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Who Can Marry


Can you imagine trying to determine which of you will give up your name? There's really no legal reason for anyone, whether within a gay or straight relationship to surrender their name, although convention dictates that within a straight marriage the bride will take the groom’s surname on marriage.

Some couples choose to “double-barrel” their names, especially if there can be likely to be children using the surname either now or in the future, but most believe that it is easier and much more logical to maintain the surname they grew up with.

Identity Crisis

If you are intending to change your name, and are intending to embark on honeymoon shortly after the ceremony, which name do you make the booking in?

Though it may be nice to have your brand new identity from the moment you sign the marriage certificate, that isn't necessarily practical in relation to ensuring a hassle-free honeymoon.

In theory, as long as you have your certificate of a birth, your passport, and a copy of the marriage or civil partnership certificate you can prove who you are, even if the name on the passport (assuming it's not yet updated with your new name) doesn't match the name on the ticket.

That, however, is simply the theory. Our recommendation would be to make sure that your credit cards, passport and any other documentation needed for travel all have exactly the same name - and avoid large amounts of unnecessary stress at check in.

After your civil partnership, you'll legally be referred to as “civil partners”. If one of you wishes to replace your name, then you will need to make arrangements to do this by change of deed poll. The Citizens Advice Bureau offers help and information regarding this service.

You may not change your name:

With the intention to commit an illegal act like fraud

To something that is rude or offensive

To suggest or include a title including Lord, Lady, Duke or Duchess

To something that includes symbols or numbers.

People to Contact If You Change Your Name

Inland Revenue






Passport Office




Building Society

Motoring Organisations

Credit Card Companies

Mobile Phone Providers

Finance/Loan Companies

Professional Institutes/Bodies

Pension Provider


Insurance Companies

Will Company