To My Brides: Name Changes After Marriage


July 2, 2015


So I’ve shot your wedding and you’re finally married! You’re Mrs. “So and So!” Well not officially on paper… yet. There’s a lot of stuff you have to do to make it all official and get everything changed over. I’ll be honest, it’s a pain; but it’s totally worth it, because it means you’re MARRIED!

I remember when I got married, and I had to ask my friends what I needed to do and where I needed to go to get my name changed. What some of you don’t know about me is my first name isn’t Mandi. It’s Amanda. In fact, Amanda wasn’t even my first name growing up. I used to be Sara Amanda Harrington. Talk about confusing… doctors offices, official paperwork, first day of school… Teacher is calling names from her roster… “Sara Harrington?” I raise my hand, “here! But I’m actually Mandi. Oh and that’s spelled with an I, not a Y.” Yeah… that was a fun one. Thanks Mom. 🙂 So when I got married, I decided to legally change my first name to Amanda to make it easier for me and on paperwork. I did the Southern thing and made myself Amanda Harrington Mitchell. How about that for a confusing name change? I went from Sara Harrington to Amanda Mitchell… oh and I still went by Mandi!

Well unless you have a crazy name situation like me, your name change should be a lot easier and won’t involve first names changing and stuff. And because I love you all so much, I’m going to make this super easy for you and share on my blog the steps you need to take to get your name changed so once you’re married, you can officially be Mrs. So and So!

1) Collect Your Marriage License
You will need the one that was officially signed by the pastor/minister/priest/rabbi for anyone to be able to do anything at all, the official one with the raised seal. Without it, you can’t do anything.

2) Get Your Social Security Card
I went into the local Social Security office to get my name changed. I recommend getting there right when it opens so that you can be the first one in there; and by get there when it opens, I mean, get there like 20 minutes before they open their doors. Otherwise, you will be spending all morning there. You’ll fill out the form and they’ll take care of you from there. It takes up to 10 days for them to issue your new card.

For you Atlanta ladies, here’s a link to find the closest Social Security Office near you!

3) Go to the DMV to Get a New License
Take a trip to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new license with your new last name. Bring your license, your certified marriage license, and new Social Security card. Again, I would plan on going first thing in the morning. I know you know how long it can take at the DMV! Make sure you look all cute, because you’ll get a new picture! 🙂

4) Change You Name at the Bank
This one is important. You can’t change anything else online until you do this. Before you go, figure out if you want to have a joint account with your husband. I personally recommend having one as it takes away any money resentment in the marriage, but that’s just my personal take on it. The fastest way to change your name at your bank is to go into a branch location and bring your new driver’s license and your marriage license. You can bring your new social security card as well, but you probably won’t need it. You should request new checks and debit and credit cards on top of changing the name attached to your accounts. Be aware that you’ll have to pay for new checks and probably a new debit card as well.

5) Take Care of Everything Else
Once you’ve done all of this, the next step is to do the tedious work of going to all of your different accounts online and switching it over. Most of them will let you do it without proof, but I remember my PayPal account had to have a copy of my marriage license sent over… which is why 8 years later, I’m still Mandi Harrington on it! HAHA… Places to consider and think about:

  • Your work’s HR department
  • Post office, especially if you’re moving
  • Electric and other utility companies if it was in your name
  • Credit card companies
  • Various things that have automatic bill pay- I have a Compassion International kid
  • You high school and college alumni associations
  • Landlord or mortgage company
  • Insurance companies (auto, home, life)
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Voter registration office
  • Passport office

6) Facebook
Duh! Facebook should be the first thing you do! Haha… Just kidding! I got married almost 8 years ago. I went home (no smart phones yet) and changed my name that night! People made fun of me then, but when a bride does it today, no one even thinks twice! I loved getting to change my name on Facebook and change my email from mandi.harrington to mandihmitchell! 🙂

OR if you would like some help from The Knot, they have a program called HitchSwitch that you can purchase that does a lot of it for you and helps you get everything done. I’ve never used it personally, but figured I would share it with you in case you wanted to check it out!

I hope this helps you as you face the daunting task of name changing! But like I said earlier, enjoy it, because you wouldn’t be doing it if you weren’t married!!! 🙂

  1. Rachel Holland

    January 12th, 2019 at 2:35 am

    As a soon-to-be-bride, THANK YOU! This definitely helps. Especially as I’m looking at all of this on top of moving and starting a new job in the matter of a couple weeks!

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