What's in a Name?

Emma Frankart Henterly
Candice and Andrew Rios Wenmoth.

For some couples, the question of a post-wedding name change is easy. For others, it's more of a struggle. When we realized that Candice Rios and Andrew Wenmoth went off the beaten path and combined their last names to become Candice and Andrew Rios Wenmoth, we reached out to hear the story behind the unconventional—and frankly, really cool—decision. Here's what Candice had to say.

“I originally struggled with the decision as a whole. I didn't want to give up my name, but I also didn't want to fully throw out the idea of taking his either. I didn't know what I wanted to do, and Drew honestly didn't have a want or desire for either in particular.

My bridesman, Tony, suggested combining/exchanging our names. We came up with a lot of weird options, none of which sounded right. Eventually we landed on me changing my name to Rios Wenmoth, which we felt flowed nicely and represented both families.

But it didn't seem like enough for me. My family has been such a foundational part of my life that I couldn't imagine starting a family of my own without a little piece of them. I didn't like the idea of my children having a different name than I did, and I also wanted my family history to carry on in the new family Drew and I will be starting.

I was nervous bringing the idea up to Drew, as he tends to be more traditional than me. But man, my husband continues to surprise me in the most amazing ways. He was totally on board and thought it was a way for us to maintain some individuality even as we grew as a pair. He compares it to a sports jersey: The front has your team name, but you've still got your last name on the back.

We've definitely gotten some backlash for choosing to take each others' names—we understand this decision is not for everyone. But we have had the support from our families, and it works for us. Our entire wedding process was a little offbeat; it seemed natural to find a solution that worked, even if it was a little outside the norm.

We are so happy with our decision and we can't wait to grow the Rios Wenmoth family name.”