Changing Your Name After Marriage: Your Name Change Options

1. Take on your husband’s last name.



Example: Olivia Brown marries Oliver White.



Olivia becomes Olivia White.



This is the most common option, most brides take on their husband’s name either formally or informally. If you want to formally take on your husband’s name it means changing your name on your identification documents and with other organisations. Informally changing your name means using your husband’s name amongst family and friends and perhaps even in the workplace, but keeping all of your identification documents in your maiden name. This is perfectly legal and is called ‘name by association’. You need to be very consistent in the use of your name if you choose this option however, as using two names can sometimes raise fraud suspicions.


2. Hyphenate your last names.



Example: Olivia Brown marries Oliver White.



Olivia becomes Olivia Brown-White



Approximately 5% of brides hyphenate their name. This is a relatively popular way to keep your maiden name but also announce to the world that you are married and wish to take on your husband’s name. You can hyphenate just your name, or your husband can also hyphenate his name.



3. Double barrel your names.



Example: Olivia Brown marries Oliver White.



Olivia becomes Olivia Brown White.



This is the hyphenated name without the hyphen, so to speak, and is less popular as other people often become confused as to which is your last name, and may just drop one part of your last name for ease.



4. Make your maiden name your middle name, and take your husband’s name as your last name.



More and more brides are doing this as a way of keeping their maiden name, but also doing the traditional thing of taking on their husband’s name. It is increasingly growing in popularity as it doesn’t require your husband to also change his name.



Example: Olivia Mary Brown marries Oliver White.



Olivia drops the Mary and becomes Olivia Brown White.



5. Make up a new last name that is a combination of your maiden name and married name.



You can make up a new name for just you, or you and your husband can make up new names together and both take on this name.



Example: Olivia Brown marries Oliver White.



Olivia becomes Olivia Bwite.



6. Make up a totally new name.



Are you and/or your husband ready for a total change? There is nothing stopping you making up something new!



Example: Olivia Brown marries Oliver White.



Olivia becomes Olivia Black. Oliver becomes Oliver Black.