Miranda - I feel like we're kind of bashing your side of things, when it's pretty normal.. and it sounds like you weren't just like "Ah, I gotta take his name, that's what you do". It sounds like you have reasons behind it, and they're really sweet reasons that make a lot of sense. If his family was that much of a family for you already, then it's completely logical to want his name.
It's not always a bad thing to take your spouses name.
But in some situations it really kind of sucks. My older sister doesn't want to give up her last name (especially since her boyfriend/soon to be fiance has a ridiculous last name), but he's far more stubborn than she is. She's undoubtedly going to end up railroaded into it, and I'm sure she'll get over it, I doubt it will be a huge trauma or anything. It's just terribly unfair - she shouldn't have to change in such a way unless she wants to.
Since it's the societal norm though, it's expected, so it's not just pressure from him. It's all this implied pressure from the rest of the world, and it's pressure from people she tries to talk to about it.
Taking your spouses name is really romantic and sweet in cases like yours, and cute and sweet in cases like Rori's. Buuut, a lot of the time it's done because it's expected, and that's it.
@Thread - I'm not sure I want to have a wedding. And I don't know that I care much about having a marriage, since if I end up with a woman I can't have one (yet). All I've ever thought about is being with someone I love, who loves me, for the rest of my life. Or so long as we love each other. I want someone to share my life with, who I know likes my idiosyncrasies and can deal with my issues. And I don't think I need a marriage to do that, although it makes the legal side of things a helluva lot easier.
I think a TINY ceremony would be nice, though. I'm a bit of a tyrant when it comes to organizing normal things, such as Christmas and birthdays, so I think I would go absolutely batshit insane organizing a wedding and no one would want to marry me or be around me. And mostly, I just want a really really awesome wedding dress that I can sit around having tea parties in afterwards.