Everything You Should Know About Double-Barrelling Your Surname in the UK - Broke in London

Everything You Should Know About Double-Barrelling Your Surname in the UK

Guest post by Ben Schorr

Newly married couples embrace many changes the moment they step into their new life, and changing their surnames is one of them. Changing names after marriage allows them to announce their union to the whole wide world.

Married couples have a couple of options when deciding on a new surname, such as combining their surnames to create a new and unique surname and pass it on to their family or making a different surname altogether. Amongst all the options, double-barrelling surnames are one of the most sought-after options.

Double-barrelling is now one of the most popular trends among couples looking for name-changing options post marriage.

If you are also seeking this option, here is everything you should know about double-barrelling your surname.

Double-barrelling surnames- What is it?

Married couples join their family names to create a double-barrelled surname. As names constitute an important aspect of inheritance, double-barrelling surnames were meant to preserve them.

Double-barrelled surnames can be created using a hyphen or without a hyphen. In the latter case, the second surname is added to the spouse’s existing surname.

Double-barrelled surnames make a great option for couples that want their child to bear both of their surnames.

An ideal option in many ways

Most married couples prefer double-barrelling their surname over many other name-changing options. Earlier, double barrelling would be a class signifier. However, today, most married couples in the UK opt for double barrelling their surname after marriage. There are many reasons behind the popularity of double-barrelling. It is an ideal option for those who don’t want to lose their existing surname but want to recognise their marital status. Secondly, as already mentioned, it allows both the parents to pass their surname to their child.

Double-barrelling also allows couples to acknowledge their love, respect, and collective identity after marriage.

What are the options at your disposal?

Double-barrelling involves joining the surnames of the couple. But there are different ways in which you can double-barrel your surname with your partner. You can either go the traditional way by adding your partner’s surname after your maiden name or change the sequence, depending on which one sounds better. Furthermore, you can decide whether to use a hyphen or not.

The way you want to create a double-barrelled surname is entirely up to you.

How to declare a double barrel?

Once you decide to double-barrel your surname after marriage, your marriage certificate provides enough evidence to declare your new surname. However, some institutions do not accept a marriage certificate as a formal declaration of the name change. In such cases, you need to use a Deed Poll.

A deed poll is a legal document that attests that you are formally changing your old name for a new name. It is accepted by banks, government offices, and other such institutions that do not accept marriage certificates to change your name in their records. With a deed poll, you can get your name changed to your new name in banks and other financial institutions, government offices, companies, societies, etc.

If you want to double-barrel your surname using deed poll before you marry, order it in advance, sign it after you return from abroad, and then initiate the name change process.

The bottom line

Combining surnames after marriage is a beautiful tradition. If you have decided to double-barrel your surname, determine how you want to merge it and remember to get your name changed in all the institutions through your marriage certificate or a deed poll.