A Bride's Hardest Decision: Maiden Name vs. Married Name

"My husband and I both believed that we should keep our own identities, and he was fine with me not taking his name even though our parents would have preferred I did," said Margaret Tarampi, 30, whose wedding was in May 2008.

"But there is always confusion about whether or not I've taken his name," she said.

Why Some Married Women Keep Their Own Names

Tarampi said that another reason she did not take her husband's name was because she had already been published under her own.

Reasons like Tarampi's were more common a few decades ago, according to Stephanie Coontz, a professor at Evergreen State College in Washington and the author of "Marriage, A History."

"Women in the late 60s and 70s were very, very conscious of just how much marriage used to destroy a woman's personhood," Coontz told ABCNews.com.

"Until the 1970s most states had head and master laws that said a woman could not keep her own name at marriage," said Coontz. "And she could only take it back at divorce if she could prove her husband had been at fault."

While women at the time were aware of the restrictions and then rebelled against them by keeping their own names, women today are more secure with their identities and don't believe taking their husband's name will change that, said Coontz.

But despite the studies that indicate more women are taking their husband's names than aren't, women like Kelleher still didn't find that the decision to take her husband's name became a point of contention with her friends and family.

"I've been given a range of reasons as to why I should keep my own name," said Kelleher. "[Some people] have told me I'm disrespecting my family or that I'm being too anti-feminist."

"I think it's ridiculous," she said. "I'm 100 percent sure I'm taking his name, but the looks I get from other women when I say that tells me that they are not too happy about it."

"I don't feel that changing takes away from my place in my family or from me being a strong woman."

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