I changed my name by dropping my given middle name, taking my maiden name as my new, legal middle name, and taking DH’s last name as my new last name and I absolutely LOVE it!
I usually only use “Doe” and “Smith” when I give examples online. However, given your situation where you have a unique and beautiful maiden/last name, I’ll borrow a more glamorous sounding one from a 1970s drama and give an example:
Let’s say I used to be “Jane Emily Carrington,” and I married “John Smith.” When I changed my name, I went from being known as Jane E. Carrington to being known as Jane Carrington Smith.
I originally struggled so much with my name-change choice (not in taking DH’s last name — that was a given for me, but with dropping my own, given, middle name, not because I was attached to the name itself, but because I was extremely attached to my middle initial.)
In hindsight, I am SOOOO GLAD that I changed my name in this manner. Here are my reasons for being so happy with this way of changing my name:
* By taking my maiden name as my new, legal middle name, I never had to lose my maiden name. It’s still there, and I can use it any and every time I want to use it. I can also choose to go by Jane Smith or Mrs. Smith if I want to do that. (Someone who does not take her husband’s last name technically is not properly referred to as “Mrs.”)
* Changing my name in this manner has provided such a great continuity of identity and has made it SO much easier to transition from one name to the other. I cannot stress this enough. It’s so much easier for people to realize that “Jane Carrington Smith” used to be “Jane Carrington” than it is for people to make the connection that Jane Carrington is now Jane Smith. This was especially true for mail that I was receiving under my maiden name. More than three years later, I’m still receiving some mail in my maiden name, and my post office continues to deliver it, even though my forwarding order under that name has long since expired.
* This actually is the formal, tradtional manner in which women in the U.S. have changed their names over the years, even though very few of my own friends (most of whom have now been married for 15-25 years) chose to do this. They just dropped their maiden names entirely and kept their given middle names.
I wish you the best with whatever you decide!
I originally wanted to do this, but not only did my state’s DMV tell me that I could not use that format on my driver’s license but also one of my friends had done this and told me it was a nightmare for her and, if she had to do everything over again, she would have dropped her given middle name.