NAME CHANGE: What is the history of How & Why would I change my name after marriage?

Historically in Australia, where a marriage was between a man and a woman, it was common for the woman to assume the man’s last name upon marriage.

That dates back even further to a time when women were regarded as the ‘property’ of their father and then upon marriage, of their spouse, hence the ‘giving away’ the Bride, by the father and anything they owned became the property of their husband.

Mistress  or Miss Jones marrying Mister or Mr Brown, became the ‘Mistress of Mr Brown’. The title ‘mistress of’. …  was abbreviated to ‘Mrs’ and so upon marriage, she became Mrs Brown.

Though women are no longer ‘property’ the tradition of the Bride taking on the Grooms name remains common.

Jumping to current and more enlightened times, if married in Australia a formal Change of Name is not required if you wish to take your spouse’s name and so Miss Jones and Mr Brown, can be Mrs & Mr Brown or Mrs & Mr Jones, but you will need to update the name change anywhere your original name is registered.

Usually this would include personal documentation, such as your driver’s license and passport, which can be changed to your married surname when you provide a Standard Marriage Certificate (i.e. Registration of Marriage Certificate) to the relevant authority.

for more information and more questions answered go to
200 Wedding Questions Answered


Friendly, helpful, professional Celebrant

You may also like...

Leave a Reply