And then I got married - but happily, I didn't go through a name change. Although I think it is a matter of personal choice whether one should change one's name or not, here are my two bits and four pennies worth reasons why I think one should not be compelled to :
1. I love my name and I guess so do most women. It is a part of our identity and who we are. Does the identity of the bride remain in only her hubby's surname?
2. Why should the bride adopt her hubby's last name? or middle name? or any name other than what she has lived with for the last few years? Understand that she is married to you, but so are you to her. So why should only she make the transition?
3. There are so many times when I have gone through my facebook / orkut friend list and found that all of a sudden, the first name sounds familiar but the last name doesn't and if there are no snaps in the profile, I have to start making educated guesses about whether she is THE ONE I used to know in school / college!
4. I believe changing bank signatures, passports, driving licenses and other paraparnalia is a big pain, just because your in-laws / hubby want to address you by their name!
5. We get married today, more often than not, once we have already laid the foundation of our lives, have a career and earned financial independance and self-esteem. Is this the only way we need to prove our love / respect to our in-laws / hubbies?
... and finally, my name is my business. I am the only one who has the right to decide what it should be. It is simply a matter of personal choice. I may be someone who loves my maiden name or someone who would happily take up my hubby's surname because I love it / think it is MY way of showing love and respect for the family / I like to follow traditions... But, in a civilized society, I should not have to justify my choices to anyone. I should not have to explain why I retained my maiden name or changed it. That’s my business.