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I love Serena, but I think there might be too much repetition of sounds in Serena Aria Raine. What about a middle name choice with some contrasting phonemes?
I'd rank them Anoush, Una, and then Zara.
Hmm, this is a tough one! Of the names you list, it seems like Savannah might be the best compromise. It fits your criteria for feminine ending, length, and nature-theme. I know a couple of Savannah's and have never heard either of them called Vannah. It would probably not have occurred to me as a nickname at all, actually. I also don't think it's terribly trendy, unless trendy to you means non-traditional. It has certainly risen in popularity, but over the course of several decades--it's not overly of-the-moment.
Other than that, maybe it would behoove you both to generate and compare longer lists. I think there's hope for overlap yet!
Some samples from my own long list that I think fit stylistically with Nolan and adhere to your other criteria:
August, Elliott, Gabriel, Graham, Reed, Ross, Tyler
What does the name match maker have to say?
Yay! Congratulations and thank you for sharing your news with us!
Second all of this!
I think Georgia and Hudson go beautifully together! Georgia Porter isn't my favorite combination, but it's not a deal breaker. What about Claire Georgia Porter instead?
Hooray! Congratulations on your new niece. Love the name!
Congratulations! I am also expecting a girl, my first, so I'm right there with you!
I think I would eliminate Ella. The fact that they both start with a short-e sound and both have two syllables makes them too similar for me. I think Emilia is sweet, and Lana flows well, though feels a lot older to me for some reason.
Have you considered any names that end in a consonant sound? I think that might create a better first-last flow.
Annalise, Adelaide, Juliette, Meredith, Lisette, etc.
I really wanted a name that had a lot of meaning for me. Are there friends and family you'd like to honor in some way? Ideals or feelings you'd like to capture? That might help you generate a list.
I think I've been convinced on this forum that flow is a lesser concern when choosing a middle name, so I say go for the name that you both love. That being said, I think that Eliana Reyna sounds great--better and better the more I hear it!
I've always found the Gw- sound to be unappealing, but it seems I'm in the minority here! I would go with Elowyn before Gwendolyn, personally.
Before he was born, we referred to my older nephew as Javier, or Javi. My dad came up with this nickname out of the blue, and we loved it. We were all a little sad when they didn't choose it as his real name.
This nephew, in turn, chose the prenatal nickname for his little brother: Tuta Doggy Woof-Woof Bame. We were not tempted to make this one official.
So I guess the moral of the story is...grain of salt.
I would probably try to avoid another state name--too theme-y--but would aim for something with a similar feel. I'd describe Dakota as outdoorsy, western, adventurous, casual, and connected to nature.
Sienna, Rowan, Lake, Savanna (the ecotype, not the city), River, Autumn or Summer, Clementine, Juniper
Friederike? Nina? Mila?
What a fun and tantalizing mystery! I eagerly await the big reveal. And I'll keep my fingers crossed for something like Annika, Heidi, or Ingrid.
I adore Robin! This was an important stipulation for my brother in naming his two boys. They ended up with Henry Miles and Leo Alexander.
From my personal boy list: Forrest, Rory, Elliott, Davis, Felix, Harvey, Heath, Julian, Lee, Lane, Chester, Lyle, Marshall
I'm not that biblically literate so it's possible/probable that there are a few biblical references in there that have slipped by me...
I like Quinn as a playful counterpart to the very formal Victoria. Grace sounds great and certainly goes well stylistically with Victoria. So I think your decision comes down to whether you want to offset or play up the tone of Victoria.
Love it! It's distinctive but totally recognizable. Great flow.
Genius! Genevieve gets my vote.
Not wrong! Lovely! There's even a Ben Folds song to back you up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPy8I23jwuY
I agree that this is the most straight-forward (and thus, desirable) spelling. And I think your nickname can be whatever you want it to be! Especially if you anticipate the nn being the primary name in every day use. Is there a reason you don't want to use Lana as the full name? It seems like a perfectly good standalone to me.