirements for your state.
Next, you’ll want to change your name on any shared assets and accounts. This includes anything from loans, mortgages, car titles, lease agreements, bank accounts/credit cards and insurance. Lastly, be sure to notify your employer and update your emails, social media accounts, utilities and doctors’ offices.
Now that you’re aware of your options and prepared for the processes that come with changing your last name, get ready to enjoy some wedding bliss. Whether you surprise your guests with your new name on your invitations or thank you cards, you and your partner are sure to pick what’s best for both of you.