Our second child is set to arrive mid-March. We did not find out the gender the first time around and will not this time either. For our first child we had narrowed down our name choices to Calvin or Miles for a boy and Alice for a girl. We had a boy named Calvin David! Now, as we are narrowing down the choices for our second child, I am not sure whether Calvin and Alice sound awkward together because of the repeition of the "al." We were SO set on it for a girl the first time around and now we are having major second thoughts when it is paired with Calvin. We are planning to have more children (4 or 5 total, so we could always hold off on Alice if it is a girl and hope to use the name when it won't be so closely paired with Calvin). Other names we like for girls are : Beatrice, Daphne, Eloise, Greta and Millie. For boys, we like Brooks, Miles and Wesley, which I think all go fine with Calvin!
So, what do you think: Calvin and Alice...yay or nay?
I vote that Calvin and Alice are not too similar. I think this is one of those situations where if I were suggesting the name Alice to you, I'd think it was worth pointing out that the -al- sound repeats so that you could think about it beforehand, but I'd be saying that in my opinion it tied the names together nicely rather than sounding repetitive.
If it continues to bother you, I do like your idea of setting the name aside for a possible future girl: separating the names with another name or two would definitely diminish the similarity. It's a risk, of course, since you might not have another girl---so it's a matter of how sad you'd be if you gambled on this plan and then didn't get to use the name. The best of all would be if you had a boy this time, since that would separate the names automatically, without a gamble!
If you have a girl this time and choose to delay using Alice, we'd want to look at each of the other names on your girl list and see if any of those would rule out using Alice later. Beatrice, for example: would it bother you to repeat the -ice ending? Try it out and see: Calvin, Beatrice, and Alice. Or if you use Eloise, would it bother you to have two girls starting with a vowel-L combination? Calvin, Eloise, and Alice. All of these will be so subjective: if it were me, I'd rather not have two -ice endings in a row (though I wouldn't mind if they were separated by another child, I don't think), but I don't mind the El/Al issue; someone else might be the other way around, or dislike both, or not mind either.
Let's have a poll over to the right to weigh in on the immediate question, which is whether it's okay to use Alice this time, if the baby is a girl. [Poll closed; see results below.]