Green Bay Packers superfan takes wife's last name

CHICAGO - Over the weekend, a Wawautosa native and die-hard Packers fan got married in Chicago, and while it may not be traditional, he decided to take his wife's last name.

Ryan Holtan-Murphy married Marie Packer, but he didn't marry her just for the name. It was more than that when he met her nearly three years ago at a Madison karaoke bar.

"I remember thinking, she was beautiful, she's hilarious, she's tough, she's a doctor, she's smart," Mr. Packer said. "But when she said her name, I thought, oh, she's messing with me. I made her show me two forms of ID to prove her last name was Packer."

The two started dating and were engaged last year. However, it was never a discussion about who would take whose last name.

"It was never like, you're going to take my name or I want your name," Marie Packer said. "It was an understanding. I think my last name should be Packer and I said, OK. Why not?"

For Marie, raised in Michigan, she never had anyone appreciate her last name and she never thought she would.

"I was like, wow, my last name could be amazing for somebody," Marie said. "But I was living in Lions country and then I moved to Chicago and it's Bears country. It wasn't super popular there. I just kind of thought it was never going to mean anything to anybody. Then I met him and it meant everything to him."

So for a weekend in June, the Packers took over Bears country. Marie and Ryan were married and had their reception in Willis Tower. It was decorated in full Packers theme. Packers table settings, Packers signs, even place settings for the newly minted Dr. and Mr. Packer.

But Ryan took things a little further when he came out in a full Green Bay Packers suit and tie.

"I died, came back to life and died again," Marie said. "It was so funny. I wasn't mad. I was just relieved. I was waiting for it. It's a matter of time. This has all been very fancy and I was like, when is it going to show up?"

"I still think the suit was pretty classy," Ryan said. "I did notice she was a little harder to find on the dance floor."

Mr. Packer kept the suit hidden from his wife for three months leading up to the wedding but now, he is letting his Packers fandom fly. On their honeymoon, the couple wore matching Packers jerseys, embroidered with Mr. and Dr. Packer on the back.

While thoughts of little Packers running around the parking lots at Lambeau are surely on their minds, with names like Aaron and Brett at the forefront, Dr. Packer is happy to have a new Mr. Packer for life.

"I'm very excited," Marie said. "Packers aside, I've been waiting for him my whole life."

 

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