Has anyone here changed her own name? If so, did you do so legally (where I live, in NY, I think it involves court petition), or just start using your new name? I know others who have changed the spelling of their names, added middle names, then began using these on their drivers' licenses, credit cards, etc. So I don't fully understand what is legally necessary.
It is on this site that I saw a court petition is mandated: http://www.uslegalforms.com/new-york-name-change.htm
Next question, of course, is how did it feel to shed your given name and take a chosen one?