When I’m meeting with a couple, preparing their ceremony and their paperwork there is always an awkward moment when I ask if the bride will be taking the groom’s last name, or vice versa.

I’m not touching that issue with a 30 foot stick, you’re welcome to talk it over in the comments, but most brides contact me after the wedding wanting to know how to change their name, this is that guide:

Changing a bride’s (or groom’s!) last name

  1. Form 15 Marriage Certificate example sampleAt your ceremony your celebrant will present you with a Form 15 Marriage Certificate, it’s the fancy looking one pictured here.
  2. On your wedding day you are welcome to start using your new last name, change it on Facebook and get a new Twitter handle, but it’s not on your drivers license yet.
  3. Your Form 15 Marriage Certificate will often not be accepted as proof of marriage, you need to request a marriage certificate from your state’s Births, Deaths and Marriages office.
  4. Apply to your BDM for a “Marriage Certificate Extract” – Queensland’s BDM website is here and information on requesting the extract is here.
  5. On receipt of your Marriage Certificate extract you can can go to the Department of Transport, Passport office, and others, and present your Marriage Certificate Extract, and they will accept that as proof of your new last name and allow you to request a new drivers license and passport with the new name.
  6. The passport office will issue you a new passport for free if you apply in the first 12 months after your wedding day.
  7. The drivers license issuer in most states will also issue a new drivers license for free as well.
  8. Different states have different fees for change of name.

Simply put – Brides, on your wedding day, you get an extra name, your maiden name still exists and until you get proof of your marriage, your name doesn’t officially change.

Pro Tip: Don’t book honeymoon flights under the wife-to-be’s new name. She doesn’t have identification for that new name yet.

Not confusing at all is it?!