Ms. To Mrs: Changing Your Name without the Headache

Changing your last name is a monumental moment for many brides. If you are choosing to change your name after your wedding, there's a few things you need to know before you dive in to the mountain of paperwork.

Back in the day, it was easy to change your name. You took your marriage license to the social security office, then to the DMV, and you were done. These days though, there are a few more laws that slow down the process.

There was a time when airlines didn't care if the name on your ticket matched your ID exactly. You could bring your marriage certificate with you and prove you were the same person, plus a beau. But in 2001, things changed quite drastically. You must now have a plane ticket that matches your ID down to the letter. Many counties will only allow you to pick up your marriage certificate 30 days before your wedding. And 30 days is not enough time to turn your social security card, passport, and drivers license.

So what is a bride to do? My suggestion is..wait. You may be incredibly excited to change your name and be a Mrs., but you have enough on your plate. The added stress of changing all your paperwork on top of getting last-minute wedding plans done is not worth it.

When you are ready to change your name, here are a few places to go first (although check with your county in case some of these differ):

-Marriage certificate mailed in to the county

-License will be returned to you within 2-3 weeks

-Make many copies of your license

-Social security office, your new card will be mailed to you

-DMV stop with your license and mail with proof of address

-Apply for a new passport, you will need a new photo and a copy of your license

-Call all your credit cards and loan institutions, they may want a copy of your license

-Go to the bank and any other financal institutions, they will want a copy of your license

-Call magazines, newspapers

Luckily the post office won't reject your mail, but it simplifies things if your mail and your mailbox match. I've been married for 5 years and I still sometimes get mail to my old name! Some companies purchase lists to send advertisements, and they use the same list for years. You can call these companies and request your name changed or removed completely.

Happy changing!