Changing your name as an effect of your wedding in Italy? Many brides ask me about changing their surname as an implicit effect of their wedding in Italy. Some brides ask me to have different names (than those in the passport) reported on their marriage certificate. and some brides are worried that by effect of their marriage in Italy their surname will automatically change to that of their husband.

Wedding in Tuscany CertaldoLet me try to explain the matter of name changes in Italy (regardless your nationality).

In Italy we do not change our surname, never, not because of a wedding or whichever other reason unless a court, after a serious and dramatic reason requires us to do so. Also we cannot change our middle names or skip them in official documents, at all!

In Italy our Vital Statistics office, Registrar (Anagrafe) are very serious about our names and we are recognized by full name plus birth date and place plus “Codice Fiscale” which is a code created by these data altogether. We will be forever named with our given names and surname. The only reasons why a court will consider a name/surname change and approve the change is when the surname can recall offensive words (especially if associated to the given name) or for security reasons. This is why on your (and our) marriage certificates we never ever mention a “surname after the wedding” for the bride.wedding in Italy civil ceremony

And children? Babies in Italy take by default the surname of the father who recognized them. If the parents were married at the time of the birth this is automatic, if they were not, the father will have to make an additional document recognizing the child. A child can have the mother’s surname in case he/she was not recognized or if explicitly both parents agree to do so and this is to be decided at the moment of the birth registration, after that any name change will have to pass through the court approval.

This is valid for Italy and in Italy, of course when you come to Italy to get married you will be able to apply for a surname change in your homeland showing your marriage certificate.

In case of further doubts you can contact us and we will be glad to have a consultation call with you at your convenience.