Proclaiming ‘I’m a Mrs’ made easier

2009-10-29 00:00

TIME spent negotiating long queues at Home Affairs only to be told that you don’t have all necessary documentation and the stress associated with an official name change, can now be a thing of the past for new brides, thanks to a new online service.

“I’m a Mrs” is an online marriage name-change service that tries to be a one-stop-shop by doing all the groundwork for new brides, though they are still required to change their own names due to the high levels of ID fraud in South Africa.

Michelle Farren-Handford, who heads the South African office, said the idea was born in Canada after two best friends, one of whom is South African, tried to come up with an unusual bridal shower gift for a friend.

But how it came to South Africa is as a result of Farren-Handford, who will be walking down the aisle in two weeks, trying to find an easier way to embark on the process herself.

“I went on to Google and when I came across this I thought what a great idea. And that’s how I came on as a partner for the South Africa office.”

While she says South Africa has more challenges than other countries, still tries to make the process as easy as possible.

Clients are offered an option of two packages and through this they can access valuable information on all the necessary documentation needed — information on where to go; who to contact and where documents can be faxed, specific to the different institutions the women need to contact.

“The biggest part of changing your name, I have found, is actually knowing where to go and what you need. Our standard package is R299, which will give you access to the government forms and the banks. But our premium package, which goes for R399, gives you access to over 600 organisations we have on our database, and basically gives the paper work for everything you would need to change.”

Farron-Handford described the response since the launch of the website in September as “phenomenal”.

“I have been surprised by the number of people who have respon­ded, but I guess it is to be expected. We live hectic lifestyles and are always looking for ways to save time. Our clients are new brides in most cases, who have just come from their honeymoon and are still in the clouds. They don’t need to be brought to earth with a bang.”

She said all racial groups have bought into it, mainly among the 25-35 age groups.

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