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7 Books Every Engaged Couple Needs to Read

SMP Contributor

I've loved books for as long as I can remember. My mom was a high school English teacher while I was growing up, so reading was her approach to literally everything in life.

Want to learn more about your favorite animal? Here's a book called Meerkat Kingdom! True story; I was 5. And I probably read that book 200 times. You're dying to go to Italy? First, you need to read Dante's Divine Comedy. Also true, I was 14, and Inferno changed my life.

So naturally, when I met "The One," my first instinct was to find the best books to make this relationship work. We're long distance, so we needed all the help we could get!

Rebecca Yale Photography

After a lot of internet research, social media polls, and expert recommendations, here's a condensed list of the 7 books you need to read with the love of your life:

Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus

If you're living on planet Earth, you've heard of this book. Trust me – it's worth the read. I couldn't believe how many "facepalm" moments I had reading this guide to communicating and understanding the opposite sex.

Allen Tsai PhotographyThe 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

This book is the O.G. It's been a bestseller for more than 25 years. Do yourself a favor and take the quiz with your significant other. Realizing, for instance, he feels more loved when you unload the dishwasher than when you write him a love letter will change your life.

For Men Only / For Women Only

These books pack a lot of punch. Based on surveys and scientific research, they break down in simple language: For men, what she wants you to know. For women, what he wants you to know. The best part? They have cheat sheets in the front of the book for those people (ahem, my boyfriend and brothers) with short attention spans.

Fun exercise: After reading your gender, swap with your significant other and read theirs. Chat about what you learned and where you thought the book was spot on!

Anagram PhotoI Do, Now What?: Secrets, Stories, and Advice from a Madly-in-Love Couple

TV stars Giuliana and Bill Rancic give an upbeat reality check on what it's like to be newlyweds. It's nice to see a glamorous couple have totally relatable issues – and work through them! Stars: they're just like us.

The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

Money guru Dave Ramsey tackles everything from college debt, to marriage conflicts, when it comes to financial planning. Now's a good time to have an honest conversation around budgets and spending – and what that will look like in your relationship.

Tamara Gruner PhotographyThe Meaning of Marriage

This is a bestseller and favorite among church-affiliated pre-marital counselors. Timothy Keller gives an honest and insightful breakdown of the whole point of this thing called marriage. Keep reading for the wedding china story – I wanted to high five to his wife for that one.

Whether or not you're a self-proclaimed bookworm, you should take some time to read up before you walk down the aisle.

Style Me Pretty Contributor - Madeline Littrell is a corporate PR strategist and freelance writer. Born and raised in the South, she loves big hair, country music, and chicken fingers. Madeline lives in Dallas with her Sheltie puppy, Tennessee.