About 70% of Americans say a bride should take her husband’s name, according to one poll. Respondents who were in favor of a woman changing her last name after getting married generally stated they felt it was better for establishing the marriage as a family rather than as individuals. People who said a woman should keep her own last name after getting married tended to emphasize the importance of the bride’s already-established identity, such as in her career.
More about marriage traditions:
- Nearly half of those polled said the US government should make it mandatory for a bride to take her husband’s last name.
- The practice of a bride taking her husband’s last name in the US dates to the early 1800s when the doctrine of coverture gave all of the wife's legal rights to her husband.
- Religion might play a part in the likelihood of a bride taking her husband’s last name, as more than half of all women who have non-religious ceremonies keep their own last names, one study showed.