Here's the source.
DEAR JERKASS: I am getting married in October, and my fiance, "Brad," and I are having trouble seeing eye-to-eye on the name change issue.
Brad's family is originally from the North, and my family is from the South. He and his family are convinced that I should drop my maiden name, keep my middle name, and take his name as my new last name.
However, the women in MY family have always kept our maiden names, added their new husband's last name to theirs and dropped their middle names.
This is about the only thing Brad and I can't seem to agree on. What can I do when my mother says one thing and my sweetie says another? With your years of experience, I hope you can steer me in the right direction. -- BRAD'S BRIDE IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Know why people have family names? So that they can identify as a group. Think about when you plan on having kids, if at all. I don't recommend it, only because you having kids takes away from my kids resources. That aside, what last name do you want your kids to have? I say if you keep your name, and then you adopt, you shouldn't be allowed to give your child either of your last names.
So really, your last name isn't about you, it's about where you came from and what you feel familial identity is. Your first name is about what your parents wanted for you and how they felt about you, so why not just change that, too. Why not fuck with both sides and choose a shared name that's different from both families? Change both of your last names to "First", or some nonsense.
I'm old school in that I think a woman should take the last name. Not for any misogynist bullshit, but for continuity and harmony. Fuck, he could take your name, as long as you're both committed to each other. To me that's a preservation of continuity (though might be confusing for later generations).
Taking the last name should be like a tattoo. It should become part of you.
Lasering off tattoos is bullshit, too. You made a mistake? Learn to deal with it.
So there's my throw in; take his name, or he takes yours, as long as you do it for the hope of the future and the will to work towards that together.
But if his family is so for it, have your family argue your side for you, and elope while they're all fighting.