Marriage Preparation Programs

young couple hugging, man kisses the forehead of his girlfiend
Marriage Prep

There are different types of Marriage Preparation Programs available to Engaged and Convalidation couples in the Archdiocese. Listed below are descriptions of these programs, which have been designed to address the specific issues and needs of the couples who are preparing for the Sacrament of Matrimony.

  • Fees: $100 per couple (Cash Only)
  • Please bring pen or pencil and small cushion for seating comfort.
  • Drinks and light snacks provided, 60 min. lunch break.
Regular Marriage Preparation Program

These One Day Marriage Preparation Programs are for Engaged Couples who are being married for the first time. Engaged couples who attend these sessions have not been previously married to each other civilly. These programs address such topics as:

  1. Sacrament of Matrimony
  2. Family of Origin
  3. Communication
  4. Decision-Making
Convalidation Marriage Preparation Program

These programs are for couples who have been previously married in a civil ceremony. They are now making a commitment in the sight of the Catholic Community, entering into a covenanted relationship, not just with each other but also with God and God’s people, the Church. These couples have been married anywhere from a few months to many years and some already have children. This type of preparation can also be beneficial for the couple who has lived together for an extended period of time. These sessions address such issues as:

  1. Sacrament of Matrimony
  2. Family of Origin
  3. Parenting
  4. Finances
Catholic Engaged Encounter Weekends

The Engaged Encounter weekend is a full weekend experience of marriage preparation. The weekend combines learning practical skills for a successful marriage while sharing the experience of a private retreat setting with your fiancèe/fiancè.

The weekend begins on Friday evening at 8:00 pm and ends with Mass on Sunday afternoon at 4:30 pm. Presentations by two married Catholic Couples and a Priest will stimulate the engaged couple to reflect and share with each other on self-knowledge, communication, sexuality, decision making, marriage as a sacrament, morality, family, betrothal and stewardship. The engaged couple’s personal discussion will always be from the viewpoint of their own relationship. The main thrust of the weekend is personal reflection and private couple dialogue.

Meal times, Saturday afternoon break, Saturday evening group discussion, and Sunday afternoon Mass provide opportunities for intra-couple relationships and group participation. Otherwise the weekend is designed as a private experience for the engaged couple.

Engaged Encounter Weekends are given regularly in the Archdiocese. Registration and scheduling is by email ( or mail only. Brochures and applications have been distributed to each Parish.

Reservation requests need to be made as soon as a couple decides to be married (9-12 months before the wedding is desirable). The Engaged Encounter Weekend should be completed a minimum of six months prior to the wedding date.

For schedule information visit their website at, or call (805) 529-0245.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Other Resources:
Special Circumstances

From time to time we receive calls about senior couples whom it may not be appropriate to send on the regular marriage preparation sessions. (e.g., physical stamina, too wide of gap in age differences, etc.) please call the Office of Marriage & Family Life. We will make special arrangements.​​​​

Marriage Preparation

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