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Archive for August, 2011

August 29, 2011

Changing Your Last Name

So the wedding’s over, the honeymoon’s over and we’re back to reality.  The first thing I wanted to do after all of the craziness was to make my new last name official!

In some states, you are able to apply and submit all of your information online to get your name changed, but in Florida it seems that you have to go into all of the actual offices to get your new name.  You can opt to try to figure out how to do everything through the mail, but for me that was more trouble that it was worth.

There is also a legal name changing kit you can purchase online.  As much as I was tempted to do this, Scott and I agreed that it was silly to pay extra for something that I can handle by myself.  The trade of for this agreement? He had to go to all of the name changing stops with me!  Just in case you’re interested in taking the easy route, HERE‘s an example of a name change kit.

Not feeling that one? Simply google “name change kit” and you’ll find several options to chose from.

It took a little bit of research, a few days off and a lot of patience to get the task done, but I’ve done it.

The first thing I wanted to do after we got back from the honeymoon was to handle EVERYTHING.  I woke up bright and early my first day off of work ready to find out exactly how I go about changing my name and realized an important factor to have with me wasn’t in my hands yet.  If you get married – legally – you are required to purchase a marriage license before the ceremony and after your vows it gets sent off and turned into the right hands to notarize it and then return it to you as a marriage certificate.

This can have a turnaround up to 2 weeks after the wedding, and that can seem like a long time in transition mode, but finally she was in my hands.

Now that I had the marriage certificate in my possesion, I created the following TO-DO list to check off as a new MRS:

NEW Social Security Card - this is free, but requires you to come into your local office in person and fill out the appication.  To do this you need your marriage license, your old SS Card, a form of ID, and proof that your are a US Citizen (your birth certificate).  You can opt to mail the application in instead, but I didn’t trust handing any form of my personal documents over to anyone…not to mention the extra time it would take to go through snail mail.  Also, if you are planning on changing your address, you need to provide the new one to this office.

NEW Driver’s License- this is not free, but is has a small one-time fee of $25.  You must get your new SS Card before you do this in FL, OR have an official document from the SS Office with you saying your new card is on it’s way.  Again, if you are planning on also changing your address, you need to provide the new one to the DMV WITH 2 documents with the address on it as proof.  Bring your old ID with you, and they will do you the pleasure of snapping the corner from it so that it’s unusable.  DO NOT forget any of these things when you go to the DMV, or they will turn you away before if not after you wait in that crazy long line!

Once you have your new Social Security card and Driver’s License, you can move onto notifying anyone else who needs to know of your new surname. 

This can include:

Friends and family


Post office

Phone company and other utilities

Banks and other financial institutions

Credit card companies

Schools and alumni associations

Voter registration

After the DMV, we headed over to Scott’s bank and added me onto his bank account.

I’ve never been more excited to hand over an ID, (well, maybe this was second to getting ID’d  on my 21st birthday!) but regardless, it was so nice and shiny and said all of the right information I’ve been waiting for.  It’s completely up to you and your spouse what you do with banking accounts, but for us it just made more sense for everything to be in one place.  For now, I am keeping my own account at my bank, but this will only be temporary.

Since my name has officially changed in the system at work, my paychecks will now say MRS. and just so there isn’t any confusion I made a copy of my driver’s license that says my maiden name to hand into the bank.  This way, they have it on file and note that it’s really ME trying to access MY account.

Once that’s done, don’t forget to get your new name on these documents as well:

Passport – Do not do this before the wedding.  Your passport name must match the name on your ticket and all other travel documents! Although you will want to show it off, it’s way easier to take your honeymoon with your maiden name.

Mortgages and leases


Insurance policies

E-mail address – if you wish to incorporate it.

Social Networking Sites – just for fun.  I changed my last name the very next morning after the wedding!

When the marriage certificate arrived, and my next day off came around I headed over to the Social Security office first.  In Florida, you have to change your SS Card before you do any other formalities.  Not sure exactly where to go?  You can find your closest SS Office near your area HERE.  So, off I went to the SS Office, planning to go to the DMV next and knock out everything I could in one day…but little did I know that’s not quite how the system works.

The reason you go get your SS Card first is because you need it for everything else.  Once you apply for a new card, your new last name is changed into their system that night at midnight.  The lady that helped me at the SS Office told me to wait at least 24 hours before going over the the DMV, so I waited until the next day.  Luckily, before I drove over there something told me to give this DMV a call and see what their policy is for name changes.  I’m SO glad I did because although it takes 24 hours for your new name to be applied in the SS system, it takes a total of 48-72 hours to be applied to the system the DMV uses!  If I had gone the next day, I could have gotten all the way through the line and THEN have been told I was denied because the new name wouldn’t have been “verified.” Can you imagine?! That would have been awful

Playing it on the safe side, I waited until my next day off which was 3 days later.  By this time I knew I had allowed enough time for my name to change in every system and we were good to go.  Finally, attempt 3 was a success and after a crazy day at the DMV I had a new license and a new address.

Hallelujah! Like I said before, these two things were the hardest of them all to get my new last name onto.  Now that I have them with me, it hasn’t taken very long to change any of the other things on my list.

If you have any questions at all about changing your name, ask me & I will hopefully have an answer for you. 

I’m not an expert on this, but at least I can say I’ve “been there & done that”…which is at least worth a blog post. :)

Good Luck!

August 23, 2011

1 Month Anniversary!

Today, we have officially been MARRIED for one month!  The wedding went by in a blink of an eye, but the last month seemed to have gone by even faster…

For the last 30 days, Scott and I have embraced the married life, enjoyed setting up and organizing our home, and have finally gotten used to using the “husband” and “wife” terms in our every day vocabulary.  The last month has certainly been wonderful, but we have also endured some challenges quickly.  Scott went under the knife about two weeks ago for shoulder surgery and right when we got back from the honeymoon it was my new full time job to play Housewife, Personal Assistant & Nurse.

I loved all three of these roles.  In fact, I loved them a little too much.

A dream life for me would include being a full time housewife, mom & work for fun more than for money.  Of course it’s a “dream”…but we are both really hoping that one day that will happen for us.  Being home with him for 3 days and nights really helped me expand my personal recipe book (in my mind, lol) and gave me an incentive to learn how to put actual meals from scratch together.  I spent 3 days organizing, cleaning, uploading honeymoon photos, making albums…you name it, I did it and yes, you can call me Susie Homemaker for it.

I’ve never known exactly what I’ve wanted to do as a career…and right now both of us are at a turning point in our lives where the sky is the limit.  We’re both open minded and ready to take chances and even change zip codes or state license plates, if necessary.  Pretty crazy thoughts and discussions of endless possibilities have been going on over here.  But, don’t get too excited – Scott is pretty much out of commission for at least 3 more months.  We’ll still be doing what we’re doing – settling in, and enjoying the married life here in Orlando for now.

To celebrate our 1 Month of being married together, Scott and I had a SUPER productive day!  First, let me preface some of the pampering part by letting you know something exciting:  

Tomorrow, we will be doing a “Rock the Dress” kind of photo-shoot together!  

My Bridal Bouquet, 2nd version: a little smaller (& cuter if you ask me!)

For a few more hours, we will get to re-live the wedding day and capture everything we didn’t get to…

When the wedding day came around everything seemed to be perfect.  Of course there were a few things here and there that didn’t go exactly like we wanted (there always will be)…but overall our wedding day was pretty much perfect to us except one thing: RAIN!  Right after the ceremony, it started storming and we weren’t able to do any photos together outside.  This was a huge let down for both us and our photographer, because we had some fun shots in mind to try.  When Victoria (our wonderful photag) suggested we do a re-shoot we were all about it, and I can’t believe the day is TOMORROW!

I’m not sure if I’m more excited about the photos we’ll get for the shoot, or getting to get dolled up with my wedding day accessories and wear my wedding dress again!  All of those things seem pretty wonderful & certainly weren’t expected.  After giving it a lot of thought, we decided I am going to do my own hair & make-up, scale down my bouquet to be a little smaller, easier to work with, and affordable, and provide Scott with a more fun & casual look than his rented grey tux he wore for the wedding day.

We wanted it to be obvious that this was a different day, since it was going to cost wayyyyyyy to much to try and re-create it.  This way, we are both looking forward to shooting some fun and more “us” shots, similar to our Engagement Photos, and won’t be breaking our wallets (again!)

Getting the “bling” ready for our photos!

So, back to today – we started it off by both getting our hair done, and then headed over to the DMV, followed by the bank and…I am excited to announce I am OFFICIALLY a MRS. with a new last name and address and have the plastic to prove it! ;)

To celebrate, we finished off the day with a trip to our fabulous florist, a pedicure and got our rings nice and shiny clean for the shoot tomorrow.  It’s almost like I was getting ready for the wedding day all over again!

For a 1 Month Anniversary, it was very much an exciting “new life” day for me.  We’ve gotten a great start at a new life together and are celebrating by having more wedding photos done tomorrow…

That’s a pretty perfect way to spend a day if you ask me!

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