The Official Business of a Wedding

Weddings are many things: fun, expensive, and hectic. But first and foremost a wedding is a legal matter. There are steps that must be taken to ensure the union is recognized in a legal way. A marriage license will be necessary, but prior to that the bride must choose whether to take her future husband's surname or keep her maiden name.

Changing the last name is a big decision. In previous years a women almost always held her husband's surname without a second thought. Recently women have challenged this tradition. This is a personal choice and there is no legal reason to change the last name.

For those that choose to change their name, the process is not difficult, but can be time-consuming. The surname will need to be changed first with the Social Security Administration and then on the driver's license, credit cards, bank or savings accounts, utility bills, deeds, clubs and at work. This is for human resources, income tax purposes, and also to allow businesses to change e-mail addresses and business cards.

While the name is being changed, home address should be changed also, if necessary. The timing is important in this however and if for some reason it can't be done at the same time simply pick up a change of address kit at the local Post Office (you can even ask your mail carrier for one). It is not necessary to begin the process of changing your last name until approximately 2 weeks before the wedding (wedding planning timeline). Also remember to make sure any honeymoon plans remain in the name that is currently on the Driver's License, passport and other documents. If a honeymoon is planned out of the country, give the travel agent or hotel the name that will be legal at the time of the honeymoon. This will alleviate travel issues.

Be certain to check the requirements in the state the marriage will take place on getting a marriage license. Each state varies and some require blood tests, physical exams, and a waiting period. A marriage license will cost anywhere from $25 to $100 and possibly more. Both parties must be present, usually with a birth certificate and a picture identification, to apply for the license.

After this is done, take a few moments and relax. Soon the wedding will be over and your honeymoon will begin.


Wedding Planning

Wedding Planning (index)
Wedding Planning Timeline
Wedding Planning Budget

Ceremony Location
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Official Business
Planning the Honeymoon
Pre-Wedding Parties
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Wedding Favors
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Wedding Music
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Wedding Receptions
Wedding Rings
Wedding Transportation

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