As much as you’d like to sit back and relax once your wedding is over, you probably have a new list of things to do on your agenda. For example, you might be preparing to send Thank You cards, taking your wedding dress to the dry cleaners, packing for your honeymoon, etc…

However, one minor detail that so many people tend to forget is to legally change your name!

Becoming A Mrs: How Does It Work?

When planning a wedding, it can be quite confusing knowing what you must do after the ceremony when it comes to changing your surname.

Firstly, it is important to note that, as soon as you sign the marriage register on your wedding day, you automatically become a Mrs. What many people don’t realise, though, is that you have the right thereafter to call yourself Mrs (your partner’s surname) or to continue using your maiden name attached to your new title. This enables you, if you so wish, to keep your surname at work for ease.

There is no legal requirement for either the bride or groom to change their names after marriage. So, what are your options?

In a move away from women taking their husband’s names, many brides now choose to keep their original surname. This might be because they are attached to it, they don’t like their partner’s name or because they wish to keep a family name alive, among many possible reasons.

Meanwhile, a lot of brides still take their new husband’s name as has been the tradition for many decades.

Finally, as a sign of two families becoming one, some couples have started to take eachother’s surnames and double-barrel them. This modern fusion of names represents a truly equal union, but this surely cannot continue beyond that generation (or else there will be triple or even quadruple-barrelled names being formed!).

A Guide To Changing Your Name Legally

In order to change your name officially, you need a government-issued marriage certificate, which you order from the registry office in the town or district you got married. Please note it can take up to a fortnight to receive this document and each copy costs approximately £10.

Once received, go through your checklist and prioritise updating your photo identification, like your passport and driving licence. While the latter is free of charge, you will have to pay a renewal fee to update your passport even if it is due to run out.

As well as these government bodies, ensure you notify your bank(s), HMRC, your employer, DVLA, the electoral roll, your local council, your utilities/communications/mortgage/insurance providers, and your doctors’ surgery, to name but a few organisations.

You might be able to make the required changes to your personal details over the phone, but it’s recommended to order a few copies of the marriage certificate just in case you need to post them to various locations at once.

Changing Your Name Before Your Honeymoon

If you are planning on booking a once in a lifetime holiday following your nuptials, then you may be wondering what the policy is on changing your name before you travel.

The safest thing to do, especially if you see yourselves going abroad in the weeks after your big day, is to book your honeymoon break in your maiden name and then to go about changing your name as quickly as you can following the ceremony.

However, if you are just too excited to travel under anything but your new name, then there is the option to obtain a post-dated passport in your new name, available up to three months before you get married.

Remember, however, that your old passport will be cancelled and your new one will only be valid once you are legally wed.