The topic came up today on Ravelry, that this woman is getting married soon, and when she told her fiance that she wanted to keep her last name by hyphenating it (her last name-husband's name), her fiance flat out said, "no; we're going to be a family and if you have a different last name, we look like we're not." I'm paraphrasing but that's what it is, essentially. The most popular responses were, "do whatever you want" and "I wish I kept my last name ___ years ago when I got married...." And then there were few people that firmly believed that "taking" a man's last name "officializes" the marriage, and that rhetorically asked, if she wanted to keep her last name, why not just live with the man?
Some actually had great practical viewpoint; it's cool to keep it, but once you have children, the children would have two last names, and that creates some problems because our society is so rooted in First_Middle_Last name format: Banks, schools, post offices, DMV, any agencies with computer system that would only recognize First_Middle_Last Name format. And what happens when THEY get married? and have children on their own?
It's just a name...
I grew up in a Korean family, where it is NORMAL for women to keep her last name.
Does it mean that Korean women are more socially aware of their identities as women as well as individuals? Heck no.
It's just that that's always been the way it is. It would be pretty chaotic to change last names in Korea because then people will think that you married someone within the family. Ew.
This is why I think a name is just a name, and it doesn't necessarily signify you as a woman, or the type of marital relationship you have. Change or no change, prejudice will be there if it was there before.
Answer to the Original Poster?
My answer to the original poster would be: Who the hell cares, do whatever you wanna do. Oh, but still talk to your husband of course, and if he doesn't like it, oh well, he'll get over it. It's just a name, after all.
There are so many things a married couple will have to work out: finances, work load, children--bearing & rearing. Fights over name change? Ridiculous!
Unless you have a genuine attachment to your last name as your identity and your family history....
Then I recommend you read this poster's comment: "If we're becoming a family, why is my family less important than yours?"
If you already have a reason for wanting to keep your last name...well, you know the answer, don't you?
If someone asked me what I'd do?
I will not be changing mine, and I decided this a long time ago, in my junior year in high school, along with the thought of never getting married to begin with.
Yes, I do kind of see my last name as my identity. I like my dad, and I like having his last name too; at the same time, if it were up to me, I would love to have my mom's last name too.
But family/identity had very little to do with my decision. My decision was actually very easy and simple, it wasn't even a decision at all: Changing my last name feels weird to me. That's why. If my spouse-to-be knows me well enough and cares enough about me, why would he make me do things that feel weird to me? After all, it's just a name.