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My wife and I blended our last names. We wanted to share a last name that was uniquely ours.

Couple during wedding day
The author (right) and his wife chose to blend their last names to create something that was more themCourtesy of Storytellers Wedding Co.
  • My wife and I didn't know that blending your last names was already a trend when we did it.

  • We wanted to share a last name instead of one or the other taking a new name.

  • We had the new last name engraved in the inside of our rings.

When we decided to do it, my now-wife and I didn't know that name blending was a growing trend, but we knew it was right for us.

As a couple, we've always been somewhat unconventional; we moved in together after two weeks of dating, had a four-year-long engagement, and got married on our 10th anniversary — for it to feel like us, our marriage had to follow suit.

We blended our last names

Name blending is the practice of creating a new last name out of the letters of each partner's maiden name. With the institute of marriage becoming more flexible, it's becoming more common.

When it came to what to do with our last names, the traditional route didn't feel right to us, but we really wanted to share a last name. A lot of couples resolve this by hyphenating, but our names just don't sound good hyphenated together.

My last name was Egan, and my wife's last name was Michell, which would have made us either The Michell-Egans or The Egan-Michells, and neither of these sounded good to us. We puzzled on this for a while until my wife suggested, "Why don't we just create our own name?"

We joked about having a celebrity couple portmanteau, like Brangelina, Bennifer, or TomKat. Unfortunately for us, this would give us the choice between being The Egchells or The Michegans. We realized that we needed to get creative, so we whipped out the Scrabble board and got to work.

Our families loved the idea

We had a long engagement and plenty of time to discuss this. After weeding out all of the 'teasable' names, we'd narrowed it down to five candidates:

  • Gailen

  • Magellan

  • Gallen

  • Neilan

  • Haigen

And at last, we arrived at what would be our new name: Haigen. We thought it was a good, strong-sounding name. It honored my Celtic roots (a selling point for my Dad, who I hadn't mustered the courage to tell yet), and it rolled off the tongue nicely with both of our first names: Selena & William Haigen.

List of names
They had a shortlist of five names that they liked before they picked the final mix of namesCourtesy of the author

Shortly after deciding, we had the name engraved on the inside our rings.

Our family and friends loved the idea, but we noticed a general trend: The older the person was, the longer it took for them to process. Gen Z and Millenials immediately liked the idea, Gen X liked it after a few seconds, and Baby Boomers had to sleep on it. What we didn't share was the name itself. Our secrecy prompted a lot of wild guesses from friends and family. These ranged from Legen (sounds like "legend") to Megan, to our favourite, Hellnag.On the big day, we proudly unveiled the name to our friends and family at the end of the ceremony to a round of applause.

There's a lot in a name. A name carries our sense of identity, and so of course, there's often a resistance to letting it go. But with our blended name, it doesn't feel like we've let our names go. The pieces of our names are still there; they've just been rearranged and combined with each other's. For us, it feels like the perfect symbol of what we want for our marriage: to merge with another half while still keeping our own identity.

Instead of my wife's identity changing into mine or our identities sitting alongside each other's, connected only by a hyphen, they're blended into something new that we created together.

Read the original article on Business Insider