A Bride by Any Other Name…

The decision whether to change your name after your marriage is a very personal one. For some, there’s no question, for others, the decision is not quite so clear-cut. The good news is that you don’t actually have to decide straight away. You have a window of some months after the wedding to try it on for size and see how it fits.
It’s traditional for a bride to take her new husband’s surname, but it is equally valid for the groom to take the bride’s surname – sometimes it may depend on what name your children already use.
Changing your maiden name or taking your husband’s name aren’t the only two options open to you.
Hyphenating your names may work. Unless someone a generation or two back already did that, and you’d end up being Mr & Mrs Hyphen Hyphen Name.
Many women are choosing to keep their maiden name at work, and their husband’s name for social and family purposes, or use their maiden name as an extra middle name.
Or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, there’s no real reason why you can’t both ditch your single names and re-brand with a whole new name. It’s best to legally back up an unconventional name change by making a statutory declaration through Births Deaths and Marriages.
Things to consider before deciding whether or not to change your surname:
Does you or your fiance have strong feelings either way? Is the surname one you particularly like, or dislike? Are you the last of the line bearing your surname? Is one name uncommon or unwieldy? Does the surname reflect your culture or ethnic heritage? Is it important to you to be easily identified as “belonging” together?
If you opt for a change, particularly for an uncommon change, be aware that friends and family may have views on the subject, and will quite likely tell them to you. In the end, it’s your name, your choice. As long as you’re both happy with your decision, that’s all that matters.

If you’re changing your name from your wedding date, and plan to travel overseas for your honeymoon, make sure you book your tickets in the name that is on your passport, and use that name while you’re travelling, to save confusion and potential unnecessary delays.

If you do change your name, there are a lot of official records that will need amending, including:
Driver’s licence, passport, bank accounts and credit cards, kiwisaver, mortgage, hire purchase and lease agreements, IRD, community service cards, employer’s records and your CV, wills and insurance policies, dentist and doctor’s records, utilities – phone, power, etc, electoral roll, memberships and magazine subscriptions, library card and so on.
You can either work through the list of  documentary changes, or work between the two names, just changing them as the various cards expire.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Speaking of name changes… « Whispers

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