Whether you have gotten married or you simply want to change your name, you need to know how to change your name in order for the legal system to recognize the name change from that point on.
Look, if you were cursed with a horrible name, you can always legally change it. However, you need to choose your new name carefully because the process to change your name is not a simple one. Think about what your name means to you, how it will sound to others, and how easy it will be to write. After all, Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Sean Combs is a bit of a mystery these days after all of his name changes - who even knows which name came first? You won't necessarily want to be a mystery. You just want a new name, darn it.
Steps in How to Change Your Name
First of all, the rules are different for every state you might live in, so check with your local government to see what you need to do. This is something the DMV can answer for you, but also the local courts. You will need to start the process in the court system by petitioning to change your name. This is just a form you need to fill out, along with these other forms: order granting change of name, legal backer, notice of petition to the public, affidavit of consent, and an affidavit of service of notification to authorities (if you're a lawyer or an ex-convict). Once you've filled out all of these forms, you will be ready to start the name change process.
You will then submit all of this paperwork to the proper authorities in your town, after they've been notarized, cross your fingers, and see what the response is. It might not be an immediate approval, so you may need to go to a hearing to defend your name change in some cases. You will also want to put an advertisement in the paper stating that you plan to change your name - just in case you have any loan sharks or creditors who still need money from you. Then, you get the affidavit signed and you're set to go.
Don't forget that once you change your name, you will need to change your driver's license, your social security card, etc. too. So, make sure you really, really want this new name. It's going to be a pain in the behind at the beginning.