After the Wedding :: Name Change Checklist

One of the most confusing things about getting married - was figuring out where and how to change my name after the wedding. So I've researched and compiled a list for you!

If you’d like to download the entire list and refer back to, I’ve included that for you at the bottom of this post!

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What to consider:

Don’t put it off. Changing your name takes weeks to begin with, so tackle it all at once to avoid confusion or forgetting something!

Remember to book your honeymoon in your maiden name - and let your fiance know ahead of time. You may be excited to have your married name on your ticket, but most airlines will make you re-purchase a ticket if it’s under a name other than your ID - even if you have your marriage certificate on-hand.

Tell your relatives and friends of your decision on how you plan to change your name. Receiving gifts with the wrong monogrammed initials can be disappointing!

For example, will you keep your middle name and simply change your last name, or will you drop your middle name and keep your maiden name as your middle name? I have always loved that I have the same middle name as my mother, so when it came time to change my name, I knew I wanted to keep that name and just change my last name. Also worth noting, there’s no rule saying you can’t keep both if you want!

How to officially change your name:

Get marriage certificates from your town or county clerk. It’s the number one item you’ll need during this process. Unlike your marriage license (which you receive before your ceremony), your certificate states that you are legally married. Request multiple copies so you can send them simultaneously, as most offices will require a certified copy.

Change your name with the Social Security Administration. Your SSN won’t change - but you’re going to need this card with your married name to change your name elsewhere, so go here first! Gather your marriage certificate, an application for Social Security Card, and proof of citizenship/age/identity (a birth certificate). You can submit your application online or in person, and once your new SS card arrives, it’s official.

Update your passport next. They have the slowest turnaround, so apply as soon as you have your new SS card. Keep in mind there’s an additional fee if your passport is over one year old. You can also do this by mail: find the proper form at travel.state.gov, and mail in the form along with your current ID and a marriage certificate.

To change your Driver’s License, you’ll head to the DMV. You may consider making an appointment to avoid a long wait - and double check your state’s required documents and fees. You’ll want to bring your marriage certificate, proof of identity (SS Card), and vehicle registration. While you’re there, update your voter registration, too!

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Stop by the post office and notify them of the new name associated with your address. If you’re also moving, don’t forget to forward your mail!

And don’t forget… places you need to contact individually: Bank account. IRS (tax returns). Email (some will let you change the name that appears when you send an email, so you don’t have to start over!)… and anywhere else your name is on file: Insurance, gym membership, social media profiles, luggage tags, magazine subscriptions, amazon account, credit cards, etc.

Enjoy the process! It’s not always fun to sit and wait in the DMV or SSA… but you’re married! That’s exciting!


If you’d like to download a PDF copy of this list for easy reference - click below!

I hope this helps make these changes easier for you! If you needed this guide, comment below to let me know it helped!

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Gage & Savannah :: The Emporium Center :: Knoxville, TN :: Downtown, Urban Wedding :: Knoxville Engagement & Wedding Photographer

We couldn't ask for a more perfect day for a wedding! Savannah and Gage are probably one of the sweetest couples I've worked with, and I am so happy for them! It's absolutely clear that they want to honor God with their lives, and in their marriage! Savannah and Gage - It was an honor to capture your day for you! 

To see the entire preview gallery, go HERE. But here's just a few of my absolute favorites from the Brazzell wedding: