I always knew I would take my husband's name. For me, it was about becoming a cohesive unit and, I have to admit, carryover of some issues my mother has that she passed along to me about everyone in the family having the same name.
I have never felt that I *had* to keep my dad's name to honor his family and all that jazz. I mean, I love my dad, but he has a brother, several half-brothers from my grandad's first marriage (his wife died) and a son to pass along his name. It ain't dying out any time soon.
In terms of my professional life as a journalist, when making the decision to change, I felt like if people couldn't sort out that SingLike Sassy was SingLikeSassy Vaughan, that was their problem. Plus, I've done my best work and won the most awards under my married name, IMO. (Maybe because I was happier and more productive/creative as a married woman? Interesting.)
But now that I'm getting divorced I've been asked a couple of times if I plan to drop my married my name.
That has surprised some people who seemed to assume I would change my name back. I am SingLikeSassy Vaughan now. That person is different than SingLike Sassy. I've had some new life experiences -- good and bad -- and I now feel connected to my name as it is. It is me.
Will I change it if I remarry? Depends. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
Side note: Mr. SLS' mom was married four times and changed her name back to her maiden name each time she divorced.