marriage preparation, marriage problems, relate, relationship counselling, marriage care

Marriage preparation FAQs

Why should we do marriage preparation?

Most people plan for the big things in life and getting married is no different. This is why many churches ask couples to spend some time thinking and learning about relationships as well as preparing for their wedding. Thousands of couples have taken some form of marriage preparation and the overwhelming feedback is that they get a lot out of it.

Why do you offer two types of marriage preparation?

There is a lot to making a relationship work. Our two types of marriage preparation are designed to complement each other and to give your married life the best start, we recommend that you do both.

A Preparing Together day will help you learn about the different stages in relationships and learn about how to handle the inevitable difficulties that arise.

FOCCUS will give you time to think and talk together about your life and relationship rather than the wedding day details, by exploring issues with each other in a safe, supportive and confidential environment.

My partner is not keen. What can I say to persuade him/her to come along?

The vast majority of attendees get a lot out of our courses. We always ask couples to fill in an evaluation form to help us make our courses better. Here is a sample of what they have said.

“You don’t know you need it until after you have attended!”

“It gave me an insight into how to deal with conflict and I learned that I can change the way I react.”

“Every couple should attend one of these courses – it was surprisingly helpful.”

“It was relaxed, informal and fun.”

“Everybody participated but there was never any pressure.”

“We’ve been together for 10 years and still learned a lot today.”

What does it involve?

The course consists of a number of sessions over one day or a number of evenings, some activities in groups, some as couples and some individual tasks. There will be no pressure to discuss personal matters in front of the group.

The topics include the importance of talking and listening, dealing with difficult issues, expectations of your life together, maintaining intimacy in your relationship and your experiences of the family you grew up in.

My partner believes in God but I’m not sure. Will you be talking a lot about God?

Our courses are suitable for any couple wanting to spend time on their relationship before marrying, from all faiths and belief systems. Our expertise is relationships and that will be the main focus of the day but you will have an opportunity to reflect on the promises you make to each other on your wedding day.

Couples who are marrying in church will also have separate meetings with their priest or pastor often to answer any questions they have about the wedding ceremony, church teaching or the theology of marriage.

We’ve been living together for ages. Can we come and will we get anything out of marriage preparation?

Yes, you will be welcome to attend the course. No judgments are made about your current position. You’re the experts on your relationship whether you have only just met or have been living together for some time. This time is an opportunity for you to focus on your partner and your relationship away from all the pressures of daily life and wedding plans. Couples that have been together for years tell us they still learn something of value to them.

Will we be frowned upon because we already have children?

Some couples coming on courses do already have children. We value all the experience you bring and hope that you will be able to build on that during the course.

Can we bring children with us?

No; our volunteers are not able to provide child care so please make alternative arrangements for your children. Unfortunately, if you do bring your children, you will need to leave and arrange to book onto a later course.

How do I find out about marriage preparation?

You can ring the telephone appointments service on 0800 389 3801 to get in touch with a local centre or look at the local centre pages to find out what is available in your area.

Find out more about our marriage preparation courses.