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Getting Married? How To Change Your Name

A marriage license with your new name on it does not mean your name has automatically changed.

Make your new name official. If you’ve decided to change your name, the easiest way is to apply for the NAME CHANGE is at the same time you apply for your Marriage License.  It will save you extra paperwork, time, and money. You’ll receive a simple form to submit to the Social Security Administration and you’re on your way.

If you wait until after your honeymoon, you’ll need to revisit the Probate Court where you reside (with your Birth Certificate) and fill out a CHANGE OF NAME APPLICATION.    A hearing date (need not be present) is set by the Court, normally 45 to 50 days from the date of filing. At least 30 days prior to hearing, you must have published a Notice of Change of Name in a newspaper of general circulation and proof filed with the Court. Your local Probate Court will help explain how to do this.

Once you receive notice that the Court granted your name change, proceed with your Social Security card and driver’s license. Without these, you won’t get very far down the list of other important changes. Some institutions only require a phone call others may ask for a copy of your marriage certificate or social security card. Always arm yourself with a certified marriage license — be sure it has a raised seal, which means it’s authentic.

  • Social Security Card
    Contact the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 or download form SS-5 online at http://www.socialsecurity.gov. Once you’ve filled it out, you can either mail it in or turn it in directly. Your new card will be free.
  • Driver’s License
    Visit the Department of Motor Vehicles, which requires you to make a personal appearance. Bring  your certified marriage license & Social Security card.
  • Car Registration
  • Car Insurance
  • Voter Registration
  • Passport Do not do this before the wedding — your passport name must match the name on your ticket and all other travel documents!
  • Checks and Checking Accounts
  • Savings Accounts
  • IRAs & CDs
  • Safe Deposit Box
  • Credit Cards
  • Loans
  • Stock, Bonds
  • Life Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Will
  • Homeowner’s Insurance
  • Property Titles
  • Leases
  • School Registration
  • Professional Information
  • Employee Records
  • Business Cards/Letterhead
  • Return Address Labels
  • Magazine Subscriptions
  • Notify Post Office

While this list is by no means complete, it will give you a head start on getting everything changed to your new name.

For more marriage license information, click here

Who Officiates Your Wedding Ceremony?

destin-officiantThe ceremony is the most important part of your big day. Here are a few things to think about when choosing your officiant.

Want friends and family to take part in the ceremony?  Booking your officiant and your ceremony site is generally done about 11 months before the wedding. If you want a religious service but don’t belong to a particular church, know that some churches will allow nonmembers to marry there.

Also, some clergypeople will agree to marry a couple at a nonreligious site. Since your officiant will be the “master of ceremonies,” it’s important that you both feel comfortable with him or her. Ask these key questions:

  • Is he or she licensed by the state to perform marriages?
  • Can you see the license?
  • What are the fees for the officiant’s services and for the use of the site? (Expect a fee ranging anywhere from $100 to $600 for the ceremony.)
  • Is your officiant open to personalizing your ceremony? Will he or she spend time getting to know the two of you?
  • Can he or she suggest music, readings and ways to incorporate family and friends into the service?
  • What documents must you present (e.g., marriage license, divorce decrees)?
  • For a religious ceremony: Does the officiant require you to take pre-marriage classes or counseling before the ceremony?
  • Is it permissible for the two of you to write your own vows?
  • Are there any music restrictions? (Some churches allow only religious pieces to be performed.)
  • Can the photographer and videographer work in the sanctuary?
  • Are there any décor restrictions at your ceremony site? Also, are decorations or props, like an aisle runner or pew ribbons, provided?
  • How much time is available for setup and cleanup? Is there another wedding planned right before or after your ceremony? (You don’t want to feel pressed for time.)
  • When will the wedding rehearsal be held? (Book the time and confirm at a later date.)

Consider these special readings:

Corinthians 13:4-8, The Bible “Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful…”

Apache Marriage Blessing “Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth for the other…”

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116 “Let me not to the marriage of true minds/Admit impediments. Love is not love/Which alters when it alteration finds…”

Goethe “It is the true season of Love when we believe that we alone can love; that no one could ever have loved as much before, and that no one will ever Love in the same way after us.”

~Rachel Griffiths

For a list of Wedding Officiants in the Akron/Canton/Cleveland areas, click here