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How the hell do I change my name?

NAME CHANGE INFO for Marriages in NSW: (is similar for other states in Australia)

On your wedding day your I will present you with a Certificate of Marriage signed by you and two witnesses. It is pretty, and is a legal one of a kind document that cannot be replaced under any circumstance, BUT unfortunately it is no longer accepted for name change purposes.

After the wedding I will register your marriage within 14 days. Then at your request, if within 8 weeks of the wedding, as a celebrant, I can apply for an official Births Deaths and Marriages issued Marriage Certificate on your behalf for which they charge a $65 fee (for which I will need some cc details from you and a preferred address as it will need to be signed for on arrival). Note: This certificate is not mandatory and is only required for change of name purposes. Note: You can apply for a marriage certificate yourself at anytime in the future via or at Service NSW centres.

The certificate will arrive via registered post within 5-10 days from the application and will need to be signed for. If it doesn't arrive, check with your local post office.

And if still no luck, email me and I will send you the required details to chase it up with NSW BD&M.

Once you have the certificate you take this to Service NSW to get a new licence issued with your chosen surname. Then the bank, passport office etc, until all your documents are in your new married name. Sounds like an admin adventure - or admin nightmare depending on your outlook!! Good luck with that!

The bummer is you only have 3 name change options.

- You can take your partner’s surname

- Your partner can take your surname

- You can combine your surname and your partner’s surname with a hyphen (The ol 'Double Barrrel')

If you want to get funky and do a new combined or made up surname together, or change your middle name or any other aspects of your name, the Marriage certificate won't do the trick. You will need to complete a Name change application here:

More info on changing your name after marriage here: NOTE!!! A little known fact is that officially The Cove Jervis Bay is actually part of the ACT. AND The ACT Births Deaths and Marriages does not have a system for celebrants to apply on your behalf. Once I receive notice that your marriage has been registered I will let you know via email and you can apply via this link: Here is the link to the application process for your marriage certificate for ACT Weddings.

I hope that helps a little!!! Remember there is no requirement to change names after marriage - it is more and more common in the modern world for both partners to keep their name as is. But then comes the question of what name to give your kids if you choose to have children! Good luck with that discussion! I believe open, honest and free discussion is key to a successful partnership or marriage so you may as well have these conversations long before the wedding day.

Peace out.


(Registered Australian Marriage Celebrant since 2015)

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