If you’re considering a marital name change, there is plenty to think about. Here, we break down the most popular options available to you 

Debating whether to change your name or not after marriage can be one of the hardest wedding planning decisions you will make. While tradition dictates that the bride takes the groom’s surname, a recent study by jewellers F.Hinds found that just 38% of respondents had or were planning to take their partner’s surname post-wedding. This figure demonstrates that the majority of couples are no longer abiding by tradition, and today there are more options than you might realise. Remember that it’s a personal decision that only you and your partner can make together.  

There may also be more factors than one behind this decision; for some, the sentimental attachment to a maiden name can present conflicting feelings, while for others, there may be conversations to be had around which surname the couple chooses to retain. With so much to consider, here are four options to think about.  

Take your partner’s surname 

Still one of the most popular options is for one member of the happy couple to take the other’s surname. Many choose this option as a means of solidifying their commitment or so that any children they have or have had already can officially share the same surname.  

This does not necessarily have to be the bride taking the groom’s surname, you can choose which surname you wish to retain – and the same applies to same sex couples. This option also requires no official name change by deed poll as your marriage certificate will provide sufficient evidence.  

Create a double-barrelled surname

If you want to retain your maiden name but still wish to signify your loyalty to your partner with a name change, create a double-barrelled surname. For example, Henry Jones and Daisy George could become Henry and Daisy Jones-George or Henry and Daisy George-Jones (with or without a hyphen).  

Double-barrelled surnames also don’t require a deed poll, provided your marriage certificate clearly states both of your original surnames.  

Create a new surname 

Many couples are overturning the tables of tradition completely by coming up with a new surname. This could be a fusion of both surnames or something entirely different. This is a good option to signify a new start in your life, or if you can’t come to an agreement on which surname to drop.  

A new surname will require a deed poll; visit gov.uk/change-name-deed-poll for more information.  

Keep your maiden name

Of course, you can just retain your maiden name if you prefer. This avoids any hassle to advise relevant authorities of a name change post-wedding. The only thing you may have to do is advise of a change to your title or marital status. 

Some brides may opt for an official name change but retain their maiden name in the workplace. This can be a particularly appealing option if they have built up a career in their maiden name or if they are a teacher, so that their name is still easily recognised. If you choose this, remember to still inform your workplace that you have married so that HR records properly correspond with your bank details and HMRC.  

Changing your name is a decision that should be given plenty of time and thought. You may even wish to wait until after the wedding to make your mind up. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is the right choice for you and your partner.  

Who to inform of a change of name post-wedding:

  • Your employer 
  • Government bodies such as HMRC and HM Passport Office 
  • DVLA 
  • Your bank and/or building societies 
  • Your landlord or mortgage provider 
  • Your local council 
  • Insurance companies 
  • Utility companies 
  • GP and dentist 
  • Any store cards, clubs or societies 

Remember to buy a few copies of your marriage certificate to send out to companies requiring evidence of a name change.