Name Changing

I'm getting married in a little over a year and I'm thinking about our invitations and monogram wedding gifts and such things that would have our names/initials on them. My name is Brenda Nicole but since I started kindergarten I've always gone by Nicole or Nikki. Thinking about these wedding day things I'm not looking forward to everything saying Brenda. When changing my last name after marriage can I drop my first name, move my middle name to become my first name and have my maiden name as my middle name?


February 6, 2016 10:10 AM

You can, but you may have to go through the courts with the legal name change process. Many states will not let you drop your first name with just the marriage license (the changes you can usually do that way are drop your maiden last name to be replaced with your married one, add to or replace your middle name with your maiden name, or hyphenate your last name). Unless you live and get married in a state that allows for any kind of name change at marriage you won't be able to save yourself from having to go to and pay for court (but by doing it at the same time as when you get married you'll still save yourself a second round of document changes).

February 9, 2016 12:23 PM

I think it depends on state. When my husband and I got married last spring in California, we both got a full free name change out of the deal, so if it's in California you can probably do the thing you described. Elsewhere, not sure. Our friends got married in Michigan two years ago and I think they were both allowed to change their middle and last names, but not their first names.

By mk
February 9, 2016 3:24 PM

Check the laws of your state.

For invitations, programs and such, you can use whatever name you want.

February 10, 2016 4:28 PM

I agree -- use Nicole on everything!  I have in the past gotten invites from people who go by their middle name or have a call-name they use all the time, and stared at the invite going "who the hell..."  -- sometimes it's taken a day or two for me to figure it out!