Tradition has it that, in the UK a bride will adopt her husband’s surname upon marriage. Indeed around 80% of brides in the UK still change their family. However, it’s not a given, and there are many reasons you might want to consider your options. We set out some of the pros and cons below!
Should I change my name when I get married?
You can feel like you are losing your identity
In most cases, your surname has been your since you were born. It ties you to your family, and your heritage. Your whole life to date has been with that name!
Many modern brides also feel that they have forged a career in one name and don’t want to risk confusion by changing their name. If that’s the case, then you could consider retaining your surname as a ‘professional’ name and using your new surname as a ‘private’ name.
Creating a new family
Many brides see changing their name as part of the partnership they are creating with their future husband, and that the names of any future children will match theirs. This has practical implications as well as emotional ones- travelling with children is much easier if they have your surname, for example. If you choose not to change your name, you are more likely to have to carry copies of birth certificates if you travel through passport control.
Is there an alternative to taking my husband’s name?
At Dine we increasingly see couples taking an alternative route- where the husband takes his wife’s name; the couple double-barrel their names; or blend their names together to create a whole new one- so Mr Brown and Miss Jones become Mr and Mrs Brones; or Ms Glass and Ms Green become Mrs & Ms Gleen.
We’ve also seen couples who adopt names which are completely different to both surnames, but which have a special meaning to them both; you could choose the place name of your honeymoon, or another special place. You might even choose your favourite team name!
If you go down this route, a really nice touch is for you both to have your master of ceremonies announce you with your new names at your wedding reception.
Do I have to change to ‘Mrs’ once I’m married?
The short answer is no! Whilst traditionally women would adopt Mrs on marriage, these days there are many more options. Many women choose ‘Ms’ as a title which doesn’t signify marital status. Or you could just stay ‘Miss’ if you prefer. Of course if you have another title- Dr or Prof for example, then that doesn’t change.
How do I change my name once I’m married?
If you decide to adopt your spouse’s name on marriage, then you simply need to send a copy to the relevant organisations and ask them to change your name. This could be your bank, tax office, payroll department, passport office.
If you adopt a different name on marriage, then you will need to change your name by deed poll before you can start changing your documents. The details can be found here
There are also services which will take care of changing your name for you; Nameswitch charge a fee but take care of all the paperwork for you.
What do I need to do if I don’t change my name?
If you decide not to change your name, then there is nothing you need to do, unless you decide to change your title. If you change your title you should notify the relevant organisations as above.
Ultimately, the decision to change name or not is entirely a personal one. The only person who should share the decision making on this is your partner, especially if you are looking at double barrelling names or blending them. Many families have more old-fashioned views, so you may prefer to keep them out of the discussions until the decision is made.
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