Sampling slices of wedding cake, laser treatments or anything you want for the registry, and picking the perfect ceremony and honeymoon spot are the fun to-dos of the upcoming “I do.”
Not so fun is standing in a two- hour line only to be told when you finally get to the front counter, “Honey, I’m sorry, these are the wrong forms, you have to go to the back of the line, NEXT.”
That’s the last thing any newlywed wants to hear especially if, on that day, she’s breaking in her new honeymoon platform wedges.
“Straight to the back of the line I went,” says newlywed expert Danielle Tate. “I never thought trying to change my last name would be this difficult and take this much time. I not only stood in line for two-hours but I didn’t know which documents to bring and of course I had the wrong ones,” remembers Danielle Tate. “I wasted so much time.”
“By the time I got home from taking a full-day off work, I was exhausted and frustrated and I still had my old name. Once I found the updated forms, completed the paperwork and mailed everything in, adding his name took a total of 13 hours,” said Tate.
It was during her therapeutic venting session with her new husband that the solution came flying out along with her piercing words.
“Someone should do something about this,” said Danielle. “My husband said, ‘that someone is you.’ “I started by calling every Department of Motor Vehicle’s office in all 50 states.
Some of their forms were online, some weren’t so I spent a lot of time waiting on them to come in the mail,” said Danielle.
“Every time I picked up the phone, I repeated my motto, ‘smiling and dialing.’ As I went along, I fine-tuned a specific question list to ask each phone representative that I spoke to.”
Danielle says she spent a lot of time on hold during the process. She added up multiple days in a row listening to the on-hold music. It took patience and nearly a year to compile name-changing forms, rules, and information for all 50 states.
“I really wanted to stream-line the process into easier steps that were less time consuming and I wanted it to be all online,” said Danielle.
With a placement on Google ads, the company had its first customer within a half hour of launching MissNowMrs.com. “It was so exciting,” said Danielle.
Brides steadily trickled to the site. Since launching in 2006, MissNowMrs.com has more than 100,000 brides change their name. Instead of standing in two-hour lines, wasting gas and time, driving from office to office and completing outdated forms, the website legally auto-fills the necessary paperwork, from driver’s licenses to tax forms. The once painstaking process now takes three steps and 30 minutes.
As the company launched, Danielle had to make a tough decision; whether or not to keep her six-figure medical equipment sales job that she loved.
“People told me that I should probably keep my job,” said Danielle. She adds, “Some people even told me I was crazy to give it up.”
She did give it up. Now a mom, a successful entrepreneur, and a newlywed expert running a multi-million dollar company, Danielle has no regrets.”
“I see MissNowMrs.com as a way to help thousands of women from the headaches and woes of something that seems and should be so simple,” said Danielle.
During her research and development Danielle became well educated about name-changing laws and rules in each state.
“In most states a married woman can take her spouse’s last name, take two last names, hyphenate two last names, take her maiden name as a second middle name or replace her middle name with her maiden name,” said Danielle.
“If she is completely opposed to changing her name and lives in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York or North Dakota, her spouse can change his name using the married name change process,” Danielle states.
“When it comes to what’s trending right now, less women are hyphenating,” says Danielle.
Some women have expressed to newlywed expert Danielle Tate that the Mrs. X-Y introduction is a mouthful and others say two last names is not their way of being seen as equal partners with their husband.
Danielle explains the hottest trend since 2010 is women taking their maiden name as their middle or a second middle name.
“This option allows a newlywed to take her spouse’s last name without completely giving up her maiden name but, several states won’t allow it.” Says Danielle.
In California, Pennsylvania, Washington, New Jersey and Ohio women can’t change their middle name using the married name change process. Danielle says women in those states must petition the U.S. court system for a name-change order to change their middle names. Women in New York can take their maiden name as their middle name, but they must bring their Social Security card and U.S. passport showing their new name to the DMV to have their maiden name as their middle name on their driver’s license.
Danielle advises that brides can wait to do their name changing after the honeymoon.
It will save them a few hassles especially when booking their honeymoon and during travels.
“All honeymoon travel should be booked in the bride’s maiden name,” said Danielle. “This will help avoid the tragedy of a missed flight and trip, which can happen when flights and reservations are booked in a bride’s married name and her ID and passport still show her maiden name. Consider completing all of the name-change forms and letters before leaving for honeymoon travel and then filing them after your return. Nothing kills the feeling of newlywed bliss like dealing with IRS questions!”
“Also,” says Danielle, “Order two-three certified copies of your marriage certificate. Possessing more than one copy allows one to file multiple name-change forms simultaneously and become an official Mrs. in a shorter period of time.”
Newlywed expert Danielle Tate owns and operates MissNowMrs.com.