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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Wedding Day Items You Didn't Know You Needed

Like any well-prepared bride, you’ve probably made an ultimate check-list, but what could you be missing? In my experience, here’s a few items you probably forgot to include - but could come in handy!

 
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A STEAMER

This seems obvious - but it’s often forgotten! The Last thing you want are bridesmaids in wrinkled dresses coming down the aisle, and in all your photos! Or a crinkled veil! Not a bad idea to send one with your Groom as well!

 
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A BEAUTY BAG

Your makeup artist will create a look to last all day, but sometimes touch-ups are inevitable. Have a small bag of powder, lipstick, and oil-blotting papers just in case!

 
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COMFY SHOES

You may have dreamed of those gorgeous heels, but they may not be the best dancing shoes. Stash a pair of flats in your bag! (They make some that are super compact and will fit in a clutch!) Or consider cute Kate Spade Keds that photograph well too!

 

BRUNCH / LUNCH

Remember to stock up on snacks & drinks to keep everyone from getting “hangry” or passing out! Especially in the summer months, extra water bottles are a must! If it’s too much to remember on your day, ask a friend or bridesmaid to arrange fruit, bagels, muffins, or sandwiches. Or have somewhere cater lunch in for both Bride and Groom.

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CUTE CLOTHES TO GET READY IN

Matching robes are always a favorite for this photographer! They make for some really beautiful getting ready photos, fun group photos, and look classy! But don’t forget to wear cute clothes underneath also! We don’t want the robe slipping open to reveal just undergarments - but you want to make sure you can slip it over your head and not mess up your hair! If you don’t have a robe - a button up or wide-necked top will be perfectly fine.

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AN EMERGENCY KIT

Bobby pins, Safety pins, band-aids, Advil, deodorant, a sewing kit, super glue, fashion tape… to name a few I’ve experienced needing on a wedding day! Some of these items I carry with me, as well as a crochet hook, scissors, tampons, breath mints… In the summer I also recommend Sunscreen spray, and for outdoor weddings - Bug Spray.

 

PORTABLE SPEAKER

Whether you want to relax or keep the mood fun while you’re getting ready, music sets the mood! Create a playlist that starts with soothing songs, and gradually gets more energetic and fun! Try out the search feature in Pandora, and search for either Wedding Day Country or Pop!

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PRINTED TIMELINES

Your photographer should help you create a schedule for photos to convey to wedding party & family. Knowing the general timing of what’s happening at what time will put everyone at ease and help the day run smoothly! Some of my most organized couples have even put together a Girls/Guys list of duties and where everyone needs to be when, who needs to be setting up what or driving everyone from hotel to venue, etc.
If you’re an Emerald + Ivy couple, at our very first consultation we’ll set a rough timeline to give you times that hair and makeup should be completed, flowers should be delivered, decor finished, dinner served, etc.

 
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EXTRA UNDERGARMENTS

Trust me, you don’t know what might snap or rip, and if you have extras you won’t fret one bit! Also make sure you have the proper undergarments for your wedding gown! And try them on together before the big day (at your last fitting if you’re having your dress altered) to ensure a good fit, comfort, and long wear! (Not to mention, make sure those sticky cups will hold through sweating if you’re getting married in the warmer months of the year!)

 

COORDINATOR

A wedding planner, venue coordinator, day-of MC, or an organized friend - whatever you decide - will take a lot of pressure off you! They can hold on to your beauty bag or clutch and emergency kit, and make sure things happen as they should behind-the-scenes. It also takes some pressure off of the photographer - to not have you stressed or having to check on decor. Show someone before the big day how you want tables decorated, etc… and let them handle it!

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I hope these tips have been helpful!
Anything I’m missing? Leave me a comment!

Erwin + Anna :: Ramble Creek Vineyard Wedding :: East Tennessee Wedding + Elopement Photographer

When Anna and I first started discussing wedding details, I literally squealed a little at the chance to shoot at Ramble Creek Vineyard. It's a somewhat new venue in Athens, Tennessee... and y'all. They built this place to be a photographer's dream, I'm sure of it. I'm so happy Anna and Erwin asked me to capture their gorgeous wedding! Not just for the perfect venue, but it was an honor to be a part of such a sweet day. 

Their Wedding day was the perfect amount of cloudy... until it wasn't. Ha! So about the time we wanted to do some wedding party portraits, it started pouring... and didn't stop until their sparkler exit! (Perfect timing!) But the inside of the venue is just as gorgeous, so we were able to still get so many photos!

I love that the building's interior wood was all milled from the property! And one of the owners hand-crafts gorgeous pottery, that are displayed (and for purchase) in the bridal party entrance waiting area. It's the coolest room! (and we had a good laugh about how their logo and mine are almost identical!)

Am I allowed to say that this is one of my favorite weddings? Everything just ran smooth, and everyone was so happy. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were all amazing, on time, looking sharp... All the details and flowers were perfect, the venue staff were phenomenal. I can't wait to shoot here again! But for now, let's all drool over these photos. :) 

And if you want to see the full gallery of Anna & Erwin's special day - the link is at the bottom! 

Venue: Ramble Creek Vineyard
Bride's Dress: Belle Saison Bridal in Austin, Texas
Bridesmaids Dresses: David's Bridal
Bride & Bridesmaids' Hair: Wendy Rae Peery for Bangs & Blush in Knoxville, TN
Flowers: Lisa Foster Floral Design in Knoxville, TN
Groom & Groomsmen Tuxes: Men's Wearhouse
Catering: Ramble Creek Catering
Cake & Desserts: Eva at Ramble Creek Cakes
Guest Signing Canvas: Carrazy Cute Canvas on Etsy

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL WEDDING GALLERY

Please keep in mind that although you cannot print the images from the gallery, you may order prints or share online! Just be sure to tag @emeraldandivyphoto on Instagram or "Emerald + Ivy :: Formerly Blush Creative Photography" on Facebook! Thanks so much! 

John + Jordan :: The Standard Knoxville :: Knoxville Wedding Photographer

One of the first details I discuss with a couple is about their venue... It's part of my planning process, to make sure we plan enough time to photograph the areas that the couple loved about the venue. We'll talk about what they have planned, what they're excited about, what they envision for their wedding day... Jordan and John loved all the exposed brick, beautiful textures, and that everything was in one building. 

Come January, we were SO grateful for all the variety The Standard has to offer... It was NINE DEGREES outside! 

Jordan and her bridesmaids got ready upstairs, where there was the most beautiful light pouring in the windows...  And even though the room the guys get ready in had NO windows, it still looked really awesome with moody light. Somehow, I think that's just more manly, right? 

Anyway, It was a perfect day - but I was SO grateful they wanted all their photos inside! 

Enjoy! 


(To see more photos from this wedding, click on "Client Access" on the menu at the top of the page!)

Venue: The Standard Knoxville
Bride's Gown, Belt & Veil: White Lace & Promises
Bride's Shoes: Jessica Simpson, from Dillard's
Hair: Gabriel at Salon Visage
Makeup: Rachel Waters, Younique
Bridesmaids' Gowns: David's Bridal
Groom & Groomsmen suits: Men's Wearhouse
Flowers: Sydney Nichols
Cake: Maggie Cakes
Groom's Cake: Churro Cake! From El Sazon
Catering: Brown Bag Catering
Frames at Ceremony: Made by Terry Trost, Bride's Uncle
Guest Book: Basic Invite
Programs: Designed by the Groom, Printed by the Bride! 
 

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:

Cayci & Michael :: Knoxville Engagement :: Spring Engagement Shoot :: Knoxville Botanical Gardens, The Historic Bleak House, and Downtown Knoxville

If I've never said it, (at least a hundred times) I love Engagement sessions! I love spring, and I love downtown Knoxville. So this session was a dream for me! 

We started out at The Knoxville Botanical Gardens, where their wedding will be this summer. Jessie at The Historic Bleak House was awesome enough to let me know that the purple Wisteria was blooming, and we could come there for a bit to incorporate some of their wedding color into the session! Then we headed Downtown to some new spots for me, which I couldn't be more excited about! 

This couple though! Throughout our time together, they laughed and talked and kissed the entire session. My cheeks literally hurt from smiling with them all morning! I love what we captured, and I cannot wait for your wedding this July!

Allison & Scott :: Downtown Knoxville & World's Fair Park :: Spring Engagement Shoot :: Knoxville Wedding Photographer

Need a reason to do an Engagement Session? THIS. We had an amazing evening together, just talking about wedding plans, walking around downtown Knoxville and getting to know each other... In the cold! brrr! It's been in the 70's for 2 weeks, and the day of their session, it drops down to the 40's! But we still had a great time, and this sweet couple is getting married in just 4 short months! 

The Engagement Session is a great chance to take your time and get some casual photos of the two of you enjoying just being together and being engaged! (It's also a great chance for your photographer to see how you interact, how you are in front of the camera, and give you a little coaching for the best photos on your wedding day!)

Allison & Scott, I cannot wait to photograph your wedding at Candoro Marble in July! If it's half as perfect as you two are together, it will be an amazing day! Not to mention, it's a gorgeous & unique Wedding Venue! I cannot wait!

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Gage & Savannah :: Engagement Session :: Knoxville Wedding Photographer

If ever there was a couple that absolutely are perfect together - Savannah and Gage are that! From the short time we spent doing these photos, it was obvious that they just adore one another, and have such a sweet relationship. I'm so honored to have a part in telling their story through Engagements and their wedding this May! 

Robbie & Sarah Gibbs :: Just Married :: Knoxville, TN :: Neyland Stadium & The Historic Southern Railway Station

My love for shooting in new locations is right up there with Mountain Dew, toddler kisses, and Hawaii Five-O... So I had such a great time with Sarah & Robbie at Neyland Stadium for their "Just Married" photo shoot, then family photos at The Historic Southern Railway Station & Blue Slip Winery. {P.S. if you're planning a wedding, you have to check them out! I don't get paid to say that, just absolutely love it there!} 

But I have to say, this is one of the sweetest love stories I've heard... Have your tissues ready!

Robbie and Sarah dated about 10 years ago, then parted ways... but never moved on. 
Robbie says he never settled for someone because he "compared them to [Sarah] and no one measured up." All the while, Sarah admits she always had Robbie in her heart, and felt that he was the one that got away!  In their own words, "Fast forward 10 years and here we are getting another chance and not letting it go!" If you have seen them together, you know just how much they mean to each other, and how deeply in love they are. It's so obvious they're soul mates and a perfect match... There's a saying I've always loved: "People aren't perfect, but they can be perfect for each other." 
How beautiful is that! Congratulations to the newlyweds! I'm sure it all seems so surreal to finally have your true love!