8 couples who combined last names and the amazing reasons they did it.

Brangelina. Kimye. “Combined names” are a key step in becoming a celebrity “it” couple. But regular people all over the U.S. are doing the same thing. And making it legal.

I lately read about the phenomenon of married couples legally taking a smushed-together or otherwise completely invented version of their last names. Smith and Johnson become the Smithsons, for example. I started asking around: Had anyone else is aware of this ?

Turns out, a ton of people had. Almost everyone I asked knew a couple who had done it officially, done it unofficially, or at least thought about it.

It might sound various kinds of odd, but there are a lot of great reasons modern couples choose to do something like this everything from gender equality( FTW !) to dedicating the children a fresh household identity to make their own.

Here are eight forward-thinking, creative, and diverse couples who chose to use a combined name, and why they did it .

1. Carla Cole+ Brian Martin= the Latimers

Photo by Carla Latimer, used in conjunction with permission.

These two turned to an unlikely tool when they decided to combine names: an anagram generator .

“We wanted a family name to share with the children, ” Carla tells. She says they virtually had guests at their bridal vote on their top five favorite names. Instead, they wound up choice on their own.

“We fell our middle birth names, moved our maiden names to our middle names, and added the new last name, ” she says.

And lived happily ever after.

2. Blair Eckenrode+ Megan Christensen= the Eckensens

Photo by Shawnee/ A Lovely Photo, used in conjunction with permission

When Eckenrode and Christensen got married, they had some understandably complicated feelings about the institution.

Questioning the long upheld standards of marriage dedicated the couple a lot of liberty to define their own union how they saw fit. The first thing to run? The historic coverture statutes that originated today’s commonplace tradition of a woman relinquishing a part of her identity, her name, and assuming her husband’s.

“We are a family, and we share every part of our lives with each other, and we also desired to share a name, ” Blair says. “So we got creative and here we are a nontraditionally created name for a ‘nontraditional’ marriage.”

3. Sally and Ryan Stauffer= the Elainskas

Photo via Sally Elainska, used with permission

When these two first got married, they did what Sally calls “the normal thing, ” and went with her husband’s last name of Stauffer. A few years later, Ryan had a confession to make he wished they’d gone another route.

“In the end we decided to combine Gaelic to represent his ancestry and Polish to represent mine, ” Sally says. They chose words that loosely translated to “people of art, ” plus a few tweaks to make it easy to spell and pronounce, and abruptly they were the Elainskas.

Their households have had mixed reactions, Sally tells, but there’s only one thing that really matters: “I couldn’t be happier with government decisions and with my perfect partner! “

4. Sonia Abrams+ Stephen Moss= the Abramoss kids

Photo via Sonia Abrams, used in conjunction with permission.

When these two tied the knot, they both concurred it’d be best to keep their own last names. The kids? That was a different story.

“We both felt a little weird about not having a little bit of[ both] our names in our kid, ” Sonia tells. That’s when they got the idea to combination, and Abramoss simply felt like a winning combination.

“My dad did not like it at all, but I think he got over it, ” she tells. “It feels neat to have our kid’s’ names be a combo of ours, since our children are a perfect combo of the two of us.”

5. Beth Shea+ John Marshall= the Marsheas

Photo via Beth Marshea, used in conjunction with permission.

Beth does not mince words how she feels about kids and last names: “We never considered devoting the kids his last name because he is not the one who devotes birth to them.”

They considered hyphenating, but chose against it. John even offered to ditch his own last name, but Beth fretted he’d regret it later.

“So, we came up with the portmanteau idea as the best alternative, ” she says, though there are times when she misses the old ‘Shea family’ identity. “But, it’s nice that we have our own thing, so I’m happy with it.”

6. Sara Kunitake+ Jonah Horowitz= the Horotakes

Photo from Jonah Horotake, used with permission.

“Sara has a very strong attachment to her family name. Shes the last Kunitake grandchild, and she hesitated to give the name up, ” Jonah says. “Also, she has invested a lot in building her brand professionally as Sara Kunitake and didnt want to have to rebuild as Sara Horowitz.”

So they merged to become the Horotakes. “We really like the voice of it and it merges our Japanese and Jewish heritage.”

7. Jesse Rauch+ Lissa McManus= the McRauchs

Photo via Jesse McRauch, used in conjunction with permission.

Feminism has been an important thread throughout Jesse and Lissa’s relationship.

“As our relations deepened, I felt it was important to be completely equal in our relationship, ” Jesse tells. “We both wear engagement rings. I didn’t get on one knee so we appeared one another in the eye.”

Jesse tells most people are truly supportive, or even jealous they didn’t think of it, but his parents keep asking, ‘Are you really doing that? “

“They may need more period, ” he says.

8. Ash Russell+ Crystal Fields= the Rocketships

Photo from Ash Rocketship, used with permission

That’s right. Meet Mrs. and Mrs. Rocketship.

Ash tells the couple talked a lot about “how neither of us were really attached to our family name and how it would be nice to share a name once we were married.”

Her alternative? Pick something random, but meaningful. It got the couple talking about their shared love of outer space.

“We joked about Lightyear, after Buzz, and then one of us likely me because I am nothing if not overjoyed at being obnoxious told, ‘We should just picking something random … like, rocketship.’ And it only stuck . “

From there, the paperwork was a breeze, and the Rocketships became the coolest household in the solar system.

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com