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Financial & Legal Guide

Changing Your Surname After Marriage

When it comes to changing your surname after marriage, what's the name of the game for you? That is, will you change your maiden name (your surname before marriage) and if so, to what? This is likely to be one of the most difficult decisions you will take and requires careful thought and consideration. Your options are many and we help you through the decision by listing and analysing the various options you have.

There is no legal requirement in the
United Kingdom for a woman to change her surname when she gets married. It is your own personal choice, although by tradition (Asian & Western) it is generally expected that a woman will replace her maiden name with her husband's surname. Upon marriage, there are two automatic legal options available to you. You can either continue to use your maiden name or you can change your maiden name to your husband's surname. If you decide to take your husband's surname, the marriage certificate provides the necessary documentary evidence that you have changed your name to send off to the concerned companies and organisations that will need to be informed.

Changing your maiden name to your husband's surname is the traditional and simplest option. It is still, by far, the most preferred (and often expected) option of today's brides, particularly in the Asian Community, who tend to be more conventional than their Mainstream counterparts.
With both parties using the same surname, life is made considerably easier and less confusing to others when making joint financial, legal and social arrangements. This is particularly relevant when children are involved - children whose parents have different surnames may feel confused or insecure.There's also a romantic and ideological argument for taking your husband's name. If you're willing to take him for better or worse, for richer or poorer etc etc why not take his name along with the whole package as well? Hopefully you will feel that the man you marry has a lovely family, which you will be honoured to be part of, signified by sharing their name. For many women taking the name of the man they love and becoming a "Mrs" is one of the most romantic and significant part of getting married

With Asian wedding rituals, Hindi, Muslim or Sikh, based on the idea of a bride leaving her family and parental home to start a new life as part of her husbands family, it's little surprise that taking the husband's name is the preferred route for many Asian Brides. Changing your name doesn't necessarily mean that you are relinquishing your identity or forgetting where you came from. Neither does it mean that your husband will own you, rather it's simply that you will belong to him (A subtle but nonetheless discernable difference).


Conversely, for many women of the feminist schools of thought, for a woman to change her surname reinforces the outdated idea that a married woman is the property of her husband. Such people would argue that by removing a woman's surname, you remove the person's identity, history and heritage, A counter argument to this would be that any woman whose self-esteem is so precarious that it hinges on which surname she attaches to herself has bigger problems to worry about.!


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