Weddings

Meet the Men Who Changed Their Names After Getting Married

Gone are the days when changing your name after marriage is just for the girls. Meet the men who changed their names after saying 'I do'...

After enjoying your honeymoon and preserving your wedding dress, deciding how and when to legally change your name is likely to be somewhere near the top of your post-wedding to-do list.

Granted, it’s a bit of a minefield, and these days there are so many options when it comes to changing your name after marriage. Oh, and there’s the legal requirements to consider, too.

According to wedding traditions, the bride would usually be the one to take the name of her new husband after the big day. But with more and more couples looking to actively break the wedding rules, that doesn’t have to be the case. What’s more, many wedding traditions are completely outdated when it comes to same-sex marriages.

READ MORE: The 11 Wedding Rules You Can Break

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Sonny Wharton-Ward and his husband barrelled their names after getting married.

So what if the groom changed his name after marriage? It’s an interesting idea, right? Whether a man takes his other half’s name completely or the pair double-barrel their names, there are more men than ever choosing to change their names after marriage.

Not everyone’s aware of the choice, though, so in a bid to make it known, courtesy of NameSwitch, the name changing experts, we caught up with the grooms who changed their names after the big day. Here’s what they had to say…

READ MORE: The Ultimate Hitched Guide to Changing Your Name

Can a Man Change His Name after Marriage?

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Andy and Lisa Trisconi-Smith on their wedding day

Yes, he can, and there are a whole host of reasons why a man might want to change his name after getting married. One of the most popular is that women at the end of family lines often feel strongly about continuing their name.

Andy Smith changed his name to Andy Trisconi-Smith after getting married. “My wife Lisa didn’t want to become a Smith and said it felt a bit dull”, he explains.

“At the time, I was working for a huge corporation and was one of seven Smiths at the company, so this was a great opportunity to change it up a bit!”

William Jones changed his name to William Lawrence-Archer after he got married, because his wife Sally was the last person to keep her family name alive.

He said: “We spoke about it quite early on and I was open to the idea. We always knew we wanted a family and Sally asked me how I would feel about us all being Lawrence-Archer – I didn’t hesitate! There are plenty of spare Jones’ in the world.”

He continued: “We are expecting our first child this year, and even though she is a girl, we hope she will be inspired by us to continue with this new tradition!”

Even if the bride isn’t at the end of a family line, couples often simply prefer the bride’s name and choose to both take it for that reason.

READ MORE: Top Tips for a Groom’s Speech

Can I Double-Barrel My Name When I Get Married?

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Ross and Darren Searl-Poole opted to double-barrel their names after their big day

In same-sex relationships, many couples choose to double-barrel their names by way of showing their union. This was the case for Ross and Darren Searl-Poole who combined their names after getting married.

Ross said: “Darren and I married in 2012. We both wanted to take each other’s names but both didn’t want to lose our names! It was about showing commitment, and we wanted to have the same name and not loose our identities because we had nieces.

“Both being at the end of our family line we wanted to preserve our family names and keep options open in case we had children further down the line.”

Similarly, Richard Rees decided to change his name to Richard Orminston-Rees when he married his now-wife.

“The reason we decided to double barrel our names was because my wife’s surname Ormiston has a noble Scottish significance to it so it meant a lot for her to lose it,” he said.

“Further to that, on the Ormiston side of her family, everyone is female so the name is dying out. To keep the name going forward and to have it as our family name we made the decision have our names as Ormiston-Rees.”

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How Do People React to a Man Changing His Name?

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Wayne Potts-Brennan explained that most people have been surprised by his choice to change his name

Of course, it’s not as common (for now) for a man to change his name after getting married, so when catching up with the men who had actually done it, we were intrigued to find out how their peers had reacted to the news.

Wayne Potts-Brennan said: “Many didn’t know that a man can change names or have a choice.  Whilst I’ve sensed a little bit of negativity to it, the main reaction is one of surprise – particularly in the older generation.”

Paul Burbridge-Grant has received nothing but positivity. “Everyone was totally fine and on-board with it! I think a few may have secretly wondered what we would do with our names, so everyone was supportive and recognised that it shows our union and commitment together and also honours our heritage.”

READ MORE: 17 Thoughts Every Groom Will Have

William Lawrence-Archer had a positive reaction too: “People have been absolutely fine! My parents weren’t bothered at all. My father’s line will continue with my older brother and they have been really supportive.”

The only tricky situations seemed to arise from those who didn’t use a dedicated name-changing service, like NameSwitch.

William continued: “I had to explain to a few that there was absolutely no reason to treat my name change request after marriage any differently just because I am a man.”

Andy Trisconi-Smith also experienced similar issues. He agreed: “The hardest people to convince were my employers who were reluctant and ill-equipped to deal with my request.

“I found that banks and mortgage companies were very questioning about my motivations to do it and I ended up cancelling a few accounts altogether… government bodies were far more straight forward and geared up to dealing with it!”

That said, Andy reassured us that despite a few hassles, he’s glad he did it, and is pleased to know that companies are moving with the time and there is more help out there now.

READ MORE: 19 Infuriating Things People Say When You’re Planning a Wedding

How Do I Go about Changing My Last Name after Marriage?

NS Men's Perspective Richard and Katriona Ormiston-Rees

Richard Orminston-Rees’ wife wanted to keep her last name because of its noble Scottish significance 

Whether you’re a male or a female changing your name, it’s actually a much easier process than you might think… particularly if you use NameSwitch.

NameSwitch aims to save you over 14 hours of tedious and frustrating research time and blast through your name change in one easy swoop!

Once you’ve logged onto their website, you simply select who you’d like to notify of your name change from an extensive list of companies including government agencies, banks and utilities, before entering your details in one simple form. You then download, sign and send the relevant letters out to the relevant spots. It couldn’t be easier.

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Richard changed his name from Richard Rees to Richard Orminston-Rees because his wife’s name had a noble Scottish significance and it meant a lot for her to lose it. He found the process of double-barreling his surname super easy.

He said: “We used NameSwitch to help with the cover letters and guidance for the various organisations we needed to contact, but in essence, to double-barrel your names after marriage, all you need is your certificate. Once you send the original away for your passport, bank cards and drivers’ licence, you can use certified copies to change the rest over time.”

Sonny, who double-barrelled his name after marrying his partner, said: “NameSwitch made what seemed like a really long, boring and gruelling process super easy and really time and effort efficient! I would even go as far as saying it was an absolute doddle and almost enjoyable (just as changing your name after marriage should be!).

“I’m so glad we came across NameSwitch when we did… Thank you to the girls there for making the process so painless!”

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4 Top Tips for Men Changing Their Name

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Image: Unsplash

  1. Communication is key! Changing your name is a big deal, so if you feel strongly about wanting (or not wanting to) do it, make sure you chat to your partner in the run up to the wedding.
  2. Consider all your options. If you don’t want to take your partner’s name completely, you could mesh your surnames or double-barrel them!
  3. Consider the legalities. The rules differ for the different forms of name changing. If one person is taking the other’s name, you won’t need a deed poll but can use a marriage certificate to update personal records. If you’re adopting a double-barrelled name, you’ll need to send a copy of your marriage certificate to relevant authorities along with a note stating the chosen new surname, the order of the names and whether it should be hyphenated.
  4. Make sure you notify all the relevant bodies, such as the DVLA, HM Revenue and Customs, Student Loans authorities, credit card companies and more. For a full list of who you need to notify when you change your name, head to our full name-changing guide.

READ MORE: 19 Gorgeous Ideas for a Same-Sex Wedding

Does changing your name sound appealing? Make sure you head on over to NameSwitch to find out more.

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