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3 Books You HAVE to Read Before You Get Married - and 1 to Read After!

We're big reading fans at Dreamwedding - even if our literary choices often veer more towards the Bridget Jones side of the spectrum than the high-brow classics - and we've often been amazed by just how much you can learn about relationships from books, both good and bad! 

While reading is sure to broaden your mind and expand your horizons, it can also be such a great way to learn from other people's mistakes. And when it comes to matters of the heart? Well those mistakes are littered through literature; you can barely read a novel without tripping over several. In other words? Lessons - we've learned a few! Here are the books we found 'em in, and why you should spend the time getting better acquainted with them. 

You Lost Him at Hello - A Saleswoman's Secrets to Closing the Deal With Any Guy You Want by Jess McCann

Now, don't get us wrong: we are no big fans of waxing lyrical about gender divisions. Mostly, we think guys and gals act differently because of how they're raised, not how they're wired. But Ms McCann raises some very interesting points in her sales pitch. It's not all that different to the premise of He's Just Not That Into You (no prizes for guessing...) but Jess's thesis is a little more straightforward: make him want it, yeah, but make him work for it. And never, ever put all the work in yourself - or you'll just spend your whole life wondering if he'd ever have gotten around to calling.

In marriage, this basically means - reluctant as we are to commit this to writing - letting him play the alpha male just a little bit. We don't mean do his cooking and cleaning, but let him be the one doing a little more of the chasing. He'll appreciate feeling like a man, and you'll appreciate being chased.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Okay, okay, so the kind of love that endures involuntary time travel and starts when the woman is only a child and the boy, a grown man, well - hardly realistic, is it? And we'll warn you: there will be tears, lots of tears, when the narrative reaches its inevitably traumatic conclusion. But we'll never forget just how much The Time Traveler's Wife made us believe in love. Not just any old love, either - the kind of storybook love that crosses continents and survives disaster upon disaster.

You may never feel like yours is that kind of super-epic love (it is fiction, after all), but knowing that it's possible - that you and your honey could just be for each other what Audrey's Henry and Clare are to one another might just be enough. Plus, you get to live out your romance without the threat of time-travel disruption. Most inconvenient. 

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Take it from us, finding a picture of the dust jacket of this classic American novel that is not of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet is tough - and no, you can't just watch the movie! Richard Yates's debut novel was released in 1961 to much critical acclaim, and with good reason - it tells the story of a couple living in 1950s suburbia, desperately unhappy with their lives: their geographical location, their philosophical location and, ultimately, each other.

It's an incredibly accurate and thought-provoking reflection on the human condition, and we'll be darned if you don't recognize, at least once, a shadow of self in it (and not in a good way). Revolutionary Road is like the anti-marriage handbook, teaching you what not to do when faced with the inevitable obstacles that come with your forever union. 

So when you're done chowing down on those tomes and the wedding is all but a hazy memory in your satisfied little brain, you can move on: to another inevitability. 

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

You'd have to have spent the past five years hiding under a rock not to have heard of EL James's erotic fiction trilogy - and we know, we know, how predictable of us! But we're not suggesting you use this as a road map, necessarily; not every married couple wants to spend their honeymoon searching for weighted balls and leather paddles (imagine trying to find those in your English-French dictionary). Instead, try reading James's books at night-time, together.

Hilariously phrased, these erotic novels tell the story of the ridiculously, embarrassingly mild-mannered and clumsy Anastasia, who - quite literally - stumbles upon the handsome and alluring Christian Gray (roles about to make very famous individuals of Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, respectively). High jinx ensue, and before long it's leather paddles at dawn in the red room of pain (James's term for it, not ours). 

Sure, reading about sex is bound to make you both feel in the mood - but there's no better bonding experience than laughing out loud at Anastasia's inner goddess. Try it - you won't be disappointed!


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