Here at Luke Granger Photography, we pride ourselves on offering a full service to our clients. We build solid relationships during their wedding planning process, answering an assortment of questions that pop into the minds of our brides and grooms. One question in particular has cropped up a couple of times lately.
What if I want to keep my last name?
Getting married is the ultimate commitment you can make to another person; an abundance of promises that you intend to keep until the day you die. Despite how much love you have for your significant other, getting married can also be a daunting time, a complex emotional rollercoaster if you will and there can often be a feeling as though you are losing your identity.
What is vital to remember is that throughout your marriage, your identity as an individual, is just as important as your identity as a couple. For a marriage to truly work you must invest both your time and emotions into building an environment that you can both thrive in. One you feel united as a team but also supported to be your true self.
It is very important you overcome any pre-marital fears head on. Not being sure of which direction to take in regards to your name can be a confusing for both bride and groom but it can often be made worse by comments from others.
Due to tradition, some may assume that the bride will take the grooms name, this can lead to frustrations for the couple who may be considering an alternative name choice or even lead to disappointment if the bride has not yet discussed her decision with the groom.
I want to reassure our readers that whatever you choose to do with your name is entirely up to you, it is important you discuss your decision as a couple, to understand each others views but you shouldn't feel pressurised into doing something you are not comfortable with.
Options To Consider
Tradition One of the most common misconceptions about getting married is that the bride 'must' take the grooms name. Given that we live in an extremely modern world, it is certainly not guaranteed and should never be an expectation but some couples relish in the thought of sharing a name that was once just his.
Career Ladder The business world is full of career driven women who have worked hard to build a solid reputation. As it can be a little complex to change how you are known amongst your industry, many high profile figures choose to retain their original name. Some choose to have two names; one legal name for personal use and one for work purposes.
Continuing A Family Name If a family is predominately females, all of whom get married and take the names of their partners, inevitably the surname will eventually reach the end of its branch. My own family is a prime example of this, despite my grandparents having 13 grandchildren, their name will not continue past my generation. If you wish to continue the legacy of a name, this maybe the option for you.
Hyphenating Some names really lend themselves to being hyphenated and this can be a really good way to blend two surnames together. There is likely to be a bit of a debate about who's name goes first, but creating a new name that represents you both is becoming a firm choice with couples across the world.
Groom Takes Brides Name Your name maybe Teresa, if you're in love with a Mr Green, taking his name could be a bit concerning. To save the humiliation of having everyone you ever meet making comments which I am sure they will think are hilarious, the groom may choose to take your family name instead.
Blending Names Now this wouldn't work for everyone but if you have names that can be broken up, you may be able to create a hybrid of the two; a truly modern approach. West & Greenland for example could become Mr & Mrs Westland or Brownstone & Windsor could become Mr & Mrs Winstone. I love this idea!
Something Completely New Ever thought about choosing a new name for you both? Although a little more of an unusual concept, there can be benefits in doing this, especially if you aren't a fan of either of your names.
Same Sex Couples Although this post has naturally focused towards a bride and groom partnership, it is important to note that couples made up of two brides or two grooms, may also face the same difficulty in deciding what path to take in regards to their marital name.
Whatever option you decide, it is important that the decision is made together as a couple. From a groom's point of view, there may be some degree of disappointment if your future wife expresses reservations about taking your name. It is vital you respect her thoughts and come to a decision together.
After you have said I do, the lengthy task of telling the world your new name begins. Things such as Facebook are pretty easy to change online but you will be surprised at how many companies and organisations will need updating.
Legally, if you have got married or had a civil ceremony in the UK, you have automatic right to use their surname or your original name (or double-barrel the two). Your marriage certificate is all the evidence you need to make this official.
If you are looking to blend your names or create a brand new one, then you will need to go through the deed poll process to have your name legally recognised. As someone who changed their name, I can confirm the deed poll process is actually fairly simple. After my divorce, I didn't wish to return to my maiden name, so Luke very kindly gave me his as an engagement gift meaning I am already Mrs Bethany Granger and we haven't even booked a date yet!
I have created a simple template, tried and tested of course, that should speed up the process of informing all the organisations of your new name, or names if you have both changed your name.
- Make a list of all the organisations you are linked to and place into one of two categories. All the important stuff such as finances, insurances in one and relatively menial things, like your Boots Advantage Card, in the other. Go through your purse/wallet, check your regular direct debits or any paperwork you have as these may help jog your memory.
- Log in to your online accounts where possible. For the less important stuff, they will not require any evidence of your name change so you should be able to make the request online and save yourself a stamp. Tick them off one by one.
- Add just your own address details and name on the template I have linked below. Print plenty out, grab a pen and a stack of stamps and envelopes.
- One by one, go through your list. Handwrite any reference/account numbers that you have at the top of each letter (as that will make it easier for the person who deals with incoming mail) Then sign both your old and new signatures underneath.
- Search for the company address online if you haven't got it to hand, add the letter and a photocopy of your marriage certificate to the envelope and voila.
- Then repeat steps 4 & 5 until everything is ticked off of your list and head to the post box.
A couple of things to note: some high street banks prefer you go into branch than inform them by letter and most HR departments have an online form to fill in. Your Passport and Driving licence will need to be submitted differently as there will likely be fee's to pay but you can find this out online easily enough, if your passport is fairly new you may wish to wait until it expires to replace it but make sure you book all holidays in your old name!
I hope this article has helped you a little, if you have any questions then please feel free to drop me a message.
This Blog Post Was Written By Bethany, PA to Luke Granger