At a certain point in our relationship, I started to consider Dillon's last name. We'd talked about marriage, and I began considering what that might look like for my name.
I'd always said that I would only change my last name if I married someone with a name "better" than Bright, because let's face it, Bright is an AWESOME last name. From the jokes to the puns to having a name that matches my personality, what more could I ask for? Plus, my name is who I am. I've built my social media presence around it, I have a bunch of lawn signs that say "Caroline Bright for State Senate", and people KNOW me as Caroline Bright.
But then I got engaged to a Southerner and it became abundantly clear that NOT including Hupp in my last name wasn't a feasible option. I don't have the energy to constantly explain to people for the REST OF OUR LIVES that we have completely different names. Plus, I like Dillon's family. I was really excited to marry into the Hupp Bunch and I wanted my name to reflect that.
However, the lack of equality in the name discussions we were having was making me more than a little bit mad. Why should I have to consider changing something as fundamental as my NAME while my husband-to-be didn't have to worry about it at all?
We went over our options. Blending our names wasn't an option...there's really no good way to blend Bright and Hupp. Try it, I dare you. Picking an entirely new name was considered, but ultimately eliminated because we LIKE our names. We thought about hyphenating, but I just didn't want a hyphen in my name. Eventually we reached a compromise inspired by one of my role models, former VT Representative Rachel Weston. She and her husband took each other's last names as middle names when they got married. She's now Rachel Eschenbaecher Weston.
I liked the idea of having two last names. It's cool because no matter how you monogram things, it's correct. No matter which last name someone calls you, it's correct. Plus, I don't have to lose Bright AND I get to have Hupp AND Dillon could have an easy way to be all for equality without getting too complicated about it. Winning.
So, I'm now technically Caroline Winanna Hupp Bright and he's now technically Dillon Robert Bright Hupp (or he will be when we finally get around to the paperwork).
For simplicity's sake, in Arkansas I'm going by Caroline Hupp and he's Dillon Hupp. In Vermont I'm still Caroline Bright and he's still Dillon Hupp.
I want to be clear that my decision is in NO WAY a judgement on anyone else's name decision. I think it's great if you want to keep your name, change your name, hyphenate, or blend. Whatever you want to do, more power to you. I mean, the whole point of the feminist movement is choice.
When we eventually have kids we'll figure out what their name combination will look like, but hopefully we'll have a little bit of time before that comes up. Right now I'm pulling for Firstname Middlename Hupp Bright, but we'll see what happens after a few years of marriage and nine months with no wine or coffee.
Every family and every marriage is different, this is just how we're rolling.