From Miss to Mrs: Changing Your Last Name

I decided to take a break from my usual wedding planning posts to touch on an important part of the marriage process that people often forget doesn’t just happen (although it would be nice if it did).  Changing your last name is a process, and while it may not be the most enjoyable one, the end result will have you feeling great and bring you to the realization that you are officially married!  Woohoo!  The most important thing is knowing the order in which to make the change.

Bonus tip:   In order to save yourself a major headache, don’t change your name until  after your honeymoon!  If you make the change before, your passport and other important items will no longer be valid and you probably won’t get the new ones back in time for your trip.  Don’t start the celebration of your marriage off with a meltdown, play it safe and wait until you are back home to start your name change process.

Below are step-by-step instructions on how to make the official change from Miss to Mrs:

  1. Get a certified copy of your marriage certificate
    You need this document before you can do anything else. Your marriage should be on file with your local county clerk by the time you return from your honeymoon. You can get a copy of your marriage certificate at the county clerk’s office and you do not need an appointment.  This will most likely cost you  $10 per copy.   I would suggest getting two copies.  You will need to bring one copy of the marriage certificate around with you for the rest of the name change process so it is always nice to have a backup back at home in case anything happens or it gets lost somehow.
    What you will need to bring with you:  Your ID only
  1. Visit your local Social Security Office
    This is where you actually change your name.  This can be the dreaded social security office experience of long lines and waits. To make this as painless as possible, avoid going in the middle of the day like on your lunch break.  Going first thing in the morning, maybe even a little before the office officially opens, will help you beat the majority of the line.  Unfortunately, the social security office does not allow appointments for a name change, so wake up early and try to beat the rush!  I would also suggest going online and printing out the form you need to fill out for your name change so that you are already prepared when you get there.
    What you will need to bring with you: Your marriage certificate, your current license, your passport or birth certificate (for proof of citizenship)
  1. Visit the DMV
    The next step is to change your name on your license. You need your new social security card for this so you will have to wait for it to come in first for this part.  Once you have your new social security card, head on over to the DMV and you know what to do from there!
    What you will need to bring with you:  Your new social security card, your current license, your marriage certificate, a bill (for proof of address), payment

And that’s it for the government to recognize your new name! After all of this, you will need to inform others of your name change such as your employer, bank, credit cards and bills, and anything else you would like to see your new name on, such as emails. Most of these things require your marriage certificate to change.

While the process is a bit of a hassle, in the end, it can be exciting when you start seeing your new name on everything. I hope this information has been useful for you. Congratulations and good luck to all the newlyweds in this process!

4 Must Have Spring Wedding Cocktails

Who doesn’t love a spring wedding? Everyone will be looking forward to the great weather and beautiful blooms on your special day, but there’s no reason to stop there!  There are so many ways to tie a spring theme to your wedding beyond just your bouquet.  I compiled a few of my favorite floral inspired drink recipes for you to try. Looks like this spring will be a gin-lovers dream!

Lemon and Lavender Collins
2oz gin
1oz lavender simple syrup
1oz lemon juice
Seltzer Water
Sprig of lavender or lemon wheel for garnish

Lavender Simple Syrup Recipe
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 Tbsp Lavender Extract

Part 1 – Making the Lavender Simple Syrup
– In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the water and sugar
– Stir to combine, then bring to a boil
– When all of the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes
– Turn the heat off, add in the Lavender Extract, stir
– Allow to cool completely before using
Part 2 – Mixology
– In a cocktail glass, add in a good handful of ice followed by the gin, lavender simple syrup, and lemon juice.
– Stir, then top off with seltzer water.
– Garnish with a sprig of lavender or thinly sliced lemon wheel and enjoy!

Cardamom Rose Cocktail
1.5oz of Hendrick’s gin (this is a rose & cucumber infused gin)
.75oz of Rose syrup
.25oz of Fresh lemon juice
.75oz of Fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
2 dashes of Peychauds bitters
1 Cardamom Pod

Rose Syrup Recipe
2.5 cups water
4 cups sugar
.25 cup fresh lime juice
.5 cup rose water

Part 1 – Making the Rose Syrup
– Bring water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan
– Simmer for 10 minutes
– Add the lime juice and rose water and cook 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally
– Remove the pan from heat and allow to cool
– Pour the syrup into a clean, dry bottle
Part 2 – Mixology
– Lightly muddle 1 cardamom pod at the bottom of shaker
(not too much muddling or it will overpower the drink)
– Add the rest of the ingredients and ice; Shake for 20 seconds
– Strain over fresh ice to remove the cardamom pod
– Add a splash of seltzer water
– Garnish with rose petals or fresh lemon wedge

Jasmine Cocktail
1.5oz gin
.75oz fresh lemon juice
.25oz Campari
.25oz Cointreau

– Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake to chill.
– Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist

Chamomile Honey and Whiskey Cocktail
6 chamomile tea bags
4 cups water
4 tbsp honey
3oz whiskey or bourbon
2 orange slices
3 lemon slices
Fresh chamomile flowers (optional)

– Heat water to a boil, pour hot water over tea bags in a large, heat-safe pitcher/container
– Add honey and bourbon and let steep for 5 – 10 minutes
– Pour mixture into a shaker, add ice and shake for 15 seconds.
– Pour over ice cubes into a rocks glass, and garnish with chamomile flowersI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, having a signature cocktail at your wedding is a great idea!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, having a signature cocktail at your wedding is a great idea!  Leave your guests with the memory of something they had only exclusively at your wedding and will talk about for long after the day is over.  Give one or two, or maybe even all, of these cocktails a try and you will be glad you did!  Enjoy! And as always, happy wedding planning.