Navigating Name Changes: A Guide to Crafting Your Identity After the Big Day

Photo by Jonathan Borba via Unsplash

Hey there, lovebirds! First off, congratulations on your recent engagement! It’s an exciting time, and we’re here to help you make the big decisions – like whether or not to change your last name after tying the knot. As a couple getting married in 2023, we know you value your individuality and personal choices, so we’re here to guide you through the process of deciding what’s best for you and your future spouse.

1. To Change or Not to Change? Exploring Your Options

When it comes to last names, there are a few popular options for newlyweds. Easy Name Change surveyed over 1,000 newlywed brides to discover what name they chose and why…

  • Take your spouse’s last name: This traditional choice symbolizes unity and can make things like traveling and raising a family more straightforward. Chosen by over 60% of respondents, this was the most popular choice as (traditionally) brides want to have the same name as their new family. Many respondents also nominated to move their maiden name to a middle name.
  • Keep your own name: Many couples maintain their last names to preserve their personal and professional identities. Newlyweds cited the flexibility in being known by both names and not completely disconnecting from their identity.
  • Hyphenate: Combining both last names with a hyphen allows you to retain your family heritage while embracing a new, shared identity.
  • Create an entirely new name: Some couples opt to forge a new path by inventing a unique last name that reflects their shared values and future together. There were many reasons cited for wanting a new name. Most commonly from couples wanting to break with tradition or where couples did not want to honor either’s family name.

Take the time to discuss these options with your partner, and consider factors such as family traditions, career implications, and personal preferences.

2. Are There Other Options?

Yes! All states except WA allow your maiden name to become a middle name. If there are any changes to your given name or if you live outside California and want to blend last names then you need to file for a legal name change.

Photo by Jimmy Dean via Unsplash

3. When Can I Begin Using My New Name?

You can start using your new name as soon as you’re legally married, but you’ll need to update your identification and official documents to reflect the change. This process is quite simple but time-consuming. As the typical newlywed has an average of 26 organizations to notify it usually takes weeks or months. If you don’t have time we recommend Easy Name Change. They provide all the information and paperwork in about 15 minutes. You can get started as soon as the official marriage certificate arrives!

4. Do Name Change Rules Differ From State to State?

While the process for changing your name is relatively consistent across the United States, some states may have specific requirements or forms to complete. You’ll want to decide your new name before applying for the wedding licenses as some states require the married name on the wedding license. All other marriage certificates allow any of the usual married name options.

5. Which Name Goes on the Marriage License?

When applying for your marriage license, you should use your current legal names. After your wedding ceremony, the officiant will sign the license, making the marriage official. Some states require your new married name to also be included on the license application which then flows onto your wedding certificate. However, always double-check the requirements in your state, as they may vary.

Easy Name Change is Here to Help!

All in all, newlyweds have an average of 25 places to update. That’s a lot of calling around! 20 minutes per company x 25 =  over 8 hours! That is where Easy Name Change is here to help! Their Easy Name Change Kit contains everything you’ll need to update your name – saving you weeks! We know you’d rather spend that post-wedding time unboxing registry gifts or honeymooning as hard as you can, and Easy Name Change wants that for you, too. PLUS! GWS readers can save $10 on the cost of their kit by entering the code GWS-decide-10 at checkout! That offer’s good through June 14th, 2023!

Deciding whether or not to change your last name after marriage is a deeply personal choice. Take the time to explore your options, discuss them with your partner, and consider the practical implications. Whatever you decide, remember that your names are just one part of your beautiful love story, and the most important thing is the love and commitment you share. Happy planning!

This post is sponsored by Easy Name Change. All content and opinions are that of GWS. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Green Wedding Shoes running!!