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EXCLUSIVE: Niecy Nash Talks Marriage Blessings and Lessons

Niecy looks back on what she and Jay have learned and shares exclusive photos.
This holiday weekend, actress and comedienne Niecy Nash and her husband Jay Tucker will celebrate their first wedding anniversary. A year ago, the pair married in a lavish outdoor ceremony in Malibu with the reality TV cameras rolling. Nash, who will co-star in the new TV Land sitcom Soul Man with Cedric the Entertainer, is known for her outspoken and fun-loving ways — so, we knew she’d be down to dish on what year-one of her marriage to Jay has been like and what she’s learning about making love work. Read our hilarious interview with Nash, and then check out some exclusive photos from her personal collection.

ESSENCE.COM: What do you have planned for your anniversary?
NIECY NASH: We actually celebrated our six-month anniversary. Girl! Our six-month anniversary fell when we were actually shooting our reality series (Leave It To Niecy). You saw it in the episode. I’m not a cook at all, but my husband is Jamaican, so I had a chef come in and teach me how to cook Jay’s favorite Jamaican foods. It was so nice. I had Jamaican music. I dressed up like an island girl. He loved it. We wanted to go somewhere really amazing, but I’ll be working, so we decided to have a really big party over the holiday weekend. We’re just gonna have one great big celebration.

ESSENCE.COM: What have you and Jay learned together?
NASH: Another thing that we did in this past year was recognize the value of fellowshipping with like-minded couples. It’s not about hanging out with our single friends all the time, but rather, we have a lot of positive couples we like to spend time with too. We took a vacation to Mexico with Kita and Joe Hardy from the T.O. show and Sherri Shepherd and her husband. Fellowshipping and dating other really amazing couples has been a good time. The people we love to hang out with are Lisa Leslie and her husband Michael Lockwood, Lalah Ali and her husband Curtis and Flex Alexander and Shanice. We try to spend a lot of time with the couples that we really care about.

ESSENCE.COM: What has it been like enjoying the newlywed phase?
NASH: it has been awesome and enlightening. Now you know, I love a good costume honey. But I found out that my new husband could care less. He likes me fresh out the tub with just some baby oil on — come on! If you try to get all done up, the man’s thinking: What is all this? How do I get you out of it? I spend my life in hair, makeup and with the lashes and all that stuff. But, when I’m scrubbed down and fresh out the tub, that’s when he’s like, “Come here!” Jay is exactly who I thought he was. The person he showed me before our wedding was the truth of who he is. No representative! No “what did I get myself into?” No “who the bleep did I marry?” He’s a Black man who loves his Black woman hard and in every way. And, he still makes me laugh, everyday.

ESSENCE.COM: How have you made time for each other between parenting and juggling careers?
NASH: We don’t turn down a moment whenever we can get it. It keeps our relationship very fresh and very interesting. If I’ve been traveling, and I come home and find out we have to go to a party, I hope we know them well, because we’re about to christen that house. (Laughs) His job affords him the luxury to sometimes be able to travel with me. He doesn’t’ like for me to travel alone, so most of the time he will try to arrange his schedule so that we can go together. It always feels like you’re on a date when you’re in a hotel. I don’t even try to get creative. I just open the door, and I tell my kids: “You can open this door if you want to, but if you do, your eyes will bleed – ha!”

ESSENCE.COM: You two are always smiling. How do you hold on to the joy?
NASH: One of the things I told my husband is that every couple that I know that is happily married has a hobby. So I said, “We have to get us a hobby.” We started to go and get bikes. I told him, “We’re going to become cyclists.”(Laughs) We went and bought bikes and helmets and the whole thing. It was great, and it was about the adventure of discovering new things together.

Photo: Robert Ector