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What’s in a Name?

The time honored tradition of a woman taking her husband’s name once they are married is a beautiful way to mark your entrance into a new family and for a couple, the beginning of your own family.  For years now, the options of how , when and if you change your name at all leave a lot of room for personal decision.  Whatever you choose to do, whether you change your name or keep your maiden, both are more than acceptable by today’s standards.

maiden name

If you should decide to change your name, the task can be daunting. We have pulled the latest to-do checklist to help out our brides and get them organized for legally binding themselves to a new husband AND a new name. But, before that, we have a few new ideas and maybe even a few compromises for those brides who are on a the fence.

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  1. Don’t change. Whoever says you HAVE to have the same name as your husband is seriously living in the dark ages. Women are heads of households and heads of corporations- either way they have earned their right to keep the name that helped them get there. For professional reasons, a lot of women simply don’t have the option to change their name due to years of hard work and PR to gain name recognition in their respective fields. Many doctors, lawyers, and well known figures opt to keep their names professionally and change their name for things like banking, tax filings, and personal use. Others go for a hyphenated version of their name where both names are proudly represented.  Which brings us to our next option…
  2. When in doubt- Hyphenate! Hyphenating your name is a very modern way to go and can be quite convenient if you decide to share both of your last names with your kids.  The hyphenate 2 last names almost become like one name for your entire family and equally represents both sides for your children to carry on.
  3. Name change Anniversary gift? We have heard of many women changing their name on their first, fifth or even tenth anniversaries! We think this is a really cool way to honor your husband and show the journey to becoming one.  Some gals also like the idea because they want to really emphasize the importance of giving up their name for their husband’s and also marking the big accomplishment of the years they have already put in.

And here is our name-changing checklist courtesy of The Knot ( For whatever way to decide to go!)

1. Get your marriage license 
Before you can change your name, you’ll need the original (or certified) marriage license with the raised seal and your new last name on it. Call the clerk’s office where your license was filed to get copies if one wasn’t automatically sent to you.

2. Change your Social Security card 
Visit the Social Security Administration’s website and fill out the application for a new Social Security card. You’ll keep the same number — just your name will be different. Mail in your application to the local Social Security Administration office. You should get your new card within 10 business days.

3. Change your license at the DMV 
Take a trip to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new license with your new last name. Bring every form of identification you can lay your hands on — your old license, your certified marriage license and — most important — your new Social Security card.

4. Change your bank accounts 
This one’s a biggie, especially if you’re setting up a joint bank account, or if you have one already set up. The fastest way to change your name at your bank is to go into a branch location — bring your new driver’s license and your marriage license. You should request new checks and debit and credit cards on top of changing the name attached to your accounts. Something to note: You might get hit with fees for requesting a new debit card.

4. Fill in the blanks 
Once you have a social security card and driver’s license in your married name, other changes should be fairly easy. Some places only require a phone call; others may ask for a copy of your marriage certificate or social security card. Be sure to notify:

Employers/payrollSS card
Post office
Electric and other utility companies
Credit card companies
Schools and alumni associations
Landlord or mortgage company
Insurance companies (auto, home, life)
Doctors’ offices
Voter registration office
Investment account providers
Your attorney (to update legal documents, including your will)
Passport office

 

Calling All Grooms

The following list was created by The Man Registry and is a must read for every groom-to-be.

10. Marriage license: Don’t wait until the last minute

It seems so simple. All you have to do is go to the courthouse, answer some questions, and be presented with your marriage license. Not so fast. You need to be familiar with your state’s requirements and waiting periods.  Most importantly, don’t wait until the last minute! This may seem like a minor last-minute item on the to-do list, but without it you can’t legally be married. Click here for marriage license requirements in your state.

9. Writing vows: Leave a personal mark on the ceremony

Many of today’s grooms are leaving the stock vows behind and penning their own unique commitment words for the bride. If you’ve decided to go this route, remember to include your intentions for marriage, what marriage and commitment means to you, and state the promises  you intend to keep. More about writing vows.

8. Wedding bands: When and what to look for

Just what a guy wants. He’s already shelled out for an engagement ring and now he has to make another trip back to the jeweler to select weddings bands.  Do some research beforehand and decide if you’ll be looking for matching bands or something unique. It’s recommended to have the bands picked out a minimum of three months in advance of the wedding. This leaves time for them to be ordered, shipped, and re-sized, if needed. You can buy a great wedding band in our wedding store.

7. The wedding party: Whom to select

Most grooms have a solid gut feeling on whom they’ll select as their Best Man. This is usually a brother or other life-long friend. It’s considered courtesy to include your soon-to-be brother in laws in the wedding party as well. Depending on how many groomsmen/bridesmaids there will be, there’s always room for more friends to serve as ushers. A common rule of thumb to remember is one usher per 50 guests.

6. Bachelor Party: It’s not just about beer anymore

When you heard the words bachelor party, common thoughts have always been bars, beer, and more beer. This isn’t necessarily the case today. Adventure and destination bachelor parties are all the rage for today’s weddings. Many grooms are trading in visits to the night clubs for golf outings, camping trips, and even sky-diving.  Some couples are even having joint bachelor/bachelorette weekends that involve a weekend trip to wine country or a beach house.

5. Wedding day attire: Stay on top of things

What the groom and groomsmen wear on the wedding day is usually coordinated with the wedding colors and bridesmaids’ dresses. Men who are taking an active role in the selection of attire should think about whether they want a tux or suit, the style and color, and whether they’re renting or buying. Arranging tuxedo rental can be tricky, especially if you have a large wedding party. You need to make sure everyone is measured and picks up their tuxes on time. The last thing you want is one of your groomsmen showing up in a tux that doesn’t fit (or not showing up in a tux at all). It’s also a courtesy for the groom to pick up the cost of the tux rental for the fathers.

4. Groomsmen gifts: Flask, cuff links, or money clip?

If you’ve ever been a member of a wedding party, then you know it’s standard for the groom to present his attendants with a gift to thank them for being a part of the big day. Many grooms opt for a practical, engraved gift that can be put to use (think business card holder, cuff links, or watch). However, just as the groom’s roles in wedding planning have evolved, so have groomsmen gifts. Creativity is key for men today as popular gifts have become tickets to sporting events, bottles of aged wine, and even weekend excursions (with the groom footing the bill). Great gifts for the groomsmen are in our wedding store.

3. Wedding speeches: Toasting with class

One of the scariest things for the groom is to stand up in front of friends and family and toast his new wife.  Statistics say that public speaking is the No. 1 fear of Americans (even beating out death)! One of the best ways to quash the nerves is to apply the age-old adage of practice, practice, practice. Here’s a quick guide for preparing for a successful toast:

Thank everyone for attending.

Keep humor to a minimum (we all know the gut-busting toasts are reserved for the best man).

Thank your wedding party and both sets of parents for their support on the special day.

Close with words directed at your new wife. We can’t tell you what to say, but say it from the heart (obviously).

2. The groom’s cake: A cake that’s all about the groom

Yes, you read that correctly. The groom’s cake is a themed wedding dessert that’s selected and paid for by the groom and his family. The theme is generally styled after a major interest or hobby in the groom’s life.  Some examples include a favorite sports team logo or a past-time such as fishing, fixing up cars, or traveling. The groom’s cake is often served at the reception along with the main wedding cake (just make sure it’s smaller in stature than the main cake), but can also be served for dessert at the rehearsal dinner. You can purchase a wonderful cake at Cocoa Bean.

1. Groom showers: In the name of equality

It’s definitely not your parents wedding shower. Instead of place settings, bath towels, and platters, the gifts given at a groom-friendly shower are power tools, speakers, and BBQ equipment. It’s become common for a couple to have at least one couples or “man” shower during their engagement. Popular shower themes include backyard and garden, home improvement, and bar and grill. The best part: These are gifts that both the groom and bride will enjoy.

source: elegance & simplicity.com