One of the toughest decisions when Paul and I got married was what we would call ourselves. We wanted to have the same last name, as a recognition that we were becoming a new family together. I wasn't quite comfortable just taking on him name, though . . . So, we considered him taking my name - an option, but we weren't sure we were quite radical enough to put up with the shocked expressions (and ribbing that he was whipped) that we would probably have to deal with on a regular basis.
So, the solution is hyphenating - and the Elliott-Magwood family was born. Paul still faces a lot of surprise (but most of it approving) when people find out that he has hyphenated his name, but over two years into the marriage we're getting pretty used to it - and I like that we are the only Elliott-Magwoods there are. It symbolizes that we have come from different families, and have brought our histories and traditions together to make a new family that is a combination of us both.
People ask us what our children will do when they get married - but it seems to me that if we have children, they probably won't be getting married for at leat 30 years, and who knows what people will do by then. Besides, we had to do what was best for us, and I really appreciated our parents supporting us in that when we picked our name. I hope that if I am a parent I can do the same - and if my child makes a choice that involves keeping Paul's half of the name, or taking her or his partner's name, that I will respect that decision and let my child have the freedom to chose a name that represents her new family in whatever way works best for her.