Any couple who marry may choose to change one parties surname to both have the same. This is done as a matter of custom and not because the law demands it! So, IF you wish to take on your partner’s name in social circumstances, this IS legal via ‘name by association’ and you do not NEED to change your legal documents. It does, however, mean you will retain your original surname on all official documents throughout your future married life.
If you wish to change your name legally, you require a certificate issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) to do this – yes, this is an ADDITIONAL certificate that can only be obtained after the marriage has been solemnised.
As your celebrant, I can apply for this certificate when I lodge your wedding paper work for an additional fee of $50. You can apply for the certificate at a later date by yourself, however please note this requires a fee and you have to prove your identity all over again… it’s complicated, but essentially I can lodge the request for you when I lodge your wedding documents, which does cut out a few steps if left til later.
I can guide you through this when we meet!