The concept of Blending last names after marriage makes sense. You were two independent people with different lives and different names. As you marry, you begin to Blend your lives, finances, goals, families, and dreams together. A blended last name is a tangible representation of your newly blendedness (yes I made that word up).
While a blended last name may seem like a great option as newlyweds, the government doesn’t agree. As a name change service, we know all about the red tape associated with legal married name change, but it isn’t common knowledge. So here’s the scoop.
California residents are the only engage people in the US that have the option to blend their last names using the married name change process. BUT both partners must write the new blended last name on their marriage license application. If you think of blending your names after your wedding… you’re out of luck. Make that one more reason to discuss name change before saying “I do.”
What if you don’t live in California and still want to blend your last names? Traditionally both partners have to petition the court system for a legal name change order. Those documents, once issued, will allow you both to go through the name-change process and blend your last names. It’s not fun, but it’s how it’s done.
I did recently read this article about a newlywed couple in Brooklyn who decided to blend their last names from Franklin and Reed to Franklin Reed. They petitioned the court prior to their wedding and the judge granted their request. They celebrated with the #FranklinReedNoHyphen hashtag at their wedding! This goes to prove that where there is a will, there is a way…even in married name change!
Photo credit: Rachel Kara