Pro: Women should change last names

NOTE: To read about why women should NOT change their names, click here.

Taking the marriage leap brings many changes to a woman's life, including her name.

To keep or not to keep her name, though, is a modern-day question for brides.

For Margala Smith, it was not an issue 59 years ago. She didn't wonder about taking her husband's name.

The 76-year-old Victoria resident said that when children are born, they are given the father's name. However, when a woman walks down the aisle, she should take her spouse's name.

"When women don't change it ... it's like shacking up," she said.

Smith also said having two names in the same household can create suspicion in a child's mind.

The mother of two said family is the most valuable gift a woman can have.

A majority of women take the same stance as Smith regarding changing their names.

TheKnot.com surveyed 19,000 brides who were married in 2010: 86 percent chose to stick with tradition.

In 2009, Indiana University published a more formal study supporting the wedding website stance.

Of the 815 participants, 71 percent said women should change their names, 50 percent said it should be required by law.

Texas does not require women to change their names once they get married.

Once Hillary Stange decides to wed, she will be delighted to take her husband's name, although she loves hers.

The 23-year-old office administrator admits to being a stickler for tradition.

Stange only halfway agrees with women who choose to hyphenate because it doesn't show complete devotion.

"If you love a man enough to marry a man, you should respect him enough to take his name," she said.