Marriage Prep

Three to Get Married

The Three to Get Married Marriage Preparation Program draws upon the best in contemporary psychology, practical wisdom from the experience of married couples, and the beauty of the Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage and family life in order to give you the best foundation on which to build a successful marriage.

Our marriage preparation course is an intensive preparation experience true to the teachings of the Catholic Church. It aims to provide each couple with a reflective and in-depth preparation for a joyful, faith-filled marriage—based on love that not only endures but actually grows stronger year after year

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Upcoming dates: virtual and in-person

Early registration is encouraged to reserve your preferred date and to allow us to inform you, in a timely manner, of any changes in format due to changes and updates in restrictions.

Weekends fill quickly. Reserve your spot today!

 

Dec 9-12, 2021 | In-person  Register

Jan 20-23, 2022 | In-person  Register

Feb 10-13, 2022 | In-person  Register

Mar 10-13, 2022 | In-person  Register

Mar 24-27, 2022| In-person  Register

Apr 21-24, 2022 | Virtual   Register

May 12-15, 2022 | In-person  Register

Jun 16-19, 2022 | In-person  Register

July 21-24, 2022 | In-person  Register

Aug 11-14, 2022 | In-person  Register

Sep 15-18, 2022 | In-person  Register

Oct 6-9, 2022 | In-person  Register

Dec 8-11, 2022 | In-person  Register

We found the course thought-provoking and interesting. It allowed us to further get to know each other, and we both feel even more confident in our future marriage as a result. The course was well planned and educational! Thank you very much!"

Seb & Samantha

FAQs

Gettting married in the Catholic Church is about more than determining the venue of your wedding or what you will wear.  Most important is making sure you have taken the necessary steps to ensure that you will be able to get married in the Catholic Church. Our Three to Get Married Marriage Preparation program is one step in your preparation process. We encourage you to contact your priest before registering for our program. 

Couples getting married in the Catholic Church are required to begin sacramental preparation at least six months (some parishes require 12 months) prior to the wedding. During that time couples must take important steps to prepare:

  • Contact a priest in your local parish whether or not you are being married locally or at another church (a destination wedding or wedding at hometown parish still requires contact with a local priest).  This should be done 6-12 months prior to the date of your marriage. In this initial meeting, the priest or deacon will go over the requirements of getting married in the Catholic Church.  These requirements take into account the universal law of the Church, the local laws and customs of the local diocese and state law.  

  • Participate and receive a certificate of completion for an approved marriage preparation program (such as our program.)

  • Review your FOCCUS inventory with an approved facilitator.

  • For Catholics, an indispensable part of the preparation for Marriage is the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance prior to the wedding.  One should always approach the altar worthily, in a state of grace, open to all of the blessings the Lord has to bestow.  You can do this at your local parish or set up an appointment here with one of the priests at OLB.

  • Attend a Natural Family Planning Course

If you are marrying in another country, plan additional time to complete the required paperwork and have it sent from the preparing diocese and to the diocese where the ceremony will take place.

You’ll enjoy a memorable weekend with your future spouse growing deeper in love and knowledge of each other, while also growing your love and knowledge of God and His plan for your marriage. We hope you will see that these loves are intimately related—it takes three to get married!

The weekend is a mixture of talks, questionnaires, and time for personal reflection and private discussion that allows couples to deepen their understanding of Catholic marriage—with all of its possibilities and challenges. Trained speakers will present each topic throughout the weekend and you will be encouraged to spend time talking to each other about the topics that will be presented and how they relate to your relationship.

The program begins by focusing on the practical aspects of marriage and then moves toward the spiritual aspects, concluding on Sunday with a day-long couple’s retreat, with opportunities for confession and Sunday Mass. This weekend is about YOU and is designed to help you initiate those critical conversations needed to lay a solid foundation for your future.

Mass and the Sacrament of Confession will be available on Sunday. If desired, priests will also be available for outside confession.

Typical program schedule

Schedule may be subject to change. The following is for general information.

Thursday night: 6:45-9:45 pm

Friday night: 7:00-9:30 pm

Saturday: 8:30 am – 5:00pm

Sunday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Attendance at all talks and activities is mandatory in order to receive a certificate of completion.

Just like the in-person sessions, live speakers will present each topic throughout the weekend and you will be encouraged to spend time talking to each other about the topics that will be presented and how they relate to your relationship. The only difference is that couples and speakers will participate virtually, via Zoom.

You’ll still enjoy a memorable weekend with your future spouse growing deeper in love and knowledge of each other, while also growing your love and knowledge of God and His plan for your marriage. We hope you will see that these loves are intimately related—it takes three to get married!

Format of the weekend

The weekend is a mixture of talks, questionnaires, and time for personal reflection and private discussion that allows couples to deepen their understanding of Catholic marriage—with all of its possibilities and challenges. Trained speakers will present each topic throughout the weekend and you will be encouraged to spend time talking to each other about the topics that will be presented and how they relate to your relationship.

Remote attendance

We use a Pro version of Zoom to connect everyone to the program throughout the weekend. Attendance at all talks is mandatory in order to receive the certificate of completion. We will require cameras to be on during the talks. This will allow the speakers to "see" their audience and not feel like they are talking into a blank computer screen.

If you and your fiancé will be attending from different locations...

A critical aspect of our program is the time you will spend in conversation with your fiancé talking about the different topics that we will present to you and sharing with each other your responses to the questionnaires that we will provide.

We realize that everyone may be in a different situation as we continue to deal with the ramifications of this pandemic. If you can both to attend from the same location, then you will be able to have these conversations face to face. But, if you and your fiancé are attending from separate locations during this time, it’s important to find the ability to talk to each other during the questionnaire times. We are sure you have a preferred platform for communicating with each other. Please contact us via email with any questions.

Sunday Mass

Sunday’s schedule will not include Mass on virtual sessions. Participants are encouraged to attend Sunday Mass at their local parish.

Confessions

For those located near Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center, Confessions can be scheduled by contacting one of our priests.

Certificate of Completion

Upon completion of the weekend, each couple receives documentation to give to the priest who is preparing them.

The FOCCUS Inventory

FOCCUS is a self-diagnostic inventory designed to help couples learn more about themselves and their unique relationship. It is a tool to help couples identify and work through issues before marriage. It is not a test nor meant as a predictor of success or failure, but a discussion instrument intended to maximize the marriage preparation process by tailoring it to the individual couple and by providing comprehensive content to assist the couple preparing for marriage and those working with them.

Approximately one week prior to the weekend, each couple will receive instructions via email to access their on-line FOCCUS Inventory session. The results of the FOCCUS Inventory will be sent to the priest who is preparing them. Additionally, each couple will have the opportunity to schedule a consultation with a local marriage counselor to review the results of the FOCCUS; this meeting is a great complement to the counseling already being provided by the preparing priest and usually takes place in the week following the marriage prep session.

Couples who have already taken the FOCCUS also may take the opportunity to schedule a feedback consultation.

Total cost: $315 per couple

(Includes conference materials, FOCCUS materials and follow-up consultation.)

Cancellation/refund policy

To cancel your registration and request a refund, you must contact us at least 10 days in advance before your scheduled session. Keep in mind there is a $75 non-refundable deposit with all registrations.

To transfer your registration to another weekend, you must make a request at least 10 days before your scheduled session and there must be openings on the weekend to which you wish to transfer.

The Three to Get Married Marriage Preparation program is now integrated with Witness to Love! Witness to Love is a parish-based international marriage formation ministry that is being adopted by many local parishes. It features engaged couples choosing a mentor couple from their parish to accompany them through their engagement period and assist them in building a relationship and marriage skills, while their preparing priest or deacon helps them delve into the theology of marriage.

Our program fits perfectly into the Witness to Love model and fulfills the “retreat” portion of the recommended curriculum. Plus, the Mentor couples are welcome to join the engaged couple during the weekend, fostering deeper conversations between both couples.

We look forward to welcoming Witness to Love participants to our upcoming weekends, and Mentor Couples are invited to attend on Sunday of the program.

To transfer your registration to another weekend, you must make a request at least 10 days before your scheduled session and there must be openings on the weekend to which you wish to transfer.

Interested in attending another program?   View our calendar →