Sarah Jessica Parker and husband Matthew Broderick have an epic love story spanning almost 30 years. Find out more about their romance, from early days to marriage to children.
Sarah Jessica Parker is best known for her portrayal as Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City (and now And Just Like That!), as someone who was “looking for love,” but in her real life, she had already found it and sustained a relationship for many years. The actress, 56, who married Matthew Broderick, 59, in 1997, shares an epic love story with the actor, spanning almost 30 years.
Below we break down all you need to know about the couple’s sweet early days, unconventional wedding, family of three, and professional projects they’ve taken on together, continuing to prove themselves not only a power couple in entertainment, but one in romance.
They instantly connected in their early years
Sarah and Matthew, who were both active in the theater at a very young age, met in 1991 after Sarah separated from Robert Downey Jr. after a long, tumultuous relationship. The couple met through Broadway, as Sarah’s brothers, Pippin and Toby, helped start the Naked Angels Theatre Company where Matthew directed a play. The pair then hit if off after being introduced by Sarah’s brothers and the two began dating. In 1996, Sarah told the New York Times that Matthew asked her out via voicemail, saying, “He left a very charming, very self-effacing message on the machine. You know, ‘Hi, it’s Matthew Broderick.’ You had to use your last name.”
Matthew also described their first meeting to the YES Network in 2012. “I do remember first meeting her…we went to a movie together,” the actor, who grew up in Greenwich Village, said at the time. “And I still remember very clearly seeing her walk down the street toward the movie theater…it’s very unique, because I wouldn’t remember most people the first time I saw them come down the street. [But] I remember it as clear as day.”
The couple continued to thrive on stage and screen, with Matthew having a memorable take as the title character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in 1986 and Sarah starting her iconic role on Sex and the City in 1998. In addition to their own projects, the couple starred alongside each other in the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in 1996.
“I’m so nervous acting opposite him,” Sarah told the Los Angeles Times ahead of the show’s debut. “I don’t know how we’re going to manage this without laughing hysterically at each other. We do not discuss it. I don’t even want to rehearse — I’m going to go onstage with a big blinder on my head — I don’t know what I’m thinking.”
Of Matthew she said, “He’s so bright, so handsome, I think he’s the most handsome man I’ve seen in my life. And he inspires me. I’m mad for him, totally.”
They had an unconventional wedding
The couple made things official on May 19, 1997 at New York’s Angel Orensanz Synagogue, honoring their Jewish heritage. The event was actually a surprise for the 100 guests who were invited, as Matthew and Sarah originally told them it was a party before shocking them with a wedding. Much like the unexpected Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah opted for a black dress for the occasion vs. the classical white.
“I was badass,” Sarah said on Watch What Happens Live in 2016. “I just was too embarrassed to spend any time looking for a wedding dress. There was a store that I liked that I knew, and I just went and got whatever they had hanging.” Unlike Carrie, however, the dress wasn’t exactly label-less, but by designer Morgane Le Gay. “I was too embarrassed to get married in white, and both Matthew and I were reluctant to have people pay so much attention to us,” SJP told Marie Claire in 2006.
They’re proud parents of three children
Matthew and Sarah welcomed their first child, James, on Oct. 28, 2002, and Sarah often posts sweet photos of the 19-year-old to her Instagram. Sarah famously hid her pregnancy with certain outfit choices on SATC since they were still filming when she became pregnant, causing the fifth season to be actually cut short.
“Not having everything you want is a blessing,” she shared with PEOPLE in July 2017 when speaking about parenting and growing up working class in Ohio. “Things they want I think they should yearn for. In some cases, as my son gets older, I think he should earn, right? I think it’s good to pine for something so that when you get it, it has such meaning. You aren’t casual about the possession.”
On June 22, 2009, Sarah and Matthew welcomed twins Marion and Tabitha via surrogate. Speaking with Vogue in 2010, Sarah explained the difficult process. “We tried and tried and tried and tried to get pregnant,” she shared. “But it just was not to be, the conventional way. I would give birth as often as I could, if I could. I cherished all the milestones, the good and the bad.”
The Failure to Launch actress also spoke about her kids with The Edit magazine in 2016. “If I could revisit one moment in my life, it would be the birth of my children, definitely,” she shared. “I only got to give birth once. James is like, why do you always want to talk about that?!”
How they’ve made their relationship last
Sarah and Matthew have shared so many years together, it’s caused people to ask about how they keep their relationship successful. “We’ve been together for 20 years and you have good days, you have decent days, and you have bad days,” she said, per Us Weekly. “That’s a marriage. That’s a relationship. That’s a friendship, even — relationships outside the marriage run the same course.” She continued: “If you’re in it for the long haul and you want meaningful relationships, you are going to go through lots of different periods.”
In the brief interview on Meredith Viera‘s self-titled talk show, Matthew also spoke about how happy he is to have had such a long marriage. “We really are friends beyond everything else and we talk a lot,” he said. “Keep talking I guess, I know how cliché that is. Too much silence is definitely not a good idea.”
“I love Matthew Broderick,” Sarah also declared in Harper’s Bazaar in 2013. “Call me crazy, but I love him. We can only be in the marriage we are. We’re very devoted to our family and our lives. I love our life. I love that he’s the father of my children, and it’s because of him that there’s this whole other world that I love.”
Professional projects & future plans
In Feb. 2020, the couple returned to the theater for the Neil Simon play Plaza Suite. Everyone, of course, knows what happened next with the coronavirus pandemic that swept the globe the following month, and the couple pushed the opening date to March 28, 2022.
“We had basically come to the conclusion without ever having said it that we would never really work together,” she said with a laugh on CBS Morning in March 2020. Matthew continued with the sentiment, “Yeah, every now and then somebody would say, ‘You guys should do something together,’ and we’d say, ‘What?’ and they’d say, ‘I have an appointment …'” he joked.
“What I felt was, ‘Oh god no, really?’ because you know each other in such a different way but … I think it has been incredibly pleasant.”