But what if you decide to adopt a new name? Let's say that neither of you like Smith, Jones or Smith-Jones and you decide to take the surname "Sydney" because that's where you met and fell in love (ah yes, Sydney has so many awesome people a lot of us fall in love here!). There are a couple of options for changing your name. After your marriage you can both apply to register a change of name with BDM. You will have to meet certain requirements (e.g. you must have been born in NSW or lived here for 3 years if you were born overseas - if you were born interstate you will need to contact BDM in that State) and pay a fee (currently $190). The application form is here. Another option would be for one of you to officially change your name before the marriage, and then the other can adopt that name by marriage. For example, Peter Smith and Gary Jones are getting married and both are planning to adopt the name "Sydney" after the wedding. If Peter changes his name to Peter Sydney before the marriage, Gary still has the option of becoming Gary Sydney, Gary Sydney-Jones, or remaining as Gary Jones. You will save $190 but the downside of this is that when you exchange your vows during the ceremony Peter must give his name as "Peter Sydney" and this may confuse a lot of your guests who know him as Peter Smith!
There are some other restrictions on changing your name so if you're thinking of taking a new name you should check first with BDM. The relevant page on their website is here.
Who do you need to tell that you've changed your name? I'll cover that in my next post.