This is a question that brides often ask themselves on the lead up to the wedding day or after they are married.
For many years this has been a custom but it is purely a personal thing and there is no legal requirement for a bride to do so. It can be a big decision at anytime but even more so if children from previous marriages are involved. There are no right or wrongs here, just care that everyone who is involved has their feelings on this taken into account. You will have to fill in a change of name certificate for each of your children and send that to the registry to officially change their names.
You do not need to change your name immediately you are married if you do not want to, you can do so anytime in the future. Once you have the Marriage Certificate from the registry, even if you decide to do this once the children have grown up and left home. You could even celebrate and have a renewal of vows and a change of name ceremony for a significant anniversary.
On your wedding day you will receive a presentation marriage certificate from me, which some couples frame or have as a keepsake in their wedding album but you will also need to apply for an official one from the registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, in Qld. or the state that you were married in, if you wish to change your name or for other legal purposes such as visas and wills. This certificate has more details on it such as, date and place of wedding, your names, addresses, occupations, Father and Mothers names, celebrant name and your witnesses names, as well as the name of the registering authority.
I will issue you with the Marriage Certificate Application Form and I can send the application form into the registry for you with your paperwork from your wedding. This saves you sending ID into Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The cost for this legal certificate payable to the registry is, at this time, $39.00. If you would like to apply for this yourself in the future, you can do that but you will need to send the required fee and I.D. to the registry at this later date.
I always supply my couples with a change of name kit. This change of name kit contains forms for the Motor registry, Medicare and the Electoral Roll, which is very convenient for you as gathering all the forms for change of name purposes can be a time consuming business in tracking them all down and printing them.
You will also need to change you name on your insurance policies, private health funds, taxation, passport and other miscellaneous memberships and accounts records. The amount of paperwork may seem overwhelming but if you keep a careful list and tick them off as you go the task will not be as daunting and taking on your new identity as Mrs.. So and so… will be lots of fun.
If the Groom would like to change his name to his Brides name then he will need to apply separately to the registry for a change of name certificate before he goes through the steps of filling in all the above mentioned forms.
So … I now pronounce you Husband and wife….what ever you decide on, have fun in making these important decisions.