Not long ago, it was a tradition that the bride was supposed to change her maiden name and replace it with her husband’s last name. It was in the beginning of the 19th century that an advocate of women’s rights changed her married name back to her own name; following which keeping one’s own last name after marriage gained more popularity.
As a moderate solution, the trend of hyphenating last names after marriage is a suitable compromise. This implies joining your last name and your groom’s last name with a hyphen. According to latest statistics, roughly 10% married women hyphenate their last names.
Even after changing to a hyphenating last name, one may want to use either of the two names for the sake of convenience.