20th October 2021

What is Name Blending? The Modern Choice for Married Couples

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For centuries it has been the tradition in the UK for a bride to take her husband’s last name when they tie the knot. This tradition is rooted in the idea that a woman’s marriage signifies her transition from belonging to her father, to her husband. It also relies on the concept that every marriage is between a man and a woman. This is obviously no longer relevant. While many people still enjoy this tradition today, for others it can feel outdated or uncomfortable. For gay couples, or gender non conforming people the lines of who should take whose name is blurred and confusing. This is why many couples are choosing to opt for name blending.

Name blending is a new term which can refer to a few different things. One option is that couples double barrel their surnames and share the double barrelled name. Other couples choose to create an entirely new surname using a blend of their original names.

Read on for an overview of these options, as well as a breakdown of the legal process for changing your surname.

What is Name Blending?

The easiest method of name blending is to go the double barrelled route. Couples are able to do this using just the marriage certificate, so there are no extra legalities to worry about. It is completely your choice which way round you order the names. Just go with what you like the sound of the most!

If you already have double barrelled names, or do not want to continue on with your surnames as they are you can create a combined name. This can be anything – a combination of your surnames, middle names, or old family names.

This second option is a little more complex when it comes to the legal side of things. In order for your new name to be used in your ceremony, one of you would have to change your name to the new surname via a deed poll before the wedding. This can also be done by both of you after the wedding if you prefer.  However, the name will not be on your marriage certificate.

Pros of Name Blending

We love the concept of name blending. It is a sign to the world that you are becoming a team. Blending your surnames indicates that you both have an equal footing in the relationship.

It is a great way to honour both of your families if that is something that is important to you. It also makes the surnames of any future children a hassle free discussion. You will immediately know they can just have the same name as both of you.

You may not get along with your families. If you are looking to forget a new path away from their influence, this is the perfect opportunity. You can begin a new family tree with your partner under a new name.

Whatever your reason for choosing to name blend, the end result will always be a name that you chose together. This is a start of a new period of life for you both.

Potential Cons of Name Blending

For some people, the history of their family name may feel too important to give up or make changes to.

If you decide this is right for you, it may make some parents feel left out or rejected. This is particularly if they hold very traditional values. The best way to tackle this is to approach them together. Explain why it is important to you to blend your surnames. Ultimately you are adults and have every right to make this choice for yourselves. As long as you explain your reasons properly and sensitively, they will be sure to come around.

The Legal Bits

For couples choosing to double barrel their names, your marriage certificate will act as evidence for the name change. You will need to notify your bank as well as various government bodies of your change. This ensures that your name change is enacted across the board in your personal and professional lives.

A merged surname is more complicated. If you would like to use the new name at your wedding, one partner should change their name via deed poll prior to the ceremony. You will need to notify your wedding celebrant of your change in name. It will then be included in the register, during your ceremony, and on your marriage certificate. Either partner can then adopt the new surname the usual way using your marriage certificate.

Alternatively you could both change your name via deed poll after the ceremony. This would incur further costs as you need to pay per deed poll.

If you are planning to change your passport, make sure you do this well in advance. You will want to be sure that you can leave for your Honeymoon without a hitch. It may be lower risk to make this change after the honeymoon if you are short on time.