I have more rules than my DH. His rule is basically "Does it sound good?" Also, he wants to avoid any names that, "remind him of old people." But that's about it as far as his rules.
MY rules, on the other hand, are a little more in-depth.
1. MN will be a family name - either surname or grandparent name, depending on gender (girl is surname, boy will be after his father/grandfather).
2. First name, for boy or girl, I would like to be a "regal" name. By that I mean a name that has been the name of someone born to royalty at some point. I want my kids, especially my girls, to be able to look up other bearers of their name and find strong female role-models, and queens are just the easiest to search.
3. I want names that have NN. My name does not have an obvious NN, so growing up, people just randomly invented some. Not always the greatest outcome. So I want my kids to be able to choose to go by something other than their full first name if they want to.
4. A name they can grow into - by this I mean, will it look decent and responsible at the top of a resume?
5. Nothing in the Top 50. My name, Molly, was fairly unusual when I was a kid. I liked being the only one in class, and it was really a special occasion when I met someone else who shared my name. As I married a fairly common last name, I would my kids to at least have some individuality in their first name, and not be one of five with the same name.
So far, my DH and I have not been able to agree on a girls name that fits all these criteria. But I am still hoping :-)