I'm getting married on the 10th September this year and currently planning a two week honeymoon in the U.S. My future wife and I are having a little pre-marital spat at the moment about changing the name on her passprt for the trip. My opinion is that she should change her passport to her married name (and we should therefore book flights etc in her married name) so that she will be travelling under her correct new married name when we face US border control. I have found plenty of advice on UK websites telling us how to do this so I know it's possible. HOWEVER she thinks we should book tickets in her maiden name and she should travel under her old maiden name which technically will be out of date as we are travelling the day after we get married. She seems to think US border control will accept her maiden name passport and a photocopy of the marriage certificate. Any advice?
I would reccomend making sure that whatever the name on the tickets are will be what the name on the passport is. US customs agents have been a bit edgy since Sept. 11th and tend to err on the side of caution. One of my co-workers even had trouble getting past customs in Laguardia in NYC and he is a US citizen!
On another note, while both of your plans will likely work... either booking in her old name and keeping her old passport, or booking with her new (your) name and getting a new passport... Isn't it generally safer to go with whatever plan makes her happy to save you 5 months of "nagging" headaches until then?
Like I said, my biggest advice is make sure the Passport and the Tickets match names. Some.. even most agents might accept a marriage certificate as reasoning for a mismatch, but why take the chance you might even find yourself needing to wait for a supervisor to come check things out and waiting around while they verify things... That's no way to start your honeymoon.
Best of luck with the marriage and the trip.
I agree with Ian on this one - if she prefes to travel under her maiden name, then it is best to run with that and her name should ideally match across all papers needed. In addition, it is worth pointing out that getting married doesn't automatically legally change her name - the way I understand it, it just gives her the right to use either name. She still has a right to go under her maiden name until she decides to change it (at least that is the case in Aus and I would imagine in the UK as well). My wife kept her maiden name when we got married and we never have had trouble at customs
If you want to be sure though, give the US embassy a call - they'll give you a definite answer.