What to do after you say “I Do”?
Well, the first thing is you go on your honeymoon! If circumstances do not permit jetsetting off to island bliss immediately following the vows, perhaps a mini-moon is more in your future. Whenever you and your boo come back to reality (I know, it stinks having to come back to the real world) most women choose to begin the arduous task of changing their last name. I do, however, support having the men change their last name, but it is still far too uncommon. Maybe in the next decade! Here are a few tips from my experience for getting the name change started.
Get at least five original copies of your marriage license, (they are not really copies, but actual legal documents). Every institution where you need to send name change information will all require an “original” not a certified copy of the license.
If you can change your name online, do it. It will save a great deal of time and effort.
If you choose the online method, make sure you include ALL required documents. I tried to change my name for my social security card online, which started out all fine and good. However, I ran into problems when they made me mail in all of the required documents, and I forgot to include the MARRIAGE LICENSE! The one document that actually stated that I have a legal name change, and I forgot to put it in an envelope. I waited the standard seven to ten business days and was so excited to get the card in the mail. When I opened up the certified letter, it stated that they can not just “take my word for it” when it came to getting married! Go figure! So I had to go down to the social security office, and I wasted an hour and a half of my life waiting in line for all of the thirty seconds the name change took. Make sure you pay attention to the details!
Credit cards proved to be fairly simple. I just called them up and stated that I got married. They did not even require me sending them a copy of the marriage license. In three days, I had new cards with my very new name.
Contact your health care providers AND insurance provider.
Discuss with your new spouse about joint bank accounts, life insurance beneficiaries, etc.
Stop by your local, “friendly” DMV and let them know that you need to update your driver's license and car title if you still making car payments. (I don’t know how the DMV staff can be so grouchy all of the time, but I digress.) Smile pretty for your new photo id, although, I have never once taken a driver's license photo that I have actually liked.
If you have a passport, update that. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Trust me, you will thank me after your first trip. Travel bug anyone???
Finally, change any subscriptions you receive and let your educational institution know of your life change so they can continue to mail you alumni donation requests. 😉
Last, but not least, sit back with your new partner and enjoy becoming a whole new person, legally, that is.