Want Honest Marriage Advice? Hear What These 4 Wedding Authors Have to Say

The Engagements, The Vacationers, After I Do, Hidden
Photos: The Nest

Who knows the trials and tribulations of being a newlywed better than Taylor Jenkins Reid, J. Courtney Sullivan, Emma Straub and Catherine McKenzie? These four authors have new (and red hot) books out about marriage, and The Nest got to find out just how their real-life marriages inspire their fiction (or not so much).

Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of After I Do (out July 1)

Marital status: Married for five years.

Where did you get married?
My husband and I eloped in the Hollywood Hills, standing on a cliff on Mulholland Drive. It sounds romantic and it is was, but it was also completely impractical. Our car was almost towed.

What is the best piece of relationship/marriage advice you’ve received?
Fight to end the argument, not to win the argument.

What is your advice to newlyweds/dating friends?
Protect your future happiness.

Describe your relationship/marriage in three words.
Fun. Kind. Snuggling.

J. Courtney Sullivan, bestselling author of The Engagements

Marital status: Married for almost a year, together for five.

Where did you get married?
My husband proposed to me in our Brooklyn apartment. Our dog, Landon, barked at us throughout the entire proposal. We got married a year and a half later at the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine. I never thought I’d be the type to have a wedding. I thought we’d elope or go to city hall or have a small, tasteful dinner party. But then I drank the bridal Kool-Aid big time. We ended up with 120 guests. I had six bridesmaids wearing taffeta!

What is the best piece of relationship/marriage advice you’ve received?
Years ago, a friend told me that she attended a wedding where the officiant told the couple that they’d have a long, happy life together if they made a promise to outdo each other with kindness. I loved that idea. I think about it often and try hard to incorporate it into my own marriage.

What is your advice to newlyweds/dating friends?
Every relationship is different. No one really knows what’s going on in anyone else’s marriage. (This was part of the inspiration for my novel, The Engagements. The desire to peer behind that curtain and see how married couples behave when no one’s watching.) You can’t and shouldn’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s.

Describe your relationship/marriage in three words.
The best adventure.

Emma Straub, bestselling author of The Vacationers

Marital status: Married for six years and together for six years before that.

Where did you get married?
We got married in my parents’ dining room in front of 30 people. It was tiny and hilarious and exactly what we wanted.

What is the best piece of relationship/marriage advice you’ve received?
It’s not exactly advice, but to choose the person again and again. If you get married young, as I did (well, I was 28, but we’d been together since I was 22), you’re both going to evolve and change and mature in lots of different ways. You have to be okay with that.

What is your advice to newlyweds/dating friends?
Have a small wedding. Take a honeymoon. Take several.

Describe your relationship/marriage in three words.
Stuck like glue.

Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of Hidden

Marital status: Married, and just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary.

Where did you get married?
We did the actual ceremony in our living room with immediate family. Then we held a big party for our friends.

What is the best piece of marriage advice you’ve received?
No two marriages are alike. Don’t expect your marriage to look like someone else’s.

What is your advice to newlyweds?
Make sure your spouse is your friend. Big thumping love often fades, but friendship is forever.

Describe your marriage in three words.
We are friends.

More Must-Clicks:

100+ Great Date Night Ideas

20 Hot Dates Under $20

Offbeat Romantic Date Nights