Before you can change your name, you’ll need the original (or certified copy of) marriage license with the raised seal and your new last name on it. Your wedding officiant must verify your marriage license with his/her signature and provide you with a copy of your Michigan Marriage License following your wedding ceremony. You can call the clerk’s office where your license was filed to get copies if one wasn’t automatically sent to you.

There is no legal requirement for name change after getting married; it is a right a couple may choose to exercise.

Traditionally, the bride has taken the groomís last name. If you are intending anything other than the traditional name change, check with each agency for its requirements to accomplish that.

Michigan State law does not impose a time limit after the wedding by which a name change must be accomplished. However, if you are making the change more than a year after your wedding, check with each agency to determine if a certified copy of your marriage license will suffice to change your name with them.

To assume the new last name, be sure you have your copy of your marriage license. Then work with each agency to change its record of your name.

POST WEDDING NAME CHANGE CHECK LIST

Social Security Name Change Information

If you legally change your name because of marriage, divorce, court order or any other reason, you must tell Social Security so you can get a corrected card. You cannot apply for a card online. There is no charge for a Social Security card. This service is free.

To get a corrected Social Security card, you will need to:

Show the required documents. You will need proof of your identity. Sometimes you also may need to prove your current U.S. citizenship or lawful noncitizen status. See Learn What Documents You Need for more information. Under the heading, ìType of Card,î select ìCorrectedî for a list of the documents you need;

Fill out and print an Application for a Social Security Card; and

Take or mail your application and documents to your local Social Security office.

For complete instructions, please go to Social Security Number and Card.

MICHIGAN DRIVERS LICENSE NAME CHANGE

To change your name on your MI driverís license or identification card, youíll need to visit a MI SOS office in person and:

Submit your current MI driverís license/ID card.

Provide proof of your name change, such as your:

Divorce decree.

Marriage certificate.

Legal document.

Have your photo taken.

Pay the required fee.

Usually, you will receive a duplicate driverís license or ID card, however, if your card is about to expire, the SOS may give you the option to renew instead.

PASSPORT NAME CHANGE INFO

If your name has legally changed through marriage, divorce, or a court ordered change of name, you will need to apply for a new passport. The process and cost depend on how long it has been since your passport was issued.

If less than one year has passed since your passport was issued:

You will not have to pay any passport or processing fees, unless you request Expedited Service.

Submit Form DS-5504 by mail with your current passport, your name change document (original or certified copy), and a color passport photo. You may:

Use our online guide to fill out and print Form DS-5504; or

Print Form DS-5504 and complete by hand.

More than one year has passed since your passport was issued, and you are eligible to use Form DS-82*:

Submit Form DS-82 by mail with your current passport, your name change document (original or certified copy), a color passport photo, and all applicable fees. You may:

Use our online guide to fill out and print Form DS-82; or

Print Form DS-82 and complete by hand.

More than one year has passed since your passport was issued, and you are not eligible to use Form DS-82*:

You must submit Form DS-11 in person at an Acceptance Facility or a Passport Agency, along with your evidence of U.S. citizenship, your name change document (original or certified copy), a valid ID and photocopy of that ID, a color passport photo, and all applicable fees. You may:

Use our online guide to fill out and print Form DS-11; or

Print Form DS-11 and complete by hand.

You will not need to provide proof of the name change if your name has changed due to a marriage and you have already been issued an ID in your new name. You must include the details of the marriage in the applicable section on Form DS-11.

If you have begun using a different name but cannot legally document the change with a court order, divorce decree, or marriage certificate, then:

Submit Form DS-11 in person at an Acceptance Facility or a Passport Agency, along with your evidence of U.S. citizenship, a valid ID and photocopy of that ID, a color passport photo, and all applicable fees. You may:

Use our online guide to fill out and print Form DS-11; or

Print Form DS-11 and complete by hand.

You must also present a valid ID issued in the name you currently use.

You may also need to provide secondary identification evidence that you have been using the name for at least 5 years, if your ID is less than 5 years old.

There is an easier way to officially change your name. Go to Hitchswitch Name Change and choose from two options: the DIY print at home service or a full-service package, which includes a complete and printed out name-change application. It costs $25-$50, but it’s worth it since all you actually have to do is fill out one single form and you’ll have access to their customer service team who can help answer specific questions.

On Sunday March 3rd I had the privilege of participating in a wonderful Wedding Extravaganza which took place at The Amway Grand Plaza located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Amway Plaza has earned its reputation as the best venue in Downtown Grand Rapids to host a memorable and first-class wedding celebrations. The Wedding Extravaganza on Sunday March 4, 2013 provided an opportunity for vendors of all kinds to introduced themselves to couples planning their wedding ceremony in West Michigan.

It was also a great time to visit with other professionals and catch up with a few friends. It was nice to see Kevin Johnston, the Director of Catering at the hotel whom has worked in the industry for the past 37 years. Kevin was one of the first wedding professionals that I met when I began my officiating company ForeverTwogether eight years ago.

At the Amway Grand Plaza, each wedding is custom tailored to each couples personal preferrences. Their staff works directly with their contact (bride, groom, a parent, a wedding planner), to ensure the event is exactly what is desired.

Grace Hill, the Amway Grands Wedding Specialist, was the organizer of the event and plays a huge role in overseeing wedding celebrations, arranges and services the guest room block and assigns to a Catering Sales Manager.

The Amway Grand Plaza is a beautiful building, but itís the service culture of the associates. They are professional, knowledgeable and courteous, focused upon guest service, guest satisfaction, and seeking your return visit.

Your wedding ceremony can take place on the 29th floor Pinnacle Room at the top of our Tower. The Wedgewood blue Gerald R. Ford Ballroom and the 24-karat gold ceiling Pantlind Ballroom are popular. For receptions and dinners, the Imperial Ballroom with its grand staircase and mezzanine. The mirror-walled Pantlind Ballroom and the grand Ambassador Ballroom are used most often. In addition, the hotel offers 30 other banquet rooms, foyers, private dining rooms and restaurants for receptions, dinners, ceremonies, rehearsal dinners, post-wedding brunches and luncheons.

I am so pleased to be part of the Preferred Professional Team at the Amway Grand Plaza, to be able to work together with their staff and to serve each couple in such a unique and special manner. If you are interested in getting married at the Amway you should start by contacting Grace Hill, Wedding Specialist 616.458.6771 or ghill@amwaygrand.com

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The first wedding ceremony I officiated in West Michigan took place at the†Fredrick†Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids Michigan. †I will never forget the kind way I was treated by the staff at the Gardens and the excitement that surrounded the couple while they exchanged their covenant of love that day. †Since then, †I have officiated†numerous†weddings at the Gardens and highly†recommend this venue because of their fantastic, courteous wedding planning staff. †Their fine dedication and the way they enjoy†assisting†each couple plan their†customized†wedding event is exceptional!

The†the†Fredrick†Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park†is a fantastic place to celebrate your love and host your guest to enjoy the surroundings. With 132 acres featuring gardens and internationally acclaimed sculptures, this picturesque venue provides many indoor and outdoor options to make your special day an extraordinary experience. Featuring four exclusive caterers, award-winning architectural design and a professional events team to assist you.

Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Parks event planning staff will do their best to make your dream wedding become a reality.

For wedding event details and for personalized attention why not plan a private tour. †

You can check out availability by contacting www.facilityrental@meijergardens.org or call 616-975-3146.

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