Is there nothing more romantic than taking the last name of your husband-to-be, or do you see it as a bureaucratic-form-filling-out-nightmare? Do you wish the world to know you’re married just by seeing your names side by side, or do you fear every achievement up to that point will be forgotten as your name vanishes into thin air? Was your single life one embarrassing event after another and you welcome this new ‘identity’, or is his name about 15 more letters than imagined possible?
When you were named at birth you had no say in the matter (unless your name is ‘whaaahhhh’ and in that case we’re very sorry for you) but now you have some control. Do you keep your last name, hyphenate, take his, or heck, create a new name morphing the two together. (i.e. Smith and Kelly becomes Smelly.) If your biggest hang up about taking a new name is ‘what if people want to get in touch with me,’ you have to ask yourself if these people are so important why won’t they be at the wedding and thus informed of your new status? If that is your concern, we suggest you get a new one.
Maybe you have no doubts about the name change, or perhaps you’re conflicted. We’re not here to sway you either way, just to inform you that the key is to start thinking about this now, so over the months to come you can see how you feel about the decision you’re leaning towards.
Be sure to report any changes to ‘those people’ who may want to get in touch with you as well as the following agencies: Social Security Administration (they will report this to the IRS-but in a good way. If you are changing your name AND address you will need to fill out form 8822 for the IRS), Voter Registration, Credit Cards, and USPS (even if you’re not moving, submit a card with your new name.) Inform your bank, investment companies, insurance companies and when bills and letters come in, send a note back informing them of your new name. Don’t forget to change your medical records and insurance card, driver’s license, checks, membership cards, library card, email address, mailing address and any other services you use.