I had been preparing myself for that, but it still bothered me. It bothers me that people assume I'm taking his last name. That they assume I want to be called "Mrs.", and that they just assume I'm okay with having my first name erased entirely. I would be a little irked either way, but it somehow feels much worse that this particular card was from my own aunt and uncle. They live out of state and have never met my fiance, and I imagine they never even knew his name until they saw it on our wedding invitation, and yet they still presume to let the name of this person they have never met completely erase the name of the niece they have known since birth.
I get that this is "tradition", but I see it as glaring evidence that our society's attitudes about women are still. fucked. up.
Since it is obvious that it will be my fate as a married woman to spend the rest of my life explaining to others what I prefer to be called and why, here are the choices I have made. I will be taking my husband's last name. I have never liked my last name much, and I like his, plus my last name is every bit as tied up in patriarchal traditions as his is, so I see very little difference between the two. I would opt for hyphenation if that sounded even remotely okay, but it just doesn't really work well with our names. I always have and always will prefer "Ms." to "Mrs." I see no reason for my title to change on the basis of my marital status, and I therefore will not answer to "Mrs." And I can't even begin to describe how much I hate -- HATE -- when women are referred to as "Mrs. [Husband's First Name][Husband's Last Name]". My mom was uncomfortable with the fact that I refused to address our wedding invitations in that way, but I totally couldn't even bring myself to do it. And if you want to know how deeply ingrained patriarchy is in our society, just try addressing something with a wife's name before a husband's and see how people react. SO ridiculous.
I really am bracing myself to encounter this over and over throughout my married life. And I'm not happy about it.