Changing your name


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I often get asked how a bride should change from her maiden name to her married name. And if you’re not ‘traditional’, just deciding which way to go can be tricky!

So here are the options. When marrying brides and grooms have the right to:

keep your single name

use your spouse’s name

double-barrel both your names

if you’re straight get the groom to take your name!

If you decide to change your name there is no need to do anything official, you simply assume your new name. During your wedding ceremony you, your two witnesses and your Celebrant will sign two identical marriage documents called the Copy of Particulars of Marriage. Your Celebrant will send one copy back to the Registrar of Marriages and the other copy will be presented to you.

Both your single and married names are legal names and in theory you could use both, however Births Deaths & Marriages recommend that you choose one and stick to it (easier if you want to use your passport for id, etc.).

You will need your marriage document (Copy of Particulars of Marriage) in order to change your name on your passport, at the bank, etc., so you won’t be able to do this until after you’re married. Then you can organise the changes at your leisure.

Remember to book your honeymoon under your single name as you will most likely travel on a passport issued in your single name – and you must make sure that your tickets are issued in the same name otherwise you may have problems leaving the country!

If, later on, you decide to change the name on your passport you can present your marriage document and either have it endorsed, or apply for a new passport.

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet

If you want to change your name by deed poll, get in touch with The Department of Internal Affairs. They have a good website which has plenty of information, including all of the applicable forms and fees. View their website here. However this is costly and seems a bit pointless.

Also – there is an option to order a ‘Marriage Certificate’ through the Department of Internal Affairs. I did this, expecting to get a really cool card certificate which we could frame and hang in all it’s glory – however I was most disappointed that it was just an A4 sheet of paper with typed information – info that was on your Copy of Particulars and a bit more special because it is handwritten by you and your witnesses. Saying that it can be handy to have a spare copy on file.

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